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Awe-struck travellers have described NZ as journeying to the end of the world. It's easy to see why New Zealand was chosen as backdrop to portray the magical fantasyland of Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit series (the movie set tours are a hugely popular tourist draw on the South Island.)
New Zealand's unique and rugged beauty is a dreamland for nature enthusiasts, famous the world over for its distinct rock formations, rolling hills, pristine lakes, picturesque fjords, stunning glaciers, geothermal springs and beautiful beaches. NZ is also a mecca for adventure addicts. The birthplace of bungee jumping and Zorbing, there are plenty of activities to get the adrenaline pumping, all set to a background of mind-blowing geography.
The North Island is where the cosmopolitan cities of Auckland and Wellington are located, the latter being the most southerly capital city in the world. NZ's third largest city, Christchurch, is in the South Island, which is also home to Queenstown, a beloved tourist destination because of its range of adventurous activities and relaxing resorts. 76 percent of NZ's population resides in the North Island, with Auckland having the highest concentration. The country is a fascinating mix of British culture (it is a commonwealth country after all and was settled by the Brits) and Maori, the indigenous Polynesian people. Be sure to have a pub pint and pie as well as take in a hypnotic and highly entertaining Maori show, replete with crowd-pleasing haka warrior performance.
While NZ is known for its rugged wilderness, it is also renowned for its refined wineries. NZ produces what many oenophiles deem to be the world's best Sauvignon Blancs. The wine culture goes hand-in-hand with NZ's foodie scene, from its famous lamb dishes to cutting-edge fare found in urban centres (thousands of kilometres from Canada, homesick Canucks can even find poutine amongst NZ's culinary hot spots!)
We suggest renting a campervan for independent and economic travel around this magical country, or a guided tour that focuses on a particular interest or encompasses many. Make like a Kiwi and say "Kia Ora" to New Zealand!