New Zealand is replete with incredible scenery. In fact every aspect of the country is beautiful – from the lush forests, jagged mountains and breathtaking beaches to the serenity of New Zealand’s pristine lakes and the awe-inspiring Fiords found in the Fiordland national park – a tour to New Zealand is unforgettable.
One of our favourite things in New Zealand is the sheer breadth of the scenery – we love to walk through the nine ‘great walks’ of New Zealand especially Heaphy Track and Lake Waikaremoana and end the day with a plate of some of the finest Maori food available. The country is of course well known for its Craft beers but the coffee is certainly the star – and you’ll be surprised at the booming coffee culture seen in Auckland through to Queensland.
Time difference: GMT +12 Hours
Flight time: Approx 23 hours
Visa Required:British passport holders can enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to 6 months on arrival without a visa, provided you can satisfy an Immigration Officer that you meet the requirements of the immigration rules
Currency: New Zealand dollar
Tel Code: +64
Population: 4.471 million (approx)
Official Language: Māori, New Zealand Sign Language
Recommended Airlines:.Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Emirates, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Cathay pacific, British Airways.
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When to go
Best Better Good – Not recommended
We suggest that you allow at least a week or two to explore New Zealand and if you can, 4 weeks would be ideal. The country packs an awful lot into a small space, and though it might be tempting to try and see as much as possible in a short time as you can – New Zealand is best travelled at a slow pace, taking in the scenery and experiencing the culture. We suggest you start your journey in Aukland on the islands of the Hauraki Gulf and then head east to the Coromandel Peninsula and stop off at the sleepy beach towns of the Bay of Plenty before taking a dip in one of Rotorua’s astounding geothermal baths. Wine aficionados should sample the wines of Hawke’s Bay wine country, which surrounds the Art Deco city of Napier. The capital Wellington has a splendid harbour filled with yachts and chic harbour side restaurants, and the hills that surround the city are lush with trees and impressive villas. When you make your way to the south island, we suggest starting at either Marlborough or Nelson, before moving onwards to the Nelson Lakes National Park and to Christchurch and Queenstown.
There are plenty of festivals to take advantage of in New Zealand – for a little colour try the Festival of Flowers in Christchurch or for something a little more upbeat try the Deco
Decanted Jazz Festival in Napier which takes place in June.
Points to ponder
Tipping in New Zealand is neither customary nor required, though for exceptional service by either your waiter in a restaurant or a concierge in a hotel – we suggest a tip of at least 10% of your bill or $10 – $15 for an exceptional concierge service.
When eating with Maori you should be aware that many are devout Christians and will say a blessing before each meal – so don’t start eating before the blessing has been said. The ritual of hongi is very similar to a hug. Generally speaking, the hongi will follow a handshake and see two people lean slowly forward and gently press their noses against each other. It can be unnerving for those who have never done it – but remember that it is a sign of respect, affection and trust. If you see a sign with the word ‘tapu’ remember that this means ‘sacred’ or ‘forbidden’ and is basically a sign to warn people from walking on sacred ground or touching treasured items.
- Taranaki & New Plymouth