New Zealand … at a glance
Cox & Kings’ New Zealand expert Sabastian Gittany shares the best times to visit New Zealand, where to stay, what to eat and what to do.
The South Island is best during the summer, from October to April. North Island is a year-round destination, although the summer is warmer.
Abel Tasman National Park
You don’t have to rough it if you’re walking. Enjoy indulgent accommodation options, even out in the wilds. Fiordland Lodge is the place to stay in Fiordland National Park. The natural timber construction looks out over rolling grasslands and Lake Te Anau. Foodies will fall for The Resurgence near Abel Tasman National Park, a luxury hosted lodge with bags of culinary expertise. Indulge in gourmet four-course dining or an informal barbecue on the private decking of your room. Work it all off on walking tracks into forests filled with native bird species. Closer to civilisation, Eagles Nest watches over the spectacular Bay of Islands with the historic town of Russell just a stone’s throw away. Of the five luxury villas, four have their own infinity lap pool and all have private jacuzzis.
Try a hāngi, the ancient Maori equivalent of a slow cooker. A shallow pit is dug in the ground, a fire is lit and stones placed on top. Food is wrapped and placed on the hot stones, then covered in earth. Several hours later, tuck into the succulent meat and earthy flavours.
A glass of wine is well-deserved after a hike, and New Zealand produces some of the very best. Vineyards are found from sub-tropical Northland to the world’s most southerly grape-growing region of Central Otago in the South Island.
Picnic in a vineyard
Beyond the walking trails, New Zealand is packed full of opportunities for outdoor adventure. To add a further thrill to a walk, go heli-hiking on Franz Josef glacier, passing over towering peaks and spectacular ice formations before landing on Franz Josef glacier for a guided hike.
Franz Josef Glacier
Or jump on your bike and tackle the Nga Haerenga cycle trail, a nationwide network of 23 cycle paths covering some 2,500km, ranging from easy one-day rides to tougher multi-day routes. If you’re into your watersports then go kayaking past fur seal colonies in Abel Tasman National Park or take an adrenaline-filled jet boat ride through the narrow Shotover river canyon. From Queenstown, explore dramatic countryside on a peaceful horse trek or on an exhilarating off-road adventure along rugged tracks and crossing fast-flowing rivers.
Kayaks on the beach, Abel Tasman National Park
Visit New Zealand on an escorted tour. Alternatively, speak to Sabastian about tailoring a private holiday to New Zealand.
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