New Zealand is a country of islands, comprising two main islands and numerous smaller islands which make up some of the remotest islands in the world. One of the top things to do in New Zealand is to visit the popular Bay of Islands, encompassing 144 undeveloped islands.
Turquoise waters lap at the shores of these islands which was where the European colonization of New Zealand began. It was on these islands that 43 Maori chiefs first signed the historic Treaty of Waitangi paving the way for a takeover of their lands. Today Bay of Islands is a big summertime destination, attracting water adventure enthusiasts to enjoy all that its waters have to offer.
Straddling the Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates, New Zealand is a land of surprisingly varied topography. The Southern Alps form the backbone of the South Island running about 500km down its length with its highest point Aoraki/Mount Cook rising to 3,742 meters. The area around this region known as Fiordland is characterized by stunning fiords popularly called ‘sounds.’ The most famous of these is the Milford Sound with the famed Mitre Peak (Rahotu) rising above its deep blue waters.
Some of the must-see places in New Zealand are in its National Parks. If the fiords of New Zealand’s largest national park are awe-inspiring, the smoldering volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park and the surrounding landscape will leave you mesmerized. Three volcanoes rise prominently in New Zealand’s first national park, drawing sighs of wonder from all those who visit. The indigenous Māori have a deep attachment to the area. They believe that the mountains were once strong warriors who fought among themselves to create the surrounding landscape.
New Zealand is big on adventure activities and where better to experience these adrenaline-pumping thrills than at Queenstown, the birthplace of bungy jumping. There’s a lot more to this playground than hair-raising thrills though. Urban New Zealand is as clean as its pristine surroundings with cities like Auckland and Wellington making it to the top of the lists of most liveable and cleanest cities in the world.
In New Zealand, the journey is as important as the destination, and whether it’s the scenic walking trails or the long drives there’s a lot to keep you mesmerized.