New Zealand

New Zealand for the Independent Traveller

Auckland (Tamaki Makaurau)
Photo: Scott Venning

Two large islands make up most of New Zealand, a country separated from Australia by just 2,000 kilometres of Tasman Sea. The larger South Island is divided lengthwise by the Southern Alps, and the less mountainous North Island is dotted with active volcanoes. Dramatic landscapes and a mild climate make New Zealand an ideal holiday destination.

Dubbed the "City of Sails," Auckland's many harbours are likened to a maritime painting with hundreds of boats dotting the horizon. The largest city is also a frequent host to the America's Cup. Visitors work up an appetite indulging in a range of water sports and then feast on fresh seafood, locally-raised meats and unusual, yet delicious indigenous vegetables. Don't leave the North Island without a stop at Rainbow Springs Nature Park and Kiwi Adventure and the awe-inspiring natural volcanic environment of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. The Auckland Museum houses excellent exhibits covering the history of the native Maori culture.

Views of Mt Tutoko and Mt Madeline
Photo: Miles Holden

The South Island is a nature-lovers paradise, as it comprises everything from mountains and plains to glaciers and fiords. A jaw-dropping background of magnificent cliffs, peaks and waterfalls banks Milford Sound, a narrow fiord off the Tasman Sea. Akaroa sightseers revel in dolphin- and penguin-spotting boat cruises. Sports enthusiasts see Mt. Cook and the Tasman glacier as admirable conquests. Activity-seekers make a beeline for Queensland, where they get their fill of jet boating, kayaking, bungee jumping, canyoning and a seemingly endless list of possibilities before setting off for another New Zealand adventure.

New Zealand flag Capital: Wellington
Language: English
Time: GMT +12 hrs
Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)

New Zealand