Top 5 Destinations in New Zealand
Our pick #1
As the largest city on the South Island, Christchurch is the gateway to the undeniably attractive Canterbury Region. Like many of New Zealand's cities, Christchurch enjoys a highly scenic location with snow-capped mountains off in the distance and the ocean to the east. It's also the country's most historic city and home to many old buildings including grand cathedrals and charming colonial houses. The earthquake of 2011 caused widespread damage across the historic centre and today Christchurch's story is one of renewal and urban regeneration with modern cafes, restaurants, public spaces and office blocks popping up all over the city.
Our pick #2
The capital of New Zealand is a vibrant city home to a creative culture and a burgeoning gastronomy scene. It may be on the small side but that doesn't stop Wellington from delivering a big punch with excellent museums and galleries, an unbelievable choice of restaurants and cafes, and plenty of natural beauty to boot. These good looks are all thanks to Wellington's location at the south-western tip of the North Island, squeezed between a glittering harbour on the Cook Strait and the verdant hills of the Rimutaka Range. The best way to appreciate Wellington in all its glory is to head to the top of Mount Victoria for spectacular panoramic views.
Our pick #3
To visit Rotorua is to step back into the time of the dinosaurs. This extraordinary geothermal region is famous for its erupting geysers, soothing thermal springs and bubbling hot mud pools with scenery reminiscent of Jurassic Park. It's one of New Zealand's most popular destinations and one of the Maori culture's most revered. And that's another huge drawcard. Over a third of Rotorua's population is Maori and here visitors can immerse themselves in cultural performances, enjoy a traditional hangi dinner and take a historical tour of a living Maori village.
Our pick #4
The four season lake and alpine resort of Queenstown is New Zealand's premier adrenaline and adventure capital. Sat beside the jaw-droppingly beautiful Lake Wakatipu in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island, it's Queenstown's natural bounty that has given rise to all manner of thrilling activities, from skydiving to snowboarding, ziplining to white water rafting. Surrounding Queenstown is the majestic Remarkables mountain range and a number of other small lakes, which also makes it prime hiking territory with trails to suit all levels of ability and time allowances.
Our pick #5
New Zealand's largest city is one of the country's most modern. Yet despite the very urban environment of the city, you're never far from the great outdoors in Auckland. Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, lush hills, volcanic peaks and two dramatically scenic natural harbours, Auckland is certainly not short on outdoor adventure. Urbanites, however, will find plenty to keep them entertained in the city centre and the attractive waterfront, from art galleries to literary trails, performing arts to fine cuisine. Then there's the Sky Tower, the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and a superb spot for panoramic views or something a bit more adrenaline-pumping like the popular SkyJump.