expat network

Downtime In New Zealand

If you move to New Zealand there is no shortage of places to visit when you get a spare moment and even if you are not living there these highlights make it well worth the trip.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular sites in New Zealand.  The dark blue of the fiord’s water with Mitre Peak (Rahotu) rising in the background makes this a joy for photographers and a sight for all to enjoy.  Cruise ships, kayakers and divers enjoy the water and hikers can make their way up Milford track, New Zealand’s most well-known hiking trail.



The dynamic geothermal area of Rotorua with its thermal springs, mud pools and geysers produce distinctive sulphur-rich air is very popular with tourists and is on most people’s must-see list while in New Zealand. Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters) nearby is another popular interest among tourist because of the hot springs noted for their colourful appearance

The Maoris account for 34% of the population and the cultural performances and enjoy traditional hãngi (steam-cooked banquests) are as much of a draw to the area as the geothermal activity and scenery.


Bay of islands

This picturesque area is one of New Zealand’s top summertime destinations.  It got its name from Captain James Cook when he stopped by the island in 1769 and was the site of the first permanent British settlement. It’s turquoise waters and 150 undeveloped islands, together with secluded bays and sandy beaches make this a popular holiday destination.  The water provides the opportunity for yachting, fishing, diving, kayaking or cruising.  The whales, penguins, dolphins and the big marlin are there to keep you company.


Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier, first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast and named after the Austrian emperor, is five kilometres from the town of the same name.  You can walk right up to the foot of the massive glacier or take a helicopter ride to see the incredible views of the surrounding rainforest and mountains.  Once you have seen the glacier there are a range of natural attractions in close proximity where you can explore the rainforests, waterfalls, and lakes.


Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park, the first national park of New Zealand, is on the North Island and has a rugged, volcanic landscape. The park has three active volcanoes: Tongariro, Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom in “The Lord of the Rings” films) and Ruapehu with its ski slopes. It includes tranquil lakes, active volcanoes, untamed forest and desert-like plateaus. The famous hike called the Tongariro Alphine Crossing, which passes the Emerald Lakes and boiling mud pools, culminating at still-active Red Crater.