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  • The most spectacular destinations in New Zealand

    Tongariro National Park, photo by Andrew Parnell

    Aotearoa, the ‘the land of the long white cloud’, is quite possibly one of the most stunning places on the planet, or at least that’s what anyone who has ever visited it will tell you.

    It’s not only the country’s astounding natural beauty that makes people say that – it’s also the warmth of the people, the richness of Maori culture and the fact that wherever you are, adventure is never far from your reach.

    New Zealand is a destination where you can enjoy solitude if that’s what you want (the islands are very sparsely populated), yet the major urban centers are full of life and a fun-loving attitude. If you’re ready for one of the most unforgettable travel experiences in your life, here are some of the most spectacular travel destinations in New Zealand.

    Rotorua

    The thermal spring hotspot of New Zealand is one of the busiest tourist magnets in New Zealand. The city itself has quite a few attractions of its own (city museums, parks), but it’s the natural sights nearby that make Rotorua a truly amazing destination. The geysers spouting scalding water and sometimes mud are quite a sight, the lakes are nothing if not scenic and there are scores of other things to see: Okere Falls, Whakarewarewa Valley, the buried villages and more.

    Coromandel Peninsula

    Coromandel Peninsula, photo by Allan Lee

    This bit of the North Island is one of the most fabulous places in New Zealand, laden with natural eye-candy. The beaches of Coromandel Peninsula are famous for their white sand, there’s plenty of craggy coastline for hiking and some very scenic small towns in the area, rich in history and culture.

    Many of the peninsula’s settlements have plenty of arts and crafts shops and ateliers, and you can even follow an arts and crafts trail from one end of the peninsula to the other.

    Waipoua Forest

    New Zealand is a remote place, so there is plenty of flora and fauna that is unique to the islands. One of the most unique species is the kauri tree, one of the largest trees on the planet, few of which remain (unfortunately, New Zealand is no stranger to overlogging). Waipoua Forest is one of the places where such trees can still be found – it’s a great place for a long walk, camping or hiking.

    Christchurch

    Christchurch, photo by edwin.11 on Flickr

    Parts of Christchurch look so British that you might imagine for a moment that you’re somewhere in a large-ish UK city with a considerable historical center.

    Christchurch has some very nice Victorian architecture, but it’s main feature is the huge number of parks (if you look at the suburbs from above, they seem like patches of forests because of the many trees). There are several interesting museums in Christchurch, and of course, great parks with lots of activities.

    Tongariro National Park

    Tongariro is a World Heritage Site, and even among New Zealand’s countless awe-inspiring natural spots, it is among the most fascinating. The Blue Lake and the Emerald Lakes are one of the most interesting features of the park, along with the three active volcanoes, and landscape that might be familiar for those who have watched The Lord of the Rings.

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    Comments on The most spectacular destinations in New Zealand

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    Jen TgAvatar
    Jen wrote on January 16, 2012:

    I think you may find that alot of the british style buildings have actually been destroyed in a series of earthquakes over the last few years…

     
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