New Zealand Information
New Zealand is one of the world’s most remote countries being nearly 24 hours flight from Europe and 14 hours from North America. Many people speak of it in the same breath as Australia but apart from being a different country, it has a completely different geography and natural history. Direct flights to New Zealand from Europe tend to fly to Auckland and you’ll need to catch an internal flight to reach the South Island or to see any of the sights further south such as Wellington.
The country has dramatic extremes; from the cold and forested capes of the extreme south and Stewart Island with their penguins, to the humid, semitropical north around Whangarei. There are precipitous cliffs, edifyingly high mountains and scrubby bush, one of the only similarities to Australia. You can ski there too or lie on unspoilt sandy beaches with no one else in sight. Finally, take some time to find out more about the original and displaced inhabitants of the islands, the Maoris.
Getting around New Zealand couldn’t be easier. Unlike many countries, air travel within New Zealand is quite cheap and efficient with Air New Zealand and Jetstar operating domestic routes. In planning a trip to New Zealand, it’s worth investigating the choices of domestic airport and planning your route accordingly. The information on the links from this page will help you. Bus travel is also an option worth considering. The best value fares are on Naked Bus, a company that operates intercity routes. The buses are comfortable and are a safe way of travelling on often narrow roads. The great benefit of travelling this way is that you get to see much more of the nation’s scenery. You can also buy a bundle of ‘passes’ for Naked Bus, saving money if you’re going to tour the country.
Travel by car is also a good choice. The disadvantages are that you may have long treks between cities but these are outweighed many times by the opportunity to stop where you want, to enjoy the scenery or to explore old towns and villages. You will also be able to access some of the more ‘off the beaten track’ destinations that a bus wouldn’t visit. With a low population and with the majority of it living in and around the cities, driving can be extremely pleasurable on deserted roads.
If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, take a look at our suggestions of what to do in the area an hour or so away from the airports and make your stay there one to remember for the rest of your life.