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Tourist Places To Visit In New Zealand
The island nation of New Zealand is one of the most exciting places on the planet. With its varied natural environment, glaciers and volcanoes, New Zealand is a place for everyone. There are the high peaks, the Southern Alps, the green pastures with lamb running around, the serene lakes and the magnificent beaches. New Zealand is a world of different landscapes packed into two islands in the Pacific region. There is no shortage for interesting tourist places to visit while in New Zealand, like Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington etc.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city located in the north island of the country. The Maori people called it the ‘Tamaki Makaurau’, translating to ‘a maiden desired by hundreds of lovers’. Auckland is truly deserving of such a title. It is one of the finest cities in the world. A modern city with rich lush green forests, hills that meet the sea, lovely beaches and harbours. The main city itself houses some of the best adventure activities like Sky Jump, bungy jumping and walking on the edge of the Sky Tower. There are also plenty of other adventure activities that one can indulge in. With its rich and fertile lands and harbours full of seafood, Auckland houses some of the best food and wine in the country. There are plenty of food and wine tastings that happen all across the region. There are also tours that one can take to explore the food culture in the city.
Auckland is blessed with some beautiful beaches too. While the west coast is known for its black sand beaches which meet the Tasman Sea, the east coast is known for its golden beaches. The waters around the city are teaming with marine life and one can explore the region either on a cruise or kayak. Dolphin, whales and seals are quite common and can be seen all around.
Christchurch is yet another important city in New Zealand. It is known for its street art, architecture, cafes and bars. Christchurch is also acts as a base for the many destinations in the Canterbury region. With double-decker buses, trams, botanical gardens and a beautiful coastline, Christchurch is one of the most vibrant cities in the country. Parts of Canterbury fall under the Dark Sky Reserve of New Zealand and showcase the southern lights, one of the most sought-after events here. One can also enjoy a ride on the transalpine express from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass. The train moves through the plain lands, around numerous hills and a series of tunnels to get to the pass. The journey is extremely scenic and serves as an important mode of transportation.
Queenstown is another major city of New Zealand. The city sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, situated in the south-western region. Queenstown is known for its many adventure activities. From trekking, bungy jumping, hiking, cycling to skiing in the winter, it packs a punch. The Queenstown route is one of the most famous cycling trails in the country, with both gentle amateur routes to backcountry trails. One of the major attractions in Queenstown is the Gondola ride. The ride taking passengers up to Bob’s Peak provides them with spectacular views of the town and the Southern Alps. There are also helicopter rides that allow visitors to get glimpses of this beautiful region from the air.
Located on the southern-most tip of the north island, Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. The city is surrounded by numerous mountains and thick forests that stretch into the sea. The city of Wellington is also steeped in culture and tradition. With museums that speak volumes about the culture, to art galleries and theatres that showcase this evolving city's fervour for the arts. Wellington is also quite famous for its many cafes, bars and restaurants. The food here is simply mouth-watering. Like all other destinations in New Zealand, Wellington too has its adventure activities including hikes, wine-tastings and ferry rides.
The Bay of Islands
Situated in the northern most part of the country, the Bay of Islands comprise over a 100 islands in New Zealand’s sub-tropical paradise. The Bay of Islands has numerous significant spots to visit and the scenic wonder that one can be sure to find in New Zealand. Cruising through the clear waters is a recommended way to explore the region while Kayaking can be the adventure of a lifetime. The marine life in the Bay is one of the major highlights of the region. Dolphins, whales, penguins and many other sea creatures inhabit the crystal clear waters of the region and snorkelling and swimming here with these wonderful creatures can be a completely different experience.
The region is also home to the most important historic site of this country, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. This is where the British Crown and the numerous Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British Colony. Visiting the treaty grounds is also an opportunity to understand the Maori culture and marvel at the many historic artefacts that remain. The Bay of Islands is also home to the largest and oldest Kauri tree in the world, the ‘Tane Mahuta’, roughly translating to ‘the Lord of the Forest’.
Matamata, a town located in Waikato in the north island of New Zealand is considered the Mecca for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans. About 2 hours away from Auckland, The Hobbiton movie set in the southern part of Matamata stands as one of the most visited places in the country. The tour through the movie set takes visitors through almost 40 different Hobbit holes. The famous Bilbo Baggins’ hole is one of the attractions. The tour guides visitors through many of the other attractions in the movie set, giving fans a glimpse into the Hobbit life. The Wairere falls, located at about 15 km from Matamata is yet another place to see in the region. With lush green farms en route to the falls, the plains of Waikato are a mesmerizing sight.
Rotorua, considered as the cultural hub of the Maori people is a must visit if in New Zealand. Rotorua is also famous for its hot springs and geysers that are an integral part of the lives of the local residents. Rotorua is rich in Maori culture and visitors can get a glimpse of their amazing culture and tradition from the many stories, performances and handicraft stores here. The locals use the hot springs and geysers for all sorts of things. Sometimes cooking in them and sometimes bathing. Rotorua is sometimes also known as the ‘Sulphur City,’ given the strong pungent smell around the region.