New Zealand is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich nations on our planet. Tucked away to the south of Australia, New Zealand boasts an incredible coastline and beautiful countryside. The Maori people are thought to be the first settlers of the two islands that make up the country of New Zealand. The British later arrived to colonize the islands. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 by the two peoples as an agreement of the cultures.
What to know before going to New Zealand
The Maori people arrived in canoes all the way from Hawaiki about one thousand years ago. Their tenacity and braveness are still evident in their culture. New Zealand has come under British law since 1840. The cultural diversity in New Zealand is what makes this place such a popular holiday destination. The Haka Maori War Dance is a must-see attraction. It has made International Rugby quite spectacular when New Zealand plays.
Australians or those with an Australian passport do not need a visa for New Zealand. British passport holders can stay for six months without a visa. Visitors from most other countries would require an application for a three-month visa. You can apply to work or study in New Zealand too. Because of the proximity to Australia, visiting this country is ideal as part of a wider holiday or travel venture.
Getting around New Zealand
Driving in New Zealand is a little like driving in the UK, and many of the laws and rules of the road are similar. However, speed limits are measured in kilometers per hour. Drive on the left, and adjust your speed for difficult terrain or weather conditions. The New Zealand government welcomes foreign drivers. There are plenty of websites where you can check your knowledge of the roads.
To see many of the cultural sights of New Zealand, you can take a tour or look into getting a car rental to explore yourself. The two islands are quite separate in personality. It is advisable to visit both to appreciate fully all that this little nation offers. You may wish to hire a mountain bike to explore some of the most interesting terrains on the islands. This is a popular pastime in New Zealand, with many visitors choosing to hire cars and bikes to visit the best tracks.
– Things to do in New Zealand
Experience the Glowworm Caves
The glowworm caves are one of the most famous natural attractions in New Zealand. People from all over the world come to discover the magic of the caves, and glowworms only native to New Zealand. It is by far one of the most unique places in the country, if not the world.
If you are wanting to take a boat to the glowworm caves, you must first make your way to the North Island. Head to the village of Waitomo, and within the Waitomo cave system is where the magic happens. What was once pitch black, lights up with the glow of millions of little glowworms; it’s definitely a ‘must-see’ destination while in New Zealand.
It’s no secret that New Zealand is filled with immaculate natural sights, different and unique from other parts of the world. Whether you are venturing throughout the north or south island, there is a natural phenomenon just waiting to be discovered. If you are a big nature lover like us, we recommend you start in Milford Sound.
Milford Sound was formed by glaciers in the Ice Age and has been described as the forgotten eighth world wonder. It is filled with waterfalls, mountains, dolphins, and the chance to get a 360-underwater view at the Discovery Center. After exploring Milford Sound, see what other natural sights New Zealand has in store by exploring Dunedin, Abel Tasman National Park, the Whakaari white volcano, and the geothermal valley of Whakarewarewa.
Raise your Adrenaline
New Zealand is famous for offering some of the most adrenaline-filled activities in the world. If you are looking for an experience to get out of your comfort zone and do something a little daring, you’ve come to the right place. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand, and the best place to start your adventure.
While in Queensland, get your adrenaline fix with a daring skydive or thrilling bungee jump; with a gorgeous natural backdrop to go along with it. Additionally, the Shotover Canyon Swing is the highest cliff jump in the world. If you happen to be visiting during the winter months, Queenstown has a fairly famous ski scene as well, if you need an experience lower in the adrenaline zone.
Watch the Sunrise at Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay is a perfect destination if you fancy wine and cycling. The entire region is famous for both, being home to dozens of wineries, farmers’ markets, and miles of forest trails through Kaweka Forest or Ruahine. Hawkes Bay is the ideal destination to slow down and enjoy the fine things in life.
While in Hawkes Bay, the most jaw-dropping sight you could witness is the sunrise. There are no words to describe the beauty it unfolds from the top of Te Mata Peak. Get there as early as possible to experience the start of a new day with an array of colors, along with the best view possible.
For a less active sport, choose golf while you are in New Zealand. The landscapes here lend themselves to some of the best courses in the world. The climate also makes the sport very enjoyable. You can enjoy the hottest weather in the far north, but much cooler winter weather in the far south. This is because the islands are situated in the southern hemisphere. Winter is in July.
New Zealand is a beautiful place to visit either as a holidaymaker or as a traveler. Wellington is the capital city on the northern island. Christchurch on the southern island is also a vibrant and exciting city to visit. Other cities to visit include Auckland in the North and Queenstown in the South. One of the best ways to travel the country is by private car rental.