New Zealand Vacations

New Zealand is a group of islands that are located southeast of Australia, surrounded by the Tasman Sea on the west and the South Pacific Ocean in the east. There are two major islands: North Island and South Island plus a few minor scattered islands. The capital of New Zealand is Auckland which is located on the North Island. Their culture was originally Polynesian with strong Moari traditions. The remoteness of the islands have lead to a bio diversity of animals and plant life that are not found on any of the other continents in the world. On the South Island you will find a region named "Te Wahipounamu" which means in Maori "Place of Greenstone". It is a beautiful area of mountains, rivers and lakes that was considered spiritual by the Maori and today encompasses the national parks of Aoraki/Mt Cook, Fiordland, Mt Aspiring and Westland.

New Zealand Vacation Rentals and Boutique Hotels

New Zealand Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in New Zealand

The Land of the Long White Cloud, more commonly known as New Zealand, sits quietly at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. It is famous for its clean, green image, Ernest Rutherford the father of nuclear physics, creative youths and for being the first country to give women the right to vote. Despite its physical isolation from the rest of the world, it is a country buzzing with diversity and innovative thinkers, so it’s no wonder New Zealand keeps ranking as one of the top places to live. It is also a top holiday vacation, with tourism generating 5.6% of GDP.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie who wants to bungee, or you’re after a relaxing time out session soaking in spas and drinking fine wine, New Zealand offer it all. There is an abundance of choices to choose from when it comes to visiting this young country, starting with the island. New Zealand is made up of two main islands - the North Island and the South Island. Both have international airports, so you can plan your flight according to your trip’s itinerary.

The two islands are like siblings - very different but similar at heart. Ideally, you’ll have enough time to explore both, but if you’ve got a limited amount of time, do some research beforehand. Pick a few spots or activities you simply have to tick off, and make peace with your decision. It’s better to immerse yourself completely in a few things, rather than rushing around and stressing out trying to squeeze everything in. And if you feel upset about missing out on something? Well, all the more reason to come back another time! Those of you interested in a getaway, listen up. A visit to New Zealand is not your average holiday.

But before you begin planning your vacation, it’s important to know the foundations of New Zealand’s geography and culture. New Zealand’s landscape is sometimes wild with rugged beauty, sometimes calm like a waveless sea, but it is definitely never dull. From icy fjords to golden sand dunes, the temperate climate holds on to bits of everything. The North Island is subtropical, with snow only hitting the ski fields, whereas the South Island is cool with an icy blue. However, the South is also home to some of the most gorgeous beaches, and the North gets more than its fair share of rain. At the end of the day, New Zealand is full of mood swings and you should always carry both an umbrella and a sunhat.

New Zealand is famous for its mountains and beaches, but it is also dotted with many volcanoes. One of the most popular volcanoes is Rangitoto, a volcano that sits in the sea, just a 30 minute ferry ride from Auckland. Auckland, otherwise called The City of Sails due to its high number of boats and yachts, is the most populated city in New Zealand. Despite a common misconception, it is not the capital city. The capital sits further south, at the bottom of the North Island. Wellington is not only the capital, but it is a city loved for its colourful culture and for hosting an impressive art and literary scene.

As for New Zealand culture, being straight up is the ‘Kiwi’ way. Kiwi is a term used to describe New Zealanders, taken from the native bird, the Kiwi bird. Kiwis are also fond of DIY (it’s in our DNA) and are prone to tall poppy syndrome (being unable to accept a compliment). Beer and wine are both crowd favourites, as is getting involved in community events, whether that be rugby or attending a book reading by a local writer. Kiwis are quietly proud patriots but are humble enough to stay grounded.

Maori are the native people of New Zealand, and Maori culture is something you can learn about during your vacation. Today, only 14% of the country are made up of Maoris, but everyone is working hard to preserve the language and culture. The best place to learn about and participate in Maori culture is the Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua. This is New Zealand’s most awarded tourist attraction, and you can experience the ceremonial rituals, learn about the customs and rituals and enjoy a hangi (traditional feast).

Of course, the hardest decisions will be choosing where to go and what to do. Auckland is the best city to base yourself in if you want to try a number of things. The city is bustling with good food, wine and culture. If you like outstanding dining, unique bars, gorgeous art galleries and museums, Auckland is a good place to be. New Zealand is also famous for its fine wines, and there are many top quality wineries within driving range of Auckland. Some of the most famous wine regions in New Zealand are Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and Waikato.

Auckland is also surrounded by beautiful beaches, but for a rugged, untouched landscape, its worth venturing out to the West Coast. Here you will find black sand beaches, waves as tall as suburban homes and so many hiking trails you won’t be able to complete them all, even if you delayed your flight. If you prefer champagne to salt spray, Waiheke Island might be your idea of heaven. Just a 30 minute ferry ride from the city, Waiheke is considered a part of Auckland. It is home to more wineries and an old time feel.

If your heart’s drawing you to the South Island, Pupu Springs and Milford Sound are two main attractions. Pupu Springs holds the cleanest water in New Zealand, and Milford Sound is a spectacular fjord, revered for its towering waterfalls, lush rainforests and fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins. The South is home to ‘the old New Zealand’, so is the perfect place to zip around on road trips, visiting historical places and experiencing the ‘pure New Zealand’.

Wherever you decide to explore, there are plenty of New Zealand vacation rentals available. Hotels, Bnb’s, cottages or apartments, there’s something for everyone and to suit every budget. Make sure to book beforehand as New Zealand gets busy all year long. You’ll want a cosy bed to return to after all the exploring!