WHAT NEW ZEALAND LACKS IN SIZE IT MORE THAN MAKES UP FOR IN ITS DIVERSITY.
The North Island has the Bay of Islands and Auckland regions with their fantastic sandy beaches and cosmopolitan atmosphere, the central ski fields and geothermal region and of course the nation's capital.
While the South Island has it's wide open spaces, spectacular fiords, alpine skiing and many national parks which remain and are protected as wilderness areas.
Step back into New Zealand’s past in Akaroa, Canterbury’s oldest village. You’ll hear about Maori, whaling, French and British history. Natural history is another topic to explore. Plus you have the chance to swim with the world's rarest dolphin - the Hector’s dolphin.
Rotorua is one of the original tourist destinations in New Zealand - it has been welcoming visitors for more than 200 years. From the moment people arrive in Rotorua they know they're somewhere quite different. There is a scent of sulphur in the air. At nearby geothermal hotspots, there are spouting geysers, boiling mud pools and warm geothermal springs. Silica terraces are naturally decorated with a kaleidoscope of colours.
The Coromandel Peninsula lies east of Auckland, on the other side of the Hauraki Gulf. An impressive, heavily forested mountain range runs right up the middle of this peninsula - it’s bordered on each side by kilometres of spectacular coastline. On the west coast, there’s a never-ending parade of beaches, coves and harbours lined with pohutukawa trees (a red flowering native of New Zealand) . The eastern side of the Coromandel is furnished with an amazing collection of white sand and surf beaches.
Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping - you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland.
Queenstown is the Southern Hemisphere's premiere four season alpine and lake resort. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and overlooked by the majestic Remarkables Range, Queenstown is the perfect destination all year round.
Summer burns hot under blue skies before cool autumn morning's change the leaves to vivid reds and gentle golds. With crisp, clear days and acres of snow covered mountains, winter is a time for snow enthusiasts, before nature bursts into colourful life during spring.
Situated in the north-west corner of the South Island, the Nelson region is surrounded by sheltering mountain ranges, giving it a mediterranean-type climate.
The Nelson region is known for its year-round sunshine, golden beaches, national parks, boutique wineries, micro breweries and a large creative community of working artists. Add to this locally grown produce, freshly caught seafood, historical streetscapes and waterfront restaurants and you’ll see that it offers a thoroughly pleasurable way of life.
The region of Northland and the Bay of Islands stretches north from Auckland, towards the warm waters of Polynesia, the ancestral home of New Zealand’s first inhabitants.
The relaxed, sunny lifestyle of Northland springs from its subtropical climate and the myriad of beautiful islands, bays and beaches around the coastline. The people of the North have a passion for water sport - surfing, boating, game fishing, sailing and diving. They also have a deep appreciation of the region’s fascinating Maori and European history.
The Hawkes Bay region encompasses the area around Hawkes Bay on the East Coast of the North Island.
Hawkes Bay is loved for its sunny climate, fabulous beaches, sheltered coastal plains and long-established vineyards. It is also one of the country's largest pip fruit growing areas. Napier, the main city of the region, has one of the largest concentrations of Art Deco buildings in the world. It was razed by earthquake and fire in 1931 and rebuilt in the art deco style which was fashionable at the time. The Art Deco Walk is a permanent attraction and each February there is the Brebner Print Art Deco Weekend, a not-too-serious celebration of the art deco style.
Christchurch city is located midway down the East Coast of the South Island, just north of Banks Peninsula.
Christchurch is the South Island's largest city. It’s a vibrant, cosmopolitan place with exciting festivals, theatre, modern art galleries, great shopping and award-winning attractions.
The Otago coast stretches from the Waitaki River to the mighty Clutha River, on the South Island's eastern coast. About halfway between is the city of Dunedin, the South Island's second largest city.
Dunedin was founded on the picks, harpoons and hard toil of goldminers, whalers and early Scottish settlers over 150 years ago. Much of Dunedin's early wealth and enterprise has left a tangible mark on the city today. Its name is the old Gaelic one for Edinburgh - appropriate since the city was established by Scottish Presbyterians.