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regions and attractions of new zealand
northland & bay of islands
The region of Northland and the Bay of Islands stretches north from Auckland, to the Cape Reinga where the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea meet. The relaxed, sunny lifestyle of Northland springs from its subtropical climate and the array of beautiful islands, bays and beaches around the coastline. Therefore being an aquatic playground for those who love surfing, boating, game fishing, sailing and diving. It is also the ancestral home of New Zealand's first inhabitants, giving visitors a great insight into the Maori culture.
Auckland is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city situated on a narrow neck of land between two harbours. It's known as the City of Sails for good reason having the largest number of boats per head of population in the world. In just half an hour you can be almost anywhere - sailing to an island, trekking through the rainforest, picnicking on a volcano, sampling wines at a vineyard or wandering a wild, black sand surf beach. A great base, or starting point to explore what New Zealand has to offer.
central north - bay of plenty, lake taupo
Central North is made up of numerous regions, all offering something unique. In the Waitomo area, south of Hamilton, there's a natural labyrinth to discover. Massive subterranean caverns are adorned with stalactites and stalagmites - formations that have been millions of years in the making. The sunny climate and beachy atmosphere of the Bay of Plenty make it a place to have fun. Eastland reaches out to the Pacific Ocean, and is the first mainland place in the world to see the sun each day, and includes some of New Zealands best wineries. Tongariro National Park boasts 3 spectacular volcanoes standing side by side. Mt Ruapehu which is still active, features North Island's premier ski fields - Whakapapa and Turoa. New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo is in the very heart of the North Island, and is world renown for its excellent trout fishing.
No visit to New Zealand would be complete without seeing the awesome display of nature's power. 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. Rotorua is also the heartland of New Zealand Maori culture, and visitors have the opportunity to experience the warm spirit of Te Maori.
wellington and lower north island
The Capital of New Zealand, Wellington is also a cultural centre, being home to Te Papa, the ground-breaking interactive Museum of New Zealand, the New Zealand Symphony, and the original Treaty of Waitangi. The city is compact and interesting, nestled between a dramatic harbour and bush clad hills. Downtown Wellington is made up of four quarters each with their own distinct mix of shopping, cafes, transport and accommodation. Wellington's intense urban experience is unrivalled in the country. Martinborough, once a sleepy town, is now popular weekend destination for Wellingtonians, due to its boutique accommodation and some 16 wineries.
south island regions
marlborough & nelson
Marlborough and Nelson are at the north end of the South Island is only a scenic drive north from Christchurch or a ferry ride south from Wellington. This is a gourmet and wine lover's paradise offering some of the world's finest wines, great food and fabulous arts and crafts. Here you'll also find the Marlborough Sounds, a labyrinth of sea-flooded valleys that twist around dense-forested hills. The deep, blue waters are popular for sailing, kayaking, diving and fishing.
christchurch & canterbury
Christchurch city is located midway down the East Coast of the South Island, just north of Banks Peninsula, and 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. It is often described as the most English of New Zealand's cities, with punts gliding down the Avon River, a grand Anglican cathedral dominating the city square and trams rattling past. It is also a great starting point to explore the South Island.
In New Zealand, the 'West Coast' refers to the narrow strip of land between the South Island's magnificent Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. The West Coast is memorable for its mountain peaks, massive glaciers, bizarre limestone landscapes, mysterious lakes and raging rivers, lush rainforest and a magnificent, wild coastline. It contains the largest area of protected land of any region in New Zealand and provides access to five of New Zealand's 13 national parks.
On the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is nestled in what is surely one of the most scenic spots in the world. Queenstown is the resort town of the South Island, and New Zealand's adventure capital! There are year-round action-packed thrills, such as jet boating, white water rafting and parapenting. Queenstown is also the world capital and home of bungy jumping. In winter, Queenstown turns into an alpine playground - skiers and snowboarders come from all over the world to join in the fun at the annual Winter Festival.
fiordland, wanaka & mt cook
The spectacular Fiordland National Park and World Heritage area includes some of New Zealand's most famous walks, including the world renowned Milford Track. But can only be fully appreciated by air or from a boat or kayak out on the sounds. The crystal-clear waters of Lake Wanaka reflect the snow-capped peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park. Here you can absorb the unstoppable beauty of pristine wilderness, and know that it will be easy to find a great restaurant for dinner. Only 5 hours drive from Christchurch, Mount Cook Village offers plenty to do within the village and surrounding areas - from glacier skiing in the winter to hiking and fishing in the summer, and boasts awesome alpine scenery.
Dunedin is old Gaelic for Edinburgh and was once the largest city in New Zealand. Its grand history can be seen in the marvelous 19th Century buildings today. It's a city that has a thriving student and arts culture with many bars, cafés restaurant and theatre options. Dunedin's Otago Peninsula has an abundance of wildlife seldom seen so close to a city - fur seals, the rare yellow-eyed penguin, colonies of cormorants and the mighty albatross.
New Zealand one of the best adventure tourism destinations in the world. There are so many adrenalin pumping activities for you to get a buzz from such as bungy jumping and jetboating. Adventure attractions will make your New Zealand holiday come alive.
arts & culture
Discover unique Maori tourism experiences and the sacred traditions, arts and legends that bring alive the rich heritage of this unique ancient culture. Also, each city throughout New Zealand has a major museum and many towns have there own local museums. New Zealand's museums look back on both Maori and European cultural heritage.
food & wine
Relax in one of the many cafés around or dine out at one of the numerous and excellent restaurants scattered about New Zealand. New Zealand's climate is ideal for growing vegetables and fruit, and its wine has achieved great success in recent times winning many international awards. Most vineyards have restaurants and/or attractive gardens for picnics and barbecues.
natural new zealand
Experience the magnificent views and natural wilderness of New Zealands spectacular collection of boiling hot pools, mud pools, hot water lakes, formations of sulphur crystals or visit a dormant volcano. A journey to the summit of Mt Tarawera is valued as a once in a lifetime experience. The remote and sacred terrain provides a refreshing tranquility with majestic views
sports & recreation
New Zealand has it all. Recognised internationally as a top skiing destination New Zealand has so much to offer, from beginners to advanced. It is also one of the world's most sought after golf locations, with more than 400 crowd-free golf courses. And if you want fishing, head inland where you'll experience crystal clear rivers and lakes teaming with trophy sized browns and rainbows.
New Zealand has an abundance of native wildlife. We are one of the few countries in the world where you can be up close to a whale, swim with dolphins and view the gracefulness of the Southern Royal Albatross, all in the same day.
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