Anybody who’s watched the Lord of the Rings blockbuster films will be familiar with New Zealand’s stunning landscapes. With towering alpine ranges, rolling countryside and deserted beaches all packed into an area around the same size as the UK, this is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Thanks to the cheap New Zealand flights available with sites such as DialAFlight it is also increasingly accessible – but why should you choose to spend your summer holidays in the Land of the Long White Cloud?
Auckland: Most travel guides rave about New Zealand’s knock-out landscapes, but the country also boasts a number of lively cities. Auckland has consistently been voted one of the world’s most liveable metropolises, and it’s known as the ‘City of Sails’ thanks to the abundance of boats and the popularity of sailing. Other cities certainly worth a visit include Wellington, with its thriving cultural scene and impressive capital buildings, and the seaside town of Napier with its quirky Art Deco architecture.
Rotorua: This geothermal hotspot epitomises all that is unique and sensational about New Zealand. Surrounded by volcanoes and literally bubbling with geysers and mud pools it’s pervaded by a constant smell of eggs – but don’t let that put you off. The numerous Maori-owned attractions, spa experiences and stunning natural surroundings more than make up for the stench. (View over the Blue-Green Lakes, Rotorua shown left)
Abel Tasman: Accessible only by sea, the deserted white beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park make up some of the most iconic scenery in the country. Think thick verdant jungle, a ‘desert island’ feel and beautiful views over the water to a range of small islands. Join a tour or hire a boat to see this remote area of the country in style.
Southern Alps: If you want true Lord of the Rings scenery then head to the Southern Alps. This was where the blockbuster trilogy was largely filmed and attracts tourists in their droves – but there’s plenty of room for everyone. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try skiing in the winter or mountain biking or hiking through the range in the summer.