There is so much to see and do in New Zealand that it is difficult to know where to start. This is, after all, the self-styled 'adventure capital of the world', where willing participants can bungee jump, zorb and sky dive to their heart's content in outdoor playgrounds such as Queensland or Wanaka.
The natural landscape in New Zealand is astonishing. Visitors can take in the pristine fjord of Milford Sound, or get lost in the turquoise waters of the Bay of Islands. Highlights of the Hauraki Gulf islands near Auckland include Waiheke, famous for its wine, and the volcanic Rangitoto. The three mighty volcanoes of Tongariro National Park are awesome for skiing and trekking, enjoying dual UNESCO status for volcanic landscape and cultural importance.
The rugged and uninhabited West Coast, framed by the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea, is home to stunning natural features such as the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Not to be missed in this region is the TranzAlpine train, one of the world's great railway journeys, traversing the Southern Alps and passing through Arthur's Pass National Park as it makes its way from Greymouth to Christchurch.
The cities offer an entirely different experience. Auckland, known to the Maori people as 'Tamaki Makaurau' - city of many lovers, is renowned as one of the top cities in the world for quality of life. Wellington, the capital, is small but with a big city feel. Here, visitors can enjoy the culture, caffeine and of course the craft beer. Otago's rolling hills are home to some top wine producers.
New Zealand is also developing other sides to its tourist offering with a burgeoning wine industry, fascinating Maori culture, restorative thermal pools and natural spas, and plenty of tours themed around The Lord of the Rings, which was filmed at locations around the country.
Hauraki Gulf Islands
The Hauraki Gulf is studded with numerous islands, some recreation retreats and others conservation islands with restricted access for the protection of rare bird, animal, and plant life. Waiheke is the most popular, with picturesque bays and white sandy beaches, rolling farmlands, and... see full details
Auckland Sky Tower
At 1,076 feet (328m), Auckland's Sky Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere and has unforgettable views over the city, the harbour and the gulf islands. It is part of the Sky City Entertainment Complex, with a casino, theatre, hotel, and... see full details
Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is famous for its beautiful coastal scenery. Interspersed with numerous little coves, inlets and sandy beaches, the historical townships of Paihia, Waitangi and Russell are the central hubs of the area. Sailing and boat cruises around the islands are... see full details
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Reserve
Wai-O-Tapu, meaning 'Sacred Waters', is a diverse and colourful geothermal sightseeing experience. The area has been active for more than 100,000 years and features thick pools of boiling mud that bubble and belch, geysers, sulphuric mineral terraces, and steaming pools that create a kaleidoscope... see full details
Te Papa Museum
Te Papa is Wellington's leading attraction and one of the world's largest national museums. It is a tribute to all that is New Zealand; its people and history, natural environment, arts, and culture. Interactive technology and superb displays bring the story to life,... see full details
The spectacular ride takes visitors to the top of the crater rim of Christchurch's extinct volcano on the outskirts of the city, unfolding magnificent views over the Canterbury Plains and towards the Southern Alps, and the sweep of Pegasus Bay and Lyttelton Harbour,... see full details
Mount Cook National Park
Mount Cook National Park is known for its exquisite alpine beauty and is home to the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook. Its Maori name, 'Aoraki' means 'cloud piercer' and at 12,218 feet (3,724m) it towers above the surrounding snow-covered peaks in the... see full details
The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers
Nowhere else in the world, outside the polar regions, can one see glaciers so close to the sea. The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers extend more than eight miles (13km) from the highest peaks of precipitous mountains to the valley floor and... see full details
Fjordland National Park
Hemmed in by towering granite cliffs and dominated by Mitre Peak, the calm deep waters reflect ice-covered mountain tops, waterfalls plummet from the cliff tops to the water below, and Bottlenose dolphins play in the foaming wakes of the boats. The 14-mile (22km)... see full details
Great Barrier Island
Situated 62 miles (100km) off the coast of northeast New Zealand, Great Barrier Island is a paradise of unspoiled wilderness and beautiful vistas. The bulk of the island has been given over to nature reserves and the local ecosystem has thrived, home to... see full details