Aotearoa or Land of the Long White Cloud as Maori named it, lying southeast of Australia, is a country of rare beauty. Its isolation made it a home to many endemic species, and its abundant forests, long deserted beaches, amazing geysers, deep lakes and glacial mountains leave an impression that never fades away, and people seem to come back over and over again.
New Zealand offers so many activities and attractions that the tourists are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking just some of them. For those into outdoor activities, there are fishing, hiking through bush, glacier walking, swimming with dolphins, whale watching and visiting national parks such as Paparoa, Te Urewera, Westland, Mount Cook and Tongariro and Fiordland, which are World Heritage Sites. Another interesting site is Craters of the Moon made by volcano, near Taupo River . There are also canyoning, bungee jumping, kayaking, rafting and heliskiing for those most adventurous.
Great examples of Maori art can be found in the Arts and Craft Institute in Rotorua and at the Kaitaia Arts and Craft Centre in Northland. In the region of Rotorua in the North Island and in Nga Hau e Wha in Christchurch tourists can experience Maori kai (food) or enjoy a Maori powhiri (welcome ceremony).
The cities of Wellington, which is the capital, Auckand - New Zealand's biggest city, Christchurch – looking very much like some English city with Victorian buildings and Dunedin with its Octogon Square - all offer soaking up some of the New Zealander culture, by visiting museums or simply by interacting with inhabitants and enjoying nightlife.
Lovers of award-winning wines and gourmet products will enjoy their stay in Wairarapa, Nelson, Gisborne, Marlborough or Hawke's Bay.
The most common way to get to the New Zealand is by flying. Flying is good idea even for getting around, although it's very easy to travel by bus or train. Renting a car is recommended as well; the roads are well signposted. Cycling is also great, New Zealand is often described as a cyclists' paradise.
There's no particular season to avoid traveling to New Zealand , although the warmer months, from November to April, may be busier. Wind, ranging from a breeze to a gale in winter, blows throughout the whole year. Southern Alps act like a barrier for the moisture-laden winds from the sea, making the west wet and the east dry. North Island 's rainfall is more evenly distributed. South Island is a bit cooler. Winter falls from June throughout August and summer from December throughout February.
There are festivals most tourists enjoy: Summer City Programme - in Wellington from January to February, Wine Marlborough Festival – second weekend in February, in Blenheim, and New Zealand Festival – in Wellington in February, even-numbered years only.
Read more about New Zealand.