Smoldering volcanoes, billowing geysers, glaciations and a well-preserved ethnicity which coexists with a modern lifestyle are the USPs of this enigmatic island nation. It is blessed with a bounty of flora and fauna as well as pleasant weather conditions that make it a favoured destination for travelers all through the year. Maoris, Europeans, Asians and Pacific Islanders make up the population. A study in contrasts, New Zealand is a country you must visit at least once. Check out some of the top things to do when in New Zealand.
1. Go Wine Tasting on Waiheke Island!
With over 20 wineries, Waiheke Island is the best place for a wine-tasting tour. The climate here is perfect for growing grapes and olives. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Malbec, and Merlot are some of the varieties found here.
Timing: Appointments are required at some wineries.
2. Soak in the Beauty of Milford Sound
The spectacular sight of Mitre Peak rising from the waters of Milford Sound has to be seen to be believed. You can enjoy the vistas on a boat cruise or a helicopter ride
3. Watch the Geysers of Rotorua
If spouting hot water geysers are something you’ve always wanted to see, then Rotorua’s the place to be. Maori cultural performances are also held here for the benefit of visitors. Sulphur City, as it is known as, attracts three million visitors annually!
Timing: All day.
4. Enjoy a Visit to Middle Earth at Hobbiton
Shoot your own movie and get some great pictures at the locations where the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series and ‘The Hobbit’ were filmed. Edoras and the Plains of Rohana are, but just a horse ride or a chopper ride away!
Timing: 10.00 am to 4.30 pm. Advance bookings are recommended.
5. Relish the Outdoors at South Island
Mountains, lakes, and glaciers turn the landscape of South Island into breathtaking vistas. Home to Abel Tasman National Park and Kaikoura, you will also be able to glimpse plenty of whales, dolphins, and New Zealand fur seals.
Timing: You can easily spend a few days exploring.
6. Check Out the Volcanic Mountains in Tongariro National Park
A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is New Zealand’s oldest national park. The park is home to three active volcanic mountains and offers plenty of hiking trails. The park also has plenty of hot springs, craters, and boiling mud pools.
Timing: All day.
7. Experience the Mystique of Waitomo Glowworm Cave
Glide serenely through a dark cavern known as the Glowworm Grotto with the flickering lights of the glowworms for company. This has been a natural attraction for visitors over 120 years. The Aranui Cave with its many stalactites is another wonder situated adjacent.
Timing: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
8. Ascend to the Top of Sky Tower
The tallest manmade structure in New Zealand is situated in Auckland and has an observation deck for some panoramic 360° shots. You can also enjoy some fine dining as the city lights up at night. The Skycity Entertainment Center at the base of the tower offers about 20 bars and restaurants, a casino, and a theatre for some fun times.
Timing: 9.00 am to 10.00 pm
9. Stroll Around Hamilton Gardens
Sprawling over 50 hectares, there are enclosed gardens on different themes, a restaurant, and café in the park. A herb garden and the country’s first Maori garden can also be found here. The enclosed gardens have the themes of Italian Renaissance, Chinese, Japanese, English, American and Indian.
Timing: 7.30 am – 5.00 pm.
10. Gaze in Awe at Mount Taranaki
This strato volcano looks down upon verdant dairy farms and heritage buildings in the surrounding towns. You can hike around the mountain or explore towns like Inglewood and Stratford.
Timing: All day.
This is just a short list of the experiences and sights that await you in New Zealand. Leave the nitty-gritty of planning to GoFro and remember to pack your camera as you head out for a memorable holiday!