° ° °
NEW ZEALAND MAP AND TRIP ITINERARY
NEW ZEALAND TRAVEL GUIDE
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE IN NEW ZEALAND?
New Zealand is the ideal destination for those who love pristine nature and extreme landscapes. With an extension slightly less than Italy or Nevada, New Zealand offers many attractions throughout the country, suggesting a trip of at least two weeks, in addition to the days required to get to the port of entry (except for Australia, getting to New Zealand is a long flight from most countries, because of the isolation in the southern seas). New Zealand consists of two main islands separated by a narrow channel: proceeding from the north, we find the beaches and the large bays ideal to swim during summer and excellent to observe seabirds, dolphins and other marine life, while the interior will satisfy the botany enthusiasts, with forests dominated by large old trees, arboreal ferns and many endemic species. Further south, the geothermal fields of Rotorua offer fantastic geysers, boiling muds and colored lakes giving the feel of crossing a kind of hell in a spectacular setting. The south island is especially known for the fantastic alpine landscapes, culminating in Mount Cook (3724 meters) dominated by majestic glaciers and lakes of turquoise waters, while the region around Queenstown astonishes with its deep fjords, home to several colonies of penguins. The more adventurous tourists can embark south of the island for a cruise that visits the sub-Antarctic islands, in the stormy South Pacific ocean.
WHAT TO DO IN AUCKLAND? WHAT TO DO IN CHRISTCHURCH?
Most trips to New Zealand will probably begin in Auckland, a vibrant city and a good base for excursions in north island: if you are used to left-hand drive, you may rent a car and drive on your own, otherwise, there are numerous tourist buses offering day tours from Auckland to the major attractions of New Zealand, such as the geothermal area of Rotorua and Taupo, or the cozy coves of the Bay of Islands, a favorite destination for New Zealanders themselves. Christchurch is the main gateway for the south island: here you will find many operators offering day trips to the numerous attractions, like Mount Cook or, if you are used to left-hand driving, you may rent a car and drive on your own all around.
HOW TO MOVE AROUND IN NEW ZEALAND?
Although, as mentioned before, there are day tours organized by many operators, the best way to visit New Zealand is to rent a car and drive on your own to the many interesting destinations throughout the country. Driving in New Zealand is on the left, but except for major cities such as Auckland, the traffic is generally quiet and New Zealanders at driving are definitely correct. Possibly, long distances could be traveled by plane or, for those who are fond of "unusual" railways, historical lines are occasionally travelled by tourist trains.
HAVING MORE TIME AVAILABLE, WHAT TO SEE IN NEW ZEALAND?
New Zealand has so much to offer that you can easily spend there two or three weeks, without running out of things to do and to see. The show is mainly offered by nature, which sees environments ranging from geothermal springs to deep fjords, from mountains with alpine peaks to vast beaches where you can swim with dolphins or watch various species of penguins. Here you can find another trip review discussing New Zealand sub-antarctic islands.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO GO TO NEW ZEALAND?
The country is located in the heart of the southern hemisphere and therefore the best time to visit New Zealand corresponds to austral summer, when temperatures are milder. However, if you really can not go to New Zealand during the austral summer, winter can be too a good time to travel, you just need to gear up for the colder weather that, especially far from the coastal areas, could see a little cold with even some frost early in the mornings.
NEW ZEALAND PICTURES AND TRAVELOGUE
|<<-- GO The North Island of New Zealand offers the opportunity to explore many areas interesting for nature and landscape. I chose a two days bus tour from Auckland to Rotorua, offering the opportunity to see much of the attractions in a short time.|
|<<-- GO The New Zealand tour continues with a hike at the Taupo geothermal park containing geysers, boiling mud pools and ponds colored by the presence of various minerals. The day ends with a visit to a geothermal power plant, where electricity is produced starting from the vapor present underground.|
|<<-- GO Auckland is a pleasant and liveable city, where the skyscrapers are combined with ample green areas and trees. A tour in the rain forest covering the hills around Auckland, offers the chance to see rare species of giant ferns and the majestic kauri tree, a conifer now almost extinct.|
|<<-- GO The North Island of New Zealand is characterized by many sheltered bays interesting for the landscape, the flora and the endemic fauna. During the austral summer, these bays are one of the favorite holiday places for New Zealanders. With a tourist bus from Auckland, I do a short day tour around Paihia and Waitangi.|
|<<-- GO Christchurch can be considered the main access gate for a trip to New Zealand South Island. It is a beautiful city with many green parks and museums. The city hosts also the International Antarctic Centre, the main gateway to Antarctica for scientists and researchers.|
|<<-- GO A trip by bus from Christchurch to Queenstown offers beautiful views on the Southern Alps, mount Cook, lake Tekapo and lake Pukaki.|
|<<-- GO Milford sound is situated on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island and is a beautiful fjord with mountain sides falling straight into the ocean. Getting here by bus from Queenstown is a nice option, for the beauty of the scenery crossed during the 13 hours round trip.|