New Zealand is a country at world’s end. It is a land of volcanoes, lush primeval forests and pristine lakes. It is the home of The Maori and is the land of the long white cloud. To discover the country, the people, the sights, sounds and uniqueness that is New Zealand you have to travel. And what better mode of travel than a motor home with all the comforts of home, but with the vista of the great outdoors, ready and waiting every time you open the front door.
New Zealand – a land of contrasts
New Zealand is a land of contrasts. Next stop heading south is Antarctica. You could be forgiven for thinking you were at world’s end given some of the spectacular vistas which spring forth round seemingly every turn. Snow capped mountains, millennia old lakes and glacial valleys enchant and enthral. New Zealand is a quiet place too. With less than four million inhabitants, fantastic scenery and excellent roads the best way to see as much as possible is by way of companies.
Geography (North Island)
From Stewart Island a few miles off the southern coast of South Island to the extremes of Cape Reinga at the northern most tip of North Island, there is something in between to grab the visitor’s attention. It is a modern country in an ancient world, and with such a small population it is possible to drive for miles without seeing a single, solitary person.
If you love beaches, swimming, wind surfing or plain lazing around catching a few rays, you'll love New Zealand. The east coast and the far north have some of the most spectacular, long sweeping beaches in the world. In the far north of the North Island the beaches are stunning; but don't take my word for it, go see for yourself. You may also want to explore the hot springs and volcanic landscape of Rotorua, nicknamed ‘Cureland’ by the locals.
Geography (South Island)
South Island has high snow capped peaks which form a range which stretches much of the length of the entire island. Interspersed with spectacular glaciers many of which are accessible on foot, you can also take a ‘heli-hike’. Fly up the mountains and glaciers and make your way down on foot with an experienced guide. It really is that simple!
Regardless of how long you stay or where you go in New Zealand, the glaciers, lakes and mountains of South Island offer a majestic, breathtaking backdrop. My guess is you'll never forget the sights you behold; but to be on the safe side take a camera, camcorder and mobile phone to record your visit for posterity.
If any one country in the world can resemble another, Norway is so much like South Island; fjords, steep hills plunging down to waterways cut over millions of years of tectonic, volcanic and glacial activity they could be identical twins.
But see for yourself; and while you’re there you have to sample the local hospitality and the great cuisine, one of the big secrets of New Zealand.
Graham Green is a freelance writer and blogger. When he visited New Zealand back in the early seventies, companies such as campervan hire New Zealand firm ‘Wilderness’ just didn’t exist. Oh for the chance to visit again.