“Don’t leave town until you’ve seen the country” – a periodic campaign run by the tourism board rings true. The island country has so much to offer! Wikipedia & Wikitravel tells us since New Zealand was one of the last countries to be inhabited by humans, it boasts of diverse flora and fauna. The terrain majorly consists of jagged mountains, flowing pasture land, steep fjords, serene trout-filled lakes, raging rivers, beautiful beaches, and active volcanic zones; the country also has some of Earth’s most unique bioregions, which are inhabited by flightless birds seen only in this country. With such diversity to offer, it would be a shame not to explore its true potential.
If we leave the benefit of cultural enrichment aside, domestic tourism has substantial economic benefits as well. As per Wikipedia, ‘Domestic tourism is also important, though expenditure and trip numbers have been declining or stagnating in the face of fast-growing international tourism. Domestic tourist spending of NZ$20.2 billion a year still exceeds that of international visitors (NZ$11.8 billion)’. Nearly 5.6% of the total nation’s GDP comes from tourism, which plays an important role in provides jobs to the locals.
Statistics aside, the country has multitudes of destinations to choose from. It caters to almost all types of travellers – Family, Couple, Solo, Backpackers and many more. Its diverse landscape has earned it the title ‘Paradise of the Pacific”. Any kiwi will tell you, one of the best ways to get around the country is on a motorcycle. It’s a motorbike rider’s dream country. Most cities let you get your own bike or rent a bike there. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have bike re-assembling services to cater to travellers bringing their own motorcycles. Through the air, by bus, by road (self – driven) and by railways are other popular means you can get around by. Now that we have the ‘getting around’ part sorted, let’s look at some of the popular domestic destinations every kiwi should visit.
One of the most popular destinations in New Zealand. This cluster of 144 islands is a yachting and sailing paradise. The bay is home to myriad marine life such as whales, dolphins, big marlin and penguins. It also has secluded bays and beaches. The best time to visit is between February – March. Hole in the rock is one must see in this region.
Fiordland National Park is home to numerous fjords accompanied by serene nature. This park has some of the best walking trails including the famous Milford Track. Popular way to explore the fjords is via sea-kayaking. Bird’s eye view of the park is also available to visitors who opt for flight options. One can visit this park throughout the year and explore its glaciers, waterfalls, offshore islands, secluded forest and much more.
Rotorua, North Island
This tourist attraction is filled with geothermal wonders and red lava lines. Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, this region is one of the geothermal regions in the world to boast of a notable topography. You can take in the goodness of nature by soaking in the mineral-rich water or exploring other geothermal wonders such as warm mud pools, thermal pools, geysers and volcanic craters. Adventure activities such as skydiving, trekking, mountain bike racing are also available for the adventure junkies. If nature is not your thing, the region is home to Rotorua Family Holiday Park for a complete family outing.
Queenstown is the island country’s adventure capital, situated between gorgeous Lake Wakatipu and the pristine snowy peaks of the Remarkables. Adrenaline junkies will feel right at home here. Jet boating, bungee jumping, skiing, mountain biking, white-water rafted are just a few of the adventure activities available in this town. Must do’s here are to explore the gold mining towns and the snow-capped peaks of the Remarkables. Best time to visit is from June to August.
Mouth-watering seafood and wildlife watching are the salient features of Kaikoura. All sorts of marine and wildlife can be spotted here which includes humpback whales, sperm whales, dolphins, albatross, fur seals amongst others. You can enjoy freshly caught mussels, crawfish and other delicacies while taking in the surroundings. Don’t forget to join a whale watching tours. Another must do are the coastal treks. Best time to visit is in April, June and October.
Right in the centre of Southern Alps, rises New Zealand’s highest peaks from the alpine terrain of Mount Cook National Park, which also known as Aoraki National Park. Majority of the park is covered in glaciers, which makes it almost 40% of the entire area of the park. It is home to the tallest mountain – Aoraki and the longest glacier – Tasman. It’s a haven for nature lovers who can visit the park and enjoy the diversity of flora and fauna it offers with more than 300 species of alpine trees and around 40 species of birds. Most travellers set up base in Mount Cook Village and explore the park and the other activities such as ski tours, hunting, stargazing trips amongst others.
These are just a few destinations, New Zealand also provides travel opportunities based on what you are interested in, be it, adventure activities, nature walks, leisure, romantic getaway, family getaway; whatever you please, the island country has a solution. New Zealand tourism has a few itineraries prepared just for you. If you want a relaxed outing, this holiday park list can come in handy.
We hope this article inspires you to look homeward while planning your next getaway in New Zealand. It is packed with natural sites such as Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park, Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, Abel Tasman National Park to name a few. If cities are more your vibe, you can visit any of New Zealand’s Top Cities. No matter what you choose we are sure you won’t be disappointed.