Though the island nation is geographically small, the sweeping landscapes seem immense to awestruck visitors taking in the jagged mountain peaks, rolling hills, sparkling beaches, scenic fjords, raging rivers and pristine lakes that make up the stunning scenery of New Zealand.
New Zealand is an adventures paradise, with opportunities to try activities like scuba diving, hot air ballooning, rock climbing, and other extreme sports; especially in adrenaline-packed Queenstown, the 'extreme sport capital of the world'.
Yet the urban life and culture of New Zealand is just as fascinating, with the traditions of both Maori warriors and British settlers playing a part in everyday life. Major cities like Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington have excellent restaurants and nightlife to entertain the most determined partiers, and fascinating museums and cultural attractions to satiate the NZD 20 billion tourism economy.
Best time to visit New Zealand
The weather in New Zealand is fairly temperate all year round, though the south of the country gets cold in the winter. The western sides of the islands tend to be very rainy, while the eastern parts are shielded from ocean winds by the mountain ranges. Most locals and overseas tourists take a New Zealand holiday in December, January and February, crowding most beach destinations. The best time to visit New Zealand is in spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) when the temperatures are moderate.
What to see in New Zealand
-Take a tour of film sites from The Lord of the Rings.
-See the huge collection of Maori artefacts at the Auckland Museum.
-Watch the sun set from a yacht in the Hauraki Gulf Islands.
-Take a scenic ride in the Christchurch Gondola. Read more about New Zealand Attractions.
What to do in New Zealand
-Go kayaking in Milford Sound.
-Try extreme sports like bungy jumping, white-water rafting and paragliding in Queenstown.
-Go hiking on the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.
-Scuba dive in the coves of the Bay of Islands. Read more about New Zealand Activities.