Further down than Down Under lies a country that has been nick-named Middle-earth. New Zealand has earned this moniker after the huge success of the film trilogy “Lord of the Rings”. This Tolkien fantasy image, perhaps, is the most common impression of New Zealand, a picturesque, fairytale-like country.
Many say that New Zealand is an ideal country to live in because it seems to be a place for everyone. The country’s setting, so far away from anywhere else (except for Australia), makes it a desirable holiday destination, a place you don’t travel to every other summer like some hot-spot tourist destinations on the Old Continent.
There are no dangerous animals around or poisonous reptiles in New Zealand. There are twice as many sheep living there than people. Kiwis, as the inhabitants of New Zealand call themselves, are friendly people who love their country; spending time outdoors in a laid-back style seems to be a national hobby.
This blog will try to entertain you with some travel tips for a holiday journey from Wellington and Auckland on the North Island to Christchurch and Queenstown on the South Island. Make yourself comfortable, we are beginning the ride!
It is the southernmost capital in the world, having held this function since 1865. Wellington is also the culinary capital of New Zealand, with famous cafés where the largest number of coffees per capita are sold in the world. When it comes to sightseeing in Wellington, obligatory is a complex of parliament buildings with an architecturally original “beehive” and the Old St. Paul’s with an interior decorated in oak, an example of Neo-Gothic architecture. Pay a visit Te Papa Tongarewa museum with rich Maori art collections, illustrating the life, customs, and culture of the original inhabitants of New Zealand. Take the ride with over 100 years old historic cable car to the Kelburn hill for a wonderful view of the bay and the city.
Auckland is New Zealand’s important scientific, cultural and economic centre. It has magnificent architectural buildings, historic monuments, art galleries, and fine museums. Our visiting choice is the famous Museum of Transport and Technology, MOTAT. Our next pick is the Town Hall. It was built in the early twentieth century in an Italian Renaissance style. Almost from the beginning of its existence, it has played a significant cultural and administrative role as a place for main local events. Our next selection is the largest art institution in New Zealand. Opened in 1888, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki has the most expansive and comprehensive collection of national and international art with over 14,000 exhibits.
The largest city on the South Island, Christchurch has developed into an important economic and cultural hub. Located in the north of the island, the city lures visitors with its cultural attractions. Christchurch is home to cathedrals, churches, museums, and galleries. Visitors can also visit numerous parks and gardens. The most important sacral monument of the city is Christchurch Cathedral, located in its very centre. Sadly, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 2011, but reconstruction is in the pipeline. Do not miss the possibility to visit the Canterbury Museum, which has wonderful arts and natural history exhibitions. Christchurch Art Gallery is another architectural building that brings together five thousand works of various famous artists.
It is picturesquely located on Lake Wakatipu in the Southern Alps. Queenstown is the most sporty town on the antipodes, an adventure centre for adrenaline junkies. The list of extreme attractions in and around Queenstown is long, from skiing, rafting, parachuting to bungee jumping and many more. The best vantage point of the world capital of adrenaline is Skyline Queenstown, an activity complex with the best panoramic views of the region. Visitors travel up the hill with a cable gondola and can dine in a restaurant with a fantastic view of the town and the bay. Another place one simply cannot miss is Milford Sound, yes, the most photographed place in New Zealand. The fiord is a four- hours’ drive away to the north-west from Queenstown. Brave souls and thrill seekers should give the original Kawaru Bridge Bungy Jumping a try. It is located on the state highway 6 in Gibson Valley, one and a half hours’ drive from Queenstown.