New Zealand, the clean, green and friendly country is every traveller’s dream destination! Travelling in New Zealand (NZ) is hassle free with not many buses on road blocking the way, punctual trains, good roads, conveniently located ATMs, clean hostels, good food and clean public toilets. The indigenous Māori people and culture are a great influence on the life of Kiwis, be it their Rugby team, Māori language, Māori TV, marae at main streets (meeting houses), hangi aka Māori feast, listen to traditional Māori song or watch the haka dance of war. While enjoying everything Māori, you may call it a day before getting yourself a moko – traditional Māori tattoo on the face.
Once influenced by the British cuisine, Kiwi food was bland and safe, however, new age chefs in NZ have borrowed dishes from around the world like the sea-food menu from South Pacific along with the local cuisines like abalone (paua), sea urchin (kina) and sweet potatoes (kumara). For farm fresh food, you can also visit the local farmer markets and visit wineries that are known to supply Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc for filling up trophy shelves since a decade. The country has embraced the contemporary culture of hanging out at coffee bars as well. With a sparse population NZ is flanked by mountains, lakes, forests and beaches and the best tramping spots (Hiking). You can walk along the tracks of Heaphy and Milford or the beach; go paddling on a canoe or do mountain biking. Here’s a list of top places to visit in NZ:
1.Skydiving in the Wild!
A thing or two about sky-diving – Australia and NZ are two places which are famous for skydiving! The thrill is even better when you get to skydive in places like the Fox Glacier, Bay of Islands or Abel Tasman National Park.
2.Want more thrills? How about a Bungee Jump at Taupo?
Originating out of NZ, the Bungee jump destination for most travelers visiting the country is above the Waikato River where travellers jump from a height of 47 meters above the river bed. Back in the old days, the Vanuatu folks would leap from the high rise towers hanging from vine ropes attached to their ankles. The sport went commercial in the 1980′s when a group of Kiwi adventurers popularized the sport across the world!
3.Sky Walk in Auckland?
Afraid of jumping off a plane mid-air? You have a safer option, walk along the skylines of Auckland with a safety harness holding a meter-wide platform without handrails to the tower; which lets you to walk around the tower at a height of 192 meters above ground level. A rather safe option for the weak hearted is the Afternoon tea served in the region.
4.Go sailing in the Bay of Islands:
Bay of islands are located in the northern islands of NZ and is known worldwide for its cluster of 140+ small islands that sport four villages and a town called Russell. The coastlines are rather cold; hence it’s advisable to visit the place in summers. The place is best known for its sailing with sightings of dolphins that follow the boats.
5.Hot Thermal Springs in Rotorua:
Craving for some world class pampering lately? Thermal springs at Rotorua are the best place to visit and relax! Quite amazingly you can even see the steam escaping through the pavements. The place is repleted with mud pools, geysers fields, hot springs and fumaroles, and typical sulphur scent. For a real mud spa you visit Hells Gate.
6.Rafting in the Tongariro:
Tongariro River is known for travelers looking to go for White Water Rafting. One of NZ’s well-known rivers, it is lined up with rapids and scenic views like the ancient beech forests, gorges, rainbow trout swimming in the clear waters, cliffs made of limestone and volcanic remains and spring water that you can drink without a second thought!
7. Whangarei Falls:
Falling from a height of The 24 meters, Whangarei Falls is the most photograph friendly site. It’s easy to access, has green and beautiful afforestation and has water flow all round the year.
Hobbiton is a village in NZ, where you can view Hobbit holes. The easiest way is to go on a tourist coach. Your guide will show you around the village and also point out the best spots to get a photo! You can also go into a hobbit hole, its all the more fun if you are a Lord of the rings fan!
9.Wine walk in Nelson and Hawke’s bay:
you can go on a wine tour in Hawke’s Bay or Nelson which are famous for the Malborough wine. It is one of NZ’s premier wine destinations with a huge number of wineries in the area.
10.Maori Culture at the Tamaki Village:
If you thought that this cultural experience was meant to make money, then you are wrong! The Maori’s don’t do this for the financial benefits rather they do it for the feeling of pride in educating the world about their past. The village of Tamaki is a great first-hand experience as you are taken around for a walking tour around the premises; you get to cook the maori dishes and will be served a buffet meal.
11.Wellington has Cuba Street!
Bustling with cafes, boutiques, art galleries, music shops, trinket and fashion stores, Cuba Street is quite the place to experience bohemian lifestyle in Wellington. Home to the Te Papa museum next to the harbor, Cuba Street is the center of 4 quarters of the downtown in Wellington.
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