It’s been 10 years since the Lord of the Rings trilogy rocketed New Zealand to the top of bucket lists the world over and the spectacular scenery that captured hearts has continued to bring in visitors ever since. A country brimming with natural beauty, history and culture, its remoteness and small size (a sparsely populated 4 million) haven’t deterred the millions of tourists each year that have made New Zealand one of the worlds greatest travel destinations.
An obvious starting point is the scenery. A major reason for visitors flocking to Kiwi shores is the natural beauty, tranquillity and uniqueness of the country. Not only does the island nation consist of almost 10,000 miles of pristine and peaceful beaches, but its unique position, perched over two tectonic plates in the middle of the Pacific also treats visitors to beautiful vistas of greenery, volcanos and endless blue waters. The Waitomo glow worm caves, Mount Hutt skiing, Queenstown slopes, Hanmer springs natural hot springs and Lake Tekapo all leave tourists agape. But it’s not just a pretty face that draws the crowds, the beauty of the place runs deep and there’s more to this country than meets the eye.
The Kiwis. It may be the scenery that brings in the visitors, but the reason they return again and again is the people. Known the world over as some of the friendliest people around, Kiwis go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome. Probably stemming from our remoteness, Kiwis are genuinely interested in foreign visitors and are more than willing to pint you in the right direction in you’re in need of a restaurant, bathroom or pub recommendation.
The food. While New Zealand wine has become well known as some of the best in the world, the food also holds it ground. Visitors can indulge in some somewhat unique meals such as whitebait fritters, pavlova, fish and chips and lamingtons as well as some of the freshest seafood and meat around. Don’t forget to try some pineapple lumps!
Art and Culture. A country that has carved out its own special culture, New Zealand caters to everyone from film buffs (see Weta workshops special effects museum) to music experts and art connoisseurs. Wellington is the city of the artist so if you’re in this neck of the woods check out all it has to offer.