New Zealand is one of the wildest, most remote, and most beautiful spots on Planet Earth. Dramatic mountainous islands covered in snow and ice that give way to lush rainforests, magnificent coastlines, and exquisite beaches make it an eye-catching place to visit. Here are six of the best ways to explore this stunning country on the far side of the world.
Tramping in the wild
In a landscape as dramatic and beautiful as New Zealand’s, it is no surprise that walking through the countryside is one of the best experiences you can have. Hiking, or ‘tramping’ across the cloud-covered uplands of the Crossing, around the beautiful shores of Lake Waikaremoana under the shade of the lush jungle canopy, or through the wilderness of New Zealand’s wild West Coast on the Paparoa Track, is an amazing thing to do.
A Pacific cruise
Taking a cruise to New Zealand kills two birds with one stone. It offers a comfortable, elegant, and luxurious way to travel to the far side of the world, allowing you to enjoy the journey almost as much as the destination, while simultaneously providing an out-of-this-world experience when you finally get there. Seeing the islands from the sea is one of the best ways to experience this majestic country, so a cruise is a perfect way to do it.
Sailing in the Bay of Islands
New Zealand is full of beautiful spots, and one of the most attractive things about this country is how few are difficult to access or restricted. In most other parts of the world, the remarkable scenery of the Bay of Islands – all pristine beaches, tiny bays, and peaceful islets – would be a private spot, accessible only to a select few. But in New Zealand, this little corner of heaven is open to all! Touring the Bay by sailboat lets you live an opulent, luxury lifestyle for a day, and is one of the great New Zealand travel experiences.
Milford Sound by kayak
Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most iconic destinations, a breathtaking landscape of mountain ranges, powerful cascades, and natural beauty. Described by Rudyard Kipling as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ it is a truly awe-inspiring spot, and best experienced from the water, ideally by kayak. You’ll get up close to the fascinating creatures that call the Sound home, like Hector’s, Māui, and bottlenose dolphins, and you can even get a panoramic view below the waves at the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory without getting wet!
Cycling on Stewart
Stewart Island is New Zealand’s lesser-known third island, a haven of protected nature reserve (in the form of Rakiura National Park), rough trails, and almost no inhabitants. Only 400 people live here permanently, which makes it a special place to explore by bike, as you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself! The most exciting attraction of Stewart Island is the chance to see the iconic New Zealand kiwi in the wild, while the opportunity to view the less famous but no less beautiful Southern Lights is a treat as well.
From the Tasman to the Pacific by train
The TranzAlpine Railway is quite possibly the most majestic and jaw-droppingly beautiful train journey on Earth. Stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea, this spectacular rail trip lasts around 5 hours and offers up an amazing blend of the Canterbury Plains, dizzying viaducts, glorious mountain ranges (including Arthur’s Pass), and long, impressive sub-alpine tunnels. On reaching Greymouth you just might want to hop back on the train and do the entire journey again, in reverse!
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