5 Reasons to start thinking about taking a trip to New Zealand!
It famously beat Covid-19 before any other developed country and its so beautiful that billionaire tech entrepreneurs are buying up huge swathes of land here. Welcome to New Zealand. Filled with stunning mountain ranges, lush greenery and incredible beaches, not to mention cities that have a higher quality of life than anywhere else in the world, this destination is uniquely beautiful and should be on everyones bucket list.
The very best way to explore the landscape is to immerse yourself in it and allow all five senses to experience the clean, fresh air, fascinating sights, warm sunshine and delicious cuisine. Whether youre hiking across its glaciers, cycling along a path that overlooks the azure sea below or zipping across the Mount Aspiring National Park on a jet boat, youll get the most enriching insight into the geography and culture of the countryside if you throw yourself into it.
Today were going to look in detail at 5 top New Zealand destinations that are completely unlike anywhere else in the world. They are all part of the itinerary when you book Exoduss exciting adventure package – Trails of New Zealand, but we have plenty of different packages that can get you to the same places! The Aspen Travel team are on hand to help you decide via email which package might suit you best according to your travel budget and preferences. Here are 5 of our favourite New Zealand destinations:
Auckland is a city that was ranked 5th best in the world for quality of life. Positioned as it is between 2 natural harbours, one on the Pacific and the other on the Tasman Sea, it offers the best of both coasts and is very proud of its impressive status on the yachting calendar. Its known as the City of Sails. Yacht lovers flock here from all corners of the globe to sail and watch sailing all year round. But Viaduct Harbour deserves a special mention as this is the host site for the Americas Cup yachting Regatta.
As well as having incredible seascapes, theres plenty to see inland in Auckland too. There are 50 plus volcanoes in the city, none of which are expected to erupt any time soon, but all of which add to the dramatic skyline. You might have heard of One Tree Hill, which is Aucklands most famous volcanic cone. It sits at 182 metres high above the flower beds in Cornwall Park and is a symbol of the city.
Another city based peak is The Sky Tower. At 328 metres high, its visible from everywhere and offers a panoramic view of up to 80km away from its observation deck. Exciting shopping, dining and entertainment can be enjoyed at Waitemata Harbour, particularly in the Quay Street area and if youre looking for something cultural, why not head over to the Auckland Art Gallery, which has both European and Maori art collections.
Theres plenty to keep the kids busy too, whether you take them to the Maritime Museum, the zoo, the aquarium, the planetarium at The Stardome Observatory, or simply to run and burn off their excess energy at Albert Park. Theyll love the quirky clocks and fountains there.
Beaches lie to the east and the west of the city centre. Takapuna Beach is in the East, fringed with forest and great for swimming, while the west coast beaches like Piha Beach and Karioitaki beach are perfect for surfers offering devastatingly good waves to ride, but theyre dangerous for swimmers given their treacherous rip currents.
Rangitoto Island lies off the Auckland coast and the shape of it is iconic. It was formed by the youngest volcano in New Zealand pushing its way through up through the ocean to stand proudly at 259 metres above sea level. Its a haven of nature and wildlife and consists of sweeping lava fields that come together in a graceful wilderness.
If youre planning on hiking in Rangitoto, as many visitors do, youll find it very rewarding as long as youre prepared for the challenge. The ground is uneven and theres a lot of rubble and dense thickets of bush. Additionally the hot sun beating down on you, without any shade, can feel relentless. However, in spite of all that, once you reach the viewpoints and you find yourself surveying Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf, youll be glad you made the effort.
Rotorua is a spa town set around a lake of the same name in New Zealands north Island. Its famous for its celebration of Maori culture and its geothermal activity. Here, you can go on a Maori arts trail, watch a traditional Maori dance and take part in a hangi, which is a Maori feast with food cooked using hot stones.
As for relaxing while youre here, you need look no further than the geysers, thermal springs and bubbling mud pools, which all attract visitors for their wellbeing qualities. Theres nothing like lying in warm bubbling mud to remove your worries and improve your skin!
Theres also stunning landscape nearby to explore. Mountains and 17 lakes are all in close proximity, with fun activities on them encouraged, particularly mountain biking along the picturesque trails. Those looking to feel exhilarated can try white water rafting, or waterskiing, while others looking for a gentler way to move around the water might prefer swimming, kayaking, or fishing.
4. Tongariro National Park
This is one of the oldest national parks in the world and its full of wonderfully diverse landscapes to explore. Part volcanic desert, part glacial valley, youll discover beautiful waterfalls and wild bushland. There are mountains and volcanoes, which offer terrific ski fields when the conditions are right, but one of the areas most iconic features is the Tongarito Alpine Crossing. Itll take a whole day to complete and you should be aware that some sections of it are very steep. It is widely believed to be one of the most beautiful trails in all of New Zealand.
Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and another destination that always features in the top 20 lists depicting places to live for a great quality of life. It has an enviable caf culture and very steep streets. This, combined with the fact that a whopping 11% of the residents walk to work means Wellingtonians consider themselves far fitter than those in neighbouring cities.
The city itself is surrounded by forests, eco parks and glorious coastline. Highlights of the attractions here include the Botanical Gardens, the National Museum and Lambton Quay next to the harbour, with its shops and restaurants. Wellington is also home to New Zealands thriving film industry. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were made here at the Weta Workshop, Digital Studio and Miramar Film Empire. Film fans can get a guided tour of the Weta Cave for free.
Other destinations on the trails of New Zealand tour by Exodus include the Abel Tasman National Park, where youll see seals and penguins, the Fox Glacier located in the Southern Alps, Mount Aspiring, New Zealands highest peak and the cities of Queenstown and Christchurch.
Here at Aspen Travel were still taking enquiries from interested parties and were gearing up for action. If you want to beat the crowd in the inevitable holiday explosion that will result from these strange times, then please get in touch.