On its own down near Antarctica, New Zealand is a sparsely populated and exciting backdrop for extreme sports and extreme socialising as well as for solitary confinement. A laid back Kiwi welcome is extended both to adventure seekers using the islands as their own private obstacle course and culture-istas coming to hang in the hip towns never far from the action.
New Zealand seems boundless with vast empty space, perfect for escaping on your own, for bungee jumping, rafting, mountain biking, parasailing or snow sports, maybe? And when your trail leads you into pockets of civilisation you’re much more likely to run into easy going locals than tourist hoards in the airy sidewalk cafes with the nice views. Post adrenalin adventure there might even be time to pop into a gallery or museum to appreciate some of the Maori culture which weaves its way though island life, or take in the sights, sounds and smells of a festival – where better to get down with the locals?
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Although small scale compared to neighbouring Australia, New Zealand still demands time to explore it to the full. Both North and South Island have equal appeal but to squeeze both into one holiday is a tall order – here we take a closer look at North Island.
We know a total of 140 attractions in New Zealand. See all New Zealand attractions.
New Zealand's South Island is an extreme sportsperson's playground of mountains, fjords and glaciers best seen by car or bike.
A visit to New Zealand's North Island is about culture as well as perfect scenery. Driving from Auckland to Wellington you'll see the highlights.
New Zealand didn't get the title 'Adventure Capital of the World' from famed sock darning classes...here's how to get the most extreme out of the islands.
We took a two week break in a camper-van in the South Island of New Zealand; it was winter and we weren't there to ski!: