New Zealand may be relatively small, but it punches well above its weight when it comes to visitor attractions. Many of its greatest charms are completely natural, with its dramatic mountainous landscapes, diverse array of wildlife and miles of rugged coast proffering endless bounty for adventurous travelers. Kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, caving, skydiving, bungee-jumping and swimming with dolphins are just a few of the energetic pursuits on offer.
But the urban areas have their allure too, with the historic sites of Christchurch and the multicultural museums of Wellington offering a welcome change of pace. Meanwhile, a guided tour of a Maori village such as Tamaki or Whakarewarewa will take in a host of traditional cultural events and offer a glimpse of yet another dimension to this country’s irresistible character.
Hike mountain trails that wind past striking glacial lakes in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
Spot sperm whales and swim with seals in Kaikoura
Explore the rich cultural and natural history of the Waipoua Forest with a tour led by an expert Maori guide
Take to the wine trail in the country’s vineyard capital, Marlborough
Dine out in the country’s capital city and burgeoning foodie hub, Wellington
Hulbert House is a boutique hotel in the heart of Queenstown that brings a colorful twist to classic Victorian style interiors. Elaborately patterned carpets clash with bright flocked wallpaper, while every bedroom is set off with lavish upholstery and a jumbled – but exquisite – array of antique ornaments. Take in great views of lovely Lake Wakatipu from the patio.
One establishment that’s been a mainstay of Wellington’s rapidly expanding dining scene for years is the elegant Logan Brown. Housed in a grand listed building, it’s the ideal setting for sampling simple dishes based on locally sourced game and seafood.
Charter a yacht and set sail for the Bay of Islands, where dolphins play along the coastlines of 140 subtropical islands known for their unspoiled beaches.