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New Zealand

The land of glowworm caves, hobbits, fiery geysers, and sheep.

Welcome to a strange and fantastical land, where constellations of blue-green glow worms twinkle like stars in dark caves, and the wildlife is as bizarre as it’s possible to be. Here, venture deep into a landscape of velvety-green mountains and silver waterfalls, and meet fierce warriors and friendly Kiwis along the way.

Be it a solo trip, a family holiday, romantic getaway or via a group tour, any sort of trip here is, without hyperbole, one that will linger in your memories for a lifetime.

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Welcome to a strange and fantastical land, where constellations of blue-green glow worms twinkle like stars in dark caves, and the wildlife is as bizarre as it’s possible to be. Here, venture deep into a landscape of velvety-green mountains and silver waterfalls, and meet fierce warriors and friendly Kiwis along the way.

Be it a solo trip, a family holiday, romantic getaway or via a group tour, any sort of trip here is, without hyperbole, one that will linger in your memories for a lifetime.

Location

New Zealand is an island country located across the Tasman Sea, 2000 kilometres to the east of Australia, in the south-western Pacific Ocean. It is comprised of two large islands - the North Island and the South Island, as well as a large number of smaller islands, estimated around six hundred.

It takes approximately fifteen and a half hours to fly from India to New Zealand. It is advisable to plan New Zealand tour packages from India in advance, as last-minute holidays to New Zealand might turn out to be more expensive.

When to go

Anytime is a good time to visit New Zealand. In general, December to February is the most popular time to travel to New Zealand, as this is summertime. Travellers can enjoy warm weather activities and events during this period. Autumn is a good time to visit as well, as the temperatures will be milder and crowds will be fewer. 

Where to go

New Zealand’s islands and cities all have more than their fair share of good-looking places and people, and lots of unique experiences, some weird, some wonderful and others otherworldly (you’ll know what we mean if you Google ‘Milford Sound.’ 

Where you choose to go depends on what kind of trip you have in mind. Outdoor enthusiasts can take their pick from the picturesque Lake Tepako to the icy blue expanse of the Fox Glacier. Culture-vultures can learn more about Maori culture in Wellington and Roturua. Others who are looking for a mix of everything can do just about everything from feeding sheep to learning about kiwis (the bird) or  visiting locations where the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit were shot. No matter where you go, you can’t go wrong.
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At a glance

Currency

New Zealand Dollar
New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand Dollar. At the moment of posting, the conversion rate is 1 New Zealand Dollar = INR 45.78.

Weather

New Zealand weather remains quite pleasant most of the year. The warm summertime months are in December, January and February. March to May are New Zealand’s autumn months. The winter months of June to August are the coldest months.

Language

English, Maori
English is the most widely spoken language in the country. Māori and New Zealand Sign Language are also spoken.

Expert travel advice

Travel tips and insider advice that have made the most difference to us, sourced from our
community of like-minded travellers and global experts.

Wander around Middle Earth   

Recommended by Wanderlust

“Ever since the first Lord of the Rings movie was released in 2001, New Zealand has become synonymous with JRR Tokien’s Middle-earth. It’s something the Kiwis have embraced wholeheartedly, it’s well worth visiting the rolling hills of Matamatato see the idyllic Hobbiton movie set, set on a land of lush pastures and boasting 44 Hobbit holes.”

Wanderlust is the UK’s leading independent travel magazine, delivering inspiration and advice to travellers seeking unique and enriching travel experiences.

Learn about Maori culture   

Recommended by Two Wandering Soles

“Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, and they are known around the world for their stunning tattoo designs and a dance called the Haka, in which warriors stuck out their tongues to intimidate enemies.”

Two Wandering Soles is a fun, inspiring and award-winning travel blog created by Katie and Ben, a couple who is passionate about responsible travel.

Explore a glow worm cave   

Recommended by Destinationless Travel

“Glow Worms are almost completely unique to New Zealand aside from a few places in Australia. These small worms hang from the ceilings of caves and light them up like stars in the night. There are many different places in New Zealand you can see glow worms however the two best places I went to where the Waitomo Caves and the Waipu Caves.”

Daniel and Bailey are adventure enthusiast travel bloggers who explore the globe and write about their adventures.

Swim with the world’s smallest dolphins   

Recommended by Le Long Weekend

“Hector’s Dolphins are an endangered dolphin native to the South Island of New Zealand. A marine reserve created at the mouth of the Akaroa Harbour has created a haven for Hector’s Dolphins, and consequently, it’s the best place to see these unique dolphins in the wild.”

Nadine is the mind behind Le Long Weekend, a travel blog that inspires people to travel better.

Taste the most incredible ice creams in the world   

Recommended by The Broke Backpacker

“Head to downtown Auckland if you’re a lover of the most incredible ice cream in the world, a food lover, a vegan food lover looking for a dessert better than Oreos or someone who likes something a little different and unique when it comes to eating then Giapo is the one shop you need to visit. If you like your ice cream wearable, in the shape of a rocket shape or even a giant Squid then head into the Auckland City Centre and don’t just eat this ice cream, experience it.”

Will Hatton, founder and chief editor of The Broke Backpacker, one of the world’s best-known adventure travel blogs.

Incredible places to visit in New Zealand

Queenstown

The ‘Adventure Capital Of The World’ is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the Southern Island. And it will probably be one of the highlights of your holiday in New Zealand. There’s a host of  exciting activities to choose from, from zip lining to alpine heli-skiing. It’s natural beauty can only be described in grandiose terms. And the city also pulls double duty as the cosmopolitan hub of the country.

Milford Sound

This geological wonder was once hailed by Rudyard Kipling as “the eighth wonder of the world.” It is an immense fjord, and an incredibly good looking one too. Waterfalls cascade over its cliffs, and emerald-green mountains which rise dramatically out of the waters and reach toward the sky, conspiring to render you speechless. Visiting Milford Sound is a must; make sure it’s on any group travel package you choose, or if it isn’t, make the time for a visit. You can go kayaking or scuba diving in the fjord, or if you’d really like to appreciate the fjord for all its beauty, go on a helicopter ride around it. With every twist and turn of the boat, a new world seems to appear from nowhere.

Lake Wakatipu

As with Milford South,  Lake Wakatipu is a must visit destination in any of your New Zealand packages. It’s huge, and offers many pockets of activities. You can go swimming, or parasailing, paddle boarding or go on a drive around the lake, taking in the sight of deer grazing along the route, and a range of mountain peaks, appropriately named The Remarkables.

Routeburn Track

Your list of things to do in New Zealand (you know you have one) would remain incomplete without a hike on the Routeburn Track. Known as one of the most popular hiking trails in the country, it offers views of what can only be described as cinematic landscapes - green forests turned golden in the evening light, the white water rushing down the surrounding mountains, the soft shadows of clouds overhead in a singularly blue sky. It’s a hiker, photography and environment enthusiast’s dream.

Jump out of a plane

We mean with a harness and experienced instructor with you, of course.  The geography and climate of Queenstown make it just about perfect for a skydiving adventure. If you are worried about the height you are going to be jumping from, most New Zealand travel packages offer customised tours depending upon what suits you.

Kiwi Birdlife Park

Home to more than twenty different species of birds, including falcons, kiwis and parakeets, the park also houses about 10,000 plants native to New Zealand. What makes the Kiwi Birdlife Park special is that your entry fee is spent in the conservation of endangered species.

Auckland

Located in the Northern Islands of New Zealand, Auckland is not only the largest city in the country, but also the largest Polynesian city in the world and a prominent commercial hub. More commonly known as “the city of many lovers” in Maori culture, Auckland is geographically diverse with its fair share of volcanoes, thermal springs, and wildlife reserves. A food lover’s paradise and a wine enthusiast’s delight, make this a stop in your all-inclusive New Zealand travel to explore the flavour of this city and more.

Huka Falls

The powerful Huka Falls is New Zealand’s most-visited natural attraction; tens of thousands of litres of water churn, thunder, tumble and foam over a cliff every second forming a lovely turquoise pool below.

Head to the top of Sky Tower

Standing tall for 20 long years, the 328 m high Sky Tower is your proverbial ‘stairway to heaven’, since a lift takes you to the top of the observation deck in a record time of 40 seconds. Get a bird’s eye view of the entire city and try to identify famous landmarks and historical locations from the top. The tower houses three acclaimed eateries; if you’re visiting during your honeymoon, dinner and a view is a particularly romantic way to end your day with a loved one.

Visit Mt. Eden

Located 5 kilometres downtown from the city, the highest volcano in Auckland is on Mt. Eden (and don’t worry, a part of most New Zealand holiday deals). A ten-minute-odd walk takes you to the summit from where you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the city.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Get ready for a truly enchanting experience: the rock stars of Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Lining the ceiling of the caves like thousands of tiny living fluorescent glittering stars, the glowworms create a magical spectacle. As you glide along the water in a boat, look up and take in the sight of constellations of blue light sparking above you. You can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Pandora from the movie ‘Avatar’ or some equally fantastical wonderland.

Christchurch

Christchurch is located on the east coast of the Southern Island and is the largest city in New Zealand. It is a city alive with vivacious people, wineries, and white-sand beaches, and will undoubtedly win you over.

Go on a TranzAlpine rail journey

This TranzAlpine rail journey of 223 kilometres takes you from Christchurch to Greymouth in around 5 hours. It is one of the most enjoyable train rides you’ll ever take. Views of the Southern Alps keep you company throughout. During the journey, the train ascends down the river valleys of the Waimakariri River and then down through the Otira tunnel to reach its destination.

Swim with dolphins

Get an opportunity to not only behold the smallest and the rarest ocean dolphin species but also have fun with them. The dolphin cruise would give you a chance to enjoy some time with these friendly mammals in their own natural habitat.

Punting on the Avon River

Punting on the Avon River is an activity that you absolutely cannot miss. No matter what time of the year it is, you will thoroughly enjoy riding flat-bottomed boats on the river. This is an activity that all ages can enjoy, whether with family or friends. A perfect way to relax after a day of touring or physical activities.

Go on a Lord of The Rings tour

What is a trip to New Zealand without a Lord of the Rings tour! Drive along the Lake Wakatipu shores to reach Mt Aspiring. Get to see the movie replicas against a 360-degree view of the beautiful mountain range. Pack a picnic basket to enjoy a meal amidst the surreal surroundings of ancient forests and glacial lakes.

The Ko Tane Maori Experience

The Ko Tane Maori Experience is an interactive cultural performance to give travellers an in-depth insight into the country’s history, culture and traditions. The experience includes a visit to an interactive village where you can skee the the tools and skills of Māori hunter, his cooking techniques, as well as traditional instruments. A kapahaka performance includes action songs, poi dances, haka, stick games, weapons displays and the opportunity to learn the poi and the haka.

Rotorua

Rotorua is New Zealand’s geo-thermal hub. It is famous for its geothermal activities, hot mud pools, and geysers, and rainbow-coloured lakes. Travellers can also visit a living Maori village, to learn more about their way of life - how they cook, wash and bathe in hot springs. The city’s charm lies in its talent to surprise and charm with the unexpected - don’t miss out on this by looking for a travel package that has it included.

Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park

The majesty and magic of New Zealand’s wildlife kingdom comes together in Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park. Walk through forests filled with huge tree ferns and fresh water streams in which you’ll see hundreds of brown and rainbow trout. And keep your eyes peeled for little brown kiwi birds – probably the closest you'll get to seeing them up close unless you work for National Geographic – as well as tuatara reptiles found only in New Zealand and are as old as the dinosaurs, curious kea birds, and many more native flora and fauna.

The Agrodome

Located just 10 minutes away from the city centre, visitors from all over the world crowd in this place to witness a popular farm show which stars a host of talented animals. Get ready to hear amazing facts and have a few laughs as you’re introduced to 19 breeds of sheep during the one-hour performance. 

You will also get to see a live sheep shearing demonstration as well as sheep dogs demonstrating their skills in keeping the sheep and ducks in order. If a hands-on experience is what you want, jump up on stage for the opportunity to feed the baby lambs, and what’s more, you also have the chance to bid on a sheep in a lively auction!

Te Puia Geothermal Reserve

At the Te Puia Geothermal Reserve, you can see iconic geothermal activity with bubbling mud pools, and the famous Pohutu Geyser erupting 30 metres into the air. You could also enjoy a natural spa in the Hells Gate Mud Foot Pool. Or tour the National Schools of Wood Carving and Weaving.

See local Maori carvers in action

The magnificent rock carving of Mine Bay of Ngātoroirangi on Lake Taupo has been recognized as one of the most beautiful and unique artworks. Towering 14 m above the sea level, you can catch carvers in action here, and stand witness to the beauty of the handicraft industry. There are also smaller sculptures and carvings depicting the history of the Maori tribe.

Visit Lake Rotorua

You can spend hours idling by Lake Rotorua. There is no entry fee so you could go  fishing, picnicking or merely reading a book by the calm waters (good luck not being distracted by the clear water and the green woods).

Canterbury

Canterbury is located on the South Island. It’s a region of geographical eye-candy: moss-laden forests, and the limestone outcroppings of Castle Hill, and one of the locations of the film The Chronicles of Narnia.

Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook National Park is located in the tallest mountain range in New Zealand. It has the biggest glaciers that can be found in the country, such as the immense Tasman Glacier, and the highest mountains. It houses the country’s only International Sky Reserve. The park is in fact, regarded as the best mountaineering region in all of Australasia, a delight for hikers and trekkers.

Lake Tekapo

This is perhaps the most beautiful place to visit on your honeymoon in New Zealand. The lake itself is big enough of a draw thanks to its blue waters so electric that you can’t believe that it isn’t Photoshopped. But there’s also a research observatory that lets members of the public use telescopes to look at stars, planets and worlds far far away. That experience - of standing on a beautiful mountain in New Zealand looking up at the endless sky with your partner is a privilege.

Canterbury Museum

The museum showcases the past, present and future of Canterbury. There’s always something interesting on display here. For instance, in the past, the museum has exhibited an innovative Rise/Oi You! exhibition of street art, and currently is showing ‘Arctic Voices’ which takes you on a journey to the frozen North And as if the museum itself wasn’t an experience on its own, its beautiful stone façade dates back to the 1800s.

Go whale watching

Kaikōura in Canterbury is known to be the whale watching capital of New Zealand. Depending on the season of your visit and of course on your luck, you might get to watch majestic sperm whales, the pilot whale, humpback whale, southern right whales as well as the classic blue whale. Make sure that that a whale-watching cruise is part of your group travel package as watching this iconic animals is, without hyperbole, a once in a lifetime experience.

Top things to do & experience in New Zealand

Nobody wants to be a tourist. Here are curated experiences in art, music, food, culture and communities
to help you have an authentic and memorable trip.

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