Waitangi Day is the national day of New Zealand and it commemorates the signing of the treaty which took place on 6th February, 1840. It is one of the world’s most beautiful and least populated countries and if New Zealand has always been on your bucket list, there has never been a better time to visit.
In celebration of Waitangi Day, here is a roundup of our top nine reasons to visit:
The Varied and Unspoilt Scenery
New Zealand has diverse, unspoilt and breath-taking scenery which includes stunning beaches, subtropical forests, snow-capped mountains, serene lakes, lush green pastures, fjords and bustling hot springs. Totally instagrammable!
The Great Outdoors
If you are a thrill seeker, New Zealand won’t disappoint thanks to its world-class surfing and skiing (you can do both in the same day if you wish!). Mount Cook National Park is home to the highest mountain in New Zealand and is an ideal destination for hiking with trails like the Mueller Hut and Hooker Valley. The Kepler Track in the Fjordland National Park has spectacular alpine-like vistas and tranquil beach forests.
The Bay of Islands Is certainly worth a visit for those that love paddle boarding, diving, kayaking or snorkelling. The National Cycleway has a superb selection of diverse cycle trails and mountain biking tracks.
The Natural World
Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third-largest island and is known in the Māori language as Rakiura which means ‘The Land of Glowing Skies’. Visitors come to hike, birdwatch or marvel at the island’s wild beauty. It doesn’t have to be an arduous hike across the 280km walking tracks, visitors can walk at a more relaxed pace and enjoy flora and fauna-focused walks around the island.
It is also the only place where you are likely to see the endangered Kiwi native to New Zealand in daylight hours. In fact, there are bird and plant species in New Zealand that aren’t anywhere else in the world.
The Lord of the Rings
From King Kong to The Piano, New Zealand has been host to a variety of must-see movie locations, but perhaps the most famous are The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. LoTR fans can even visit the Hobbiton movie set in the Waikato region of the country where they can have their very own Middle-Earth adventure.
The Fantastic Wine
Known for its world-famous vineyards, New Zealand’s soil diversity and temperate climate have helped cement its place in sommeliers’ and wine lovers’ wine lists all over the world. If you are a fan, why not check out one of the 450 wine experiences throughout New Zealand? Whether you want to stay at a luxurious vineyard, take a winery tour or even just go on a wine tasting tour, there are plenty of options to choose from throughout the 10 designated wine regions.
The Beautiful Beaches
From the beaches at Abel Tasman National Park where you can explore the Coast Track to the surfer’s paradise of Wainui Beach, New Zealand has 15,000 kilometres of coastline, making it a haven for beach-lovers. You can even try kayaking around the coast of Adele Island where you might spot some seals from your kayak.
If you are seeking a remote retreat, look no further than New Chums Beach in the scenic Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island which has the most beautiful powder-white sandy beaches and dazzlingly blue water.
The Amazing Cuisine
From North to South, New Zealand is home to an incredible and restaurant scene.
In Auckland, Japanese restaurant Cocoro is hugely popular as is the seafood eatery Depot where chefs cook their catch over charcoal giving it a real mouth-watering taste.
If you are looking for glamour, King of Snake in Christchurch is worth a visit thanks to its decadent film-set décor and its award-winning Asian dining. Vegans and vegetarians should head to The Lotus Heart which offers a fully comprehensive menu of delicious veggie-friendly dishes.
The Ortega Fish Shack and Bar in Wellington is a fabulous place to enjoy fresh seafood in a quirky-but-cool setting. The restaurant is in a shack that is kitted out with marine-inspired artwork and light installations. With a philosophy of ‘nose to tail eating’, The Larder serves dishes like seared calves’ liver with caramelised tongue and buttermilk crepes with poached peach and rhubarb.
Regardless of the region, chefs and restaurants are making use of and advocating local and seasonal produce.
Not Just Travel has an exciting and bespoke offer to explore New Zealand. This 14-day trip will combine the bright lights of the city with the awe-inspiring vistas of Mount Cook and the Southern Alps. Book now to save £220 per couple.
Please contact Paulina on 07824 378 885 for further details.
This article was adapted with permission from Paulina’s website article.