NEW ZEALAND is a hotspot for many traveler’s of all interests. Whether it is the adrenaline rush from bungee jumping, or the relaxing serenity of a mountainous drive, New Zealand has everything to offer. From Snow-capped peaks, sparkling coves, coastal glaciers, rolling hills, or rainforests, everyone can find their adventure here.
Have you ever visited a movie set? Hobbiton is the Shire featured in “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. With a variety of tours offered throughout the set, you can experience the shire first hand while taking in the iconic rolling hills and lush green pastures. There are many parts to the tour but the finale of the journey ends at The Green Dragon™ Inn with a refreshing beverage and a chance to take it all in. There is an abundance of movie magic nestled in this picturesque tour that you do not want to miss out on! Hobbiton is in the small village of Matamata, about a two hour drive from largest urban area in New Zealand, Auckland.But Hobbiton is not the only set to be featured in New Zealand! Cathedral Cove featured the “The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” The Coromandel Peninsula – which lies east of Auckland and is apart of Cathedral Cove, served as the settings for scenes in which the children took their first steps back into Narnia. But, whether you are a fan of the movie or not, this is a spectacular spot to witness. One of the best ways to visit the Cove has to be with one of the many boat tours, some of which are rated among New Zealand’s best boat trips. Visitors can marvel at the aquatic life and even go for a swim with the natural inhabitants. The Coromandel is no exception with Cathedral Cove, regarded as a must do activity for a visitor to New Zealand.
MAGICALLY IN AWE!
The north island has more to offer than just stunning movie sets. Waitomo is a village on the North Island known for its extensive underground caves. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must-see for any traveller. Thousands of glow-worms light up the caves and features waterfall and limestone formations create a magical experience. This is the most fun you can have in the dark! With the guided tours that are offered you can become a part of over 120 years of cultural and natural history. As you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights, you’ll immediately experience a serene ambience and be fascinated and intrigued by tiny glow worms that light your way.While the north island may have the attraction of not one, but two different movie sets, the south island has an undeniable appeal for some of nature’s hidden treasures. According to Perzen Pate, who has travelled extensively throughout New Zealand, she lists her top 5 places to go.
- Abel Tasman National Park: Abel Tasman’s four-hour Swing Bridge, Bush & Beach Walk is a treasure for all nature lovers and makes you feel like you are on a deserted island according to Patel.
- Kaikoura: Kaikoura is the place to go to if you want to see whales. For panoramic views of the Kaikoura peninsula head to Mt Fyffe track.
- Wanaka: Rather than heading to Queenstown, most locals prefer spending time in Wanaka with Lake Wanaka’s serene waters. The popular ski fields Cardrona and Treble Cone also are close.
- Blue Ocean Pools: These beautiful pools are only a short 15 min walk from the main road on Highway 6 between Wanaka and Haast Pass and are one of the true hidden highlights of the South Island according to Patel.
- Punakaiki: The small town of Punakaiki is home to the blow-holes and famous Pancake Rocks and is the perfect base to explore the rougher-tougher West Coast.
Does this not sound like a rollercoaster ride between serenity and adventure? When you’re on your travels exploring the beautiful and captivating country of New Zealand, be sure to keep these little tips in mind!
Can you be a Kiwi?
- New Zealanders, known as Kiwi’s, use many slang words that are not necessarily familiar in your culture. Some of them are as follows….
- Rubbish bin: Garbage can
- Chilly bin: Cooler
- Wop wop’s: The middle of nowhere/the sticks
- Togs: Swimsuit
- Jandals: Flip flops/thongs
- Buggered/knackered: Really tired
- Jumper: Sweater/pull-over
- Chur: Thanks
- Hokey-pokey: Ice cream flavour (definitely try this while in New Zealand)
- Stubbie: Bottle of beer
- Stubbies: Shorts (short shorts)
- Tramping: Hiking
- Mate: Friend or enemy (depending on the speaker’s tone)
- Kiwis have a disconcerting habit of not finishing similes. Though ‘sweet as’ is the most common, practically any adjective can be placed before the ‘as’ – such as ‘dark as’, as in, ‘It’s dark as in here’. (Which means ‘It’s really dark in here’.)
- The lowest denomination in New Zealand currency is a 10 cent piece
- There are no land snakes in New Zealand
- New Zealand has 3 official languages: English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language
- only 5% of New Zealand’s population is human! – the rest are animals
- The national sport of New Zealand is Rugby
- The national bird is also called a kiwi
An adventure like this is just a phone call away! Inspired Vacations wants to make sure you get the most of your time. There is so much to explore in the beautiful landscape of New Zealand and what better time to have fun then while on vacation.