Highlights of New Zealand
Possibly one of the least spoilt countries on earth,
New Zealand offers the ultimate experience in outdoor travel.
Below are just some of the New Zealand travel highlights submitted by you, our readers...
pancake rocks punakaiki
Went on a tour of New Zealand and our first stop was Auckalnd. An up and coming city in a beautiful country. I'd move there in a heartbeat.
Vulcan Lane, a narrow pedestrian street in the heart of downtown Auckland, is famous for its variety of quirky shops, bars and restaurants.
Things to do around Christchurch. Definitely Bottle Lake for mountain biking. You can also mountain bike and walk/run in the Port Hills. There is surfing at New Brighton beach. In the central city Hagley Park has a number of paved running tracks and if you go in the entrance next to Christ's College (Rolleston Ave/Armagh St) then follow the track around the edge of the park north there is an outdoor gym circuit (sit up boards, monkey bars, balance beam, jumps, etc all spread out along a footpath). If you run the whole thing it's a 3 km loop.
Icy cold, pure, clean water flowing through pristine, untouched wilderness. Any stream in the Fiordland National Park will be cold - glacial cold as the waters melt off the snowy peaks above, start out as a trickle and end up massive, fast-moving rivers cascading out to sea. As it makes its way to the ocean, water passes through scenic valleys and open plains but the World Heritage Fiordland National Park is where you will see it in its most dramatic setting. Alpine flowers, flora and fauna (some of which only grows in this native-bush clad area) rocky river and creek beds draw only the hardy in to this wilderness in the lower part of New Zealand’s South Island. Te Anau is the ‘gateway’ to Fiordland for motorists but you can trek in from the Queenstown end which takes several days over mountainous country or take a scenic flight and see it all from above. By far the most popular tourist destination is Milford Sound where you can go out on Red Boats to see magnificent waterfalls and sometimes dolphins swimming around as you make your way to Doubtful Sound. Take a magnificent photo of Mitre Peak, also one at Homer Tunnel but lock up your car - the keas (green, native parrots) often attack it for any goodies left lying around. Even your windscreen rubber is not safe! Fiordland’s creeks, rivers, mountains, lakes and rain forest was declared a National Park in 1952 and its 1.2million hectares is administered by the Department of Conservation. When you see the Virtual Tour above, just picture yourself standing beside this icy cold stream, look up at the alpine mountain peaks and experience the majesty and grandeur - it does look idyllic - but be sure to take your insect repellant. Sandflies swarm in menacing black clouds as your vehicle comes to a halt. TIP: keep walking, they don’t bother you so much then.
This has to be one of the most visually stunning places that I have ever visited. My daughter and I were there last year and just loved it. And the New Zealanders are just so friendly... always offering a meal or a bed for the night.
Mr T James
Definitely recommend helicopter flight over glacier. Even a short trip is more than worth it as you can really appreciate the scale and beauty of the glacier.
Silence except for rushing river and creaking ice. No queues or hundreds of tourists. A chance to either walk on the glacier, or walk to the face. What words can explain the beauty of experiencing the geological magnificence of Fox?
Green mountains and blue waters; a fusion painting indeed.
Wow Punakaiki is awesome. At high tide you hear the sounds before you see Punakaikai Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Then the mighty, seawater geysers burst up spectacularly before your eyes. These unusual, huge limestone columns are made up of flat pancake-like rocks stacked on top of each other. A process which has been going on for around 30 million years and one which is just so fantastic to see and hear beside the Tasman Sea. These Pancake Rocks and Blowholes are half way between Westport and Greymouth, on Highway 6 on New Zealand’s lush, beautiful, native forested West Coast. You have to go there when in Aoteoroa (Land of the Long White Cloud). Paparoa National Park is here and in its 30,000 hectares you will find pristine native bush, mountains, rivers, caves and rugged beaches along a huge coastal wonderland. Just think of the fun you could have searching for greenstone (jade) along the beach or how lucky you would be to see a Hector’s Dolphin swimming by. Horse trekking up into quiet, secluded valleys - what a treat! To suit all budgets you will find a variety of accommodation. Tour operators are friendly and keen to take you to spots you’d never dreamed of. I like seeking out some of the arts and crafts and jewellery made by local artisans because some are quite unique. The West Coast is big on ecotourism, the area has a long history of hospitality so it has evolved to be a more passive, outdoors recreation area, - laid back and casual. So see Pancake’s you can’t eat and then branch out to explore a truly stunning, precious part of the South Island, in New Zealand.
Azure blue waters, rugged mountain ranges, a mountain-side alpine lift, beachfront and townscape - enjoy 360o views from a jetty which offers you the chance to spend some time taking in one of the most stunning vistas in the world. Make sure you look down under the water too because you may well see trout swimming by, or, if you are there on the right day, as I have been in the past,you may see misguided entrants attempting to 'fly like a bird' from the s they take a leap of faith from the jetty into the ''drink'' Queenstown jetty is a walkway where you can see the entire tourist resort on view all around you so spend some time just getting your bearings before you explore all this fantastic part of the South Island of New Zealand (Aoteoroa) has to offer. If you are on the jetty at the right time you will experience a camera-buff's dream, the old steamer ''Earnslaw'' leaving its berth and turning for the daily trip up Lake Wakatipu to sheep stations which welcome visitors from all over the world. If you're interested in the aquatic pursuits well Queenstown Jetty is the place to set out on a variety of water-based activities. Whatever reason you go out onto the Queenstown Jetty, stop a moment to think about all the people who have gone before you - what an interesting thought that is because thousands and thousands of visitors make this same walk every week in this ''jewel in the crown'' in New Zealand visitor attraction towns. As jetty' go, this one is one you must take a walk on and absorb all Queenstown has to offer, any season of the year.
Queenstown has an animated yet distinguished ambience. The place is alive with a friendly and calming atmosphere that is reflected through the people and the surrounding landscape.
Extremely neat to see - just be prepared to hold your nose. The smell of sulphur in Rotorua is unescapable.
It was an amazing tour to see the breath of earth.
Te Anau is the last place, where you can buy petrol and use your mobile on your way to Milford Sound. And it's also wonderful.
auckland americas cup
To view reader highlights for other locations, try our Worldwide Highlights section