Waitangi Day is the national day of New Zealand and it commemorates the signing of the renowned treaty which took place on 6 February 1840. It is one of the world’s most beautiful and least populated countries and if New Zealand has always been on your travel bucket list, there has never been a better time to visit.
In celebration of Waitangi Day, here is a roundup of our top nine reasons to visit New Zealand.
The diverse and unspoilt scenery
New Zealand has a vastly diverse, unspoilt and breath-taking scenery which includes stunning beaches, subtropical forests, snow-capped mountains, serene lakes, lush green pastures, fjords and bustling hot springs. Totally instagrammable!
The great outdoors
If you are a thrill seeker that loves high-octane action, New Zealand won’t disappoint thanks to its world-class surfing and skiing (both of which you can do in the same day if you so wish!) Mount Cook National Park is home to the highest mountain in New Zealand and is an ideal destination for hiking thanks to trails like the Mueller Hut and Hooker Valley. The Kepler Track in the Fjordland National Park combines spectacular alpine-eque vistas with tranquil beach forests.
From paddle boarding to diving and from kayaking to snorkelling, the Bay of Islands Is certainly worth a visit for those that love to be in or on the water.
Love to get on your bike? The National Cycleway has a superb selection of diverse cycle trails and mountain biking tracks
The natural world
Stewart Island is the third-largest island of New Zealand and is known in the Māori language as Rakiura which means ‘the land of glowing skies. Visitors come in their droves to hike, birdwatch or simply to marvel at the island’s wild beauty. It doesn’t have to be an arduous hike across the 280km walking tracks, visitors can walk at a more relaxed pace and enjoy flora and fauna-focused walking tours around the island.
It is also the only place where you are likely to see the endangered Kiwi which is native to New Zealand in day light hours. In fact, there are bird and plant species that can be found in New Zealand that won’t be found anywhere else in the world.
The Lord of the Rings
From King Kong to The Piano, New Zealand has been host to a variety of must-see movie locations. Perhaps the most famous films of all has to be the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit?
LOTR fans can even visit the Hobbiton movie set in the rural Waikato region of the country where they can have their very own Middle-earth adventure.
The amazing Maori culture
New Zealand celebrates the indigenous culture of the Maori people and there are plenty of interesting points of interest to bring New Zealand’s visitors closer to their heritage and history.
When you think of the Maori people, you can’t help but think about the uplifting and inspiring haka which is a type of ancient Māori war dance.
The fantastic wine
Known for its world-famous vineyards, New Zealand’s soil diversity and temperate climate has helped cement its place in sommeliers and wine lovers’ top wines list all over the world. If you are a fan of wine, then why not check out one of the 450 wine experiences throughout New Zealand? Whether you want to stay at a luxurious vineyard, take a winery tour or even just go on a wine tasting tour, there are plenty of options to choose from throughout the ten designated wine regions.
The beautiful beaches
From the beaches at Abel Tasman National Park where you can explore the Coast Track to the surfer’s paradise of Wainui Beach, New Zealand has 15,000 kilometres of coastline, making it a haven for beach-lovers.
You can even try kayaking around the coast of the picturesque Adele Island where you might even spot some seals from your kayak.
If you are seeking out a remote retreat, then look no further than New Chums Beach in the scenic Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island which has the most beautiful powder-white sandy beaches and dazzlingly blue water.
The ease of getting out and about
Once you have landed, travelling around New Zealand is very straightforward and cheap, whether you choose to explore via the water, road or air - taking an internal flight from one island to another is simple and is as easy as getting the bus!
Take a ride on the TranzAlpine train which is widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest train journeys. It will take you from the foothills of the Southern Alps to the Waimakariri Bridge crossing near Arthur’s Pass – a truly spectacular journey! Many people take the train in order to cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail.
Travelling in-between the North and South islands is relatively easy and cheap and there are boat rides to the other small islands too.
The amazing cuisine
From North to South, New Zealand is home to an incredible and restaurant scene which continues to impress local and international foodies alike.
In Auckland, Japanese restaurant Cocoro is hugely popular as is the seafood eatery Depot where chefs cook their catch over charcoal giving it a real mouth-watering taste.
If you are looking for glamour, then King of Snake in Christchurch is definitely worth a visit thanks to its decadent film set-esque décor and its award-winning Asian dining. Vegans and vegetarians should head to The Lotus Heart which offers a fully comprehensive menu of delicious veggie-friendly dishes.
The Ortega Fish Shack and Bar in Wellington is a fabulous place to enjoy fresh seafood in a quirky-but-cool setting. The restaurant is in a shack that is kitted out with marine-inspired artwork and light installations.
With a philosophy of ‘nose to tail eating’, The Larder serves dishes like seared calves’ liver with caramelised tongue and buttermilk crepes with poached peach and rhubarb.
Regardless of the region, chefs and restaurants are making use of and advocating local and seasonal produce.
We have an exciting and bespoke offer for our valued customers to explore the beautiful country of New Zealand. This 14-day trip will combine the bright lights of the city with the awe-inspiring vistas of Mount Cook and the Southern Alps. Book now to save £220 per couple.