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Top 10 destination ideas for New Zealand travel
Hauraki Gulf islands
Your flight to New Zealand from Singapore will land you in Auckland, a spectacular city built between two huge harbours. From a downtown hotel, it’s easy to catch day-trip ferries to the beautiful islands of the Hauraki Gulf. Visit Waiheke Island for wine touring, Rangitoto for a volcanic summit hike or Tiritiri Matangi to see rare birds.
At Waitomo, you can venture underground to discover glow worms and magnificent limestone formations. Drift gently through the caves in a boat or lift the adrenalin levels with a black water rafting tour, where you’ll float along underground streams on an inflatable tube. You can combine Waitomo with a trip to the Hobbiton movie set.
In geothermal areas, spouts of boiling water climb into the air powered by the volcanic energy below. Craters of boiling mud, multi-coloured terraces and naturally-heated spa pools are other natural wonders to look forward to. Rotorua is also a great place for Maori cultural experiences, including delicious food cooked in a hangi (earth oven).
Abel Tasman National Park
If you love beaches and easy walking, this coastal track around the edge of Abel Tasman National Park is your kind of expedition. You’ll discover secluded sandy coves, native forest, interesting wildlife and fascinating rock formations. You can also explore this extraordinary park on a boat tour or kayak expedition.
New Zealand’s cool little capital has a brilliantly interactive museum – Te Papa Tongarewa, in Wellington. Until April 2019, you can see the Great War Exhibition, a ground-breaking museum experience created in collaboration with Lord of the Rings movie director Peter Jackson and Weta Workshop.
From friendly Kaikoura township, which is sandwiched between a massive mountain range and the ocean, you can see huge whales, New Zealand fur seals and dolphins on wildlife cruises. Don’t forget to order delectable local crayfish (lobster) at local restaurants.
Enjoy short woodland walks, then relax in mineral-rich, naturally-heated pools at the South Island’s premier thermal spa resort. There are water slides too if you’re feeling playful. Hanmer Springs is particularly beautiful in autumn when the deciduous trees turn every shade of yellow, gold and red.
See the charming Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo, hike up mountain trails in Mount Cook National Park and watch the heavens at night (stargazing) from the Mount John Observatory. There’s also a wonderful hot pool complex here when you can enjoy gorgeous views of across Lake Tekapo while you soak.
Apart from extraordinary alpine scenery, Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand. There are tranquil activities, such as golf, walking, horse riding, lake cruises and biking; and there are big thrills, like bungy jumping, skydiving, parapenting, canyon swinging and jet boating. Life is never boring in Queenstown!
Easily accessed from Queenstown or Wanaka, Milford Sound was carved by glaciers in the last ice age. Mountains rise hundreds of metres above deep, clear waters; roaring rivers from deep within the forest suddenly find themselves in thin air and plummet as spectacular waterfalls to the sea below. It’s like the land that time forgot.
Air New Zealand voted the 'Best Airline in the World'
Air New Zealand has been named the 'Best Airline in the World' in the latest Condé Nast Readers' Choice Awards for its innovative and customer-focused travel offerings. Read about the Best Airline of the World award.