New Zealand Tourism is a great industry, one of the important parts of the country’s economy. This amazing country has many breathtaking attractions most of them of natural origin.
The Land of the Long White Cloud has a lot to offer to tourists, explorers, film makers and cruisers arriving from America, Australia, the South Pacific and the rest of the world.
Aerial view of Wellington the Capital of New Zealand
The Capital and main Cities
New Zealand is a small country of about 4.2 million inhabitants located in the South Pacific Ocean east of Australia and southwest of Hawaii. It is made of the North and South Islands and a few smaller ones with a total area of 270,000 sq. km. Due to its size and population this country is not so crowded.
The New Zealand Capital is Wellington and the main languages are English and Maori. This is a mountainous country with many mountains dominating the landscape. One of the most important is the Southern Alps, along with many fjords, glaciers, lakes and volcanoes.
Driving is easy, because the roads are not crowded at all and there are many signs to direct you to your destination. The most important cities in New Zealand are Auckland on the North Island and Christchurch on the South Island.
We are offering here a summary of the best places to visit while on the islands. There are many more, but I did my research based on Travel Magazines and interviewing a few friends and reached the following important tourist sites.
Abel Tasman National Park
Here you may decide if what you want is having a lazy day at the beach or go kayaking. Abel Tasman National Park is ideal for these types of activities. With 23,000 hectares or 230 sq km of the amazing coast of New Zealand, this is the smallest national park in the country.
Bay of Islands in New Zealand
This is a picturesque vacation spot in the country. You may reach it by boat from Auckland or just arrive to Paihia, the center of the Bay of islands where many tours begin.
This is where the first contact of Europeans and the indigenous population occurred. In Waitangi you may visit the Treaty House where the original treaty with the Maoris was signed.
Here you’ll find Russell New Zealand, once the country’s capital and now an isolated town due to the distance from the mainland. Kerikeri, the earliest permanent settlement in New Zealand, houses some of the country’s oldest buildings, bush walks, arts and crafts and local cuisine.
Coromandel Peninsula where the "Kiwis" go on Vacation
The place where Kiwis go on vacation this northern peninsula is located in the North Island New Zealand. This peninsula forms a natural barrier to protect the Hauraki Gulf from the Pacific Ocean.
It is 40 km wide at its widest point. Most of the population lives on the shore facing the Gulf of Hauraki and the Bay of Plenty. Auckland, the country’s largest city is located on the far west of the Hauraki Gulf.
This area is renowned worldwide for its natural beauty, its misty rainforests and pristine golden beaches, the Coromandel is blessed with hundreds of natural hideaways, making it a great place to relax and leave all your problems behind.
The Fiordland National Park New Zealand
This region has some of the most extraordinary and dramatic scenery in New Zealand. It has been designated as a World Heritage Wilderness Area. It includes Milford Sound, Mitre Peak and Doubtful Sound among the many attractions. If you want to visit and explore such an important site it is recommended to stay in the small town of Te
Anau from where you may reach Milford Sound in around 2 hours. Or if you go to Manapouri to start your tour it is a 20 minutes’ drive to Doubtful Sound. This is a photographer’s paradise. The breathtaking views of the cliffs and the
cascading waterfalls are just incredible. Allow enough time to drive to Milford Sound since there are a number of sites where you’ll want to stop for the views or just to take a walk.
New Zealand Tourism
Franz Joseph Glacier
This is the top one of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers. Depending your fitness and desires you will be able to explore some of the most marvelous hiking tours in the world of glaciers
The seaside settlement of Kaikorua near Christchurch on the rugged shores of the South Island is surrounded by majestic mountains and snowcapped peaks that remain snowy many month of the year. Here you may experience whale watching, dolphin swimming and all kind of Ecotourism oriented activities. The Alpine type scenery is mind boggling.
Mount Cook National Park
There are 19 peaks over 3,000 meters in the park, including New Zealand's tallest mountain Aoraki Mount Cook which stands at an altitude of 3,754 meters above sea level. Here the visitor will experience fantastic alpine views and it is located near the Hooker and Tasman Glaciers.
While in Mount Cook New Zealand, on a fine day you may want to walk to Key Point offering magnificent views of the Mueller Glacier and Mt Cook on a fine day. For the more adventurous, not me, you may do the 3 to 4 hours climb to Mueller Hut for fantastic views of the Southern Alps.
New Zealand Tourism
Queenstown New Zealand
This is one of New Zealand’s top visitor destinations and if you come to the region you’ll understand why. The town sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic ranges. The lake and mountain landscapes are the perfect scenario for all kind of activities during summer and during the snowy winters.
There are many walking and hiking trails, accommodations with spas for that treatment you must have. There is plenty of Boutique shopping and the area is known for its great food and wine.
Outside of Queenstown in the area of Central Otago the views are outstanding. Many scenes of the Lord of the Rings were filmed here. Other places around Queenstown worth a visit are Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy, Paradise Valley and Mt Aspiring National Park.
New Zealand Tourism
Emerald Lakes at Tongariro National Park New Zealand
This was the first park established in New Zealand in 1887 and the fourth in the world. This is another of the New Zealand’s sites recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site due to the recognition by the park of Maori’s culture. Tongariro is located in the central North Island and is the closest national Park to Auckland and the nearest towns are Turangi and Ohakune.
Westland National Park
Tai Poutini National Park, established 1960, extends from the highest peaks of the Southern Alps to the rugged and remote beaches of the wild West Coast. It is an area of magnificent views like snowcapped mountains, glaciers, forests, lakes, rivers, wetlands and beaches. Its size is 132,000 hectares or 1,320 sq km and is part of yet another World Heritage site Te Wāhipounamu South West New Zealand due to its amazing geology, rare flora and fauna and wonderful history.
New Zealand Tourism
The Flag of New Zealand
It is a defaced Blue Ensign with the Union Flag in the canton, and four red stars with white borders to the right. The stars' pattern represents the asterism within the constellation of Crux, the Southern Cross.
Map of New Zealand North and South Islands
images credits for new zealand tourism
all courtesy of wikimedia commons