Besides "The Lord of
the Rings" film trilogy,
most famous for its Maori
and breathtakingingly beautiful landscapes.
consists of two main islands - the North Island and South Island
- plus many smaller ones lying in the South Pacific.
size -- compared to its much larger neighbor Australia
1,000 miles to the southeast -- New Zealand continues to loom large
in the heart and minds of travelers, who have consistently
placed New Zealand in the Top Ten best travel destinations on
The North Island
At once naturally
beautiful, primal and cosmopolitan, New Zealand effortlessly draws
millions of tourists a year most of whom use Auckland
as a jumping off point to the rest of the country.
over the city, Sky Tower is the central landmark wherein the observation
deck affords a cinematic 60-mile panorama of the surrounding area
and additional points of interest around the city.
must-sees include the all-encompassing (and misnamed) Auckland
War Museum, the botanic gardens, and the Stardome Observatory.
don't miss a ferry ride to the beach, along with a taste of New
Zealand wine on a very mellow tour of Waiheke Island.
of Auckland are other very notable destinations including Rotorua,
Hamilton, Waitomo Cave and Lake
Taupo, the most popular holiday vacation spot among New Zealanders.
The South Island
And for dessert may we suggest the fresh kiwi...
the largest city and jumping off point to see the rest of the
South Island, has been appropriately nicknamed "The Garden
City" for it's numerous public parks, botanic gardens, wildlife
preserves and residential gardens.
Also don't miss a visit to
Christchurch Cathedral, the city's most prominent landmark, with
a trip up to the bell tower for a sweeping panorama of the city and surroundings.
at the center of arguably the most spectacularly beautiful regions
in all of the South Island lies Queenstown,
offering a sweeping view of Lake Wakatipu, the Southern Alps,
and its most remarkable world-class skiing area aptly named the
• In Dunedin, the Beverly Clock has been running since 1864, despite never having been wound since it was made.
• Go figure. It's said that the early explorers simply miscalcuated. Ninety-Mile Beach is actually only 55 miles long.
• Located in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand celebrates Christmas in summer. That's when the country's most iconic flowering tree, the pohutukawa, bursts into bright red December blooms just in time for the holidays.
• Lake Taupo is actually a huge crater from one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the last 5000 years. Roughly the size of Singapore, it is the largest freshwater lake in Australasia.
More about New Zealand travel & tourist attractions around the Web:
- The official travel and tourism site offering information on
hotels and airfare bookings plus in-depth guides to major tourist
attractions, event calender, photos, maps, driving routes.
New Zealand Travel Guide - Everything you need for a trip
to The Land of the Long White Cloud including events and activities,
attractions, tours, getting around, touring and regional maps,
currency calculator, an online bookshop and more from the New
Zealand Automobile Association.
Zealand travel guide - Wikitravel - Wonderful overview
plus insider details on what to see and do, tips & advice
on how to get around, weather factoids, historical background,
New Zealand slang and idioms, and related resources.