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What to see in New Zealand

New Zealand Attractions

There is so much to see and do in New Zealand that it is difficult to know where to start. This is, after all, the self-styled 'adventure capital of the world', where willing participants can bungee jump, zorb and sky dive to their heart's content in outdoor playgrounds such as Queensland or Wanaka.

The natural landscape in New Zealand is astonishing. Visitors can take in the pristine fjord of Milford Sound, or get lost in the turquoise waters of the Bay of Islands. Highlights of the Hauraki Gulf islands near Auckland include Waiheke, famous for its wine, and the volcanic Rangitoto. The three mighty volcanoes of Tongariro National Park are awesome for skiing and trekking, enjoying dual UNESCO status for volcanic landscape and cultural importance.

The rugged and uninhabited West Coast, framed by the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea, is home to stunning natural features such as the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Not to be missed in this region is the TranzAlpine train, one of the world's great railway journeys, traversing the Southern Alps and passing through Arthur's Pass National Park as it makes its way from Greymouth to Christchurch.

The cities offer an entirely different experience. Auckland, known to the Maori people as 'Tamaki Makaurau' (city of many lovers), is renowned as one of the top cities in the world for quality of life. Wellington, the capital, is small but with a big city feel. Here, visitors can enjoy the culture, caffeine and, of course, the craft beer. Otago's rolling hills are home to some top wine producers.

New Zealand is also developing other sides to its tourist offering with a burgeoning wine industry, fascinating Maori culture, restorative thermal pools and natural spas, and plenty of tours themed around The Lord of the Rings, which was filmed at locations around the country.

Auckland Sky Tower

At 1,076 feet (328m), Auckland's Sky Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere and has unforgettable views over the city, the harbour and the gulf islands. It is part of…

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Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is famous for its beautiful coastal scenery. Interspersed with numerous little coves, inlets and sandy beaches, the historical townships of Paihia, Waitangi and Russell…

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Christchurch Gondola

The spectacular ride takes visitors to the top of the crater rim of Christchurch's extinct volcano on the outskirts of the city, unfolding magnificent views over the Canterbury Plains and…

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Fjordland National Park

Hemmed in by towering granite cliffs and dominated by Mitre Peak, the calm deep waters reflect ice-covered mountain tops, waterfalls plummet from the cliff tops to the water below, and Bottlenose…

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Great Barrier Island

Situated 62 miles (100km) off the coast of northeast New Zealand, Great Barrier Island is a paradise of unspoiled wilderness and beautiful vistas. The bulk of the island has been given over…

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Hauraki Gulf Islands

The Hauraki Gulf is studded with numerous islands, some recreation retreats and others conservation islands with restricted access for the protection of rare bird, animal, and plant life.…

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Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook National Park is known for its exquisite alpine beauty and is home to the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook. Its Maori name, 'Aoraki' means 'cloud piercer' and at 12,218 feet (3,724m)…

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Te Papa Museum

Te Papa is Wellington's leading attraction and one of the world's largest national museums. It is a tribute to all that is New Zealand; its people and history, natural environment, arts,…

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The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

Nowhere else in the world, outside the polar regions, can one see glaciers so close to the sea. The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers extend more than eight miles (13km) from the highest peaks of precipitous…

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Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Reserve

Wai-O-Tapu, meaning 'Sacred Waters', is a diverse and colourful geothermal sightseeing experience. The area has been active for more than 100,000 years and features thick pools of boiling mud that…

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