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New Zealand

With so much to see and do, it’s no surprise New Zealand is one of the world’s most sought after destinations. New Zealand combines stunning scenery with action and adventure, fine food and wine, and rich cultural immersion. ‘Kiwis’, as the locals are affectionately known, are keen travellers themselves and love welcoming fellow adventurers to the ‘land of the long white cloud’. Whether you’re an active senior, travelling with children, or a couple in search of romance, there is plenty to keep you (and the kids) entertained here. With easy-to-access towns and tours to suit every taste and budget, New Zealand has plenty of ‘don’t miss’ things to see and do. 

THINGS TO SEE AND DO 

Go jetboating in Queenstown
Learn about Maori culture
Ride the cable car in Wellington
Try bungee jumping (or not)
Visit one of the Sounds
Taste some local wine
See a Kiwi at least once
Relax in a hot spring
Hike in the wilderness
Visit Te Papa
Enjoy the scenery

NEW ZEALAND WEATHER

New Zealand’s climate can vary greatly between the north and the south. The higher you go, the warmer it gets. Down south the temperatures can drop to well below zero in winter. January and February are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year. Skiing is a popular pastime in winter. If you are heading to a town either on or near the ski fields, prices can be high at this time of year. Some roads are closed due to snow in winter so keep an eye on driving conditions. Summer is traditionally more affordable although the Australia and New Zealand school holidays can change this as New Zealand is a popular destination for families. Autumn offers fewer crowds as does spring, although you might get some rain at this time of year. 

TRAVEL TIPS

Book accommodation in advance, particularly in smaller towns, as the best and most affordable places fill up early. 

The cost of living in New Zealand is quite high so you’ll pay more for things like groceries, tours, meals, accommodation, etc. 

Travel distances look small on the map but you should allow extra time for winding roads and slowing down to drive through small towns.

New Zealand is made up of two islands. First time visitors may want to stick with one and come back to do the second on another trip. 

Wellington Cable Car

TRAVEL INSPIRATION 

  • The Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Lunch Cruise on the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship is one of Queenstown's most enjoyable excursions for travellers of all ages.

  • Peppers Beacon has a commanding view of the Remarkables mountain range and accommodation options ranging from hotel rooms to penthouse apartments.

  • Wellington is home to around 300 seals who live in a colony just outside the city. Here is my review of the Seal Coast Safari Tour in Wellington.

  • QT Museum Wellington is an iconic hotel that has always pushed the limits in design, hospitality and dining. Surround yourself with art at this funky hotel.

  • Learn about the best family hotels in Queenstown with kids, the best things to do in Queenstown with kids, the best family restaurants in Queenstown and more.

  • You could easily spend a week in the Wairarapa but this short and sweet itinerary offers a great way to spend 24 hours in Martinborough and Greytown.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.