On the edge of the Pacific’s ‘ring of fire’, New Zealand’s mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, rivers and fiords make it the top destination for adventure lovers. Two contrasting islands, North and South, are separated by the Marlborough Sound with its maze of waterways. The North Island is known for its thermal and volcanic activity, its many notable National Parks and Forest Parks and the nation’s harbour-side capital, Wellington. New Zealand’s South Island is blessed with pristine lakes and fiords, impressive glaciers and dramatic mountain peaks, with the Southern Alps forming a backbone stretching the entire island.


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Journey to Middle-earth

Ever since the first The Lord of the Rings film was released in 2001, New Zealand has been known as the ‘Home of Middle-earth’. Golden plains, towering mountains and enchanting valleys make up the dramatic scenery that plays the mythical world of Middle-earth on the big screen in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. More than 150 locations throughout the country were used during filming and many, including the Hobbiton Movie Set, can be visited on Middle-earth tours.

Get up close with glaciers

While glaciers around the world retreat, the Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers, on the South Island’s west coast, still flow almost to sea level. The temperate climate at this low altitude make these glaciers among the most convenient to visit in the world. Easy walks to the foot of the glaciers pass along ancient river valleys with steep sides, while heli-hikes transport guests up to where the glaciers begin.

A taste of local produce

New Zealand wine is distinctive for its purity, vibrancy and intensity. The long ripening period, a result of cooler temperatures, allows flavour to develop whilst retaining fresh acidity – a balance which New Zealand wines are famous for. Many of the country’s vineyards are in spectacular locations, close to a stunning shoreline or perched high amidst alpine peaks.

When to visit

From the crisp days of spring (September to November) to the burnt orange beauty of autumn (March to May), New Zealand is a traveller's paradise. The climate ranges from subtropical in the north to temperate in the south. No matter the season, the majority of the main attractions are open throughout the year.