20 September 2017
If seeing nature at its finest is your thing, then put these New Zealand beauties on your itinerary:
As one of New Zealand’s most famous natural wonders, these bubbling mud pools and geysers are the type of place all travellers to the North Island can appreciate. Kids will enjoy seeing geysers shoot water, steam and heat up into the air, while adults will love soaking in the restorative thermal pools and relaxing mud baths.
Found on the west coast of the North Island within Egmont National Park, volcanic Mt Taranaki is a perfectly formed peak. Estimated to be about 120,000 years old, this dormant volcano is surrounded by rainforest, rock pools and waterfalls, giving way to sub-alpine terrain as the altitude rises. Experienced hikers and mountaineers will enjoy summiting the peak if weather permits, while everyone else can enjoy seeing this picturesque mountain from one of the many walking tracks located within the national park.
Cruise along the Milford Road
Located right at the bottom of the South Island, the dramatic vistas of Fiordland National Park enchant travellers of all ages, and the Milford Road is one of the most astounding of them all. Connecting Te Anau to Milford Sound, this four-hour journey has plenty of places worthy of a stop. Pull the van over at Eglinton Valley to pose for photos in front of scenery that looks like a watercolour painting, stop at Lake Gunn for a picnic and short walk along the easy track and rest up amid the intense beauty of Milford Sound. A winding road that should be taken slowly and carefully, Milford Road is one of those places that travellers of all ages and interests will revel in.
Adults and children alike will love the idea of seeing thousands of tiny glow worms light up within the North Island’s Waitomo Caves. Adrenalin-pumping underground adventures like caving and abseiling are possible within this extensive network of subterranean caves however a simple walk or leisurely boat ride is the simpler option.
Visitors flock to see the North Island’s Huka Falls for a good reason – it’s a truly wondrous nature phenomenon best seen in real life. With more than 220,000 litres of water emptying through the falls in a second, Huka Falls is a dramatic display of Mother Nature at her finest. Visitors can view the falls from several scenic viewing platforms or get up close and personal with the falls on a thrilling jet boat ride. Either way, these powerful falls are unmissable.
Bay of Islands
Located in the north, this cluster of more than 140 islands is place of immense beauty. Whether sailing the region aboard a private yacht or heading out in sea kayaks, visitors to the Bay of Islands can expect to see a menagerie of wildlife with dolphins, whales, seabirds and more all calling this pristine area home. A popular spot for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving, the diverse array of marine life found in the Bay of Islands makes it one of the world’s top rated diving destinations.
Located on the South Island, this famous fiord surrounded by emerald peaks is a truly spectacular sight to behold. Visitors can choose to get active and kayak the crystal waters or relax on a scenic boat cruise. Helicopters flights over Milford Sound offer a bird’s eye view of this natural wonder, while an invigorating hike along the Milford Track gives fit travellers a chance to see the area’s native flora and fauna up close. Easily visited on a day trip from Queenstown, a trip to Milford Sound should be on every South Island itinerary.
The South Island’s Otago Coast is a wildlife hotspot with many rare seabird colonies found along this long stretch of coastline. However in this region it’s the Moeraki Boulders that really stand out. At a whopping 60 million years old, these prehistoric beach boulders are a strange sight to see just sitting on the beach, standing firm as waves roll in and crash over the top. A perfect spot to stop off during a self-driving holiday, a walk along the beach holding the Moeraki Boulders is a South Island road trip must-do.
Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers
You don’t need to head to Antarctica or Greenland to see glaciers. Found on the South Island, New Zealand’s Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are among the most accessible in the world. Walking and hiking on the glacier is possible, with professional guides leading visitors out on fun hikes up the glacier valleys. For people with a thirst for adventure, air safaris aboard helicopters and small planes offer incredible views of this icy paradise from above.
With an abundance of natural wonders to behold, New Zealand is the perfect holiday place for the curious traveller. Get in touch with your Travel Counsellor today to plan your tailor-made New Zealand holiday.