New Zealand has been our home for a number years now. Aotearoa, the 'land of the long white cloud' is a spectacular place, offering a large range of activities for travellers of all ages. There is much more to Middle-earth than hobbits and orcs.
Active volcanoes, geothermal activity, tropical rainforests, glaciers, miles of empty golden beaches, crazy looking wildlife, ski fields, world class surf, challenging mountains, and world-beating wines. What’s not to love about this beautiful country?
With a land mass almost 10% bigger than the UK but with a population 14 times smaller (4.5 million versus 65 million), for the most part you get New Zealand to yourself.
- Maoris are thought to have first landed in New Zealand some 1,000 years ago. Travelling across the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii. Visiting the Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua can be quite an experience.*
- New Zealanders (Kiwi’s) have one of the highest life expectancy rates, 82.3 years for females and 78.3 years for males. See, all that fresh air is good for you.*
- It’s true that there are more sheep than people in NZ, almost 7 times as many. You can even try your hand at virtual sheep shearing at Te Papa museum in Wellington.*
- NZ may be small but Kiwis pack a punch when it comes to the sporting field, with more Olympic gold medals per capita than any other country. And where do we begin when it comes to the All Blacks (national rugby team)? Watching the All Blacks perform the haka live should be on everyone’s bucket list. It sends shivers down your spine.*
When to Go
The best time to visit New Zealand really depends on your interests. The end of summer, February to April are normally pretty quiet given the schools and colleges have returned and the weather is settled and usually fine.
For the ski buffs, the first snow fall normally happens around June for both the North and South Islands, with skiing still possible in September/October in the South Island.
Winter in Auckland and the top half of the North Island is normally quite mild, plenty of blue sky crisp days. The South Island tends to have more snow and is likely to see four seasons in one day.
- The first part of our six week journey around New Zealand: Road tripping around New Zealand in a 1975 Volkswagen Kombi
- The second part of our six week journey around New Zealand: New Zealand Road Trip Part 2