New Zealand is jam-packed with things & places to visit.
The hardest part of planning your holiday will be deciding which to do first!
Exploring New Zealand's magnificent landscapes and coastline tops the list for many. Fantastic cycling and walking trails dot the country from north to south or try kayaking, sailing or diving.
If you're after New Zealand's famous adventure activities and extreme sports, there's a myriad to choose from. Bungy jumping a must-do; while rafting, jet boating, sky diving, and zip lining offer a similar rush.
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Whether you're visiting New Zealand for a few days or a few months, you'll find ideas here to help you plan your itinerary.
Take a look at these itineraries for the North Island, South Island, and all of New Zealand. Choose trips to suit your interests and how much time you have.
Remember, although New Zealand is relatively small and compact, there's certainly a lot to see. The longer you stay, the more you'll be able to enjoy it.
North Island trips
Your North Island itinerary can take in volcanoes, bubbling mud pools and shooting geysers, lazing on idyllic islands and exploring exciting metropolises.
South Island trips
Home to 10 of New Zealand's 14 national parks, the South Island is known for its jaw-dropping alpine scenery, icy glaciers and fun wildlife experiences.
New Zealand's friendly and down-to-earth people will be one of the things you treasure most about your visit.
With a patchwork history of Māori, European, Pacific Island and Asian cultures, New Zealand has become a melting-pot population - but one with some uniting features that make it unique in the world.
Today, of the 4.4 million New Zealanders (informally known as Kiwis), approximately 69% are of European descent, 14.6% are indigenous Māori, 9.2% Asian and 6.9% non-Māori Pacific Islanders.
Geographically, over three-quarters of the population live in the North Island, with one-third of the total population living in Auckland. The other main cities of Wellington, Christchurch, and Hamilton are where the majority of the remaining Kiwis dwell.
While retaining some ties to the British Crown, New Zealand has become a proud nation in its own right.
Throughout the 19th and much of the 20th century, the ‘homeland’ of Britain had an enormous influence on New Zealand. Government administration, education, and culture were largely built on British models. New Zealand troops fought and suffered severe casualties in the Boer War and the two World Wars. As Prime Minister Michael Savage said about England in 1939, ‘where she goes, we go, where she stands, we stand’.
A New Buddy
After World War II, cultural ties with Great Britain remained strong. However, successive New Zealand governments saw the USA as their major ally and protector. New Zealand signed the joined SEATO (South-East Asia Treaty Organisation) and signed the ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, and the United States) Pact. New Zealand troops also fought with US forces during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
A nation in its own right
While New Zealand is still heavily influenced by its colonial heritage, the country now has its own strong sense of identity. While still a member of the British Commonwealth, and maintaining close, friendly relations with the USA, New Zealand now has a far more independent trading and foreign policy. Since the mid-1980s, New Zealand has been a nuclear-free zone, with its armed forces primarily focused on peacekeeping in the Pacific region.