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With its Recent Reopening, It’s Time to Set Your Sights on New Zealand

Alex Shaked
by Alex Shaked

May 25, 2022

3 minute read

The Maori people first called New Zealand by the name Aotearoa, which is often translated as “land of the long white cloud.” With two long islands, rich with mountains peaking into the clouds, the name fits.

It’s been two years since New Zealand was open to travelers and now that they are welcoming visitors once more, travelers are more excited than ever to experience the best of the North and South islands. From geothermal springs and ice fields to stunning fjords and Maori culture, this veritable playground for the adventurous awaits. Here are some highlights to look forward to on your journey:   

 

Bay of Islands

NewZealand bay of Islands

This sun-soaked region boasts more than 144 islands and warm waters with abundant marine life, from marlin and seals to dolphins and penguins. Once the refuge of ship deserters, sailors, whalers, and other rogues, the Bay of Islands is now a calm, scenic travel destination. Cruising its pristine turquoise waters is the best way to take in its views. A highlight of the cruise will be the journey through the famous "Hole in the Rock." Resembling the eye of a needle, the "hole" has been etched over time by wind and waves, allowing boats to travel through it when the tide is just right.

 

Mount Cook

NewZealand mount cook

Nature lovers, hikers, and mountain climbers can all appreciate New Zealand’s tallest mountain at a staggering 12,218 feet tall. It lies in the Southern Alps, and is a part of Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park. Permanent ice fields and glaciers blanket the ragged peaks. The Maori word for Mt. Cook is Aoraki, which means “cloud piercer.” This is where famed New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary honed his skills before conquering Everest. You can take a nature walk, enjoy an optional glacier flightseeing tour (weather permitting), or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps

 

Milford Sound

NewZealand milford sound

This fjord is located in New Zealand’s South Island. The sound cuts into the land for over 490 feet from the Tasman Sea and is surrounded by sheer rock faces that rise 3,900 feet on either side. Among the peaks that surround you are: The Elephant at 4,977 feet, said to resemble an elephant’s head; and The Lion, at 4,272 feet, in the shape of the crouching lion. It is acclaimed as New Zealand’s most famous destination

 

If you want to hear more about the land of the long white cloud before booking our small group Exploring New Zealand’s Wonders tour, check out the episode of Collette Talks all about New Zealand. We met with Haydn Fitzpatrick of Tourism New Zealand.

 

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