New Zealand walking tracks and guided NZ walking tours
The eastern region of the North Island, Eastland, is noted for its sparse population, proud Maori history and high rugged mountains. From the tallest of these, Mount Hikurangi, you can be the first in the world to see the dawning of the new day. Along the coast, from Opotiki to Gisborne, a stunning mile drive winds slowly and scenically around the entire East Cape.
This is ideal motor home or camping country, where there are no towns, only small villages selling provisions and fuel. Behind these small, historic coastal settlements is wild, mountainous sheep ranching country. The main city of the isolated Eastland region, Gisborne is a pleasant resort town situated on a broad bay. The surf beaches and sunny, warm climate here have long attracted New Zealanders on vacation. The area boasts some of the country's best surviving carved Maori meeting houses and churches. West of Gisborne, the vast, remote, forested wilderness of the Te Urewera National Park is the largest untouched expanse of native forest in the North Island, beautifully endowed with lakes, rivers and waterfalls.
The scenic highlight is the sparkling gem of Lake Waikaremoana, and there are excellent hiking trails and short walks here, including the mile Lake Waikaremoana Track. Bird watching, hunting, fishing, canoeing and boating are all spectacular on a New Zealand vacation. Napier is the port for the Hawke's Bay region. It is best known for its man made treasure - its glorious Art Deco buildings. Built following a disastrous earthquake and fire which destroyed the city in , Napier now claims to have the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world.
A sightseeing must on New Zealand tours is the beautifully landscaped, oceanfront Marine Parade, with its gardens and many attractions. The city's cafes and restaurants add to the ambiance of a charming seaside resort. Hawke's Bay is famous for its world-class wines and is home to 30 wineries.
The region is also New Zealand's largest producer of apples, pears and peaches. The twin city of Hastings is about 16 miles from Napier and is the seat of the regions orchards and vineyards, many of which have fine cafes serving Mediterranean-style food with their premium wines. Visit the gannet sanctuary at Cape Kidnappers, the largest mainland colony in the world.
For magnificent views of the bay and surrounding countryside, drive up Te Mata Peak, past the town of Havelock North. The most striking natural feature of Taranaki is the classic, almost symmetrical, volcanic cone of Mt. Taranaki also known as Mt. A drive, or walk on one of the many forested mountain trails on Mt. Taranaki affords spectacular views of the almost perfectly circular park spread out below.
The Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Greener-than-green dairy pastures stretch as far as the eye can see. Not to be missed are the beautiful Dawson Falls. Surfing is also popular on this rugged coastline. In an area of coastal farmlands and small rural communities, the city of Wanganui lies at the mouth of the historic Whanganui River. Visitors can travel up river by jet boat or riverboat into the heart of the Whanganui National Park, or canoe downstream over gentle rapids. You can visit villages along the way, where local Maori welcome visitors on a New Zealand vacation.
There is a huge range of wonderful bed and breakfasts and farmstays that feature glorious gardens such as Rathmoy, Cross Hills, Cairnmuir, Titoki Point and Lavender Farm. Rafting on the Rangitikei River, horse trekking, jet sprinting and a wide selection of crafts from pottery, to ceramics are also on offer.
North Island Distance Chart
Just over 2 hours from Wellington and less than an hour to the closest skifield the Rangitikei is perfectly located on State highway 1. Palmerston North serves the surrounding wealthy sheep and cattle farming region, commonly referred to as the Manawatu. Many large and beautiful private gardens are available for viewing.
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Garden tours are extremely popular here on New Zealand tours. In the North Island, Wellington, the nations capital, and the Wairarapa make up part of this region while in the South Island, Marlborough and Nelson complete the union. All four areas compliment each other and offer an excellent way to experience a great deal of New Zealand in a short amount of time. New Zealand's capital is a superbly compact city, set dramatically on the shores of a fine, deep harbour enclosed by a natural amphitheatre of wooded hills.
The second largest city, Wellington is the political center of New Zealand. Wellington has a vast range of accommodation ranging from top class hotels to middle of the range, budget and apartment style accommodation. Vibrant, exciting and cultured, it combines the stimulation of a sophisticated big city with the friendliness and warmth New Zealanders are famous for. Wellington is known as the restaurant capital of New Zealand. Many of its great cafes, funky bars and ethnic-inspired restaurants are within walking distance of each other, and its sidewalks are enlivened by street performers.
Wellington's nightlife is a tribute to its passion for the arts. It is home to the national orchestra, ballet and opera companies, four professional theatres and the national schools of dance and drama. A popular spot for Wellingtonians to spend their holidays, the Kapiti Coast has white-water rafting, swimming, boating, hunting, golf, horseback riding, and bush walking, all to be enjoyed on a New Zealand vacation.
The Wairarapa is fast gaining a reputation for its award-winning wines. Most of the wineries are within walking distance of each other, clustered around the colonial village Martinborough, which also has excellent restaurants and craft shops. About one and a half hours drive north from Wellington, Masterton is the main centre of a rich, sheep-farming district.
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. Read about New Zealand's nature and wildlife , weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips , as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip.
This park contains the marvellous andesite volcanoes of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.
Explore New Zealand. Gisborne and the Eastland Region offer plenty of coastline with secluded spots. Masterton is the largest town in the Wairarapa. Wine and Historical sites! The adverntue capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is an adults playground. Hamilton City has lots of things to do, and close to all the tourist spots.
There's also plenty of potential for 'scare-raising' adventure. This area is based around State Highway 1 where it descends from the volcanic plateau to Wellington, west of the main ranges. Although there are extensive coastal plains, the countryside becomes increasing hilly towards the north.
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Sheep farming and cattle raising are important activities, along with cropping on the lowlands. In the Rangitikei River Valley and surrounding hill country, bed and breakfasts and farmstays are a specialty, with many old homesteads having magnificent gardens. The largest of the villages and towns along the road to Mt Ruapehu and the central plateau is Taihape. It is renowned as the "gumboot capital", where every year a festival is held to celebrate this essential item of rural Kiwi footwear.