you are welcome to enter! They are the first words that greet the visitor as soon as he arrives Auckland, Yet the longest flight can be made from Italy. he is welcome Māori, which heralds exotic adventure and hospitality.
Because yes, that still exists A whole new land touched only in 1769 For the first time by a Western explorer James CookIt is also one of the most modern, regulated and safest countries in the world. It is not surprising that Auckland was just elected by the weekly The Economist The most livable city in the world in 2021.
Travel to New Zealand once in a lifetime
New Zealand roads are well signposted and in excellent condition, and Viaggio on the road It’s affordable, but nature is still a powerful advertisement New Zealand, ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’, and should be treated with respect and an adaptive spirit. This is why a car is definitely the best way to discover it: once you’ve overcome the small hurdle of driving on the left, traveling the country soon gives you a sense of calm and freedom.
Don’t get bored, because Around every turn an incredible landscape can appear And always different. And with the wettest and most stable climate on the planet, where the four seasons can follow each other on the same day, the only rule is Give up on making long-term plans.
New Zealand: a jump in Middle-earth
Emerald green hills, sheep, and small villages make up the premier landscape of the central North Island. Matta Matta, a rural town, previously unknown and dedicated to the breeding of horses, for all fans of the British writer J.R.R. Tolkien Today there boycott, The rural landscape directed by the New Zealand director Peter Jackson used to evoke Hobbit Village In the movie trilogy The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, between 2000 and 2014.
Hobbiton, New Zealand, Hobbit Village
Collection, hobbitonIt is still open to visitors. Here, by booking Evening banquet tour We find ourselves watching the sunset illuminating the lakes and hills with a thousand colors while we are there The Green Dragon Inn, like in the moviesOther times, lights up. And the lavish feast that ends in one Pee (meringue) with kiwi, followed by a candlelight walk, the elven world seems to come true.
Luminous and sacred caves
To the west, in the Waikato region, the show continues on Waitomo Caves, a complex of caves where you can admire glow worms. They are luminous insects, capable of lighting up a soft green, creating a vault in the dark to remember Milky Way. A unique but fragile ecosystem. Three kilometers away you can explore Aranui Cave, with stunning limestone formations, the sacred nearby Rwakuri CaveIt is accessed via a long spiral staircase that protects the tombs Maori.
Vineyards, pastures and fields
We leave again towards the center of the island, always looking for directions to Farm Near the road: in some you can have lunch, more often you can buy fruit and vegetables, cheese, wine, beer or Manuka honey, which is a typical plant of New Zealand. A way to discover the luxurious farming of sheep and cattle, but also large vineyards, pastures and fields.
Volcanic lakes and art galleries
Here is the geothermal heart of the country. The Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand, is a still active volcanic caldera, which hosts the city of the same name on the northeastern bank. Capital Skydiving sports skydiving, taupo It’s perfect for a multi-day layover.
Between shops and clubs, it’s good to waste time on the scenic aarti, Outdoor café and gallery in a garden decorated with glass mosaics. Boat trip or in kayak Instead it allows you to admire the rock carvings MāoriOtherwise inaccessible. Born here, the longest river in New Zealand, the River Waikato, eel 425 km. After that he meets Huka Falls, huge waterfalls with a drop of ten meters into the strait, then Arateatia Rapids, the most beautiful stretch, which offers the best when the levees of the dam open several times a day.
Holy water and Maori villages
Climb to the northeast here Rotorua Mystical place where fluorescent mud pools Wai-o-taboo, holy water (waiotapu.co.nz). A little further away, Te Whakarewarewa hot springs smoke nonstop like a little hell, while Te Puia geyser erupts up to 30 metres. For Maori, it is one of the most sacred regions, where they live the most. Here, the village of Whakarewarewa (whakarewarewa.com) has been inhabited for centuries by the Tuˉhourangi Ngaˉti Waˉhiao people. “For generations, we have been driving tourism there Rotorua With the aim of preserving our culture and honoring the legacy of our ancestors.” Sir, Leader while tastingEggs cooked in volcanic water.
Fifteen minutes drive, the day ends in Mitai Maori village (mitai.co.nz) in a strong voice Haka, Warriors Dance, Today we pay tribute to the All Blacks, the national rugby team, which blends with the flavor of hanji (underground hot stone) meat, while torches light up the forest and the sulfur scent always reminds us that we are above Ring of Fire, Pacific Ring of Fire.
UNESCO National Park
The Country Hwy 1 It flows south along Tongariro National Park. Established in 1887, the park is the first of its kind in the country, and today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and emblematic of excursions includes: Tongariro Alps Crossing, about twenty kilometers of magnificent mountain scenery will be covered in one day (tongarirocrossing.org.nz).
From the window, three great volcanoes dominate the horizon burning with lava and ash: Ruapehu, Among the most active in the world TongariroIt is the world that gives the garden its name and its austerity Ngauruhoe, The perfect cone to become in The Lord of the Rings is Mount Fact.
The last stop on the North Island is Wellington, nickname windy willy Because of the high winds that blow it constantly. New Zealand’s administrative and cultural capital is well worth a stop for its great restaurants, shops, cafes and breweries like lucky gifts (fortunefavors.beer), but also to visit the National Interactive Museum Baba (tepapa.govt.nz) or the Museum of Film Souvenirs Weta Cave (tours.wetaworkshop.com). And above all, the sunset that can be enjoyed from Mount Victoria, with the ocean and ferries departing for South Island.
New Zealand’s other land mass is declining. The cities are scattered, the roads are few and winding. If there are hills mostly to the north and the distances are short, then everything here is far away. The main reason is the inaccessible mountains which are crossed for safety instead of by building tunnels. Here large spaces and nature dominate.
Left Picton Port Passes through vineyards in the area Marlborofamous for Sauvignon. Take state Hwy 6 toward the west coast, where less than one percent of the country’s population lives.
Back in Westport, you’d slow between bays carved over the centuries by the fury of the sea and lush green forests. Just before Hokitika, the capital paunamu, The green jadeworth stopping by Pancake Rocks di Punakaiki, a geological formation so named because of its resemblance to a stack of pancakes.
Leave the coast to reach Westland This is Puotini National Park, with two impressive Glaciers Franz Josef and Fuchs that extends towards the sea. In Haast, the path veers inward to faceHarry Pass Highway, built along the river makrorah Between valleys and waterfalls, even Wanaka, a wonderful village on the lake of the same name, among those majestic Southern Alps.
Queenstown, the capital of adventure
Queenstown, an hour south, is the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ where extreme sports are possible against a backdrop of watery hills and mountains. And he really is T NowGateway to the end of the world.
From there starts a file Country Hwy 94, a race between beech forests, clear lakes and pristine valleys that is worth a visit alone. The dark and narrow tunnel is the last challenge before the view beyond the darkness overwhelms you: Milford’s voice. Adjectives are not enough to describe this dream fjord, With cliffs filled with plants overlooking the sea and hundreds of waterfalls That flows from the mountains into the dark waters. Sailing in it is like being in the middle of heaven.
Mysterious rock and live music
Christchurch, where you leave your car and get your plane back, is really close. Climbing to the northeast of the rain Fiordeland Moving on to the drier Otago Central as far as Dunedin, on the coast, is a town of Scottish origins with many pubs offering live music and “The world’s most inclined residential street” Baldwin Street. Learn about the mysterious rock formations of Muraki Boulders Beach, Similar to huge eggshells.
One last look at the sea before reaching the mountains Canterbury Central And another mirage: the way along Lake Bukaki, to a surreal celestial, with Mount Cook, the tallest in New Zealand (3724 m), and is dominated by a snow-covered silhouette. Discover at the visitor center on the south shore of the lake: salmon sashimi from the highest farms in the world (alpinesalmon.co.nz).
Lake Tekapo, like diving into a plate
The last stop is a dip in a plate. Purple, pink and yellow lupine stretch on the banks Lake Tekapo In Australian spring, from late September to November, on a canvas of turquoise waters coming from the glaciers that surround it. sentence in the mind, Long live New Zealand: Thank you, New Zealand.
Keep browsing the photos in the gallery, by clicking here
(Pictured: the famous waffles rock a bunakaiki, On the west coast of the South Island, in Paparoa National Park).
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