New Zealand is out of this world. With jagged, magnificent mountain ranges, crystal-clear waters and otherworldly natural beauties, it’s no wonder that the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was filmed here. Everything is so jaw-droppingly beautiful, it seems impossible to be true. A New Zealand honeymoon is a magical experience filled with wild outdoor adventures, incredible events and activities, marvelous food and wine and unique culture including that of the Maori people.
Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and other big cities put you in touch with a cosmopolitan rhythm that’s uniquely “Kiwi.” From hip-hop music to theater, local arts play an important role in the people’s identity almost as much as rugby does. Outside of the metro areas, the country is sparsely populated and thoroughly ripe to be enjoyed in its entire natural splendor. New Zealand is comprised of two main islands, one atop the other. Both are quite long yet isolated from its neighbor, Australia to the west. That means New Zealand is absolutely perfect for honeymooners on the beach or honeymooners on the slope. Warm and cold weather don’t seem to affect the hardy and friendly New Zealanders from making the most of the extraordinarily diverse climate.
The rugged landscape seems to designed for photography and begs to be explored, skied, snorkeled and hiked. However, you may wish your New Zealand honeymoon to be a bit more laid-back and with that you are more than covered. A wealth of wineries, breweries and fabulous cuisine can be indulged in between excursions to gardens, museums, historical destinations and delightfully quaint villages.
About New Zealand
At a Glance
Millions of years ago New Zealand broke away from its neighbors and today rests in the South Pacific about 600 miles south of Fiji and 900 miles to the east of Australia. All that time apart allowed New Zealand, or Aotearoa in the native Maori, to develop truly distinctive plant and animal life, different even from the already bizarre wildlife found in Australia.On the large South Island you can explore the massive Southern Alps, deep fjords and glaciers. On the North Island, volcanoes, Mount Ruapehu and the country’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, are just some of the natural spectacle in store for you. New Zealand will give you plenty of opportunity to have fun in virtually every type of sporting activity and hiking imaginable as well as more cerebral pursuits.
- SEE THE COUNTRYSIDE ON THE RAILS: The TranzAlpine train ride shuttles you through the South Island and some of the most spectacular series of vistas you’ll ever encounter. An excellent idea for a day trip, you’ll be astounded by the magnificent beech forests, massive river gorges and man-made wonders such as deep tunnels and high viaducts.
- SHOUT “THERE BE WHALES!”: Nature lovers from all around the world make their way to Kaikoura for its famous whale watching tours. This popular eco-tourism destination that kicks off near Christchurch puts you in the heart of natural beauty both on the land and in the sea where you’ll marvel at giant sperm whales, playful dolphins, mellow seals and bounty of sharks, fish and a variety of bird species.
- GET TO KNOW THE MAORI: One of the most rewarding experiences you can have during your New Zealand honeymoon is to visit a Maori Marae. These meeting places, such as the NgaHau E Wha National Marae in Christchurch, grant you access to Maori culture both ancient and contemporary in live action. Traditional myths and legends, songs and poi dances unfold before your eyes as you witness and even take part in this distinct and important New Zealand culture.
- HEAD OUT ON A GLACIAL LAKE: A boat trip on the glacial Tasman Lake is only one of three such tours in the entire world and an experience that will literally take your breath away. You’ll wind your way through massive ice cliffs and around hulking icebergs in stark silence as the majesty of nature surrounds you.
- HIKE THE TONGARIRO CROSSING: To say that New Zealand has rugged and intensely beautiful landscape is an understatement. Many of the hikes require a fairly high level of experience to traverse safely and efficiently. But the high-altitude hike at the Tongariro Crossing is one that can be done in a day and with comparable ease. The stunning volcanic terrain offers cool mountain springs, lava flows, an active crater and simply gorgeous views.
- VISIT FIORDLAND: If your schedule permits, a visit to Fiordland with its jaw-dropping mountains, cliffs and fjords is a breathtaking must do. Visitors and locals alike will agree that it is a location of uncommon beauty and a natural spectacle that is truly unlike any other place on earth.
- FEEL THE WARMTH OF WAIOTAPU: Get close and personal, carefully of course, to the thermal extravaganza of Waiotapu where the earth’s molten core meets the surface. You’ll be treated to every color in the spectrum as you investigate geysers, mud pools, bubbling hot lakes, steam vents and more.
- AREA CODES: The international country code for New Zealand is 64. Within the country there are 15 area codes of one number each, so for example the area code for Auckland is 9, Wellington is 4 and Christchurch is 3.
- CURRENCY: NZ dollar.
- LANGUAGE: English.
- GETTING AROUND: New Zealand is a long narrow country and traveling from the tip of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island is a farther distance then New York City to Miami, Florida. There are many spectacular destinations all around the country and while you could drive, flying is a much more sensible choice. All around the country you’ll find tours, buses and boating trips, while the major cities all feature public transportation and taxi service. If you are looking for a truly unforgettable experience on your New Zealand honeymoon consider taking a train ride between Auckland and Wellington. This 12 hour excursion will allow you to see breathtaking sights that you may not have had access to otherwise.
- DRIVING: As in the United Kingdom, New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road.
- WHEN TO GO: Being wholly in the southern hemisphere means that when Europe, North America and most of Asia are enjoying warm summer months, New Zealand is in the middle of winter, and vice versa. The best months to go are September and October when much of the country is still warm. However the further south you go the air is cool most of the year.
- ELECTRICITY: New Zealand operates on a 230/240 volt system.
- TIMEZONE: Not far from the international day line, New Zealand sees the morning sun before virtually everyone else, which means on non-daylight savings time the country is exactly 12 hours ahead of GMT.