We think New Zealand has it all, with magnificent sights and and draw-dropping adventures at every turn. Over the years we have planned numerous itineraries to capture the best of what the North & South islands have to offer, but our clients are an inquisitive bunch and we are often asked “what’s different and off the beaten track?” Or, “What special experiences can we have?”
So here’s our top 10 hot spots to get you onto a path less trodden….
1. MOERAKI BOULDERS
These have taken years to form, perfectly spherical boulders best seen at low tide. You can find them between Dunedin and Oamaru. They originally started forming as ancient sea floor sediments around 60 million years ago and the largest boulders are estimated to have taken about 4 million years to get to their current size. Here’s Lizzie getting the perfect pic!
2. BLUE LAKE
Part of the Nelson Lakes National Park conservation area in the north of the South Island, Blue Lake is fed by waters from nearby Lake Constance. The park is a popular hiking, fishing and walking destination. The lake is a two-day hike from the park boundary – or for an aerial view, there are scenic flights with Reid Helicopters!
3. MOUNT HETHVEN
In winter this area is very popular, with nine ski fields close by including the magnificent Mt Hutt ski range. At other times of the year, activities such as jet boating, hot air ballooning, scenic flights and mountain biking are also popular. The town offers an excellent choice of eating places and bars.
4. DOUBTFUL SOUND
In the shadow of Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound gets less attention due to its limited access. You can only get to this much longer sound by water. With its rugged peaks, verdant rainforest and twisting, hidden inlets – Doubtful Sound will take your breath away. Home to abundant wildlife you may encounter bottlenose dolphins and fur seals at play or catch a glimpse of a rare Fiordland Crested Penguin.
5. OMORAMA CLAY CLIFFS
The Clay Cliffs are a stark sight – tall pinnacles separated by narrow ravines. These otherworldly formations are made up of layers of gravel and silt, originally formed by the flow from ancient glaciers over a million years ago. They are located in the south of the South Island near Waitaki.
6. WELCOME FLAT HOT POOLS
An easy drive south-east of Christchurch, is Banks Peninsula which is the South Island’s most interesting volcanic feature. Originally an island formed by two volcanic cones, the peninsula has two dominant craters which form Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours.
8. WAITAKERE RANGES
Located just a 40-minute drive from Auckland the Waitakere Ranges have over 250 kilometres of walking tracks. The ranges are a wonderful place to explore on foot, surrounded by spectacular scenery. Favourite scenic spots like the Karekare Falls, are very accessible.
9. AORANGI FOREST PARK
Why not head to Aorangi Forest Park in the Wairarapa (east of Wellington on the North Island). This park features some of New Zealand’s most striking landforms and spectacular views which can enjoyed after a short walk. These landforms include: the Putangirua Pinnacles, earth pillars formed by the erosive forces of rain and floods; high slabs of rock known as Kupe’s Sail and the coastal Whatarangi Bluff
10. RERE FALLS & RERE RACKSLIDE
Although they are not very high at just 5 metres, the Rere Falls are very picturesque. About 20 metres in width, it is possible to walk behind the cascading water although as the rock face can be very slippery, care should be taken.
The rockslide is a 60-metre-long natural water slide. The rocks have been smoothed by the constantly running water of the Wharekopae River. Boogie boards, inflatable mattresses and inner tubes can be used to slide on and it’s a wild ride – check with locals first if you are unsure about going down it.
If you’re inspired to travel to New Zealand, we are on hand to help you plan the best itinerary to suit you!
Call us on 020 8891 0166