Things to do in New Zealand
Auckland - roam Cornwall Park
Life in New Zealand is mostly relaxing but if it does get hectic in Auckland then the locals like nothing more than to wander through the pathways of the Cornwall Park. Filled with cattle and sheep the park is an oasis in the middle of the city. The park is also filled with native trees that have been specifically planted to enhance its beauty.
Auckland - visit the New Zealand Maritime Museum
The entire maritime history of New Zealand is compressed into one venue at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. From the arrival of Maori over 1,000 years ago to the launch of the Ted Ashby flat bottomed, rigged scow there is something here for everyone and history buffs will certainly find something of interest. After walking through the exhibits and learning as much as you can, why not retire outside and relax on one of the museum’s 3 boats.
Christchurch - excersise at the Adrrenalin Forest
With over 100 different challenges, the Adrenalin Forest is not for the feint hearted. To do all of the challenges, you need to be reasonably fit, but you can stop at any time. You will need about 4 hours to do it all, and make sure you have a relaxing day booked for the next day. There is a 1.3m minimum height requirement to do the challenges.
Christchurch - see the kiwis and animals at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is possibly the best place in New Zealand to see Kiwis in the wild and there is the opportunity to see them during the day and also the and night. The reserve is especially suited and aimed towards families with young children. During the school holidays children from 10 to 14 can be a junior warden learning how to look after the animals including some endangered species.
Dunedin - waddle off to Penguins Place
View the world’s most endangered species of penguin and view them really up close at the Penguin Place, Dunedin. Found only in south east New Zealand there are thought to be less than 700 Yellow Eyed Penguins left wild in the world. Fur seals and New Zealand sea lions also inhabit the waters as well as a number of birds and other penguins. The occasional Humpback Whale, if you are very lucky, can also be seen.
Queenstown - experience rafting on the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers
New Zealand is the home of exhilaration experiences, and white water rafting is definitely included as one of them. There are a number of companies providing rafting trips on the Shotover or Kawarau Rivers, so pick a trip that best suits you. On offer is everything from half day to multiple day options. You can also combine river rafting with jet boating or helicopter flights.
Queenstown - relax in the Onsen hot pools
What could be better than a relaxing time in a hot tub? The hot tubs at Onsen Hot Pools have stunning, scenic views of the Shotover River Canyon. Making them even more special is the fact that you can convert them from being indoor to outdoor tubs at the press of a button. For an extra special experience or treat, book the candlelight experience.
Taupo - view the Huka Falls
Reduce a river from 100m wide to 15m and then drop it 20m and this is how you end up with spectacular views such as at Huka Falls in Wairakei Park. There is a pedestrian bridge right over the edge of the drop where you can get spectacular photographs. Alternatively for an absolute thrill ride take the jet boat down the falls at speeds of up to 80kph.
Wellington - enjoy the talks, shows and animals of Wellington Zoo
New Zealand’s first zoo Wellington Zoo has over 500 animals and 100 species and is located just outside the city. Open every day except Christmas Day special attractions include getting close to the cheetahs, lions or tigers if you like big cats or giraffes or red pandas if you like things a little calmer but these need to be booked in advance.
Wellington - stroll the Wellington Botanic Gardens
There are a number of entrances into the Botanical Gardens in Wellington but probably the best of them is via the cable car from Lambton Quay. There has been a garden here since 1868 and hosts some trees that were planted at that time making them the oldest in the country. Have a wander around relaxing in the tranquility of the garden.
Introduction to New Zealand
The breathtaking natural beauty of New Zealand, recently immortalised in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, is now even more popular as a year-round visitor destination. From active volcanoes, glaciers and snowfields high in the rugged mountains, steep fjords, glorious beaches, lakes and wild rivers, the islands are home to a rich selection of unique and indigenous flora and fauna, including the kiwi and other flightless birds. Culturally, Maori influences are strong, merging with the late-coming Western peoples into an iconic whole. Abundant opportunities to experience both Maori history and present-day lifestyles make a holiday here a memorable trip. New Zealand hotels are found across both islands, ranging in size, star ratings and budget levels. The lively city of Auckland is the main arrivals hub and is well connected to all of the country's natural wonders including the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park, Fox Glacier, the adventure tourism hub of Queenstown, volcanic Rotorua with its hot springs and Mount Cook National Park, near Canterbury. A visit to the 'coolest little capital in the world', Wellington, is also not to be missed.