Te Mata Peak, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Southern Alps New Zealand
Activities in New Zealand
Attractions in New Zealand
New Zealand is at the top of the list when it comes to the question of the most beautiful country in the world. Who could possibly disagree with that? With its diverse, unspoilt landscape and culturally interesting cities, every visitor will have a great time here. It doesn't matter which of the two main islands or the numerous smaller ones are visited, each offers unique experiences.
The warmest months in New Zealand are January and February, making it a perfect destination to escape the cold northern hemisphere winter. The weather can be unpredictable, changing from sunny to rainy and windy in a single day. Directly on the coast, temperatures are mild all year round, but in the mountains it can get very cold in winter.
The urban North Island
The North Island of New Zealand is home to the megacity Auckland and the capital Wellington. About three quarters of the population live in this part of New Zealand. Numerous architectural monuments from Victorian times and a lively cultural scene make the stay unforgettable. A must in Wellington is a visit to "Te Papa Tongarewa", the National Museum of New Zealand.
In the port city of Napier on the east coast of the North Island, the National Aquarium of New Zealand delights visitors. Here, visitors can learn interesting facts about a wide variety of sea creatures. In the underwater tunnel, with a bit of luck, you may encounter a shark or ray, which are at home in neighboring Hawke`s Bay.
The sea in a different form can be experienced by those who go to Cape Reinga. At the northwesternmost point of the North Island, a large lighthouse guides ships offshore as visitors watch the gigantic waters of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean collide. No wonder this place is sacred to the indigenous people of New Zealand.
The Māori culture can also be experienced particularly well on the North Island. In Rotorua, you can listen to the exciting stories of a Māori guide and learn all about Māori life. The region lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which means that many geothermal wonders can be found here - hot springs, mud holes and geysers.
The North Island is also home to Tongariro National Park, one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in New Zealand. The three volcanoes Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro lie at the center of the national park. Emerald green lakes, impressive waterfalls and miles of hiking trails with breathtaking views complete the area.
The quiet South Island
Those looking for peace, relaxation and secluded trails should seek out the unspoiled natural areas of the South Island. The North Island may be better suited for seaside vacations thanks to its warmer climate, but New Zealand's South Island scores with the impressive Southern Alps as well as magnificent beaches and spectacular fjords.
Explore the golden land in Mackenzie Country, marvel at wondrous rock formations on the Otago Coast, and soak up the sun on white-sand beaches in Abel Tasman National Park - there's a reason visitors appreciate the island's diversity. In the Malborough region, visitors can sample fine wines at more than 65 wineries or hike through beautiful green forests. The coast of Kakoura offers a particularly species-rich underwater world and also attracts whales and dolphins.
In the New Zealand Alps, ambitious sportsmen get their money's worth. Mountaineers climb the three-thousand-meter peaks of the Mount Cook range and are impressed by the numerous glaciers, while winter sports enthusiasts take advantage of the wide range of slopes in the extensive ski areas.
A highlight of the South Island is Milford Sound. The fjord on the west coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its steep cliffs, up to 1200 meters high, together with numerous cascading waterfalls create a majestic picture. The fjord can be explored by hiking as well as by boat or kayak.
Those who want to be away from the tourist crowds should visit "The Catlins", an enchanting landscape of hills, mosses, trees and waterfalls. At the southwesternmost end of the island is also the Nugget Point Lighthouse. The idyllically located lighthouse invites you to take a deep breath and relax.
The Small Islands of New Zealand
New Zealand consists not only of the two main islands. Numerous smaller islands cavort off the coasts. These are home above all to unique wildlife. Diving off Poor Knights Island, enjoying the seclusion of Chatham Islands or observing wildlife on Stewart Island – there is something for everyone. The islands are usually easy to reach by boat or plane.
The fact is that no matter which of the islands you visit, New Zealand is a fantastic place for all kinds of outdoor activities - from hiking and mountain biking to skiing and surfing - and at the same time a wonderful place to unwind.
Photo: Lean Xview, unsplash.com
Discover the region
Destinations in New Zealand