Travelling to exotic destinations is a very popular pastime, and here we bring you another stunning location to add to your list. New Zealand is a large green island with minimal population density, a Maori history and beautiful flora and fauna that is truly unique in the world context. Would you like some tips on where to go when you head to this region, where hurrying is forbidden?
Take a peek behind the curtain and see the Hobbit House in the small village of Matamata, which displays the wonders of the Hobbit village where the story of Frodo, Bilbo and the other halflings was filmed on twelve acres. An interesting adventure, and not just for fans of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.
Let’s now take a look at the various natural beauties on offer, of which there is no shortage in the New Zealand landscape! The kiwi bird is just one representative of a number of endemic species, palm trees grow here, and you'll meet the gecko or kakapo parrot. Tongariro National Park has been in operation for more than a hundred years and covers nearly 800 square kilometres, so you could enjoy a mountain bike holiday – although the walking option is certainly very worthwhile too. You'll find several volcanoes here, and also shrines to the original Maori inhabitants, so there's a certain hidden mystique to the place. For more than a quarter of a century, this national park has been on the UNESCO list, and deservedly so.
Plan a longer holiday, because spending just a few days in New Zealand would be such a shame! Those who have visited the famous Bay of Islands, located on the northwestern tip of the smaller of the two islands, know this. It is sixty kilometres from Whangarei and harbours 144 small islands, the most famous of which is Urupukapuka, a place of sandy beaches and almost divine tranquillity.
New Zealand's nature is also represented by the Coromandel Peninsula, a former gold-mining site, where you will find thermal springs and rainforests from the time when Maori tribes still lived here in complete symbiosis with nature. Once again we are in the north of the smaller of the islands, a place named after one of the British ships. The green forest on this peninsula is a true paradise, and we should not forget Cathedral Cove, a natural formation of sandstone that receives tens of thousands of visitors a year.
Mountain biking or water sports – there are certainly many ways to relax in New Zealand. In fact, whatever the season, you can enjoy the water at Lake Wanaka – there's fishing, rafting, paragliding and mountain walking nearby. Yes, this is where many movies were filmed, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit and the Time Trap. It looks a bit like the southern Alps, but the Lake Wanaka area, which covers 192 square kilometres, is on the southern part of the larger of New Zealand's two islands – so the two places are almost literally a world apart.
A little tip to finish. Travelling to such remote destinations requires thorough preparation, especially if you are also going to engage in sporting activities. Not having a first aid kit with you can be a problem. Remember that the population density in New Zealand is very low and it can take time to find a place with a mobile signal and call for help. So be sure to bring all important essential medicines, including those you take regularly, and pack plasters and bandages. At the same time, New Zealand law only allows you to bring in a three-month supply of medicines (the only exception is hormonal contraceptives).