A land of jaw dropping natural beauty, inhabited by peaceful and accepting people, New Zealand has long since been a dream destination for the adventurous of spirit, which is unsurprising when you start to discover all that this green and pleasant land has to offer.
So, in this latest addition of Travel Tuesday, we’ve put together a brief itinerary of some of the best things you can do and see should you ever find yourself on Kiwi turf, as well as some helpful tips on how to get around, when to go and what to wear.
If you enjoy a hike or exploring the beauty and magnificence of nature, then you’re bound to enjoy the diverse natural scenery of New Zealand’s 13 national parks. Of course, you might not have time to see them all, but your visit would not be complete without exploring at least one! But fear not, if trekking isn’t quite your thing, you can still explore these stunning landscapes by car, boat or air.
The Tongariro national park is a vast and varied landscape of towering volcanoes (still very much alive), sweeping meadows and hot springs. Awarded a World Heritage Site status, this park offers a one-day trek across the remarkable terrain of all three of its mystic mountains. Equally extraordinary, the Whanganui national park features New Zealand’s longest waterway and offers you the opportunity for an unforgettable canoeing adventure. Or, for those skiing enthusiasts, then the Nelson’s Lakes national park offers every type of terrain, so whether you’re a beginner or a pro you’ll be able to take advantage of the breathtaking surroundings of the Southern Alps.
The Amazing Maori People
New Zealand has a cultural heritage that is just as rich and iconic as the bountiful scenery that characterises the land. In particular, the Northland region is considered to be the birthplace of Maori culture, with historic sites such as the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the treaty that made New Zealand a British colony was signed, to the legendary Hokianga Harbour and the world’s largest Kauri Tree, the Northland region is where you’ll discover the warmth and hospitality of this unique people.
Witness the amazing Haka war dance at a rugby game, or pay a visit to the Mitai Maori Village, where you’ll get to see warriors in their traditional attire, a hangi meal being traditionally prepared for your pleasure, as well as learning about their past and distinctive ta moko (tattoo art).
We’re going on an Adventure!
Embrace your inner hobbit and discover the real Middle Earth! The aptly named Hobbinton movie set, featured in the iconic Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, is completely rebuilt and appears exactly as it did in the movies. So, take a leisurely stroll and marvel at the miniature houses built into the soft sloping hills. And now, you can even enjoy a refreshment at the Green Dragon Inn, which features on the tour.
Why not combine your tour of Hobbinton with a visit to the would famous Waitomo Caves? Home to a species of glow worm unique to New Zealand, these spectacular caves are a must see. The caves themselves are a natural marvel, but what makes these caves so famous is the iridescent, electric blue glow produced by the inhabitant glow worms.
Not only is New Zealand home to a stunning array of breathtaking landscapes, it is also inhabited by rare species that are unique to the land, but which unlike their Australian neighbours, are much less likely to kill or maim you! During your adventures you’re bound to meet some of the local residents, including the cheeky Kea bird, one of the most intelligent and mischievous birds on the planet (say goodbye to your wind-shield wipers!), or discover the endangered kiwi bird, New Zealand’s national symbol, that can now only be seen in zoos and protected wildlife parks.
There’s a rich array of wildlife experiences for you to enjoy, with 34 marine reserves you can enjoy swimming with dolphins, snorkelling with seals, or even indulge in a touch of whale watching or spend a day photographing the endangered Yellow-Eyed penguin.
Surrounded by thousands of kilometres of outstanding coastline, as well as being rich with lakes and rivers, New Zealand offers visitors endless opportunities to sample a wide range of water sports, from kayaking and surfing, to scuba-diving and for those who prefer a less energetic endeavour, there’s a wealth of leisurely cruises to be taken.
One of the most popular ways to explore the remarkable rivers and coastline is kayaking. From calm crystal clear waters to raucous rapids, you’ll be able to see some stunning sites that can’t be accessed by foot. Another way to explore the natural beauties of New Zealand is diving, in particular the Poor Knight’s Marine Reserve, which is said to be one of the best diving locations in the world. Alternatively, for something more relaxed, you can check out the stunning islands, harbours and beaches by boat. You can even take the helm and hire out your own boat!
Consider Campervanning It!
One of the most popular ways of getting around New Zealand is by self-driving. Giving your the freedom to explore at your leisure and go off the beaten track. With their well kept roads and sign posts, exploring New Zealand by car is both thrilling and liberating.
You can arrange self-drive tours, where you can create a personalised itinerary and begin your journey in a vehicle that suits your style. From compact campervans to luxury 4×4’s, there’s an option for every budget. And for those who fancy the home comforts of a proper bed, you can even arrange tours where the stress and hassle of booking your accommodation is taken care of for you.
Weather and What to Wear?
Of course, whether you’re exploring the snowy alps or trekking through subtropical forests, you’ll need to be prepared! Though the far north tends to enjoy warmer climates, the inland areas of the south can be as cold as -10°C (14°F) during the winter, while coastal areas tend to experience milder temperatures. Unlike the UK, New Zealand’s warmest months are January and February, while July tends to be the coldest. However, the changeable weather means it’s likely you’ll experience four seasons in a single day- and that’s at anytime of year! So, with that in mind, you’ll see below a collection of some of Zee & Co’s most versatile jackets and accessories to keep you looking and feeling fabulous whatever the weather.
Moncler Navy Cluny Fur Trim Parka Coat
Moncler Black Febe Quilted Gilet
Stone Island Grey Badge Hoodie
Canada Goose Burgundy Hazelton Jacket
Moncler Black Palmier Puffer Jacket
Kenzo Grey Funnel Neck Tiger Sweatshirt
Barbour Black Quilted Leather Gloves
Moncler Black Bobble Hat
Barbour Brown Burnished Leather Thinsulate Gloves