Arrowtown, New Zealand
Auckland, New Zealand
Beach, New Zealand
Fiordland, New Zealand
Lake Matheson, New Zealand
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand
Rotorua, New Zealand

New ZealandNew Zealand Regional Information

New Zealand | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History

New Zealand society is diverse, sophisticated, and multicultural, and the honesty, friendliness, and openness of Kiwis will impress you.

New Zealand Overview

New Zealand
New Zealand

New Zealand's spectacularly beautiful landscape includes vast mountain chains, steaming volcanoes, sweeping coastlines, deeply indented fiords and lush rainforests.

Comparable in size and/or shape to Great Britain, Colorado or Japan, New Zealand has a population of only four million—making it one of the world's least crowded countries. It is a haven for those seeking peace, rejuvenation and relaxation as well as a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers. A temperate climate with relatively small seasonal variation makes it an ideal year-round holiday destination.

New Zealanders have a unique and dynamic culture, with European, Maori, Pacific and Asian influences. It's a culture that celebrates the many different lifestyles we live, and the stories we have to tell.

The north of New Zealand is subtropical and the south temperate. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest June, July and August.

New Zealand Highlights

The Bay of Islands is a natural harbour with an irregular 16 kilometre wide inlet, located in the Northland region in the far north of the North Island of New Zealand, 60 kilometres north-west of Whangarei. The Bay of Islands is a stunningly beautiful length of sand and rock coastline that circles a sea pierced by 150 islands. Wherever you are in the Bay of Islands, it's impossible to escape the lure of the sea. Catch a ferry or charter boat and immerse yourself in the blue-green world of island and beach. Or paddle a sea kayak in and out of island nooks and crannies.

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown
Photographer: Ben Crawford
(www.bencrawford.co.nz)

The Rotorua district is located on the southern shore of Lake Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. Rotorua is one of the original tourist destinations in New Zealand and has been welcoming visitors for more than 200 years. From the moment people arrive in Rotorua they know they're somewhere quite different. The scent of sulphur in the air is characteristic of Rotorua. At nearby geothermal hotspots, there are spouting geysers, boiling mud pools and warm geothermal springs. Silica terraces are naturally decorated with a kaleidoscope of colours.

Queenstown is the Southern Hemisphere's premiere four season alpine and lake resort. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and overlooked by the majestic Remarkables Range, Queenstown is the perfect destination all year round. Summer burns hot under blue skies before cool autumn morning's change the leaves to vivid reds and gentle golds. With crisp, clear days and acres of snow covered mountains, winter is a time for snow enthusiasts, before nature bursts into colourful life during spring.

Main Centres in New Zealand

Main North Island centres:

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Fur Seal Pup, Wairarapa, New Zealand
Fur Seal Pup, Wairarapa
Photographer: Ian Trafford
(www.iantraffordphotos.com)
  • Northland - a gold, green and blue world of beaches, bays and subtropical pleasures
  • Bay of Islands - an aquatic playground with 144 islands
  • Auckland - largest city in New Zealand
  • Coromandel - one of New Zealand's best-loved holiday destinations
  • Bay of Plenty - a land of beautiful harbours and long white surf beaches
  • Waikato - massive subterranean caverns found underground
  • Rotorua - a region of fascinating geothermal activity
  • Eastland - the first mainland place in the world to see the sun each day
  • Taupo - boasts Lake Taupo New Zealand's largest lake
  • Ruapehu - huge volcanoes and majestic National Parks
  • Taranaki - boasts Mount Taranaki a huge, dramatic volcanic cone with a snowy top.
  • Hawke's Bay - loved for its sunny climate, fabulous beaches, sheltered coastal plains and long-established vineyards
  • Wanganui - known for maori culture, heritage, the Whanganui National Park and the Whanganui River
  • Manawatu - green beauty of heartland New Zealand
  • Wairarapa - embrace the pleasures of fine wine and good food
  • Wellington - capital city of New Zealand

Main South Island centres:

  • Nelson - known for its year-round sunshine, golden beaches and national parks
  • Marlborough - regularly records the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand
  • West Coast - a wild place known for rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures
  • Christchurch - largest city in the South Island, known as the 'Garden City'
  • Canterbury - a land of contrasts
  • Aoraki/Mt Cook - highest point in New Zealand at 3724 metres
  • Wanaka - Otago's second resort town after Queenstown
  • Queenstown - premier four season alpine retreat, known as the 'Adventure Capital of the World'
  • Otago - appreciated for its powerful, moody landscape
  • Dunedin - New Zealand's oldest city
  • Fiordland - one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand
  • Southland - New Zealand's southernmost region
  • Stewart Island - an island about 75 kilometres long and up to 45 kilometres wide

Other main centres:

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Kiwi Encounter, New Zealand
Kiwi Encounter
Photographer: Chris McLennan
(www.cmphoto.co.nz)

New Zealand Wide Accommodation

New Zealand is a popular tourist destination and offers a wide range of country-wide accommodation options:

View more New Zealand Accommodation options.

Useful New Zealand Wide Links

To help plan your New Zealand holiday choose from the main categories below:

New Zealand Wide Information

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Mainstay New Zealand Hotels

Mainstay NZ Hotels

Large collection of independent hotels.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels

Holiday packages for any occasion.