For its small size, a kiwi can lay a big egg. Likewise, the land of the kiwi (and the Kiwis, as native New Zealanders are called), may be small and relatively unpeopled, but it packs quite a punch as one of the world’s top travel destinations. You’ll understand why as soon as you glance around: the landscape is breathtaking and diverse, with isolated beaches, bustling cities, dripping rainforests, seas of grasslands, coastal cliffs, and rocky mountains. But, you mustn’t just sit pretty: New Zealand is not for the bored, or the boring! A plethora of outdoor activities await you, with adventures at every turn, from gliding in Omarama to heli-hiking at Fox Glacier (quieter and less touristed than Franz Joseph glacier). Abseil down Waitomo cave and watch the grotto light up with glow worms; ski during winters in Queenstown, a short drive away from Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand, and during summers, bungee jump and ride jet boats (both invented in Queenstown!). At the center of it all is a distinct Maori culture, the native culture of New Zealand and Eastern Polynesia. Rub noses (literally, as Hongi, or pressing noses, is a traditional Maori greeting) with your local Maori in Whakarewarewa in Roturua, a region colored by not only a strong indigenous culture, but also geothermal activity, such as mudpools, geysers, and craters. New Zealand has been producing fine wines since its colonial era and is gaining much favor with the connosieurs of our time, so make sure to head to the Malborough region for an unforgettable (or forgettable, depending on how much you imbibe!) tour of the area’s numerous vineyards. While Pinot Noir has long been the mainstay of New Zealand wine, the past few years have witnessed the rise of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as one of the top SB’s in the world. We’ll say it again: big egg.
Regions in New Zealand
The North Island of New Zealand is warm, with scenery ranging from sandy beaches, through rolling farmland to active volcanic peaks. Although it is smaller than the South Island, it is more populous, with... read more
The Offshore Islands are the other smaller (and wilder) islands of New Zealand, ranging from the nearby and accessible Stewart Island to the remote windswept Sub-Antarctic Islands and the distant uninhabited... read more
The South Island of New Zealand is characterized by grand open landscapes. Divided by a backbone of mountain aptly called the Southern Alps, the South Island is known for spectacular mountains and fjords,... read more
Top Destinations in New Zealand