Photo by Reurinkjan licensed under CC
If you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle of every-day life then New Zealand could be the perfect holiday destination for you. We've highlighted some of the best attractions on offer.
Enjoy the scenery and climate
Despite only being the size of Great Britain, New Zealand offers you the chance to drive between glaciers, fjords, mountains, subtropical forests, as well as sandy beaches. The country generally has plenty of snow in the mountains for winter sports and ample sunshine on the beach for relaxation in the summer, with a pleasantly mild climate in the regions between.
The setting for such films as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, New Zealand’s biggest draw is most definitely its scenery.
Sample some world-renowned local wine
New Zealand is one of the most southernly wine producers in the world, providing the unique geography that allows long hours of sunshine to be mixed with the cooling effect of the sea breeze.
This results in one of the best Sauvingnon Blancs in the world, and a large range of other wines distinctive for their purity, vibrancy and intensity. Choose from 10 wine regions across the country for tours and tastings.
Learn the Haka in Rotorua
Rotorua, the heartland of the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand is a fascinating visit with bush tours and historic villages to explore. There are many aspects of the warm and welcoming culture to partake in, including traditional Miri Miri massage, storytelling, singing, dancing, handicrafts and Hakas.
Be sure to enjoy one of the local Hangi feasts with food made from traditional ingredients cooked slowly in a pit in the ground.
Consider a driving holiday or camper van trip
Scenic New Zealand is a great place to experience in a car or camper van. With plenty of rental facilities and ferries that carry cars and camper vans from the North Island to the South Island it’s easy to take advantage of a flexible driving holiday. In fact, along with all the accommodating camp grounds, all public land around the country is open to overnight camping.
Go volcano watching
New Zealand has a lot of active volcanoes and most volcanic activity occurs on the North Island. White Island (Whakaari) is the perfect example of an active volcano. It breathes, it roars and it hisses.
The reserve can be visited by launch or helicopter, where hard hats and gas masks are provided for the walking tour, which leads right into the huge main crater.
In the past, attempts were made to mine sulphur on the island, but it was a hazardous task. In September 1914, part of the western crater rim collapsed killing all ten miners. They disappeared without trace and only the camp cat survived. The remains of mining buildings can still be seen, much corroded by the sulphuric gasses.
Make the most of discounts
Many attractions and businesses in New Zealand offer discounts for people over 55. Make sure that you carry your photo ID and ask about a discount before making a reservation for accommodation, buying tickets or ordering food.