New Zealand has its so-English greenness, breathtaking mountains and lakes, forests dominated by vividly plumaged birds, waterfalls and geysers.
Even if you have seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy you will only have touched the surface of Aotearoa – Land of the Long White Cloud, so named because as you approach New Zealand by sea the first sighting of the country is the dramatic snow-capped Southern Alps, which appear like a ‘long white cloud'. When travelling from one island to the other you may be forgiven for feeling that you have experienced two different parts of the world, as the diverse sequence of landscape is like no other country in the world. New Zealand lies on the southern rim of the Pacific Ocean, where a rich tapestry of Maori, Polynesian and European influences has created a wonderful blend of cultures.
Northland and the Bay of Islands
This is where it all began, the birthplace of the Nation and cradle of the country, which is steeped in historical association. This is a region over-endowed with pristine beaches, rugged headlands, dense Kauri forests and enchanting deserted islands, dotted through the sheltered turquoise waters.
Auckland, the country's largest city, has an enviable harbour setting over which spans the stunning harbour bridge linking the cosmopolitan downtown area to the north shore. This is the 'City of Sails', where the three 'b's', boats, beaches and barbecues, conjure up an enviable aquatic lifestyle and where time can be spent watching the crystal clear waters as the yachts display their colourful spinnakers. Wellington lies at the southern most tip of the north island where the blue bowl of its natural harbour and the bush-clad hillside makes this a perfect setting for the nation's sophisticated capital. Soaring glass skyscrapers glisten in the first light of morning before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. This is the political and financial heart of the country and gateway to the south island.
The Natural Elements
Magical lakes teeming with brown and rainbow trout can be found in Rotorua and Taupo, the latter covering an area of 230 square miles and thought to have been created by one of the largest volcanic eruptions on earth. The sacred peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu combine to create the Tongariro National Park, formed only 15 years after Yellowstone in the USA, the first National Park in the world. Soaring geysers, bubbling mud pools, tinted silica terraces and mineral spas can all be found in this geo-thermal wonderland of the north island.
A Flavour of the Cities
Christchurch is a very English garden city full of charm, bedecked with blossoming flowers whilst the gently flowing Avon River gives rise to a quiet and relaxing way of life. The undulating Port Hills give magnificent views over the city and Southern Alps where extensive walking tracks can be found and beyond these on the Banks Peninsula, a real gem can be found in Akaroa, which still has a distinct style of a former French settlement.
Dunedin has an elegant and convivial atmosphere. This compact city with its fine Victorian and Edwardian architecture and striking stone structured railway station is favourably enhanced by its proud historical traditions and strong Scottish influence.
National Parks and Coastal Features
The overwhelming beauty of the west coast, a UNESCO World Heritage area, with its rugged alpine peaks mantled by thick blankets of snow, a colossus of tumbling glaciers and dramatic coastline leads to the Southern Alps and some of the most impressive and rewarding scenery the country has to offer. Absorb the splendour of the lakeside towns of Wanaka and Te Anau before seeing the natural paradise of the Fiordland National Park with its tangled labyrinth of rainforest, still largely unexplored. Stunning isolated beaches, fascinating wildlife and interesting geological features all make this an island of ineffable charm
source by www.titanhitours.co.uk