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New Zealand

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1993/2019

First/Last visit:

Number of visits:

Personal Rating:

6

3/193

UNESCO Sites visited:

2/3

Places Visited:

Christchurch, Hanmer Springs, Dunedin, Moeraki, Otago Peninsula, Nugget's Point, Marlborough, Balclutha, Clinton, Invercargill (southernmost city in NZ), Bluff, Riverton, Waewae Bay, Clifden, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Omarama, Mt. Cook Village, Ashburton, Akaroa, Pleasant Point, Fairlie, Burke's Pass, Tekapo, Lindis Pass, Cromwell, Queenstown, Wanaka, Lake Hawea, Haast, Lake Moeraki, Harihari, Hokitika, Greymouth, Punakaiki, Westport, Murchison, Blenheim, Nelson,Picton, Wellington; Paekakariki, Paraparumu, Levin, Palmerston North, Mangaweka, Bulls, Hunterville, Whanganui, Turangi, Taupo, Rotorua, Waihi Beach, Whangamata, Thames, Whangapoua, Whakatane, Gisborne, Mahia Peninsula, Napier, Otara, Auckland, Piha, Takapuna, Devonport, Warkworth, Tawharanui National Park, Pakiri, Langs Beach, Leigh, Wellsford, Makarau, Helensville, Stillwater, Whangarei, Whangarei Heads, Ocean Beach, Tutukaka, Matapouri, Kawakawa, Paihia, Waitangi, Russel, Kerikeri, Matauri Bay, Tauranga Bay, Tairua Beach, Whangaroa, Mangonui, Cape Reina, Tapotupotu Bay, Te Paki sand dunes, Kaitaia, Ahipara, Kohukohu, Rawene, Omapere, Matakohe, Chatham Island, Rarotonga/Aitutaki (both in Cook Islands, self governing, in free association with NZ)

Highlights:

Christchurch Banks Peninsula and charming French village of Akaroa, Hanmer Springs Spa town, Lake Tekapo (scenic place with church of the good shepherd), Marlborough's Wineyards, Dunedin's steep Baldwin Street and its striking photogenic Railway Station, one of the prettiest in the world. Moeraki Boulders. Royal Albatross Colony on Otago Peninsula, dont miss Castle Larnach and Allans Beach. Nugget's point with thousands of penguins, fur seals, even sometimes elephant seals. Purakaunui Waterfalls near Catlins Forest Park. Scenic drive in the very south of the South island from Riverton to via Colac Bay to Waewae Bay, good for dolphin and whale watching. Milford Sound by boat. Te Anau with its amazing Glowworm Caves. Mirror Lakes. Excursion flight to Mt. Cook from Twizel airstrip or drive to Mt. Cook village, park the car and walk for majestic mountain views. Peel Forest with giant trees incl. the Big Tree, a 1000 years old. Kawarau gorge suspension bridge (birthplace of bungy jumping), take a lake cruise on lake Wakatipu with the historical steamboat TSS Earnslaw, Fox and Franz Josef glacier trekking, Lake Kaniere with Dorothy falls, Hokitika and the Westcoast Treetop Walk, the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, a must for nature lovers, Cape Foulwind, Buller gorge where you can cross NZ's longest swingbridge, Kaikoura dolphin&whales watch (sperm whales), Abel Tasman National Park, ferry from Picton to windy Wellington, take the cable car up to the Botanical Garden, Te Papa Tongarewa museum, the impressive Beehive building, seat of NZ's parliament. Old St. Paul's church, the wood work is just amazing. Paraparaumu Southward Car museum, Tongariro National Park UNESCO, Huka Falls, Lady Knox Geysir and Champagne Pool, Rotorua is NZ's hotspot with plenty of geothermal activities, Coromandel Peninsula with trek to New Chums Beach, Hahei and Hot Water beaches, Mahe peninsula near Gisborne, Napier and its amazing collection of Art Deco Buildings, Auckland Bungy jumping from the famous Harbour bridge, One tree hill with its volcanic peak, Sky walk or sky jump from Auckland's iconic Sky Tower, Waterfront with plenty of bars&restaurants, the Maritime museum and Viaduct harbour. Botanical garden, Museum of Transport and Technology, boat trip to Waiheke island (and tour the island by local bus), War memorial museum, Art gallery, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium with its Antarctic Encounter gallery, West Coast beaches at Piha crossing the Waitakere Ranges park. To the North, we enjoyed Tawharanui, Pakiri and Langs beaches. But my favourite beach is cute little Whale Bay near Matapouri. Kawakawa where Austrian artist Friedrich Hunderwasser died in 2000 at the age of 71. The historical grounds of Waitangi where a peace accord was signed in 1840 between the British monarch and the Maoris, the Treaty House can be visited, Harura Watefalls, with a ferry boat to Russel, NZ's oldest church (1847) and Kerikeri with NZ' oldest stone building (1832). Cape Reinga with lighthouse (NZ's most northern point) with nearby sanddunes, Cape Maria Van Diemen, of outstanding beauty. Te Paki Sand dunes and 90 Mile beach. Waipoua Kauri Forest with the biggest Kauri tree, named Tane Mahuta, about 1200 years old and 51 meters high. There is an excellent Kauri museum in Matakohe. Cook Islands: rent a scooter or car (there is also a regular public bus) to drive around the island. In Aitutaki book the excursion to the postcard perfect Lagoon.