Top 5 Regions to Visit!
Hawke’s Bay is a region on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s known for its beaches and wineries. Examples of the region’s art deco architecture include the Daily Telegraph Building and Municipal Theatre in Napier, and the Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings. Napier’s National Aquarium of New Zealand has a viewing tunnel for marine life, and shelters endangered local species like kiwis and tuataras.
The Northland is a forested, subtropical region on New Zealand's North Island, framed by the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. The Bay of Islands is studded with sheltered beaches, wineries and colonial-era towns like Russell. It’s also home to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a historic Maori site. Famed for its sandboarding dunes, Ninety Mile Beach stretches along the west coast toward Cape Reinga.
The West Coast is a region of New Zealand on the west coast of the South Island, one of the more remote and most sparsely populated areas of the country. It is administered by the West Coast Regional Council.
Franz Josef Glacier was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor. The glacier is five kilometres from the town of the same name, and a 20 minute walk will take you to its terminal face. From the glacier car park, you can hike to a choice of lookout points for a bigger view of this awesome river of ice.
If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike. Aerial sightseeing is another option.
There's a range of natural attractions in close proximity to Franz Josef Glacier Village. Lose yourself in the rainforests, waterfalls, and lakes.
Dunedin’s Scottish history has resulted in the city having the largest concentration of Victorian and Edwardian architecture in New Zealand. From the iconic Larnach Castle to the various churches in the city, there are fine examples of heritage architecture around every corner.
Known for its creativity and vibrant atmosphere, Dunedin offers a host of remarkable performances, exhibitions and festivals throughout the winter. You can also feed your mind and your soul in the city's distinctive galleries, museums and theatres.
Dunedin’s character is influenced enormously by its students. They make up 20% of the population and help support entertainment and cultural options well beyond the city’s size. For example, a succession of popular bands has created a distinctive ‘Dunedin sound’ that is recognised internationally. Dunedin also has excellent beaches for swimming and surfing and is known for its eco-tourism.
Inland Otago features some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery. Outdoor activities are hugely popular here, particularly skiing, ice skating and curling in winter, and kayaking, sailing and windsurfing on the lakes in summer. There are many great walks, and the Otago Central Rail Trail is one of the country’s top cycle trails.
Central Otago’s stunning scenery has inspired many of New Zealand’s leading artists (Ralph Hotere and Graham Sydney) and writers (Hone Tuwhare, Janet Frame).
Abel Tasman National Park is a wilderness reserve at the north end of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for the Abel Tasman Coast Track, a long trail winding over beaches and across ridges between Marahau in the south and Wainui in the north. The headland at Separation Point is home to New Zealand fur seal colonies. Little blue penguins, bottlenose dolphins and seals inhabit the Tonga Island Marine Reserve.
Classed as one of New Zealand's 'Great Walks', the Abel Tasman Coastal Track takes between 3 and 5 days to complete. It climbs around headlands and through native forest to a series of beautiful beaches. The track is walkable at any time of the year. Expect to see lots of other walkers and day visitors in summer, though the northern stretch from Totaranui to Wainui is far-less frequented. For a different view of the park, there are inland tracks that lead up to the dramatic karst landscape of Takaka Hill.