Travelling to the other side of the world will be an experience you never forget, and embarking on guided walks in New Zealand will take you into areas of spectacular beauty. Activities are plentiful and include experiences any nature lovers will relish. The two islands that make up this diverse country are full of wonderful opportunities.
In recent months Hokitika made the news when the Man Booker Prize was awarded to Eleanor Catton for her novel The Luminaries. Eleanor Catton is a native New Zealander and she set her novel in the area at the time of the gold mining boom in the 1860s. If you want to try and make your fortune you will have the chance to turn your hand to gold panning in the historic Ross and Goldsborough mining fields. However, whether you want to try it out or not, the novel will give you a great insight into the history of this area.
Nature-lovers will be in seventh heaven on the South Island, which has numerous opportunities for bird watchers and hikers. Some of the best walks in New Zealand are on the South Island, and setting out to explore them will show you some incredible sights.
The Abel Tasman National Park is lined with beautiful golden beaches and impressive cliffs sculpted from granite and limestone. This area was home to the Maoris for around 500 years and it is named after Abel Tasman, a Dutch seafarer who anchored his ships in the area. Amongst the birds you might catch a glimpse of are little blue penguins and oyster catchers. Bird lovers should also visit Stewart Island where the rare Kiwi bird can be seen in its natural environment. For seafood lovers, a trip to Kaikoura should be on your itinerary. The name means ‘meal of crayfish’ and you can have just that as the crayfish are taken straight off the boat and onto your plate. It’s also a great area for whale-watching.
The North Island is surrounded by spectacular beaches and on the West Coast you will find the hot water beaches of Coromandel, where you can dig your own spa pool in the sand then relax and luxuriate in it. Another spa attraction is Rotorua, where you will find mud baths and hot pools to relax in; it’s a great way to wind down after strenuous walks in New Zealand.
If you’d like to see some experts at work you should visit Taranaki’s Surf Highway, where its hemispherical coast attracts 180 degrees of swell, making it a magnet for avid surfers.
A visit to Wellington should definitely be on your itinerary, and visiting the birthplace of Peter Jackson, the director of J K Tolkein’s masterpieces, will also give you the opportunity to visit the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary – also known as Zealandia. This unique and innovative inner-city eco-attraction gives you the chance to see some of the country’s rarest wildlife living in their natural habitat.
The spectacular vistas of the Land of the Long White Cloud will be a treat for your eyes and so many of the walks in New Zealand will stay in your memory long after you return home.