Everyone knows New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most beautiful movie-set landscapes, but were you also aware of its excellent stargazing opportunities? Or its fascinating Māori culture? Here’s everything they don’t tell you about the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud.’
Lesser-known reasons to visit New Zealand
New Zealand has a perpetual presence on top destination lists and roundups of desirable places to visit. Its broad appeal ranges from the fantasy fan hoping to return to Middle-Earth, to the wine-lover craving the perfect sauv. The adrenaline junkie looking for the ultimate thrill, to the naturalist searching for intriguing wildlife. This is a country that delivers on every level. Its mix of stunning and diverse scenery, unforgettable experiences and fascinating cultural influences make it one of the most sought-after holiday destinations.
The diversity of the landscapes and wide-range of activities are familiar and well-documented, but there are some lesser-known and just as compelling reasons to visit New Zealand.
Warm hospitality isn’t just an aspiration in New Zealand – it is at the very heart of the country’s indigenous Māori culture and a key part of the visitor experience. Manaakitanga inspires acts of welcoming and sharing and quite literally translates into three core principles. ‘Mana‘ – honour, integrity, authority, dignity and reputation. ‘Aki‘ – respecting and uplifting the Mana of others. And ‘Tanga‘ – welcoming visitors, looking after them and treating them with respect and care. There is a good reason New Zealand surpasses expectations time after time.
New Zealand is a brilliant place to take the kids! Considering its compact size – only slightly larger than the UK – it is filled with a huge variety of sights and plenty of activities. Whether you want to embrace the outdoors on hiking trails, jet-boat rides, or on boat trips in search of whales and dolphins, or prefer a more cultured experience visiting museums like Wellington’s Te Papa, there is so much to keep children engrossed. A self-drive holiday by motorhome offers a home on wheels and offers the ultimate flexibility.
Nature and the Tiaki Promise
New Zealand is a naturalist’s paradise. Towering fiords, rolling hills, shimmering glaciers and primaeval forests are home to a curious collection of endemic wildlife, from the shy kiwi to the ancient tuatara. All natural wonders to be savoured. Preserving such treasures is at the heart of the Tiaki Promise. A vow to guard, protect and preserve New Zealand, for now and for the future. In Maori culture, there is a special connection with the land and a duty of care is instilled from a young age. This responsibility to respect and protect nature is encouraged of visitors too, ensuring New Zealand remains one of the most spectacular places on earth.
Perhaps in a country whose Maori name, Aotearoa, roughly translates to the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ it is not surprising that gazing skyward brings its own reward. With relatively little light pollution, New Zealand has more than its fair share of stargazing locations. It is home to five Dark Sky Reserves, including the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, which is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. 13.8 billion years in the making, marvel as you witness a sky full of glittering constellations as far as the eye can see.
Stylish hotels, comfy motels or free-wheeling motorhomes offer great options for where to stay in New Zealand, but adding an extra special accommodation or two into the mix can be a real highlight. And there are also some stunning properties that are so much more than a place to lay your head. Consider a contemporary treehouse near Kaikoura, an award-winning wilderness lodge in the heart of Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Area, or a luxury suite overlooking The Coromandel’s Mecury Bay. For a truly unique experience, choose a PurePod and immerse yourself in nature. These virtually all-glass units in secluded rural locations offer the opportunity to gaze at the stars and listen to the sounds of nature in your own stylish space.
Planning a holiday to New Zealand
New Zealand is all about individual experiences. From hotspots like Rotorua and Queenstown to off-the-beaten-track gems such as North Island’s East Cape, there is a wealth of choice available. Discover the World’s knowledgeable Kiwi Specialists will create a personalised holiday entirely suited to you. Browse a collection of suggested itineraries then let the experts craft your tailor-made adventure.