Long or short hikes in New Zealand are the best way to see beautiful landscapes and explore vast wilderness areas. So put on your walking boots, grab a snack and water and set out.
New Zealand is packed with short hikes suitable for all levels of fitness. Explore native forest trails and ancient glaciers with hikes of just 30 minutes up to 3 hours. New Zealand short walks cover everything from a slightly more challenging mountain climb to casual beach strolls.
Rotorua Lakeside Trail
Starting in the middle of Rotorua from beside the Polynesian pools, this hiking trail will take you along the lake’s edge towards the Wakarewarew Forest Park. Along the way, you will pass through the native scrub, across boardwalks in steamy thermal areas and takes you southeast along small beaches. There is informative signage provided so visitors can understand some of the finer details of the natural wonders surrounding you. The walk is about 1 1/2 hours roundtrip. There are several accommodations close to the lake and many people choose rooms with the lake view so they can enjoy the beauty of the area even when inside.
Queenstown Hill Time Walk
For a moderate challenge, test your stamina on the Queenstown Hill Loop Track. The hike starts from downtown Queenstown up to the Basket of Dreams, which is a favorite lookout spot. The hike up is a demanding uphill wall ending with fantastic views of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, and other mountains. On the upward walk, the path eventually turns to the right and you will see a gate. In the neighborhood, you will see a plaque which reads –
This pathway leads to our future. With each step, we seek the guidance and wisdom of those who have gone before us; we walk with a sense of hope, that those who follow in our footsteps beyond the year 2000 can do so with the same sense of pride in, and protection for, this beautiful place.
As the name indicates, the 1.5km long, 3-hour Queenstown Hill Time Walk is built to show the past, present and future of Queenstown and the area around Lake Wakatipu as informational panels guide you along the way.
Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
This is a meandering and pleasant hike that follows the coast and leads to a seal colony. Informative panels will share the history and geology of the area. Additionally, there are photographs both old and new to enhance the experience. If you choose, you can take the path from the seal colony up to the clifftop where the view includes hundreds of seals. As someone who has walked on the beach with seals, I must warn visitors to give them a wide berth.
To fully explore and enjoy the features of the hike, allow at least 3 hours to complete the whole Walkway, which extends 11.7 km.
Ironically, in a town built on whales, the peninsula when viewed from above, resembles the fluke of a whale’s tail.
While there are a number of Australia luxury accommodations, here are just a few of the resorts located outside the busy cities. Each is unique in its' own right and the accommodations, staff, meals and activities leave lasting memories.
Southern Ocean Lodge
Located on Kangaroo Island, it is Australia's first true luxury lodge offering a unique and exclusive travel experiences. Situated atop a secluded cliff on a rugged stretch of coast, the lodge commands peerless views of the wild Southern Ocean and pristine Kangaroo Island wilderness. Sensitive, intimate and sophisticated, Southern Ocean Lodge is a sanctuary of refined comfort and luxe.
Activities outside the lodge include marine based, an ealy morning walk among the seals at Seal Bay and wildlife based, done by a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Dining at Southern Ocean Lodge is both a delight for the senses and a gastronomic journey of Kangaroo Island. The resort incorporates the ‘produce to plate’ approach a real passion for the Executive Chef. In addition, an excellent range of diverse Kangaroo Island and South Australian wines and beers has been hand selected to comprise the beverage menu.
Saffire Lodge Freycinet
Located on Tasmania's East Coast, Saffire is Australia's new luxury coastal sanctuary. The Lodge delivers a sophisticated and inspirational experience for the guests. It was discretely built overlooking the Hazards Mountains, Freycinet Peninsula and the pristine waters of Great Oyster Bay.
The stunning landscape greets guests as soon as they enter the resort. The architectural design takes its inspiration from the unique natural surroundings with a strong connection to the sea through references of waves, sea creatures and sand dunes.
Saffire Freycinet offers a number of complimentary activities. Lasting from one hour to three hours, these activities are the guests opportunity to engage and connect with Freycinet's stunning natural wonders and attractions. Adventure, romance, rejuvenation or exploration, the complimentary experiences and activities add greater depth and dimension to a stay in Tasmania.
Lizard Island Resort
This exclusive resort is located off the Queensland coast. With 40 rooms and 24 private beaches, it is a world of luxury and privacy. The resort is set on a white sand stretch of beach and is the only development on the island. Because of this, the resort is accessible exclusively by plane. Cut off from the world by beautiful turquoise waters, it promises coveted seclusion at the edg of this important national park.
Activities include guided and self-guided activities include snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, visits to the Research Center, yoga and spa treatments. For water lovers, there is an opportunity to dive or snorkel or for those experienced or not they can try their hand at sport fishing.
All photos from Tourism Australia.
The Maori are the indigenous inhabitants of New Zealand, a Polynesian people, most closely related to eastern Polynesians. The Maori arrived in New Zealand, which was then known as "The Land of the Long White Cloud", around AD950 by canoe. Because the area was warmer, they mostly settled in the Northern parts of New Zealand.
Because the Maori culture is an integral part of Kiwi life, a visit to any of these will add a dynamic and unique experience. Below are three Mauri experiences.
Situated in Rotorua, Te Pula is an iconic destination for visitors. It is home to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and the world famous Pohutu geyser. Many of the guides have direct links to Rotorua's earliest hosts and share stories and insight into this unique corner of the world.
Along with access to the world famous Polutu geyser, visitors have an opportunity to see Maori cultural performances, live kiwi, boiling mud pools, native bush and the National Schools of Wood Carving and Weaving. There is also the opportunity to watch food cooked to perfection in the steam of the geyser.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Located in the Bay of Island, New Zealand's most important historic site, where you can discover the history of the country, is Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
The story of Waitangi begins the journey of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Enjoy an inspiring and interactive full day experience through performances in Waitangi's contemporary museum, the powerful Maori cultural authentic Meeting House. Take an entertaining guided tour, view a Maori waka (canoe) and finally a hangi (feast). There is also a tranquil cafe and much more.
Lush native forest and gardens, inspiring art gallery and carving studo are a "must-do" for all visitors to New Zealand. The award-winning Waitangi Treaty Grounds is one of the nation's premier attractions and tells Zew Zealand's story of two peoples coming together as one.
Skyline Queenstown - Kiwi Haka
Located in Queenstown at the top of the Gondola, Kiwi Haka is an intimate theatre surrounded by traditional decorations and mythical carved legends of the Wakatipu.
Feel the spirit of the proud Maori history celebrated in traditional song and dance as you journey through the mystical legends. Experience the fearsome Haka and stunning poa displayed in this live performance by the Kapa Huka group. You may also be chosen out of the audience to be a participant.
Throughout their culture, their values, and their customs, they pay tribute to Papatuanuku (the earth mother) and their natural world that sustains all living things.
Since my first trip to Australia in 1998, I have returned to the South Pacific over 30 times. On each visit I meet with hoteliers, tour companies, car companies, cruise companies and other suppliers in the region. With this knowledge, I am able to answer your questions and assist you in planning the memorable vacation of your dreams.