Hobbits & Hakas Planning a New Zealand trip but not sure how to put your itinerary together? Here are four ideas that showcase four very different aspects of the country.

For film fanatics Whether you’re a longtime Tolkien aficionado, or you were blown away by the visual extravaganzas dished up by Peter Jackson in his six blockbuster adaptations of the writer’s famous works, you’ll love getting a peek into the life of a Hobbit and discovering Middle-earth for yourself at the Hobbiton Movie Set ( It’s located near Matamata in the North Island, and you can have lunch at Shire’s Rest Café, browse for some memorabilia in the Shire Store, and blow the froth off an ale at the Green Dragon Inn. For nature lovers Among the world’s more remote and isolated countries, New Zealand was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. This gives the country a rich and distinctive biodiversity of animal, bird and plant life as well as an abundant

For adventure seekers June to October is ski season in New Zealand, and Queenstown is the centre of activity, with the two main ski fields of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables experiencing big, happy crowds. Don’t forget to leave some time for bungy jumping (commercial bungy jumping actually started in New Zealand in 1986); there’s also sky-diving, canyon-swinging and other adrenaline-inducing activities that are available all-year round.

For culture vultures Even if you’re not crazy about culture a n d h e r i t a g e , it’s hard not be awa r e o f how strongly the Maori culture impresses itself upon the

marine life. Whales, seals,

penguins and d o l p h i n s can all be spotted here, i n c l u d i n g t h e wo r l d ’s rarest Hector’s dolphin, unique to New Zealand. Tip: head for the historic coastal township of Kaikoura,

contemporary life of New Zealanders, with so many amazing historic sites dotted throughout the country. You can watch a ceremony, book a stay on a marae (Maori meeting grounds) or try your hand at the famous haka . Rotorua in the North Island is a great starting point for learning the difference between a hangi and a hongi ! For something completely different, the World of WearableArt (WOW) is an annual international design competition held each spring, and also the country’s single largest arts event.

where you can book a whale-watching trip or visit a seal colony, before ending the day with a winery tour in Christchurch.


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