New Zealand is an island country South East of Australia, in the South Western Pacific ocean. It is populated by descendants of European settlers as well as from the indigenous Maori population. New Zealand features an amazingly diverse landscape of mountains, rivers, lakes and rainforests as well as richness in flora and fauna with some unique species due to the country’s isolation. Several species however, have gone extinct since the arrival of the Europeans.
New Zealand is constituted mainly by two large islands but also includes smaller island complexes and associated territories in the Pacific and the Antarctica. Most urban development has taken place on the Northern island which where the capital city of Auckland is located. The Southern island is less urbanized but there one can find picturesque towns of British architecture.
A world leader in eco-tourism and action sports, New Zealand is brimming with National Parks; one quarter of the total surface area that it covers is protected areas, a fact that makes New Zealand the ideal destination for nature lovers. Outdoor activities and adventure sports are heavily promoted; it was after all in New Zealand that bungee jumping was popularized and where this sports mecca remains up to now. If you are a bungee jumping fanatic or if you like to try it, then do not neglect to visit some of the world’s most famous bungee spots; like Kawaru River Bridge or the Skippers Bridge. Another popular extreme sport in New Zealand is rap jumping, possibly inspired by military training, where one descents face-down while restrained by a rope.
The Poor Knights Islands
The Poor Knights Islands are located off the coast of the North Island and according to famous oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, they are one of the best diving spots in the world and therefore an opportunity you must not miss if you like diving. The best time to go diving in Poor Knights Islands is between May to early September – winter time in New Zealand – as visibility underwater can reach up to 30m due to the absence of Plankton. In the summertime visibility reaches up to 20m but you may expect warmer waters and friendlier temperatures. If you are an inexperienced diver but still eager to go for underwater exploration you will have no difficulty finding and booking diving classes.
Other activities you can engage in New Zealand include mountaineering and winter sports, often in much less crowded resorts that those found in Europe. You may also care to embark on a cave exploration journey in the Waitomo caves. Often, cave exploration may be combined with a rafting trip.
New Zealand is undoubtedly an exciting destination, whether you are the active or more laid back type of traveller. One thing though is certain: You will never be there without something to do.