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New Zealand: God's own country
CCNPIC www.ccnpic.com  By bobo

New Zealand offers stunning landscapes and world-class attractions. With towering mountains, pristine lakes and rivers, thermal wonderlands, superb beaches and delightful cities, New Zealand has something for everyone.

 

ID:107702-00131 New Zealand    Picture Sources:ccnpic.com  Luo Hong

 

There’s a reason the sun shines on New Zealand before anywhere else – every new day in Aotearoa is something to cherish! Small, remote and thinly populated, yes, but NZ punches well above its weight with its outlandish scenery, fabulous festivals, superb food and wine, and magical outdoor experiences. Equally impressive is NZ’s potent, mainstream Maori culture. This is a country that recognises and celebrates its indigenous people – the world is a kinder, gentler, more respectful place down here! And while the fanfare surrounding the Lord of the Rings trilogy is waning, visiting the real-life Middle-earth still has a geeky allure - LOTR director Peter Jackson's filmmaking prowess still holds Wellington (aka ‘Wellywood’) in its thrall.

 

New Zealand has been called God's own country and the "Paradise of the Pacific" since the early 1800s. Travellers generally agree New Zealand deserves this description.

 

Geography

New Zealand consists of two main islands and many smaller ones in the South Pacific Ocean approximately 2000 km southeast of Australia. With a population of four million in a country about the size of the United Kingdom, many areas are sparsely settled.

 

Auckland, with a population of around 1.25 million people is the largest city in Polynesia.

 

Destinations

New Zealand has a wealth of national parks, rural areas and other out-of-the-way places that are worth a visit. Nine of the best are listed below from north to south, but there are many more in the various regions of the country.

 

ID:109907-00060 New Zealand     Picture Sources:ccnpic.com   Wang Yanqing

 

Bay of Islands - Pretty spot in the North Island with historical significance.
Coromandel Peninsula - Rugged coastline with plenty of beaches and hiking opportunities just two hours from Auckland.
Taupo - Trout fishing and adventure activities in the central North Island.
Tongariro National Park - Three volcanoes, two skifields and one of the most popular hikes in the country.
Hawkes Bay - Wineries in the hills and art deco architecture in Napier.
Abel Tasman National Park - Golden sand beaches, kayaking and the Abel Tasman Coastal Track.
Westland National Park - Home of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park - Lots of hiking opportunities and New Zealand's highest mountain.
Milford Sound - Beautiful fiord in Fiordland National Park.

  (CCNPIC bobo)

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