A country of dramatically diverse environments, New Zealand offers an array of activities for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike..New Zealand’s remarkably varied landscape includes beaches, mountains, fjords, glaciers and rain forests, making it one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. The small country consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, each boasting a surprising variety of natural wonders as well as urban centers. read more
Yes, it’s true, New Zealand is a place that will satisfy even the most thrill seeking adventurers’ adrenaline rush; however it is also the perfect destination for anyone who appreciates natural beauty set amongst a stunning variety of landforms such as rugged mountains, spectacular fiords, glaciers that cut through the mountains, subtropical forest, bubbling mud pools, and miles of coastline dotted with sandy beaches.
Originally named “Aotearoa” by the Polynesian settlers, which means the Land of the Long White Cloud; New Zealand is approximately the same size as Japan and yet is compact enough that one can sample a wide range of diverse land masses in a single trip or even a single day.
Amongst the places we love to explore some of our favorite destinations are featured below.
Kaikoura, located on the South Island of New Zealand between Christchurch and Blenheim, is a rocky peninsula surrounded by lush farmland, situated beneath the Kaikoura mountain ranges. This breathtaking location was named by the Maori “meal of crayfish” (“Kai” means food, “Koura” means crayfish) after the marine life for which it is famous. Immediately off the shores of Kaikoura, the ocean’s continental shelf drops very steeply into a myriad of exceedingly deep canyons and valleys. A cold southern sea current combined with a warm northern sea current off the coast of Kaikoura, create an upwelling of currents, rich in nutrients that attract a wide variety of marine life including seabirds, dusk dolphins, Orca, Pilot and Sperm whales.
Another amazing destination, Arthur’s Pass, is a journey in itself. From Christchurch, board the Tranz Alpine Express train, on what is regarded as one of the world’s best and most scenic rail journeys. Traveling through the mighty Southern Alps, the views of the Canterbury Plains from fields to farmland, followed by spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River are all part of the unique and memorable route in getting to Arthur’s Pass.
Named after Sir Arthur Dudley Dobson, who set out to find the most suitable pass from Canterbury to the West Coast, Arthur’s Pass is located at the base of the mountain pass bearing the same name. While visiting this gorgeous small alpine village nestled in the Southern Alps, adventures abound such as mountaineering, mountain biking, fly and trout fishing, canoeing on the tranquil lakes, bird watching, overnight hikes and nature walks all throughout the Arthur’s Pass National Park region.
One of the most interesting places to visit is the city of Nelson, known as the City of Wearable Art. There you will find amazing wineries which produce some of the most sought after wines in the world. In addition, there are numerous gourmet restaurants, craft, glass blowing and potters galleries waiting to be discovered throughout the Nelson Region.
Lovers of fashion might include a visit to WOW Museum where garments from the historic World of Wearable Arts garment collection are showcased surrounded by extreme theatrics that include techno lighting, sound, and movement to create a unique, fun filled gallery experience.
Classic car lovers might wish to include a visit to The Collectable Car gallery that features an array of beautifully restored classic cars that are displayed with a similar sense of humor and creativity as used in the WOW gallery.
Hoglund Art Glass, an international glass center is a MUST. Glass lovers are able to observe the skillful glass artesians at work in glassblowing and engraving studios. The studio also boasts a breathtaking range of contemporary jewelry on display.
No matter whether you seek adventure, nature, fine art, gourmet food and wine or just spectacular scenery, you are sure to find it all in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
As Kiwi Specialists we have been helping adventurous travelers customize trips of a lifetime to spectacular New Zealand for over 19 years and we’d be honored to make your dream vacation a reality.