Eand tour through New Zealand is the ultimate trip for almost every traveller. The beautiful landscapes and inhospitable areas featured in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy alone would make you want to jump on a plane and travel to the land of the Kiwis. They sometimes say that all the splendor of the entire globe has come together in this small country at the very end of the world. And they just might be right...
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So pack your bags and head to New Zealand, and Auckland to be precise. The flight takes many hours and the time difference is huge (10 hours). Take the time to acclimatize and recover from the journey. Auckland, located on the North Island, is the starting point for the onward journey through New Zealand and an excellent place to recharge for a few weeks of adventure. You can opt for an organized bus trip, but don't hesitate to rent a car or camper and plan your trip yourself. Auckland, the largest Polynesian city in the world with 1 million inhabitants, immediately embraces you with its relaxed atmosphere and friendly people. The two bays with the numerous sailing boats are characteristic of this city. Nearby are wonderful beaches to relax. Be sure to visit the beautiful aquarium and the various museums full of Maori art.
Bay of Islands
From Auckland you travel north to arrive at Bay of Islands. Along the way you pass dense forests where huge kauri trees guard the area. Bay of Islands is a bay where no fewer than 150 islands have found their place. The subtropical climate and the beautiful beaches quickly invite you to spend a few relaxing hours in the sun. It is best to spend the night in the town of Paihiain. Nearby you will find the Treaty House in Waitangi. Here in 1840 the original inhabitants, the Maoris, signed a treaty with the English. This document is still considered New Zealand's birth certificate. Before you travel on, you should definitely take a dip in the bay, who knows, maybe there are dolphins that would like to swim with you.
We follow the round trip by New Zealand. On to Rotorua, which is located in the largest thermal area in New Zealand. Here is Whakarewarewa Park, where bubbling pools, hot mud, steaming hot springs and spouting geysers coexist cozily. There is plenty to do in the park. Think of rafting, jeep safaris or a helicopter flight. The Polynesian Pools are the ideal place to immerse yourself in the warm natural waters. From Rotorua, continue past the impressive Huka Falls to arrive in Taupo and the volcanic landscapes of Wai-o-tapu, home to the infernal 'Devil's Inkwell' and the Champagne Pool. Taupo is located on New Zealand's largest inland lake. Sitting by the water you can see the tops of the volcanoes in the background. A view not soon to be forgotten. The volcanoes belong to Tongariro National Park. This park is home to one of the literal highlights of this journey, Tongariro Crossing. The walk here is intensive but pure pleasure for the real nature lover.
Napier | wellington
Time to resume the tour of New Zealand and continue on to Napier, a coastal town and 'art deco capital of the world'. Napier is a town in its own right and absolutely one of a kind. After a severe earthquake in 1931, the city was completely rebuilt in Art Deco style. This gives Napier a very special look & feel. When you walk through the pleasant streets, you feel an almost Mediterranean atmosphere. Be sure to taste a glass of wine in the many vineyards in Napier. From Napier it is not far to the southernmost town on the North Island: the capital Wellington. Wedged between the hills, Windy Wellington calmly awaits your arrival. Wellington is culture, good food and vibrant nightlife all rolled into one. Take the funicular to tour the Botanical Gardens and climb the hills to enjoy stunning views of the South Island.
Nelson | Fox Glacier
You cross to the South Island by ferry. From the boat you can already see the rugged coast of the Marlborough Sounds in the distance. Bloody beautiful and impressive. The beauty of the South Island is world-famous and will wrap you up immediately upon arrival. Continue to Nelson via the coastal town of Picton. The climate here is wonderful: not too hot, not too cold. Once in Nelson you will be in the legendary Abel Tasman National Park in no time. This is one of the must-see gems on your New Zealand tour. Coves where penguins hop happily, golden sandy beaches and lush forests: this is the park in a nutshell. You can paddle through the beautiful bays in a kayak or walk along the beach at sunset. Nelson is followed by a dazzling tour that takes you via the pancake rocks of Greymouth to Fox Glacier. You travel through high mountain ranges, also known as the Southern Alps, past a sea lion colony at Cape Foulwind to reach the glacier of Fox Glacier via gold prospector towns.
Don't forget to look up every now and then, the sky is simply beautiful here on the South Island. Fox Glacier's glacier is a chunk of ice that eventually ends in a subtropical rainforest, how bizarre is that! A walk through the tunnels in the ice is an experience in itself.
Queenstown | Christchurch
The tour of New Zealand continues further and further down. Winding roads, turquoise lakes and snow-capped peaks accompany you on your journey to Queenstown. This city is the perfect backdrop for the world traveler who dares. In Queenstown you will find the world famous bridge where many tourists have dived bungee jumping. But how about paragliding, skiing, rafting, horseback riding and the spectacular 'shot-over-jet' (with raging speedboat over the Shoto River)? And do you feel like putting the flowers outside after days of travel? Even then Queenstown is the place to be. After Queenstown it is not long until you reach Christchurch. Along the way you will still come through the national park from Te Anau along the gigantic fjords of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. The landscape is amazing, partly because of the enormous differences in height and unprecedented flora and fauna. Penguins, seals and dolphins are everywhere. Via the Lindis Pass with a view of New Zealand's highest mountain, Mount Cook, you eventually arrive at the end point of Christchurch via Lake Tekapo. This City of Gardens feels very British, with old universities and in the center a square by the cathedral where street performers show their shores.
End of tour through New Zealand
After this unforgettable tour of New Zealand, you'll probably be ready for more information about New Zealand. After that you will surely know why everyone always raves about this country! So many impressions and beautiful nature cannot be captured in a few photos. Oh, and before you catch the plane home, you still have to go to nearby Kaikoura to take a boat trip. With a bit of luck you will spot another whale!
More New Zealand?
- New Zealand | The 10 Most Beautiful National Parks
- New Zealand | 6x fun activities in Wanaka
- New Zealand | 7x fun activities in Kaikoura
- New Zealand | Auckland travel guide
- New Zealand | Rotorua travel guide
- New Zealand | Bay of Islands travel guide
- New Zealand | Tour tips
- New Zealand | Milford or Doubtful Sound: Which Cruise Will You Choose?