New Zealand is one of the coveted destinations in the world. Hidden in the corner of the world, it is a country that requires some planning to visit. After all, flights here are not cheap and the country itself is not made for the budget traveler. Whether you are a hiker, an adventurer, a foodie or a movie lover, New Zealand has a wealth of treasure to offer.
Blessed with breathtaking natural beauty, world-famous vineyards and rich Maori heritage, it’s no wonder New Zealand tops the list of travelers. The country, also known as Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud, is home to 4 million people and consists of two main islands. The North Island is known for its cosmopolitan cities, Maori culture, volcanoes and pristine beaches.
If you’re a The Lord of the Rings junkie, New Zealand is perfect for you. They’ve all been filming here and across the country, you can tour Lord of the Rings and visit Fangorn Forest. Gondor and where Frodo is destroying the one ring.
You do not have to be a fan of Lord of the Rings to enjoy the experience. Visit the famous Hobbiton movie set and see where Frodo and Bilbo romp around before they get caught up in their wild adventures.
Every year thousands of travelers come here to see the famous fireflies lining the ceilings of the nearby caves. The interesting thing about fireflies is that they are not worms at all. In fact, there are fly larvae that emit a phosphorescent glow that glows like a starry night from inside the caves and illuminates the ceiling.
The larvae developed this semblance to lure prey into their sticky threads by making the prey believe they are outdoors. The caves were discovered at the end of the 19th century by a local Maori chief. They were soon opened to the public, with the indigenous Maori acting as leaders.
Everyone talks about Auckland, which, contrary to popular belief, is not the capital, but the real magic takes place in Wellington, the capital. The architecture and eclectic atmosphere give this city a funky personality. The city has a pounding nightlife, tons of art galleries and cafes.
A beautiful harbor, best seen from Mount Victoria overlooking the city and within easy walking distance. Be sure to meet some of the museums such as the Museum of Wellington, Te Papa and the Great War Exhibition. This seaside capital is a city like no other with its funky back streets, pop-up restaurants and weekend markets.
Rotorua is usually the best city to see Maori cultural shows, though there are other notable landmarks across the country. The Maori are a warrior race and are famous for never having been defeated by English settlers. It is a fact that the proud Maori appreciate and are always happy to share.
The city of Rotorua is one of the most unique places in the world, sitting on a volcanic plate. The strong smell of sulfur in the city welcomes you. Wai-O-Tapu is a geothermal wonderland with exploding geysers, colorful lakes, hot springs and steaming craters.
Abel Tasman National Park
Getting started with Abel Tasman is in a way like stepping into Thailand. The beautiful beaches and azure waters feel like they belong to the tropics, not New Zealand. The walk is beautiful, with huge ferns, huge lush trees and a temperate climate. So you can explore the small bays and beaches that make the area so special.
Abel Tasman is a spectacular national park on the northwestern tip of the South Island. Blessed with golden beaches, rich vegetation and blue water, it is one of the most beautiful areas of the country. There are several ways to see this beautiful corner of New Zealand.