New Zealand

Travel Guide
Tongaporutu showing a sunset, mountains and a bay or harbour
Explore the glacially carved country of Aotearoa, “the land of the long white cloud,” to discover volcanic mountains, ancient forests and scenes immortalized by Hollywood directors.

New Zealand’s breathtaking landscapes have bewitched seafarers and travelers for centuries, its high peaks and forested valleys showing a prehistoric world to those who venture to its shores. Experience its natural splendor as you hike mountain ranges, raft down wild rivers, wander along volcanic-sand beaches or relax in thermal pools. See if you can recognize scenes from The Lord of the Rings trilogy or Avatar when you delve into New Zealand’s primeval forests. Discover the country’s unique heritage when you experience Māori cultural traditions and learn about the English settlers who arrived here nearly 200 years ago.

Two distinct islands make up the country of New Zealand. In the North Island, you’ll find the busy harbor of Auckland, as well as beautiful beaches and laid-back seaside communities at the Bay of Islands and Coromandel. Experience the curative qualities of hot springs in Rotorua and find out about the Māori way of life amid the steaming geysers of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village. Tongariro National Park is a majestic reserve where you can hike through meadows in the foothills of active volcanoes.

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and lies on the southern end of the North Island. Ride the Wellington Cable Car to look out over the city or explore the native plantings in the Wellington Botanic Garden. The city is also home to several exciting museums and a multicultural dining scene.

The South Island contains the rugged landscapes of New Zealand’s glaciers, fjords and temperate rainforests. See tranquil lakes and immense glaciers when you explore Mount Cook, Franz Josef or take the scenic railway through Arthur’s Pass.

The cozy mountainside cities of Queenstown and Dunedin are perfect hubs for skiing in winter and mountain biking in summer. Ride on horseback along the Otago Rail Trail or rent a kayak to cruise around the pristine waters of Milford Sound. If it’s extreme adventure you seek, you can go bungee jumping in several locations, including the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge.

New Zealand is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean and is easy to access via one of its five international airports. Flights from Melbourne and Sydney in Australia take approximately 3 hours to reach New Zealand. With its varied landscapes and rich cultural heritage, New Zealand is a year-round destination.

Popular cities in New Zealand

Devonport featuring a city, a river or creek and skyline
Auckland
Known for Dining, Shopping and Ports
A city surrounded by natural wonders, Auckland is perfect for all kinds of adventures, from eating out on the water, to going on safari to peeking inside a volcano.

Reasons to visit

  • Sky Tower
  • Auckland Ferry Terminal
  • Auckland Zoo
Christchurch
Christchurch
Known for Gardens, Cafes and Business
Known for its green spaces, New Zealand’s “Garden City” also offers plenty of restaurants, bars, boutiques and outdoor adventure sports.

Reasons to visit

  • Lyttelton Harbour
  • Sumner Beach
  • New Brighton Beach
Mount Victoria Lookout showing a city, a bay or harbour and night scenes
Wellington
Known for Dining, Shopping and Ports
Referred to as the “coolest little capital in the world”, the capital city of New Zealand is rich in arts and culture, as well as a thriving movie scene.

Reasons to visit

  • Te Papa
  • Cuba Street Mall
  • Museum of Wellington City and Sea
Rotorua which includes a hot spring
Rotorua
Known for Spas, Lakes and Family-friendly
Visitors flock to this geothermal site to enjoy its hot springs, mud pools, watersports and fascinating Maori culture.

Reasons to visit

  • Skyline Rotorua
  • Polynesian Spa
  • Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest
Larnach Castle which includes château or palace and street scenes
Dunedin
Known for Historical, Gardens and Museums
With heritage architecture, buzzing nightlife and a pristine coastline, New Zealand’s “Edinburgh of the South” is a seaside city for all seasons.

Reasons to visit

  • The Octagon
  • Larnach Castle
  • Dunedin Botanic Garden
Napier which includes a sunset and a square or plaza
Napier
Known for Dining, Beach view and Art
Admire the art deco architecture, take in the ocean views and enjoy locally produced wines at this charming little port city.

Reasons to visit

  • Mission Estate Winery
  • Marine Parade
  • Church Road Winery

Popular places to visit

New Zealand