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Though Australia has for years been the bigger tourist draw, New Zealand was thrown into high relief as the destination of choice for nature lovers and adventure seekers ever since Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings hit the screens almost 16 years ago, making its biggest star the ‘land of the long white cloud’.
From its rolling hills and open meadows of the north island to the staggering mountains and sounds that litter the south island, New Zealand is a landscape that could well double as a fantasy backdrop, and with flights falling in price, this is one of the top destinations for a touring holiday.
Here are some New Zealand highlights we think you need to discover for yourself:
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A smaller, more traditional city than Auckland, Wellington sits on the south side of the North Island and serves as a gateway for adventurers wanting to explore the more dramatic South Island of New Zealand on their holidays.
But there is plenty to explore within Wellington, as this vibrant town is considered to be the cultural capital of New Zealand with a fantastic dining scene, parks, galleries, museums and a fantastic lookout point from Mt Victoria where you can see the city hug the beautiful bay.
A beautiful and culturally significant part of New Zealand, visitors make their holidays in and around Rotorua to see the spectacular lakes, the impressive Whakarewarewa forest and see the geothermal features such as the mud pools and the active geysers.
This is also considered to be the heartland of Maori culture, the indigenous warrior people of New Zealand, it is here in Rotorua where you can watch displays of combat and challenge in their traditional dances.
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The sounds down in this part of New Zealand could rival Norway, sheer cliff and mountains part against calm, turquoise waters.
Considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and nestled in New Zealand most famous National Park, the journey to the sounds are every bit as worth it as the destination.
Spend a little time in this part of New Zealand to add a little drama to your holidays.
Arguably one of the most beautiful towns in New Zealand, Queenstown sits by the Lake Wakatipu with the Remarkable Mountains serving as its back drop.
In summer, watersports and horseriding dominate the holidays, in the winter, skiers and snowboarding enthusiasts take over the town.
However, even if you’re not so inclined to stretch your athletic muscles, Queenstown has tons to offer, with little boutique cafes, fine dining restaurants, quaint movie theatres, cosy pubs and trendy bars to relax and enjoy some of the most breath-taking scenery in New Zealand.
End your holiday in New Zealand with a trip to this lively city which has recovered beautifully from earthquakes in 2011, and is still considered to be one of the prettiest cities of New Zealand, boasting the title of the Garden City.
Surrounding this is the wildlife park and trust, and further south is Akaroa, an ancient volcano that has a large bay where you can spot wildlife like penguins, seals and dolphins.
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