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Travel Directory / Oceania / New Zealand

New Zealand Travel Guide

Aside from the fact that they are the first country to allow women to vote, introduce retirement pensions and operate a tourist board, New Zealand is a country of rare seismic beauty ranging from clear lakes, glacial mountains and riveting rivers.

The country's name came from the Dutch word "Nova Zeelandia". New Zealand is a subtropical island in the South Pacific Ocean. It is divided into North Island, South Island, Stewart Island, Chatham Islands and Sub-Antarctic Islands. The nine major cities of New Zealand are Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Queenstown, Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill.

It's virtually possible to go to New Zealand anytime of the year, because their weather is always favorable. Months of November to April are the busiest since it covers the school holidays and the festive season of December to January. If you plan to join the pack of travelers during the peak season, it's recommended to plan your reservations in advance as the cities are jam-packed. But for those who are not too keen on crowds, take comfort in the fact that the weather is perfectly warm if you plan to visit either before or after the hectic period.

Extreme sports adventures are major tourist magnets in New Zealand. Visit Queenstown which is touted as the adrenalin capital of the world and excite yourself to your heart's content by sky diving, bungee jumping, skiing, rafting and hiking.

If you are after environmental parks, you will be pleased to know that New Zealand has 14 spectacular national parks which help preserve their natural beauty. They have the golden beaches of Abel Tasman, the alpine environment of Arthur's Pass and the immense Whanganui River.

They also have marine reserves which are designed to protect endangered marine life in a way that nothing can be taken nor disturbed ecologically. The precious 25 marine reserves of New Zealand are very much valuable not only because they are unique but they are also extremely beautiful.

A famous example of natural reserve is Fiordland National Park. They protect the world's largest black coral trees which are over 300 years old. Poor Knights is also well visited because of the subtropical currents, archways and huge caves that support an extraordinary range of marine life. It is one of the top 10 best diving spots in the world. Other parks you can discover are Tongariro in North Island and Rakiura on Stewart Island. For beautiful cultivated gardens, New Zealand has rhododendrons in Taranaki, camellias in Dunedin and roses in Rotorua.

If you like find peace and serenity in hiking by seeing scenic spots, there are a lot of fantastic panoramas to choose from. Enjoy the breeze at the top of Mount Eden and One Tree Hill which are both located in Auckland. Feel free to roam around Mount Victoria in Wellington, the top of the Port Hills in Christchurch and Flagstaff Hill in Dunedin.

For the artistic souls, add another dimension to your itinerary by paddling a kayak to the rock carvings at Mine Bay in Taupo or by taking a stroll at the streets of Katikati where intricate murals give life to the town's history.

To add to your seemingly unending list of things to do, choose from swimming with the dolphins or gamboling with newborn lambs up to whale watching and fishing for fattened trout in crystal clear streams and rivers. Truly, New Zealand is a place for explorers who want to experience the world at it's finest.


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