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New Zealand has long been a favourite destination for lovers of the great outdoors. If you've only got a fortnight, I'd suggest you focus on either the North or South Island. With 3 weeks it's possible to visit both islands and see many of the highlights but it will be quite full-on with very little down time.

North Island

Home to the country's capital, the North Island's known for its gorgeous coastline and geothermal hotspots. You'll find incredible beaches in Northland, the Bay of Islands, and around the Coromandel Peninsula, while the central region of the island around Rotorua is known for the hot springs and bubbling mud pools. Lord of the Rings fans will also want to visit Hobbiton.

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South Island

For many people, the South Island of New Zealand is the main draw, with it's spectacular landscapes - fjords, mountain and dramatic coastline. Cross the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train, soak up the landscapes on a cruise through Milford Sound, and spot whales and other sea creatures on a whale-watching cruise.

Māori culture

New Zealand’s Māori heritage and culture is intrinsic to its identity and quite prominent. If you’re interested in the Māori, you could focus your time on the North Island, where most Maori live and there are a number of different experiences on offer where you can gain a better understanding of the Maori culture.

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There are far too many highlights to feature here. My recommendation would be to set aside 4 weeks for an itinerary that blends sightseeing with a bit of relaxation. As with Australia, it’s important to talk to someone who can create an itinerary that reflects your interests and is achievable in the time you have.


Take a boat trip around the fjords in Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound – the scenery is breathtaking.

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