New Zealand travel guide

New Zealand is a haven for outdoor sports where you can ski and go to the beach on the same day. The islands' great sub-tropical climate, modern culture, and English speaking people make it a great long distance destination.

New Zealand was named God's own country and 'paradise of the pacific' as far back as the early 1800s. Travelers generally agree New Zealand deserves this description.

You need to allow plenty of time to travel New Zealand. Many travelers spend nearly all of their holiday time in neighboring Australia, then wish that they'd spent an equal or longer time in this fascinating archipelago.

Lonely Planet named New Zealand the world's top travel destination for several years in a row, and it was voted best long-haul travel destination in the 2004 Guardian and Observer’s People’s Choice award. It has won that award in 3 out of the past 4 years. At the 2005 Condé Nast Traveller Awards, readers voted New Zealand as the best holiday destination in the world.

New Zealand is also known by the Maori name of Aotearoa, which is usually translated as "(Land of the) long white cloud".

About New Zealand's islands

New Zealand consists of the two main North and South islands and a number of smaller ones:

Nearly all visitors to New Zealand stay on the main North and South islands, with some intrepid travelers making it to Stewart Island and its fantastic wildlife and forests.

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Major cities in New Zealand

It's the countryside that's the star of the show in New Zealand so we only list the most prominent cities here. Listed in order from north to south:

North Island

South Island

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