New Zealand - Paradise on Earth

New Zealand - Paradise on Earth

New Zealand - Paradise on Earth

By Shambhavi

The country is paradise on Earth, it has to be, it was the setting of Tolkien’s epic Lord of the Rings and is often jokingly called ‘Middle-earth’. The country was one of the last areas on earth to be settled by people due to its isolation. The country was established, as late as, in the 1200s. This isolation helped the area develop a stunning myriad of distinctive flora and fauna. The country is also home to the Maori tribe, Polynesian settlers, who developed on the island a very unique culture.

Like many other countries today, New Zealand was an English colony till 1947. This implies the country has both Maori and British heritage and influence. Travelling in New Zealand is also easy, since English is the widely spoken language. The country is a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.

The popular tourist attractions in the lush country are adventure sports and camping. Queenstown is the tourist destination for thrill seekers. It is the quintessential family vacation spot, with adventure, wineries and spas all around the city.

Rotoura is a city located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. It is a famous locality where tourists can immerse themselves in Maori culture in a pre-British traditional village. Here you can try the delicious delicacies of the tribe and then relax in the hot water pools located nearby. A little hike uphill will give you views of geysers and volcanic craters.

Milford Sound is a hidden gem. Sometimes called the ‘Eight Wonder of the World’, the area is surrounded by statuesque fiords, waterfalls and snow-peaked mountains. You take in the views while boating or kayaking.

Kaikoura is a day trip form the city of Christchurch. It is the place to visit for animal and water lovers. Here you can see Sperm Whales and dolphins while on a cruise and go snorkelling with seals.

Hikers and campers consider the country a haven. Tongariro Alpine Crossing is often called the best day walk in all of New Zealand. The 19km hike takes you past ancient volcanoes, emerald lakes, lava flow remnants and even an active crater. The Abel Tasman Coast is another famous hike, it is a 51km multi-day walk through white sand beaches, stunning water bodies and friendly and animal life.

For the nerds and geeks out there, you have the opportunity to visit Hobbiton Set in the city of Matamata. The National Film Production Board also organises tours for travellers wanting the LOTR experience, more than the other attractions available to them.

A unique tour that is often left out of the tourism brochures is the Waitomo Glow-worm Tour. The tour is a visit to the Waitomo caves which are filled to the brim with luminescent glow-worm species indigenous to the country. These tours normally happen at night and feel like a night sky inside a dark and dingy cave. In the mornings, these caves are impressive presentations of limestone and the stalactites and stalagmites formation.

If you plan your trip right, you may get to see a wonder of the world that not many have witnessed, the Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights. These might not be as famous as the Northern Lights, but are as spectacular. Though they occur throughout the year with less than thirty minutes forecast, the winter months are the best time to experience the rare phenomena that only can only be seen in 5 countries around the world. Stewart Island and the Catlins in south New Zealand are southern tips of the country and boast the best views of the lightshow, though the weather is highly unpredictable.

All in all, New Zealand is an experience to be had. It may not be a hotspot for museums, paintings and architecture, it makes up for it in its scenic beauty and charm. The country is a biodiversity hotspot and a place shrouded in stunning beauty and adventures, one has to visit to fully understand.