New Zealand, or Aotearoa in Maori, has become a popular holiday destination. The upper region of the country is known as the North Island. Here, travellers find a wealth of diverse terrain that includes everything from scenic beaches and fascinating caves to the peaks of mountains and volcanoes. North Island highlights also include the metropolis of Auckland.
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland has all of the large city amenities that you would expect to find. There are a wealth of diverse dining opportunities. Shopping choices are also in abundance. But, North Island highlights in the metropolis include the Auckland Museum and the Auckland Zoo.
The museum is recognized for having the most extensive collection of Maori and Pacific items that provide a glimpse into the history and culture of the people. The zoo and gardens stand on more than 16 hectares. The facility cares for approximately 126 species of more than 1,000 birds, mammals and reptiles.
Nature and wildlife tours abound in the Auckland area. Join a cruise and go whale watching. See a pod of dolphins playing in local waters.
Lord of the Rings Adventures
Throughout New Zealand are 150 picturesque locations used for filming Middle Earth in the “Lord of the Rings” movies. Visiting each destination remains one of the most popular reasons why guests come to the country. The Hobbit village was created on a local sheep farm and remains standing to this day. The online travel guide provides extensive information concerning tours of the village. Guests are taken to the location to tour each of the homes and other buildings made famous in the movies.
Travelers desiring to learn more about native culture and heritage, follow our online travel guide to Rotorua, which is another of the many North Island highlights. Visit a historic Maori village, indulge in a traditional feast and witness a cultural presentation. The Maori welcomes guests and are more than happy to share their history and heritage with guests. While in the area, explore the boiling mud pools, geysers and volcanic craters that commonly play a vital role in the daily lives of the people.
Outdoor adventure seekers make a point of trekking to Waitomo for the chance to explore the cave system found there. Tours are offered on foot or by boat into the recesses of the caverns where guests are privy to viewing the amazing natural formations, waterways and creatures that live in the darkness. Or go whitewater rafting or skydiving while taking in the beautiful landscape. Biking and hiking tours are also available.
Outdoor enthusiasts find a number of stunning locations in Taranaki. Take the 5.3-kilometer trek to see the spectacular Taranaki Falls. Experienced climbers accept the challenge of scaling the 2,518-meters to reach the summit of Mount Taranaki. At the top of the inactive volcano, climbers are rewarded with commanding views over the area. When desiring peace and relaxation, consider a stroll through scenic Pukekura Park. The 52-hectare location is considered the premier botanical garden in the country.