Nathan
New Zealand

Top 10 tips for New Zealand

29.07.15 | Nathan Collins

New Zealand is a country of contrasts. The South Island offers breathtaking landscapes and diverse environments, while the North Island is filled with Maori culture and has a warmer climate.

1. Allow enough time
In order to get a true flavour of New Zealand, three weeks is recommended. Two weeks can be spent touring around the beautiful yet dramatic landscapes of the South Island whilst a third enables you to discover the highlights of the cultural North Island. If you have more time, extend your touring time on both islands.

2. When to travel?
There isn’t really a bad time to visit New Zealand. Due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are the opposite to that of the UK. Winter months offer ski options in the South Island, and rain water swells the fjord lands, making them look spectacular. Should you visit during summer, Abel Tasman National Park, at the Northern tip of the South Island is a must, with its beautiful bays and excellent kayaking opportunities.

3. Experience the great outdoors
New Zealand is made for the outdoors, showcased with Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. There are a variety of activities to partake in, whether it be whale watching in Kaikoura, sailing in the Bay of Islands, experiencing the hot springs of Rotorua or fuelling an adrenaline rush with the shot-over jet boat rides.

4. Take a hike
There are an abundance of opportunities to hike trails in New Zealand. You are often rewarded with the best sights if you make the effort to reach them. These range from easy strolls to challenging hikes. One of the best and most recognisable walks is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing where you are rewarded with the sight of volcanic peaks and emerald lakes.

5. Go off the beaten track
New Zealand is a relatively small country. Most of the main sights and attractions are within easy reach, however some which are relatively unknown are not to be missed. Renwick is a quaint little town in the Marlborough wine region with a number of vineyards with wine tasting. To make it a truly enjoyable experience for everyone, bicycles can be hired which come complete with wine holders for you to purchase your favourite samples!

6. Experience the west coast glaciers
Unique landscapes are epitomised by the country’s wonderful glaciers with Franz Josef and Fox glaciers often being voted among the world’s best. A visit to these magnificent natural structures is not complete without seeing them up close. A hike through the glacial labyrinth is on offer and to witness the sheer vast scale of the glaciers, or you can hop on an organised helicopter tourm which we can arrange. This can land you right on top of them.

7. Immerse yourself in the culture
New Zealand is steeped in history and culture which is predominant in the North Island. Locals are keen to share their tradition with tourists and there are a variety of cultural experiences for you to immerse yourself in. The Maori traditional war dance, the Haka, and the ritual cooking mode of the Hangi are integral features of Maori tradition, and we can arrange these experiences.

8. Plan your route
It is essential that you plan your route to achieve everything you set out to see and do. I can help research and map out your itinerary before you leave. Although your plans may change, it is wise to have an outline to follow to ensure you get the most out of your trip.

9. Hire your own set of wheels
Organised tours are a great way to see the main sights if you are short on time. However hiring a car or motor-home offers you independence to explore the country in more depth and at your own pace. Having your own vehicle allows you the opportunity to try out a variety of accommodation, and there is a wide range, from well kitted-out campsites to luxury hotels.

10. Upgrade your flight
With a flight time of approximately 23 hours, New Zealand is literally the other side of the world. Therefore, when travelling there it is advisable to do so in comfort. Although Economy seats can offer adequate room, it is recommended to travel at least in Premium Economy to arrive refreshed and ready to drink in all that New Zealand has to offer. We can advise which would be best for you and have good knowledge of Business and First Class cabins too.

Carla toured New Zealand with her husband for a few months as part of her world tour that also took in Australia, southern and eastern Africa and the South Pacific.

Call us to plan and book your holiday to New Zealand on 01543 258 631 or email vip@rbcollection.com.

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