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New Zealand: A guide to the best places for your vacation

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By Edited Dec 20, 2013 0 0

Introduction

The Land of the Long White Cloud is what many people refer to New Zealand and was translated from the Maori word Aotearoa. People coming here on their vacations will have a lot of choice which can sometimes be rather confusing for visitors.

Here are some of the places which are a great option for people on vacation.

I will categorize them to help people who either like;

  • A relaxing vacation
  • An adrenaline vacation
  • Or something with a mixture of both

When I refer to ‘nightlife’ below, I actually mean the place is good for restaurants and bars, as well as nightclubs.

Map of NZ

The North Island

Rotorua

Location Type: Mixture of hot spas and fun nightlife.

Rotorua is a thriving tourist destination set within a volcanic region. Because of this, there are a lot of hot springs which visitors can enjoy.

After a relaxing day at a hot spring, vacationers can pick from a large range of restaurants, bars and clubs.

It is also a great place to get to know the Maori culture with various shows around the place.

Auckland

Location Type: Lots of fun activities and nightlife.

This is the largest and busiest place in New Zealand. I usually strongly dislike large cities (I am more of a country lad) but I actually liked Auckland when I visited as it wasn’t completely a concrete jungle.

There are lots of things to do there for all the family. I recommend a visit to the Sky Tower and for those who like adrenaline activities, try the tower walk or jump.

The Far North

Location Type: Tropical relaxation.

This is the region located north of the city of Auckland. It has a tropical climate and usually is the hottest part of NZ.

Don’t expect lots of classy towns and cities there; it is a very relaxed place. It is a great place for people who like walks, beaches and lovely views.

Coromandel

Location Type: Mostly relaxation, great beaches.

This is another chilled out place and has some amazing beaches. Again, this isn’t the place for trendy people wanting top end restaurants and nightclubs. But there is plenty to do here on the land and sea including scuba diving and cave walking.

Taupo

Location Type: Frantic water fun and nightlife.

Taupo is a very busy place, especially for younger people. It is set around a large lake which is used for all kinds of tourist activities.

It was a little too busy when I visited there but I still had a good time.

There was also a cool golf range on the side of the lake where you try to land the ball on an island in the lake to receive a prize.

Wellington

Location Type: Windy but fun city with lots of nightlife.

Of all the major cities of New Zealand, I think I like Wellington the most. It is quite a small city with lots of green in between the building and the surrounding areas.

There are lots of things to do here including the Wellington Cable Car which I enjoyed as it gives a good view point over most of the city. Try to use it on a good day as there is a nice garden at the top.

One of the Lovely Views in NZ - Milford Sounds

Milford Sounds
Credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/New_Zealand_g246-Milford_Sound_New_Z_p41175.html

The South Island

Kaikoura

Location Type: Relaxation and fantastic water activities.

This is a very chilled out place set on the coast. It is quite small but there are loads of water activities you can enjoy such as cruises, snorkeling and whale watching.

I found that the seafood was particularly good; the crayfish is quite famous.

The Catlins

Location Type: Great mixture with relaxation and adventure activities.

This is a lovely place with lots of nature, both in regards to the scenery and wildlife. It has a mixture of forests, rivers, rugged coastlines, waterfalls and beaches.

So it’s a great place for people who want to relax but also offers all sorts of adventure activities such as horse riding, kayaking, surfing and cave walks.

Milford Sounds

Location Type: Mostly cruise based relaxation.

I have mixed feelings about Milford Sounds. It is quite busy and a very long journey for a day if you use the most common method of viewing it; via a cruise. But on the other hand the long journey is very much worth it with some amazing views of the fiords, hills and waterfalls.

Even for people who don’t really like crowded tourist places, I still do recommend this place. Just get through the busy parts and you should be happy once you finally reach the boat.

Queenstown

Location Type: The adrenaline place to be.

My last location is for those people who love adrenaline! There is a huge number of heart pumping activities to enjoy from giant swings and bungee jumps to sky diving and white water rafting.

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