With the world of travel at a standstill for a good portion of this year, it was hard to imagine fulfilling our dreams of travelling to those bucket list destinations, but now that more stringent restrictions have been lifted, it feels more plausible that travel to those dreamy far-flung locations will be a likelihood someday soon.
One place that always seems to find its way onto our top ten lists of countries to visit is New Zealand, and for good reason. If you’re big on adventure, then New Zealand is certainly the right place for you. Having said that, wine lovers, film buffs, those in need of a serene getaway among some rather stunning landscapes and those who enjoy city breaks and culture will certainly appreciate what New Zealand provides too, so it’s safe to say that this country really is one of those that promises something for everyone.
New Zealand has been making the news for all the right reasons, with the government’s approach to Covid-19, so although you may want to hop on a plane next week and escape it all, you’re going to have to sit back and plan your trip for next year perhaps with current border restrictions in place. Safety of its citizens is paramount and anyone who has visited previously knows that this extends to its visitors too, but isn’t that just another reason to love this country?
Comprising the North Island and South Island as well as around 600 others, this south west Pacific Ocean dwelling country boasts a wide range of sights to see and experiences to immerse yourself in, so whatever type of traveller you are, or if you enjoy many types of travel then read on to discover why you should be planning a trip to this glorious country.
First of all, you’ll need to consider the task of getting there, and if you’re travelling from the UK, you will looking at an entire day worth of flight time, so you may want to break up your trip with a few days somewhere else en route.
There are many different combinations of flights you can take from anywhere in the world merging trips with the like of Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and more. With so very many options, you’ll want to head to The Champagne Mile for some honest reviews of some of these top airlines and their first class offerings before you go ahead and book the first option you find.
Now that the business of your journey is sorted, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the country for your different areas of interest.
For the adventurer
Glaciers, fjords, mountains and stunning lakes, with a terrain like this, the adventurer in you will be looking to book a trip as soon as physically possible and you will certainly want to pack your hiking boots so that you can get out and explore when you land. Try your hand at rafting, bungy-jumping, skydiving, caving, canyoning, climbing and more, because where else would you want to get adventurous in the great outdoors than New Zealand?
For the wine lover
From light and fruity Pinot Noir to refreshing Sauvignon Blancs, the wines of New Zealand are popular throughout the world and this is largely due to the climate enabling winemakers to create delicious drinks that are full of flavour. From thrilling helicopter rides over scenic vineyards to more relaxing tastings and food tours by electric bike or on foot, fans of wine will find a variety of ways to combine their passion for the drink with a top-notch day out. Marlborough, Martinborough and Hawke’s Bay are some of the top destinations to head to if you want to go to the heart of the more world-renowned reds and whites that regularly find their way into your wine fridge or cellar.
For the film buff
Heard of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films? We thought so. A trip to New Zealand just wouldn’t be right without heading to Hobbiton to see where Frodo and Bilbo reside. OK, we know they’re not real but when you set foot in the heart of Middle-earth it’ll be hard not to picture those famous characters wandering around the Shire. Director Peter Jackson brought the films to life with the impressive New Zealand scenery as the backdrop and there are plenty of places to soak up the atmosphere, whether in Wellington or out and about around the country.
For the culture vulture
Maori culture is integral to New Zealand’s identity with their history, traditions and language making up an important part of the country’s heritage. Whether you watch a carving, weaving demonstrations or learn of the fascinating tales by a Maori guide you will certainly learn a thing or two about what makes this county so special. Head to Northland, Auckland or Rotorua and visit a marae to best observe Maori culture.