Comprised of two islands, New Zealand is regarded by many as one of the world’s most beautiful destinations, with dramatic mountain landscapes, glimmering lakes and white-sand beaches. Not only does it feature hidden wonders including mythical hobbit holes, but the country boasts sophisticated cities, world-renowned wineries, fascinating Maori culture and award-winning luxury lodges.
Known in Maori as ‘Aotearoa’, often translated as ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’, New Zealand differs from neighbouring Australia in that its attractions are easily accessible due to the nation’s compact size. Similar to the United Kingdom in landmass, New Zealand has just one-fourteenth of the population, mostly residing in and around the North Island capital of Auckland, so visitors enjoy much of the country to themselves. Both islands have a network of excellent roads and well-maintained facilities, making the country ideal for self-driving holidays.
New Zealand’s stunning landscapes, pristine forests and array of adventure-based activities from bungy jumping to skiing make it ideal for lovers of the outdoors. Hiking and cycling trails abound, helicopter tours offering bird’s-eye views of the awe-inspiring scenery are a must, whilst the South Island town of Queenstown is often referred to as the Adventure Capital of the World.