Dreaming of a magnificent and authentic travel experience? Meet the land marked by splendid and somewhat surreal landscaping, immortalized in “The Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy. Start exploring the beauties of New Zealand following the steps of the movie – rural Matamata on North Island served as a set for Hobbit homes, while the volcano tips and Tongariro national park were perfect for representing Mordor. Cross Tongariro and visit Ngauruhoe volcano which Frodo and Sam bravely conquered and called Mount Doom. However, New Zealand isn’t just a land of “The Lord of the Rings”; it is a land of unimaginable beauties, rich cultural heritage and various flora and fauna. Make a big step and visit this land – you won’t regret it.
The largest city in New Zealand, Auckland, will impress any visitor with its dominant seaside landscape and green forests. Its 102 beaches make this place ideal for a vacation and enjoyment of the ocean. Auckland is surrounded by 48 volcanoes whose peaks form an amazing view. Don’t miss One Tree Hill, the Auckland’s biggest dormant volcano and the first Maori settlement. This is a city that will dazzle you with its special liveliness; most of the shops are open 7 days a week, bars welcome visitors late into the night while the metropolitan’s mixture of Polynesian, Asian and European population emphasizes the value of this cultural environment.
Also visit Wellington, the capital of the island, the most populated city in Oceania. Most visitors consider this city the most interesting and exciting one in New Zealand. Placed between steep hills, shining waters of Wellington harbor and turbulent waters of Cook Strait, with the population of 400.000 people it’s the second biggest city in New Zealand which amazes you with its art and night scene, and by that surpasses most cities of the same size. Known as a picturesque harbor surrounded by green hills, Wellington enchants with its beautiful colonial architecture, beaches, marinas, parks and forests. While exploring the city stop over at National museum Te Papa which has many riches of Maori culture; take a stroll down Courtenay Palace where you’ll find great places to enjoy a cup of coffee, drink or a nice meal, then Cuba Street, an alternative part of Wellington with tattoo salons, second-hand book stores and shops. If you’re a nature enthusiast make sure you visit the breathtaking Botanical Gardens, sanctuary of Karori birds; then head to the Matiu/Somes Island which astounds you with its unique scenery and rich flora and fauna.
On the North, along the bank of Rotorua Lake is the city of the same name known by its geothermal springs. This region is really special for the geysers, bubbling mud-pools and hot thermal springs, even though sometimes the smell of sulphur can be more appalling then appealing. South from Rotorua is lake Taupo, the biggest lake in New Zealand and geographical center of the North Island. From the banks of the lake you will enjoy the view upon Ruapehu, the highest point of the island in which is also Tongariro national park and finest ski resort. As a part of “Ring of Fire”, thermal features and always present danger make this place an attraction. Southeast of Taupo Lake, on the banks of Hawke Bay, you will find an architectural anomaly; town Napier, a time capsule of art deco architecture. Scenery of Hawke Bay is rich with vineyards and it’s one of the top producers of vine in the country.
If you want to feel some adrenalin rush, take a walk by the edge of the crater and enjoy the view of the lake which is boiling at the bottom of the crater.
Photo by: Yanjing