The hardest part of planning your holiday will be deciding which to do first!
Exploring New Zealand’s magnificent landscape and coastline tops the list for many. If adventure is your game, there’s a long list of thrilling activities to get your blood racing. Or if it’s a relaxing holiday you’re after, hot pools, vineyards and cultural attractions will keep you entertained.
Donne Cliff Hot Springs Waimangu
Heritage and Culture
Whilst comparatively New Zealand is still a young country, the wealth of accessible heritage attractions will keep history enthusiasts entertained.
Up and down the country there are places where time has stood still. Historic cottages and sprawling mansions, breweries and old hotels, Victorian cities and Art Deco towns – they’ve been preserved and protected to give you a glimpse of the past.
Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. While it’s easy to get excited about the gingerbread architecture of Dunedin’s historic railway station, the adventures that begin here are even more exciting. This is where you catch the Taieri Gorge Railway to Middlemarch or the Seasider coastal railway to Palmerston. Both journeys get rave reviews from travellers. But before you head out on your travels be sure to visit Olverston Historic Home & Theomin Gallery. This pristine historic home has much to see with its magnificent artwork in each room. Olverston reflects the wealth and influence of its founder; Dunedin businessman, collector and philanthropist David Theomin. http://www.olveston.co.nz/.
If you want to understand what makes New Zealand tick, visit museums wherever you go. Finding out the why, where, how and who in any town or city adds an extra layer to your travel experience.
Glenorchy-Queenstown – Photo Credit Legend Photography26
Each of New Zealand’s major museums has its own specialities. Auckland Museum is known for an impressive collection of Maori and Polynesian artefacts; Te Papa in Wellington offers a very modern, and often interactive, learning experience; Canterbury Museum has a strong focus on Antarctica; Otago Museum in Dunedin takes an in-depth look at the natural and social history of the South Island. The provincial cities also have plenty to show you – check out Puke Ariki in New Plymouth and the wearable art museum in Nelson.
Small museums also deserve your attention, because they’re often eccentric and surprising. Kauri trees, coal and gold mining, cable cars, caves, toys, volcanic eruptions, army equipment, boats, trains and planes – the subject matter is wonderfully diverse. The Buried Village of Te Wairoa is a must; on a night in June 1886, the small village of Te Wairoa was devastated by the violent eruption of Mt Tarawera. Learn how Maori and early settlers lived and worked together, enjoy a leisurely walk and explore the sites that have been excavated from the now peaceful village. View the world famous Pink and White Terraces. Visit the award winning museum; the mesmerising natural Wairere waterfall, plunging to the valley below. http://www.buriedvillage.co.nz/
Frying Pan Lake Waimangu
Exploring New Zealand’s walking and hiking trails is one of the most rewarding ways of seeing the country’s outstanding natural beauty.
With thousands of kilometres of tracks, walking options are available to suit all levels of fitness and experience. Don’t miss a visit to the worlds youngest geothermal system Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Along with Wai-O-Tapu this is one of the main thermal attractions around Rotorua. It consists of a beautiful valley filled with thermal features that leads down to Lake Rotomahana. There are various options, including a boat ride on the lake, with a bus service to and from the lake landing stage so you don’t have to walk all the way back up the valley. There are numerous thermal features to enjoy, from steaming lakes and brightly coloured pools to boiling streams and colourful mineral rock patterns. It’s a lovely walk on easy paths with great views to Mt Tarawera and the lake opening up every now and then. An amazing and unforgettable experience. http://www.waimangu.co.nz/
Lake Wanaka, Photo Credit Julian Apse
Food and wine
Indulging in local food and wine is a must-do for many travellers. If gastronomy and the odd tipple are high on your agenda, New Zealand won’t disappoint. New Zealand is a food and wine lover’s paradise. Vineyards stretch throughout every region, chefs put playful local twists on fine cuisine. New Zealand food and wine festivals serve up taste sensations with a side of local music.
World class wine
The Hawkes Bay, Martinborough and Marlborough and Central Otago are signature New Zealand wine regions; explore your pick of 120 vineyards by driving the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. If you’re after a really thorough wine tour, add West Auckland, Gisborne, Canterbury to your itinerary.
And if you need any transport head to Roadcat Shuttles, they offer a range of shuttle services to and from the greater Waikato and area and specialising in shuttles to and from Auckland and Hamilton Airports. With a fleet of 14 buses/vans Roadcat will be sure to get you to your destination with efficiency and ease. www.roadcat.co.nz
With only a 3 hour flight from Sydney let’s head over to see our neighbours!
Main picture Dunedin-Railway-Station-Central-Otago