Friday, June 21, 2024

What to do in New Zealand: Top places you must visit

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New Zealand is a country in Oceania formed by an archipelago that is not only among the places with the best quality of life in the world, but also offers a series of tourist attractions with ten places that must be visited .

Known in the original Maori language as Aotearoa , or “land of the great white cloud,” New Zealand is located about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Australia in the Tasman Sea, and its closest neighbors to the north are New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga.

It is made up of two large islands , the North and the South , together with a large number of smaller territories, among which the Stewart and Chatham Islands stand out . Its capital is the city of Wellington . Its form of government is that of a parliamentary monarchy. The Kingdom of New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association), the Tokelau Archipelago and the Ross Antarctic Dependency.

This country is known worldwide for the supremacy it exercises in rugby, a sport it dominates with the All Blacks , three times World Cup champion and ten times winner of the Rugby Championship .Pukaki Pay and Mount Cook in the background, New Zealand.Pukaki Pay and Mount Cook in the background, New Zealand.

But since it is an archipelago, it has the attraction of landscapes generally accompanied by the Pacific Ocean . It is recognized for the experiences it offers to explore it by car, motorcycle or in a motorhome, as well as backpackers.

Best places to visit in New Zealand

The weather in New Zealand is variable and it is difficult to avoid the rains in summer, the time known as high season and the period that corresponds to the months of January and February.

For this reason, it is best to visit it in autumn or spring, low season seasons in which there will not be much tourism and prices will be more reasonable.

Monte Cook

Mount Cook or Aoraki in Maori, is the highest peak at 3,724 meters, which is already an attraction in itself for lovers of mountaineering. It is reached through a route that connects it with Lake Pukaki , which deserves to be explored in time for the landscapes it offers. For example, there are the glacial lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, where you can enjoy intense blue waters and views of the New Zealand Alps.Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand.Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand.

In Mount Cook,  the experience of trekking through the various trails that make their way through the rugged topography of the area is recommended: on the Kea Point Track (one hour long), in the Hooker Valley (four hours) and in the Muller Hut (about nine hours).

At Tasman Glacier Lake you can enjoy one of the best views in all of New Zealand with the glacier, a lake filled with large chunks of ice and Mount Cook in the background.

Hobbiton

Hobbiton is the filming set for the scenes of the hobbit village and the Shire in the Lord of the Rings movie and another essential in New Zealand. Located in the North Island, very close to the city of Matamata, it is a place surrounded by meadows and green hills, which will captivate not only fans of the JRR Tolkien saga .Hobbiton, the natural set created for the filming of The Lord of the Rings.Hobbiton, the natural set created for the filming of The Lord of the Rings.

This was the site chosen by local filmmaker Peter Jackson, who fixed Alexander farm as the ideal place to start filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy . The prequel saga, The Hobbit , was filmed in the same location .

Once the use as a movie set ended, an agreement was reached with the owners of the farm to keep it intact and make it one of the country’s tourist attractions.

Tongariro

Mountaineering lovers will find a great attraction in the Tongariro Alpine Crossing , considered one of the best one-day treks in the world. During almost 20 kilometers and eight hours of journey, mountains, volcanoes, blue and green lakes, craters and forests will be bordered, all located in the Tongariro National Park , the oldest in the country.Tongariro, a paradise of the most chosen for trekking in New Zealand.Tongariro, a paradise of the most chosen for trekking in New Zealand.

In that area, if the weather is good, you can also reach the Ngauruhoe volcano, the well-known Mount Doom  where Frodo throws the ring from The Lord of the Rings . There is also the Tongariro volcano , the Red Crater, the Blue Lake and above all, the Emerald Lakes , one of the most impressive places to see in New Zealand .

Mildford Sound

In the southwest of the country’s South Island, the sea penetrates the mountainous land to form a series of fjords, including Milford Sound , considered one of the must-see places in New Zealand .Milford Sound and its magnificent forest (AP).Milford Sound and its magnificent forest.

The Mildford Sound experience begins at the entrance, with a path with several viewpoints that make it necessary to stop to enjoy the landscape. Therefore, it is a tour that must be done with time.

Less accessible but more attractive is Doubtful Sound , which is three times as long as Milford Sound and is reached on an eight-hour tour with bus and cruise transport.

Franz Josef Glacier and Lake Matheson

In Westland National Park , also on the South Island, are the Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier , and Lake Matheson . The Franz Josef Glacier (12 kilometers long) can be seen from the air by booking a scenic helicopter flight that includes a snow landing and a hike above the glacier.Lake Matheson, in the glacier area of ​​New Zealand.Lake Matheson, in the glacier area of ​​New Zealand.

The closing of the day is worth contemplating the sunset on Lake Matheson . When the days are clear, the Cook and Tasman mountains are reflected in its waters and offer a setting to be captured in photographs and videos.

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