One of the few destinations across the globe to boast such a spectacular contrast of natural wonders in such a small country, it’s no surprise that visiting New Zealand ranks so highly on so many travellers bucket-lists. Consisting of 29 regions split over two idyllic islands, each one possesses unique characteristics that make it a dream destination for holidaymakers and travellers alike. Whether it’s the breath-taking scenery or the once-in-a-lifetime experiences, New Zealand has something to appeal to every age and every interest.
Below are some of the most popular destinations to visit so you can discover first hand why so many people fall head over heels in love with the county.
The first destination in our New Zealand travel guide is the highest bungy jump - the Nevis Bungy. Definitely not one for the faint hearted, the bungy platform is suspended a whopping 134m above the River Nevis, where you will encounter an 8.5 freefall drop before springing back up to the relief of having both feet back on the ground. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for thrill seekers looking for their next adrenaline rush. Once you conquer the Nevis Bungy, you officially earn lifetime bragging rights!
The next stop in our New Zealand travel guide is Matamata. The spectacular, dramatic scenery in New Zealand makes it no surprise that over 150 locations around the country were used to film the enchanting Lord of the Rings trilogy. An absolute must-visit for fans of the films, the village of Hobbiton and the tranquil region of the Shire was created amongst the rolling fields and peaceful farming landscapes in the rural town of Matamata. Take the official movie set tour and see more than 40 hobbit holes including Bilbo’s House, all whilst listening to a captivating commentary from your guide of the history of the set and how it was created.
A true hidden gem, Kairkoura easily makes it on to our New Zealand travel guide. Kairkoura is a small seaside town which has been considered to be one of the best whale watching locations in the country. Unlike other places across the region, you are almost certain to spot Giant Sperm Whales, who can grow up to 20m long! For the best experience, plan your trip around the season- in winter you have the chance of seeing Humpbacks feeding up to 50m from the shore and take some incredible photos of them ‘fin-slapping’ and ‘spy-hopping’. Other marine life that inhabit Kairkoura includes Bottlenose dolphins, Royal Albatross and New Zealand Fur Seals.
New Zealand's tallest mountain is the breath-taking Aoraki Mount Cook. The summit is a staggering 12,218-foot-high, and its statuesque peak means that it is easily identified and can been admired from miles around. There are numerous guided tours which range in ability if you want to take on the challenge of climbing the mountain. Don’t fancy hiking? Experience the incredible National Park from the luxury of a helicopter tour!
The last destination in our New Zealand travel guide is the perfect pit-stop on your journey; Rotorua. Known as the ‘heartland of Maori culture’, previous natural activity in Rotura has transformed the craters of extinct volcanoes into a geothermal wonderland. With a plethora of bubbling geysers, relaxing mud pools, and natural hot springs, it is your opportunity to experience nature at its finest. Whether you take advantage of the free hot springs or pay a visit to one of the thermal parks, sit back, relax, and take in the extraordinary views and the healing properties of the crystal clear mineral water.
When putting together your itinerary for your New Zealand adventure, remember to include booking into one of our Aspire Lounges! Enjoy the comfortable setting of our premium lounge before you set off on a trip of a lifetime.