Lace up your hiking boots and explore New Zealand's natural beauty.
The Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand is known for Maori culture, lush-valley-and-gentle-hill-filled landscapes made famous by the "Lord of the Rings" films and dramatic glacial mountain peaks. Cruise to New Zealand and head to the World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park, home to the mighty fjords of Milford Sound. Ever imagined setting foot on tundra? Check out Franz Josef and Foz Glaciers on the South Island, two of the world's most accessible glaciers. Get your fix of urban culture in windy Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch. Adrenaline junkies will want to make a beeline for Queenstown on Lake Wakatipu's shores, where you have access to ski resorts, bungee jumping and jet boating.
Lace up your hiking boots and explore the natural beauty
Sightsee your way through New Zealand's best-known sites and cities. "Lord of the Rings" lovers, appreciators of the arts and culinary enthusiasts won't be disappointed.
Hilly and windy Welly is New Zealand's capital city. It's home to a scenic hillside tram, a collection of indigenous art and artifacts at the Te Papa Museum and an up-and-coming food scene, exclusive cocktail bars tucked next to modernist, high-end spots serving inspired takes on local ingredients.
New Zealand's largest city, Auckland is home to two harbors, black and white sand beaches, hiking trails and the iconic Sky Tower. Head to the top for the best views during your vacation.
Follow in Frodo's footsteps and check out Hobbiton in Matamata — check out the recreation of the hobbit's houses nestled in the rolling green hills (watch your head!). Cruise to New Zealand to kayak past unique cliff structures at popular Cathedral Cove, where the Chronicles of Narnia were filmed.
Although summer is the best time to visit New Zealand in terms of warm weather, it's also the busiest season for domestic and international visitors. This means less accommodation options and higher prices. The shoulder season of autumn is a better option, as you have the bonus of falling leaves, while spring is known for its unstable and windy conditions.
If hiking is on the agenda, remember to pack quality hiking boots and layers, as some of the Great Walks have notoriously temperamental weather. A waterproof and windproof jacket will save you while cruising around New Zealand, particularly in the cooler months.
Like its neighbor Australia, New Zealand's national cuisine has British, Mediterranean and South Pacific influences. But it has developed its own sweet tooth, with a long list of cookies, candy and cakes that locals love.
Satiate yourself on Bluff oysters, thought by many connoisseurs to be the world's best. Or try the country's British-inspired favorite, crisp-fried fish and chips with plenty of malt vinegar to cut through the richness. Top that off with savory whitebait fritters and green-lipped mussels in curry sauce with crusty bread.