"The most beautiful country in the world" Top 5 Page for this destination New Zealand by martin_nl

New Zealand Travel Guide: 14,464 reviews and 36,899 photos

Mitre Peak, Milford Sound - New Zealand
Mitre Peak, Milford Sound

Aotearoa, Nieuw Zeeland, or New Zealand as it is called nowadays in english, is a country of many diversities. The country has mountains, volcanoes, geysers, plains, 2 main islands, sheep, gardens, beaches and numerous national parks with some of the greatest tramps in the world. In short New Zealand is the country that has something on offer for everyone.

A bit about NZ
New Zealand has quite some history, though a lot of it, especially about Maori history and what was before them, is not 100% known. I will not get into it too deep, since history wasn't my best nor my favourite subject, but here goes.... Once there were the native inhabitants of New Zealand and then came the Maori's. The first white man to get to NZ is the good old dutchman Abel Tasman. He named the country Nieuw Zeeland, after the Dutch province of Zeeland. He didn't claim the land and it took some time before another European, James Cook got here, and when he did he claimed the land and changed the name to something the english could of course actually pronounce.... And that's how Nieuw Zeeland got transformed into New Zealand. The Maori's call the land Aotearoa, which means 'Land of the Long White Cloud'.

Anchorage Bay in Abel Tasman at rush hour - New Zealand

Anchorage Bay in Abel Tasman at rush hour

My travels in Aotearoa
I have travelled around New Zealand with the Kiwi Experience bus, which was very convenient. It took me to most of the places I wanted to go without any hassles, and it was easy to get onto activities.

I started my trip in Christchurch where I stayed for a few days and met up with Rosie (rozehill). She showed me around some of the good stuff in the surroundings of Christchurch. The I went north, crossed the water to the North Island and all the way of to Cape Reinga. After a few weeks in which I boogie boarded down huge sanddunes, farted my way around Rotorua, skydyved back down to Taupo and found my way out of Tongariro NP it was time again to go back to the South Island.

I did the grand loop around that island in which I kayaked the Abel Tasman NP, froze my a$$ off on the Franz Josef glacier, stood 'on top of the world' on the Ben Lomond in Queenstown, got almost washed away on the Milford Track, but had to wear sunnies in Milford Sound the day after, got hailed on at the southern most point of the country and white water rafted my way back to Christchurch.

Sunset over Rangitata River near Geraldine - New Zealand

Sunset over Rangitata River near Geraldine

A bit about this page
To follow my trails I suggest you do the following:

Take a look at the Must See tips and that will take you around New Zealand too in the same way as I went through it, though only virtual of course ;-)

In the Accommodation tips I have listed my favourite hostel as well as all the backpackers chains you will come across in NZ.

In Nightlife I have put some of my favourite nighlife towns in the country.

In Local Customs I've put up some tips about the Maori culture that might be both useful and interesting to know.

And in Sports I have listed the activities I have done while touring around both the North and the South Island.

Finally after reading this page I hope you feel the need to go to New Zealand too, because well... simply said... it's the most diverse and beautiful country in the world!!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The nature is among the most beautiful and varied in the world.
  • Cons:The weather is too unpredictable.
  • In a nutshell:Where God's lips touched the face of the earth.
  • Last visit to New Zealand: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated Oct 20, 2004
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Reviews (59)

Travelogues (2)

  • Kea in Fiordland National Park - New Zealand

    Written Oct 17, 2004

    8 photos

    Some animals of New Zealand

  • Poo Pub Party in Mahinapua - New Zealand

    Written Nov 3, 2004

    8 photos

    Poo Pub Party in Mahinapua

Comments (49)

  • shawnT's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    Awesome skydiving picture !

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2008 at 11:17 AM

    Your very good and interesting pages are helping me to prepare our next trip to NZ Thank you !!! Gracias !!!!

  • staindesign's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2007 at 10:12 AM

    Simply a fantastic page on NZ! I'm planning for a trip there next May 08', thanks for all of the outdoor adventure info! I'll definitely use your page as a resource!!!

  • IceBear7's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2007 at 11:53 AM

    this is one of the best NZ pages on VT, thank you for the tips and stories!

  • ShermLA's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2007 at 7:36 AM

    My wife and I opted for Doubtful Sound and we sprung for the overnignt cruise. At one point the captain turned off every motor on the boat and the passengers respectfully took in the pure sounds of water, wind and birdsong.

  • TuJane's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2007 at 8:03 AM

    hi Martin, just to check, if you have three weeks in NZ from Mid June to early July, is it enough to see both island. and what would you recommend the places that cannot missed? thanks, Jane

  • juliewong's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2007 at 8:35 AM

    Wow, very informational. Enjoyed reading your stories.

  • Fudge's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2006 at 12:56 AM

    I was reading your NZ page and must have crossed wires that you're there! This means you're a good travel story writer :) Convinced me man! When is best time to come to Netherlands?

  • Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2006 at 4:57 AM

    Wonderful opening page! I'll read it soon!

  • Oct 3, 2006 at 6:43 AM

    Lovely page, Nikos

martin_nl's Profile Photo


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