The land of the long white cloud is home to some of the most incredible landscapes on the planet, with an array of diverse landscapes packed into this small country. Think tiny colonial towns, hidden glassy lakes, winding walking trails weaving between untouched valleys, tranquil fjords, beautiful beaches, indigenous wildlife and thermal pools – to name just a few of New Zealand’s highlights. In a land where glaciers lap at the roots of the rainforest and where volcanic islands dot the coastline, this is the ultimate place to immerse yourself in the wilds of the world’s geologically youngest country…
Any city whose sheer beauty makes walking and cycling the preferred mode of public transport always earns extra brownie points. However, it’s not just the physical landscape of this city that makes it a must-visit town, as its pulsating atmosphere lets off enough urban street cred that even the most cosmopolitan tourist is bound to be enthralled. Featuring a constant stream of activity, from the throng of cafes (more per head than New York), art galleries, and fantastic boutiques to a buzzing night scene, Wellington is a city-dweller’s heaven. To really get under the skin of Wellington (and shed some dollars), take a stroll down Cuba Street. Discover the city’s best boutiques and home-grown designers before heading off for a nightcap or two…
Fiordland National Park
It’s not exactly a secret that New Zealand boasts some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes in the world. Not only has it achieved world heritage status because of its awe-inspiring, scenery, but it’s also a bit of a celebrity -having been one of the main backdrops for Lord of the Rings you know this landscape means business. Embark upon a four day walking trail through the Fiordland National Park to be at one with the great outdoors and discover some of New Zealand’s native animals, whilst trekking past glacier encrusted mountains and mirror-like fiords. For an extra touch of drama, visit New Zealand’s tallest waterfall which towers over the National Park at a spectacular 580m.
If you love a good drop of wine, top-class restaurants and tranquil surroundings, the Marlborough region should be at the top of your bucket list. Not only does it boast exquisite Pinot Noirs and Sauvignon Blancs but it’s also the founding region of the modern New Zealand wine industry, making it a veteran in New World Wines. Explore Marlborough’s principle town Blenheim and bask in its ethos of pure indulgence. A town with a firm focus on leisure and lifestyle encapsulated in the smorgasbord of gourmet food, wine and stunning restaurants, Blenheim is the definition of country chic. Check into one of the many boutique hotels and spend your days exploring the vineyards, sampling the local produce and experience the welcoming spirit of New Zealand.
Bay of islands
Imagine a sub-tropical climate, an abundance of apricot sandy beaches, luscious islands and a myriad of dive sites and you’ll be somewhere close to picturing the stunning landscapes of the Bay of Islands. A nature lover’s paradise and a sun seekers dream with an average year- round temperature of 24 degrees, you’re pretty much guaranteed a sun-kissed holiday. Explore the islands from main town Paihia; gateway to the 144 outlying islands and home to numerous restaurants and stylish hotels. Take a short walk out to the Haruru Falls for a swim in an expansive waterfall that literally spans the length of the Waitangi River.
Known as the adventure capital of the world and boasting one of the most picturesque lakes in New Zealand, Lake Wakatipu takes magnificence to a new level. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, this serpentine body of water formed from the melting of glaciers, impresses even the most avid of underwater adventurers. Kayak or sail through the mountains and take in the spectacular scenery that is not only deeply imbedded in Maori legend but has also been the blockbuster setting for movies such as ‘The lion, witch and the wardrobe’, and ‘Lord of the Rings’. For the water sports enthusiast, make sure to hop on a wakeboard and experience the famous glass-like surface, and don’t forget to spend a lazy afternoon exploring the nearby colonial Arrowtown – it’s home to some of our favourite kiwi boutiques and cafes, and the best ice cream shop in the South Island, The Shed.