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Diverse, daring and rugged – highlights of exceptional New Zealand

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Elisabeth Easther 18 October 2017

Diverse and daring, New Zealand is a destination of exceptional beauty – imagine horse rides through otherworldly gorges and glaciers, soaring around dramatic coastlines and gliding down the best ski fields of the southern hemisphere.

Home to ethereal landscapes featured in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, natural hot springs and idyllic beaches, New Zealand is celebrated for its breathtaking phenomena – the perfect choice for those after a serene natural escape.

Evgeny Gorodetsky, shutterstock

An exceptional port of call for adrenaline-seekers, New Zealand is renowned as an adventure capital, with everything from sky diving and white-water rafting to spectacular hiking trails and, of course, world-renowned skiing Queenstown.

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Toast the coast

For a comparatively tiny country, New Zealand’s geography boasts 14,000 km of coastline, making it the 10th longest in the world. From boisterous west coast beaches, to the more family friendly east, with such a modest population – just 4.7million at last count – you’re sure find the perfect cove, sometimes even an entire beach to yourself. Although, if you’d rather follow the herd, in the height of summer you can join the crowds on the beach at Mt Maunganui or Takapuna and settle in amongst the heavenly bodies.

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On Your Bike

Cycle tourism in New Zealand is taking off, largely thanks to the birth of Nga Haerenga: The National Cycleway featuring everything from rail trails to forests. With 22 Great Rides, the less famous but equally fabulous cousins of New Zealand’s Great Walks, these trails provide mild to wild adventures on two wheels. From The Twin Coast Trail in Northland which connects the east and west coasts to Alps2Ocean in the South Island, a journey that rolls from Mt Cook to the coastal town of Oamaru, you can ride for days or an afternoon and with the advent of e-bikes, you don’t even have to be that fit.

Picture perfect

Renowned for dramatic landscapes and pristine natural beauty, New Zealand is paradise for photographers and painters or simply those who like to look. And with many beauty spots made famous by Sir Peter Jackson’s films, location tourism has really taken off. From the twinkling waters and diving dolphins in the Bay of Islands, to the majestic alps, gorges and glaciers of the South Island, this is a country where you don’t want to be in a hurry, as you’ll be needing to stop and stop often to truly appreciate the breathtaking sights.

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Satisfy your cravings

Wining and dining in the land of The Long White Cloud are taken very seriously with world-class experiences available in big cities and small towns. From Pacific Fusion cuisine to small family run eateries from around the globe, New Zealanders pride themselves on fresh food, fine wine and a vibrant culinary scene. Whether you’re shopping at a farm gate to prepare a Masterchef masterpiece in your campervan or stopping in at one of the over 500 vineyards you’ll find as you roam – you’ll treasure your gastronomic adventures.

Hot Spots

Bursting with geothermal energy, beneath New Zealand’s surface there bubbles a steaming heat that regularly warms waters to temperatures that humans find perfect for relaxation. From laid-back Ngawha Springs in Northland to the plethora of spas in the central North Island and beyond, bathers can choose to bathe in high-end spas or in the bush surrounded by nature.

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By Elisabeth Easther