New Zealand Hotels, Attractions & Travel Guide
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New Zealand Travel Guide
An overview of New Zealand - from major hotels, attactions and localities to climate and weather information.
New Zealand Attractions
New Zealand is one of the best places for sightseeing, exciting adventures, hiking and camping. Its lakes, beaches and rivers facilitate enjoyable activities like night and day boat cruising on the Bay of Islands, the Hauraki Gulf, Marlborough/Nelson and Fjordland, fresh and salt water kayaking in Marlborough Sounds and Waiheke Island, fishing, jet boating, rafting, sailing and surfing, parasailing and windsurfing and kite surfing. You will also enjoy abseiling and rappelling at the waterfalls in Egmont National Park, bungee jumping, canyoning, heliskiing in the alpine parks and winter sports on the active volcanic cone of Mount Ruapehu, the Southern Alps, The Remarkables, Cardrona, Treble Cone and Coronet Peak fields in Queenstown and Wanaka.
Challenging caving expeditions can be enjoyed in the Waitomo and Waikato regions, Nelson, Fiordland and on the West Coast in North Island. Cycling, hiking and mountaineering can be experienced all over the island while areas like Aoraki/Mount Cook are best suited for rock climbing. New Zealand also has sites for hunting, golfing and horse riding, as well as crazy exploits at the Canyon Swing.
New Zealand is home to some amazing national parks. These include the Bay of Islands in the North Island, the rugged topography of the Coromandel Peninsula, Taupo with its fishing adventures and the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park. There is also the beautiful Hawkes Bay with its hilly wineries and art deco architecture in Napier, Abel Tasman National Park and the golden beaches and the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, Westland National Park which is has the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park which is a hiker’s paradise. The lovely fjords of the Fiordland National Park are a must see.
In Hamilton city, you will see the romantic Hamilton Gardens and Zoo and the Waikato Museum and Stadium. The geothermal areas and host springs surrounding the volcanic areas are major attractions for eco tourists and relaxation seekers. Rotorua city has lovely geysers and hot pools as well as the interesting Maori culture. Queenstown has ever kind of extreme sport you can think of and is the liveliest of cities in South Island with summer and winter activities.
New Zealand’s capital is Wellington, a city with many museums, cultural sights and galleries as well as look out points like Mount Victoria and Mount Kaukau. The Cable Car Museum, the Carter Observatory and the Bolton Street Memorial Park along with the Red Rocks/ Seal Colony and the theatres are major highlights in the city. It also has the Te Papa National Museum, the Museum of Wellington City & Sea and the Karori Cemetery and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Auckland represents New Zealand’s largest cosmopolitan area with the spectacular waterfalls and beaches of the Waitakere Ranges, Rainbow's End theme park and places like the New Zealand National Maritime Museum, Auckland Zoo, the StarDome Observatory and the colourful Otara Flea Market. The city’s Parnell Historic Walk will take you to all the major sites. Other notable places in the country include the Elms Mission House in Tauranga, Cathedral Square in Canterbury, Dunedin’s heritage sites and historic Thames. The art culture and cuisine of Nelson should be explored.
In the lightly populated boondocks that lies between the main urban areas have several wonders like Jostedalsbreen, Europe's largest glacier.
New Zealand summer is filled with several exciting cultural events. These include Christmas lighting in December, TSB Bank Festival of Lights, Black Bar Open Air Cinema and Parihaka International Peace Festival, World Junior Surf Championships and the Auckland Seafood Festival. Also in that time is the Pinot Noir wine tasting event for four days, the New Zealand Fringe Festival, New Zealand International Festival of Arts and Auckland Lantern Festival along with the Marlborough Wine Festival. Other major events in the country include the French Festival Akaroa, the World Buskers Festival and the Seven Heavens spots fete.
New Zealand Weather
Due to it location in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand experiences summer from December to early April and winter from May to August. North Island experiences a sub-tropical climate while South Island has a temperate climate. Because of its oceanic location, the prevailing winds and mountains on the island, weather in New Zealand can be quite unpredictable. The eastern areas have a general hot, wet climate and when one side of the mountain has rainy conditions, the other side is usually dry and cool. Winter frequently sees a lot of cold fronts and snow in the mountainous areas. The driest city is Canterbury while Auckland is the wettest, both receiving many hours of sunlight daily.
New Zealand Hotels
New Zealand has a wide variety of hotels in the form of holiday homes and parks, hotels of the highest standard, backpackers, guest house and hostels and self contained and serviced apartments. Lakeside hotels like Blanket Bay in Glenorchy and Lake Taupo Lodge are among the stateliest accommodations in the country. There is also the Huka Lodge in Taupo, the Millbrook resort Hotel in Queenstown set amidst spectacular scenery and the Eichardt's Private Hotel in the same location. Lake Okareka Lodge in Rotorua, Kauri Cliffs in northland and the Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay are splendid five star resorts as well. In Auckland, the Hilton on the end of Prince’s Wharf stands out in elegance, style and comfort. The Wharekauhau Country Estate in Palliser Bay is one of the best boutique hotels in the country. The natural appeal of New Zealand is rarely eclipsed elsewhere in the world.
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