The collection of islands known as New Zealand are home to some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, boasting beautiful snow-capped mountain ranges, acres of undisturbed forest where diverse fauna roams, lush pastures and, yes, pristine beaches. Like its neighbour Australia, this country is known to host a number of unique animals found nowhere else in the world. Besides being up close with Mother Nature, visitors to this part of the Southern Hemisphere will get to discover more about Maori culture. From their New Zealand holiday homes they will enjoy absorbing views of the country’s lovely, multifaceted landscapes while being treated to the comforts of home. HomeAway avails many options for anyone interested in a trip down south; lakeside villas with stunning views, charming cottages and modern apartments. Facilities in these New Zealand holiday rentals vary from swimming pools to Internet access.
-Water sports: New Zealand offers adrenaline junkies the ultimate adventure; imagine kayaking in the Pacific escorted by schools of excited dolphins as you explore the island’s incredible coastline. Visitors will also find many diving spots off New Zealand’s islands where they can discover the diverse richness of the marine life besides a number of shipwrecks. Novices to scuba diving will easily find centres where they can get lessons and become certified divers. Conditions off New Zealand’s coastline are also excellent for both kite and wind surfing. Surfers will also get enormous breakers against which to test their boards.
-Outdoor activities: Among the sports visitors can look forward to playing whose facilities are found close to New Zealand holiday homes are tennis and golf. The island boasts a whopping 400 golf courses designed to cater to both the novice and the seasoned golfer. These easily accessible facilities have given birth to some of the world’s most successful professionals in the sport. Among the recommended courses are Rotorua, Akarana and Manor Park. Those seeking something more physically engaging can try mountain biking on the challenging 42 Traverse in the Tongariro National Park.
-Hiking: Many of the tourists who book New Zealand holiday homes have designs on exploring its beautiful landscape on foot, and who can fault them? Every summer droves of adventurers make their way to the Routeburn, Milford, Kepler and Hollford tracks which weave their way around mirror-like lakes, breathtaking mountain scenery and clear, whispering rivers. Milford is the trail that entices the most hikers but Routeburn offers the best diversity of landscape.
-Cultural experiences: A visit to New Zealand comes with the opportunity to learn about Maori culture. The Maori are the original inhabitants of beautiful islands. During their stay in New Zealand holiday rentals visitors will get the chance to attend traditional ceremonies where they can see the ‘Haka’, which the All Blacks famously perform before games in international Rugby tournaments. They could also be treated to a performance of traditional Poi dances by women in traditional Maori attire using a ball on a chord. Culture North, the Auckland Museum and a number of villages in Rotorua are where visitors can see such activities.
Depending on where their holiday homes in New Zealand are situated, visitors will experience different faces of the islands’ climatic patterns. While the south of the country experiences chilly winters, the weather in the north is much milder. And though the country’s weather is known to be difficult to predict, there are two clear seasons; a cold season that lasts from May to September and a warm season that lasts from December to March. Temperatures in the former average between 14 and 17°C and 20-24°C in the latter.
There are international airports in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin through which visitors from Europe can access New Zealand. They could alternatively fly to Sydney or Melbourne in Australia before connecting to the islands. Those who choose the second option should remember to secure a transit visa, else they’ll be turned away and not be able to get to their holiday homes in New Zealand.