Located in the south of the Pacific Ocean and consisting of two large and many small islands, New Zealand is a country that many travel lovers dream of with its Maori culture, haka dance, natural beauty and unforgettable scenes in the Lord of the Rings series. New Zealand, which the native Maori describe as Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud, reflects a mix of Maori heritage and European culture.
Located in the South Pacific Ocean, 1500 km southeast of Australia, Moris first came and settled in their canoes 1000 years ago. New Zealand‘s breathtaking beaches, lush forest texture, snow-capped high mountains, steep cliffs, lakes, streams and wildlife, offer an indescribable experience with nature.
New Zealand Travel Guide
When Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovered this unknown island in 1642, he named the country Staten Landt. Dutch cartographers call this land area Nova Zeelandia, after the Dutch province of Zeeland.
Discovered by Dutch sailors, Australia was then called New Holland. British explorer James Cook visited the region four times between 1769 and 1779 and named it New Zealand and the country comes to this day with this name.
With the arrival of the westerners to New Zealand, there were serious wars between the local people, Maori and colonists. Colonization took place after the tough struggle with the natives was over in the early 1900s.
As early as 1907, when the sovereign status was taken, Australian and New Zealand soldiers were sent to fight in Çanakkale, far from their homes. New Zealand, which declared its independence in 1931, was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote.
In New Zealand, 14.6 percent of the total population are Maori, 10 percent are Asians, and 7 percent are Pacific people. Most of the service sector in the country is provided by Asian immigrants. The total population of the country is 4.7 million.
The country, which has a narrow and long mountainous geography extending 1600 km from north to south, is located on two large islands, also called North Island and South Island. A quarter of the population lives in Auckland, the country’s largest city, located on the North Island.
New Zealand Attractions
New Zealand is an incredible destination to explore. The northern and southern islands both offer breathtaking views that are hard to forget. The combination of lakes, majestic mountains, streams and lush nature is all over the country.
Major episodes of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed in New Zealand. In the city of Matama on the North Island, you can feel yourself in the movie scene by visiting the Hobbit village sets built for both films.
Fiordland National Park, one of the most scenic places in New Zealand, is in the far west of the country’s southern island, away from the threat of technology and wildlife development.
Milford Sound is the main attraction in Fiordland. You can take a cruise on Milford Sound, a real fjord created by the glacier, to watch waterfalls and see dolphins and penguins.
Sutherland Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the world with a height of 580 meters. In the waterfall, which the locals Maoris call Ta Taea’s White Thread, the sound of the water sounds so loud that you think you are on a plane. When you walk towards the base of the waterfall, you feel the force of the water under your feet.
To visit the waterfall, you have to hike along one of the most exciting hiking trails in New Zealand, Milford Road. The waterfall is located in the west of the southern island. If you want to get a better view or visit the bottom of the waterfall, you need to buy this ninety-minute tour. This tour starts from the Quinton Hut shelter and goes to the waterfalls. Many visitors often leave their backpacks at shelter to travel comfortably. Keep in mind that the weather in this part of New Zealand is unpredictable, it is very important to bring not only flashlights but also clothing and equipment suitable for hot and cold weather conditions.
2.Tongariro National Park
Tongariro, New Zealand’s first national park, is located in the center of the North Island. The ecosystem of the park consists of lakes, active volcanoes, forests and highlands. With scenes shot from The Lord of the Rings, movie buffs flock to the national park.
Coromandel Peninsula, located in the northeast of New Zealand, is famous for its golden beaches, forests and natural beauties. The most popular area of the peninsula is Hot Water Beach, where there are hot springs under the sand.
Located on the southern island of New Zealand and known as the dream of adrenaline and adventure seekers, Queenstown is located on the shore of the deep blue Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown, the city center has a very lively nightlife.
Auckland, the most populous city in New Zealand, is located on the northern island. Known as the city of sailing, Auckland is the right address to witness the history and heritage of the country. The city, where the colonialists who came to New Zealand took their first step into the country, is literally a metropolis.
In Auckland, the old capital of the country, Sky Tower, Harbor Bridge, Auckland Botanic Gardens, Auckland Museum, Great Atoll, Stardome Observatory and Butterfly Valley are places to see.
Rotorua is the city known as New Zealand’s thermal wonderland. There are many geysers and hot springs in and around the city center. The Rotorua area is located above the Taupo Volcanic Zone, a geothermal region. The city also hosts the Maori, the indigenous culture of the Rotorua country.
Located on the northern island, Napier is one of the most popular beach resorts in the country. New Zealand National Aquarium, where you can witness the rich underwater life around the country in the city, is a must-visit place. There are turtles, crocodiles and dozens of different sea creatures in the aquarium.
8.Franz Josef Glacier
Glacier Country, located on the west coast of the south island, hosts the Westland National Park. This national park is where you can see New Zealand’s two most important glaciers. Hiking and helicopter tours are made in the valley where the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier glaciers are located.
9.Aoraki / Mount Cook
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. The mountain at an altitude of 3,724 meters has 140 peaks and 2 glaciers at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters. It is located in Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, which is included in UNESCO World Heritage Parks and is one of the most important tourist areas in the country.
There are climbing tracks at different levels on Mount Aoraki, which means “breaking the clouds” in the language of locals Maoris. The main camping area of the mountain is Mount Cook Village, which is also the tourism center of the park.
Waitomo Caves are limestone caves that are considered one of the most favorite tourist areas of the northern island. The Waitomo area has three large caves and over three hundred smaller caves. The Aranui, Ruakuri and Glow-worm caves are the big ones. The interior texture of the caves presents impressive limestone formations with shades of pink, pale brown and white.
11.Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park, located at the northern tip of the southern island of the country, is the region with the richest natural life in the country, where it is not possible to travel by land and can be reached by boat or small aircraft. Rare bird species, blue penguins, and endemic plant species native to New Zealand are part of the natural park’s wealth.
Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island and is located south of the southern island. Rakiura National Park is the area where you can see this structure in the best way on the island, which is surrounded by virgin forests and natural habitats.
13.Bay Of Islands
Bay Of Islands is one of the most popular holiday destinations in New Zealand. The bay consists of 144 islands, many virgin bays and wonderful beaches. In Bay Of Islands, which is on the route of sailing yachts, you can witness the diversity of marine life including whale, penguin, dolphin and swordfish.
New Zealand eating and drinking
New Zealand, an immigrant country, has a multicultural understanding of cuisine where you can find examples from world cuisines. New Zealanders, who continue their traditional eating habits, offer a standard menu served in the form of meat, two types of vegetables and pickles, especially in small cities.
In the country, which is at the top of the world in sheep and cattle production, quality and cheap meat is everywhere. Seafood, fine wines and cheese varieties are among the prominent tastes of the country. Street flavors are also worth trying in areas with a high concentration of Asian immigrants.
When to go to New Zealand
The seasons in New Zealand, which is located in the Southern Hemisphere, are in a reverse cycle than in our country. The period between September and November, when the air temperature is around 25 degrees, is the best time to visit the country. February is the hottest and humid month with an average of 30 degrees. The temperature is around 14 degrees in June, July and August, which are the winter months in the country.
How to get to New Zealand
There are no direct flights from Europe to New Zealand. To go to New Zealand, it is necessary to use connecting flights from different countries. You can reach Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch with one or two connecting flights using different airline companies from cities such as Bangkok, Brisbane, Singapore, Sydney, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur.