Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping – and you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland.
The Waikato region has two spectacular landscapes - one above ground, the other below. In both cases, nature has been generous. On the lush surface, the scenery is green to the extreme. Fertile soils, reliable rainfall and kind temperatures have created a pastoral heaven. Below the surface, miracles have been wrought with water and limestone. Vast cave systems, huge sink holes and underground streams provide huge scope for adventure.
Wine Country presents an eclectic mix of visual and sensual experiences. The region is New Zealand’s leading producer of red wines, has the greatest concentration of Art Deco architecture and hosts the country’s most elaborate celebrations of Matariki - the Maori New Year. As if that weren’t enough, Hawke’s Bay is also known for its artisan gourmet foods and glorious beaches that stretch from Mahia Peninsula in the north to Porangahau in the south.
A stunning and remote region, Eastland is the home of many firsts: the first place to see the sun rise, the landing place of the first Maori and the landing place of the first Europeans across all New Zealand. Explore rugged mountains, untouched beaches and the wild Lake Waikaremoana. Eastland is known for producing excellent Chardonnay, so be sure to stop by a local winery. Go surfing, hiking, white water rafting or fish off New Zealand’s longest pier. Explore Maori culture at the intricate Te Poho O Rawiri Marae (meeting house) and hike to see the nine giant whakairo (sculptures) on Mount Hikurangi.
The picturesque river city of Wanganui has a long history. During the early days of European settlement, it was an important trading centre. The river served as a main highway for the transport of goods and people. Prominent heritage buildings in the city include the Royal Wanganui Opera House and the Sarjeant Art Gallery. Take time to explore the restored heritage areas, then board the paddle steamer for a memorable river cruise. One of Wanganui's more unusual visitor attractions is the earthbound elevator that rises to the top of Durie Hill. The regional museum has a magnificent collection of Lindauer portraits and Maori treasures.
Located on the West Coast of the North Island, Taranaki is a stunning region, overlooked by the towering Mt Taranaki. From surfing to hiking to skiing, you can do it all in Taranaki. Outdoor activities are complimented by a thriving café culture and a generally mild, sunny climate. The biggest city of the region is New Plymouth, which is full of beautiful public gardens. New Plymouth is also home to numerous art galleries and museums including the contemporary Govett Brewster Art Gallery and the Pure Ariki Museum.
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city, and it’s also known as our arts and culture capital. A special blend of heritage buildings, museums and galleries, fine food and live entertainment opportunities make this city a great place to visit in any season. Part of Wellington’s charm is its close proximity to nature. The central city is nestled between a beautiful harbour and forested hills. Wildlife sanctuaries, islands, seaside villages, ocean beaches and regional parks provide huge scope for outdoor fun.
The South Island’s northern-most city of Nelson is the perfect place to begin exploring all that New Zealand’s South Island has to offer. With a jam-packed calendar of events and festivals year round, Nelson is also sure to entertain residents and visitors alike. Known for attracting artists, visiting the galleries and boutique shops are a must. And don’t forget the popular World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum showcasing the best from around the world.
From the silvery beaches of the coast to the jagged peaks of the Southern Alps, the Canterbury landscape is impossible to ignore. Big scenery is the order of the day - huge panoramas of ocean or mountains, great sweeps of pastureland and massive amounts of sky.
The Otago coast stretches from the Waitaki River north of Oamaru to the mighty Clutha River south of Dunedin. The Waitaki district is a place of haunting natural beauty, complemented by Oamaru’s historic whitestone architecture. Travellers come to see the diverse wildlife, idyllic fishing villages and rolling green pastures.
Rediscover yourself in beautiful, green Southland, NZ. You’ll encounter amazing places in this region. With a rejuvenated city life, Invercargill is the gateway to some of New Zealand’s most beautiful scenery.
Don’t go passed a visit to the resort town of Te Anau on your trip to New Zealand. Only a 20 minute drive to picturesque Lake Manapouri. Your adventures can include kayaking of lakes and fiords, hiking, scenic flights or how about a relaxing lake cruise.