Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata, New Zealand

10 things we love about New Zealand

Made up of two islands, New Zealand’s vast landscape has something for everyone. Whether you visit the North Island and explore the country’s history and rich Maori culture, or take in the South Island with its awe inspiring scenery, you are guaranteed to fall in love with New Zealand. Here are just ten of the things we love about this beautiful country.

1. The Scenery

New Zealand.jpg

The diversity of New Zealand’s landscapes are like no other country on earth. With white sandy beaches, snow-capped mountains, glistening blue lakes, natural hot springs, vineyards and green rainforests to name a few, there really is no end to the natural beauty of New Zealand.

2. The Historic Culture

Maori marae.jpg

There is a large Maori presence and influence in New Zealand, which is an important part of the country’s history. The North Island is rich with Maori history and visitors can learn about Maori culture and experience the hospitality first hand. Take a trip to Rotorua and visit a living Maori village to try some delicious Maori food and learn the traditional war dance, the Haka.

3. The Great Outdoors

Wanaka New Zealand.jpg

When it comes to outdoor activities, there’s not much you can’t do in New Zealand. Both islands are the perfect setting for an abundance of year round outdoor activities. There are endless trails to cycle or hike in the National Parks, and for a more relaxing option, you can kayak or take a scenic boat cruise. The climate also makes for great camping conditions in the summer months, and during the winter months New Zealand boasts world class skiing resorts on both islands.

4. World famous wine

Lake Wanaka Otago New Zealand.jpg

Famed for its wine, New Zealand has a number of vineyards to visit. The two leading areas are situated in Hawkes Bay and Marlborough, which is best known for producing Sauvignon Blanc. Taste your way through the North Island by driving the picturesque Classic New Zealand wine trail – a must do for any wine enthusiasts.

5. Adventure activities

Tongariro crossing New Zealand.jpg

If you are a thrill seeker or adrenaline junkie then New Zealand is definitely the place for you. Known as the adventure tourism capital of the world, all over the country you can find places to bungee jump, sky dive, white water raft, mountain bike and so much more. Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world, and home to the world’s first bungee (so if you’re ever going to take a leap of faith, this is the place to do it!).

6. Lord of the Rings

Hobbiton playground.jpg

The stunning scenery of New Zealand was famously used as the back drop for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. More than 150 real locations were used for filming, and the Hobbiton film set was created – a must for any Lord of the Rings fans.

7. Wildlife

Kiwi zone sign.jpg

New Zealand is home to a number of bird species that won’t be found anywhere else in the world. Most notably the Kiwi, the small flightless bird, which is the national symbol of New Zealand. It is also an amazing place to spot whales and dolphins. Unlike their Australian neighbours, there are almost no venomous or highly dangerous animals to look out for on land.

8. Low population

queenstown new zealand.jpg

New Zealand covers more land than the UK, but with a population of under 5 million people, it is significantly less populated. It’s not uncommon to take a walk or drive and not pass anyone else for hours, making it the perfect place to escape and relax. With most of the population living in the main cities, the rest of the country is unspoiled and uncrowded.

9. Star-gazing

Milky Way Over Lake Tekapo New Zealand.jpg

With large parts of the country having little to no light pollution, New Zealand is the perfect place to go star gazing. With some of the darkest and clearest skies in the world there is the chance to see shooting stars and constellations that can be uniquely viewed from this part of the world. The South Island hosts some of the best spots such as Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo. If you visit in winter, you might even be lucky enough to experience the breath taking Southern Lights.

10. It’s the perfect place for a holiday

Suspension Bridge New Zealand.jpg

There is so much on offer here that you can never get bored of New Zealand. Visitors want to come back time and time again to try and see more of the country. With easy driving conditions and friendly locals, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable time in New Zealand!

A banner that says "Start Planning your New Zealand Adventure"

Morag Lee

Morag is the resident blog writer at Barrhead Travel. Can usually be found exploring a cruise ship or on a city break.