New Zealand holidays take you hiking across fjords, jet-boating down rivers and smooth sailing on pristine lakes mirroring the sky. From the North Island to the South, book a New Zealand hotel and discover a country of extremes.
Get your bearings
New Zealand’s two beach-fringed islands lie 2,000km south-east of Australia in the South Pacific Ocean. The North Island’s cone-shaped mountains and huge Lake Taupo were sculpted by volcanic activity, and bubbling hot mud bursts from geysers at Rotorua. Across Cook Strait from New Zealand’s windy capital Wellington, the South Island is spiked by the mighty Southern Alps and glaciers are on the move on the west coast’s rugged Fiordland. You’ll see magical glades of filigree-leaved tree ferns right across New Zealand, while forests of giant kauri trees reach for the sky in the North Island and ancient beech forests fill the South.
New Zealand’s adrenalin capital is Queenstown, the home of heart-in-your-mouth activities like bungee jumping. In the North Island, dive shipwrecks near Whangarei and surf the breaks off Gisborne. America’s Cup yachts tie up in Auckland harbour, and sea kayakers ride waves in the sun-filled Bay of Plenty and translucent Marlborough Sound. Vertical ski fields dot the South Island from Mount Hutt to Queenstown’s Remarkables and there’s family skiing at Cardrona. Hiking is called tramping in New Zealand, and whether you tackle an urban stroll around the Art Deco city of Napier or one of the country’s nine multi-day Great Walks, one of the best ways to see New Zealand is on foot.
Launch into family holidays in New Zealand from Auckland’s Sky Tower for the highest views in the Southern Hemisphere. Ride a paddle steamer across Lake Rotorua and hold your nose when Pohutu Geyser spits sulphuric steam into the air. Kids will enjoy spotting the elusive and flightless kiwi at the wildlife centre in Mount Bruce, and get hands and minds into action with interactive displays at Wellington’s national museum. Catch a ferry across Cook Strait to seek out The Lord of the Rings landscapes at Wanaka and Queenstown.