“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy fans will know it as “Middle Earth”. The
rest of us know it as New Zealand. J.R.R. Tolkien’s tale of adventure
and romance filled with mythical creatures such as faeries, dwarves,
hobbits, and more could not have been filmed in a more appropriate area
of the world than New Zealand. The country’s diverse and beautiful
landscape was the perfect “Middle Earth” and director Peter Jackson, a
native New Zealander, made the most of what the country had to offer.
Locals would have recognized “Hobiton” as the rolling hills of Matamata
, “Mt. Doom” as the volcanic district of Mt. Ruapehu, and the “Eregion
Hills” and the “Pillars of Argonath” as the country’s adventure capital,
The breathtaking views in the movie are attributed more to Mother
Nature than Hollywood craft and wizardry. New Zealand is located
within the Ring of Fire. No, this is not another imaginary creation
of Tolkien. It is in fact, a region which circles the Pacific Ocean
wherein volcanic and seismic activity is triggered by tectonic plate
New Zealand is known for its scenic landscapes of snowcapped
mountains and rolling green pastures. Its warmest months are January
and February while its coldest are June and July. Its climate is
mild with four seasons.
So what are the things visitors go for when they get to New Zealand?
Well, for starters, outdoorsy tourists will really have a field day
here. Active volcanoes, snowcapped mountains, crater lakes, braided
rivers, forests, fiords, lonely lighthouses, and wild beaches,
For those who’d like a glimpse of the country’s fauna, visit the
Auckland Zoo. This place has activities and events for both kids and
adults alike all year long. If theme parks are your thing, go to
Rainbows End, New Zealand’s largest theme park. It is situated on
Manukau in South Auckland and is its main attraction.
If you’re not scared of heights,
there’s also the Sky Tower, Auckland’s most famous landmark and is
the tallest tower in these parts. Visited by over a million people
each year, Sky Tower is part of Sky City.
This is a great place to play the tables
or just take a romantic evening at Orbit, an unusual restaurant located
at the pinnacle of Sky Tower.
Extreme sports and thrill-seeking fans
will love the Auckland Bridge Bungee, the world’s first harbour bridge
bungee jump. Jump off Pier 2 and take the plunge over Waitemata Harbour,
it’s an experience you’ll never forget. For those in top physical
condition, take part in the Auckland Bridge Climb and join professional
climbers climb up the 200-feet bridge. Don’t worry, there are
ladder-like pathways that will make the climb easier for beginners. Your
reward awaits you at the top where you get a 360 degree view of the
beautiful and magnificent city of Auckland.
Whale watching at Kaikoura coastline is a nature lover’s experience of a
lifetime. See Sperm Whales in their natural habitat; some can grow as
big as 20 meters! The best part about this is Sperm Whales come by all
year-round so no matter what season you visit, you’ll still get a chance
to view them, live! Like seals and dolphins too? Well, they come by too
so don’t miss this chance.
The Maori are the first recorded people to live in New Zealand. They are
descended from the Polynesians who came to the islands over a thousand
years ago. Rotorua is the heartland of the country’s Maori culture. It
is also famous for steaming hot pools, geyser activities, lakes, and mud
pools. It is the traditional meeting place of all the Maori tribes.
For beach bums, take the 90 mile walk down New Zealand’s longest
beach and witness the region’s Sahara-ish sand dunes and white sands.
If you’re feeling peckish, Mission Bay is home to several cafes and
the best and finest restaurants in the country.
Although its cities such as Auckland are quite cosmopolitan and its
locals are mostly urbanized, New Zealand has managed to maintain its
natural and pastoral atmosphere. Movie makers love to use its scenic
beauty in their movies. Prince Caspian, the latest instalment to the
Chronicles of Narnia series was filmed in this part of the world. It
seems Hollywood has fallen in love with New Zealand and it is
guaranteed you will too!