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Maori legends... click here for 'How the Kiwi lost it's wings...'

Aotearoa. Land of raw beauty with its majestic forests, pristine lakes and rivers, soaring ranges, boiling mud, steam filled geysers and sparkling glaciers. New Zealand is the outdoor lover’s dream. My perfect holiday would be to spend a couple of weeks traveling the width and breadth of the South Island. One week alone could easily be spent tramping through the Milford Track – a world renowned track that winds itself through spectacular National Trust Forests and Parks. Emerald moss, crystalline waterfalls, silver ferns and majestic kauri all await to tantalize the eye.

In the interests of preservation, there is limited entry into the Park every year, and many people have faced disappointment by not booking early enough to obtain one of the prized entry places.

Whether it’s a sedate holiday, of camping out seemingly in the middle of nowhere – fishing the many lakes, rivers and streams that traverse the landscape; perhaps contemplating life as you sit in peaceful solitude on a craggy mountain top; or enjoying the more cosmopolitan holiday of renting a house along Auckland’s harbourside – minutes from it’s beaches, shops or nightlife in the city; maybe it’s the adrenaline junkie trip of a lifetime in Taupo or Queenstown – bungy jumping, parachuting, white water raftering or body surfing the rapids; New Zealand offers all in unspoiled splendour.

Tourism is one of New Zealand’s prime money spinners, yet due to it’s distant location from the rest of the world, still remains relatively untouched from the greedy claws of encroaching industry, so often seen to ruin some of the world’s most beautiful spots with an inundation of development – cheesy hotels, bars and burger joints that litter so much of the world’s coastline today. Certainly, you will find elements of this in the larger tourist towns and cities, but there are still many areas that will help you to really get away from it all.

Raw Facts

Area: 269,000 sq km
Population: 3.5 million
Capital city: Wellington (pop 328,000)
People: 88% European (Pakeha), 12% Maori and Polynesian
Languages: English and Maori

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