Isolated by vast southern seas, New Zealand is a land of spectacular scenic beauty. Its 5,700 miles of gorgeous coastline are punctuated by tree-lined bays and towering cliffs. Magnificent glacial mountains loom over fiords, lakes and streams, steaming geothermal regions contrast with wide-open golden plains, intensely green subtropical forests cover miles of countryside. An active adventurer’s paradise, you can hike, bike, camp, ski or sea kayak amid this beautiful landscape—or choose to relax in some of the world’s most livable cities. New Zealand’s remote location and varied landscape has shaped its self- sufficient people—you’ll quickly find their independent spirit, natural inventiveness and genuine friendliness are contagious.
Spend five special hours aloft as well as on terra firma exploring Fiordland National Park. Discover a labyrinth of valleys and mountains as you fly west over the Main Divide of the Southern Alps. See Lake Te Anau and follow the Milford Track past Sutherland Falls on this extensive tour to Milford Sound. You'll land and enjoy a short walk through native rainforest on a very scenic part of the world-famous Milford Track for a perfect photo opportunity. You will then fly along the fiord to a seal colony or remote beach on the isolated coast of Fiordland. A glacier landing on the return flight will enable you to fill the ice bucket for your champagne luncheon at a goldminer's cottage, hidden in the mountains. Please note this excursion is weather dependent. If required it may be rescheduled for another day, or refunded if weather makes it impossible. You'll be back at the heliport by the mid-afternoon and then transferred by jeep back to your hotel.
Kaikoura is a seaside settlement and the most northern district in the Canterbury region of New Zealand located on the east coast of the South Island. It is located on a rocky peninsula with lush farmland protruding from the mountains. It is an ideal place for marine mammals and seabirds with rich history and culture. It's name comes from the abundance of crayfish available. Several different species of whale can be seen here at different times of the year with the most famous being the sperm whales who share this part of the ocean with dusky dolphins. In 2011 Kaikoura became the first destination in the world to gain an Earthcheck Gold Community certification due to its commitment to community sustainability through reducing its environmental impact and pressure on resource use.
ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK
Glistening golden beaches, tidal estuaries and rushing rivers make Abel Tasman National Park a delightful day trip. Or stay a few days to accommodate a guided kayak trip out to the seal colony on Tonga Island, staying overnight at gorgeous lodges and homesteads en route. This area is home to some of the best food, hotels and markets in New Zealand.
The jumping off point for exploring the upper South Island, Nelson is also a charming and lively city in its own right. Take in its art-deco architecture, the Nelson Provincial Museum, the Botanical Reserve, and the beautiful surrounding beaches of Tasman Bay
Travel expert recommendations
If you want to see the real New Zealand, consider taking a longer trip to allow you to get off the main tourist trail and get to some of the more rural parts of New Zealand. A Farm Stay is a great way to truly immerse in everything New Zealand! Spend a couple of days with a local family working on their sheep station helping with farm duties and taking farm style meals together.
The Rotoura area’s natural hot springs have drawn visitors for centuries, including the native Maori people, who still use the geothermal pools for bathing, cooking, washing and heating, as they have for generations. Visit the Maori village of Whakarewarewa and the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute with your native guide to gain insight into the fascinating, ancient Maori culture.
HAWKES BAY & MARLBOROUGH
The wineries that dot the picturesque countryside around the North Island’s Hawkes Bay produce some of New Zealand’s tastiest vintages. On the South Island is Marlborough, which boasts more than 40 wineries and arguably the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc. In both locations, enjoy tours by bicycle or chauffeured vehicle and enjoy tastings at sprawling vineyards or small, family-run wineries.
Only 5% of New Zealand’s population is human – the rest are animals.
In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote.
The clearest lake in the world is Nelson’s Blue Lake, with a visibility of up to 80 meters deep.
Sign Language is one of three official languages of New Zealand. English and Maori are the other two.
Cuisine & Recipe
New Zealand cuisine focuses on mainly local ingredients. Dinner is the main meal of the day usually enjoyed with families sharing the evening together. With over 8000 miles of coastline, it is home to amazing seafood. Lamb is also a Kiwi favorite. It is held in high esteem as one of the country's top export meats. Now saved for special occasions the hangi was the preferred method of cooking for more than 2000 years. Food is placed in the ground over hot stones and covered with a wet cloth and a mound of earth, trapping in the heat around the food. The result being tender meats and delicious vegetables infused with a smoky fragrance.
Anzac Biscuits (Makes about 20 biscuits)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup thread coconut
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
125 g butter
2 Tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp boiling water
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a baking tray or line with baking paper.
Combine the oats, coconut, flour, and sugar together in a large bowl.
Melt the butter and golden syrup together. Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water and add to the butter mixture. Pour the butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together.
Roll teaspoons into balls and place on the tray, allowing room for them to spread.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, cooking one tray at a time.
The Villa at the Edge of the Empire
A provocative and insightful exploration of rebuilding our homes, communities and cities after their devastation. Where are we? How did we get here? Where do we go now? From nineteenth-century attempts to create Utopias to America's rustbelt, from Darwin's study of worms to China's phantom cities, this work ranges widely through history and around the world. It examines the evolution of cities and of Christchurch in particular, looking at its swampy origins and its present reconstruction following the recent destructive earthquakes. And it takes us to L'Aquila in Italy to observe another shaken city. Farrell writes as a citizen caught up in a devastated city in an era when political ideology has transformed the citizen to 'an asset, the raw material on which . . . empire makes its profit'. In a hundred tiny pieces, she comments on contentious issues, such as the fate of a cathedral, the closure of schools, the role of insurers, the plans for civic venues. Through personal observation, conversations with friends, a close reading of everything from the daily newspaper to records of other upheavals in Pompeii and Berlin, this dazzling book explores community, the love of place and, ultimately, regeneration and renewal.