Breathtaking New Zealand

New Zealand, Travel

You already know how ludicrously photogenic New Zealand is. The otherworldly peaks and valleys of Middle Earth brought this not-so-hidden secret to the world with good reason. But these views are no Hollywood-crafted mirage- they are the real deal, and certain to take your breath away.

New Zealand, Travel

On top of their looks, the islands’ rich Maori culture, passion for rugby, sheep outnumbering people, and exquisite sauvignon blanc create a country that defies even the most imaginative adventurers’ expectations.

New Zealand, Travel

But it’s not all look and don’t touch. In New Zealand, adventure sports rule. This is, after all, a nation so dedicated to doing odd things with bits of rubber and plastic that it invented bungee jumping, black-water rafting and zorbing. Whether you’re climbing the Fox glacier or skydiving over a stunning patchwork of mountains and fields, New Zealand is certain to get adrenaline coursing through your veins.

And there’s another aspect of Aotearoa – as New Zealand is known to Maori people - that keeps people coming back for more. The average Kiwi wants you to have a really, really good time. It is in the interactions with exuberant, everyday Kiwis that lasting memories will be made. As a Maori proverb suggests: He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! (What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people!).

New Zealand, Travel

Kiwis love sharing their spectacular country with visitors and in turn seeing it anew through foreign eyes. They never tire of being reminded of the rugged beauty of their beaches, mountains, fjords, glaciers, native forests and thermal regions. And once you experience these natural highlights, you won’t tire of reminding them.

New Zealand, Travel

NZ sits smack-bang in the Roaring Forties, which means it gets ‘freshened’ (some say blasted) by cool, damp winds blowing in from the Tasman Sea and is consistently slapped by the winds howling through Cook Strait.

 

On the South Island, the Southern Alps act as a barrier for these moisture-laden easterlies, creating a wet climate on the western side of the mountains (around 7500mm of rain annually!), and a dry climate on the eastern side (about 330mm). After dumping their moisture, the winds continue east, gathering heat and speed as they blow downhill and cross the Canterbury Plains; in summer this katabatic or föhn wind can be hot and fierce.

New Zealand, Travel

On the North Island, the western sides of the high volcanoes attract a lot more rain than eastern slopes, but the rain shadow isn’t as pronounced as in the south – the barrier here isn’t as formidable as the Alps. North Island rainfall averages around 1300mm annually.

On both islands it’s drier in the east than in the west, where mountain ranges snare moisture-laden winds from the Tasman Sea. It’s usually a few degrees cooler on the South Island than the North Island. Wherever you are, remember that NZ has a maritime climate – the weather changes rapidly. Anyone tramping at any time of year needs to be well prepared for all weather conditions.