With New Zealand, it seems like effort went into placing as much natural beauty and diversity as possible on two small islands.
“Pure” is the term New Zealand’s tourism board uses, and pure it is indeed. It is all about being outdoors and enjoying nature. Whether it’s glacier hikes, kayaking in turquoise blue waters, watching seals play, or hiking through giant ferns, there is never a dull moment in New Zealand.
New Zealand is home to some of the fiercest warriors in history, the Maori. It also is home to one of the world’s best rugby teams, the “All Blacks.” Maori history and culture is fascinating. If you are interested in learning more, look at some of Witi Ihimaera’s work; he is the author of “The Whale Rider.”
Having visited both islands extensively, it is hard to pick a favorite experience. New Zealand is simply spectacular. One thing that stands out in particular, though, is the sense of humor of the locals, lovingly called Kiwis. They are a blast!
Time needed: Given the long flight (12 hours from LAX), the considerable time difference, and the many things New Zealand has to offer, you should allow yourself at least 12 days.
Budgeting: A 12 day vacation to New Zealand for 2, including Coach class airfare and stays in 4* hotels starts at about $10,000
Movies to watch before heading to New Zealand:
• The Whale Rider
• The Piano
• The Insatiable Moon
• Once were Warriors
• Heavenly Creatures
• Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit
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