New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 2 main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. Capital Wellington, on the North Island, is home to Te Papa Tongarewa, the expansive national museum. Wellington’s dramatic Mt. Victoria, along with the South Island’s Fiordland and Southern Lakes, stood in for mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films. Two Thirds of the population live on the North Island which is only one third of NZ total land area.
All hotels we had in NZ were of a great standard with massive rooms, some even had 8 double bunks for an average of $90 per night, our hire car was picked up from both Wellington and Christchurch Airports for $60 a day.
Ill break this country down into two areas, the North island and the South Island.
This road trip started and ended in Wellington the capital of the North island, or first stop was New Plymouth driving up HWY 3. New Plymouth is a city on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s known for its coastal walkway stretching from Bell Block to Port Taranaki. Te Rewa Rewa Bridge has views of towering Mount Taranaki. The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery shows contemporary exhibitions. Close by, Pukekura Park has botanical gardens and birdlife. Subalpine forests and waterfalls characterise Egmont National Park to the south.
Waitomo is a village on the North Island of New Zealand 180 Km north of New Plymouth. It’s known for its extensive underground cave systems. Thousands of glow-worms light up the Glowworm Caves. The vast Ruakuri Cave features waterfalls and limestone formations. West, Mangapohue Natural Bridge is a high limestone arch over Mangapohue Stream. Northeast of the village, Otorohanga Kiwi House shelters several species of the rare native kiwi bird.
Taupo, a town near the centre of New Zealand’s North Island, is distinguished by its lakefront setting and outdoor sports ranging from fishing to jet-boating. The vast waters of Lake Taupo, a volcanic caldera, drain into the Huka Falls, dramatic, crystal-blue cascades reachable by hiking and biking trails. Surrounding Taupo are hot springs like those filling the Craters of the Moon reserve.
Check out Rapids Jet Taupo When the gates of the Aratiatia Dam open, 80,000 litres of water per second crash out into the river. Within minutes, the crystal blue water becomes a seething, tumbling blanket of white as it takes on a life of its own. From your seat in one of our jet boats, you’ll be right in the middle of this spectacular white-water wonder. You’ll get splashed with river water as we shoot up and down the rapids. Be mesmerised by the swirling, ever-changing patterns and movements of the running water that surrounds you. Book tickets here Rapids Jet Booking.
Aratiatia Power Station
Aratiatia Power Station is a hydroelectric power station on the Waikato River, in the North Island of New Zealand. It is the first hydroelectric power station on the Waikato River, and is located 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) downstream of Lake Taupo. Aratiatia is owned and operated by Mercury Energy.
Aratiatia is a largely run-of-the-river station, as it generates electricity from water from the Lake Taupo control gates and to the Ohakuri Power Station. It does, however, have a 55-hectare (140-acre) lake behind the station for temporary storage.
Raglan is a coastal town in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s known for black-sand Ngarunui Beach and the long surf break at Manu Bay. Local history exhibits at the Raglan & District Museum include apothecary items and surfing memorabilia. To the south, native forest surrounds the tall Bridal Veil Falls. Mount Karioi is an extinct, forest-clad volcano with summit views over the Tasman Sea.
Auckland, based around 2 large harbours, is a major city in the north of New Zealand’s North Island. In the centre, the iconic Sky Tower has views of Viaduct Harbour, which is full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes. Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, is based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Wintergardens. Near Downtown, Mission Bay Beach has a seaside promenade. Its the largest city in NZ with a population of 1.65 million which is one third of NZ total of 4.8 million people.
Whangarei is a city in the Northland region of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s home to the Whangarei Falls, which tumble over cliff into a natural pool. Overlooking the city, volcanic Mount Parihaka features a war memorial and the remains of Maori villages. By the Hatea River, the Town Basin is a boat-dotted marina with restaurants, shops and galleries. Nearby, Claphams Clock Museum displays eclectic vintage clocks.
Hot Water Beach Cormandel
Hot Water Beach is a beach on Mercury Bay on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand, approximately 12 kilometres south east of Whitianga, and approximately 175 kilometres from Auckland by car. Its name comes from underground hot springs which filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches. The beach is a popular destination both for locals and tourists visiting New Zealand. Annual visitor numbers have been estimated at 700,000, making it one of the most popular geothermal attractions in the Waikato Region.
Piha is a seaside village, west of Auckland, on New Zealand’s North Island. Black-sand Piha Beach is known for its strong surf and rugged scenery. Lion Rock is a volcanic monolith with war memorials and Maori carvings. Nearby, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park has subtropical native rainforest and trails to waterfalls such as Kitekite and Fairy falls. Karekare, to the south, also has a black sand beach.
Waihi is a town in Hauraki District in the North Island of New Zealand, especially notable for its history as a gold mine town. It had a population of 4,527 at the 2013 census. The town is at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula, close to the western end of the Bay of Plenty.
Rotorua, a town set on its namesake lake on New Zealand’s North Island, is renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. In Te Puia’s Whakarewarewa Valley, there are bubbling mud pools and the 30m-tall Pohutu Geyser, which erupts many times daily. It’s also home to a living Maori village and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, with traditional wood carving and weaving schools.
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, sits near the North Island’s southernmost point on the Cook Strait. A compact city, it encompasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and colourful timber houses on surrounding hills. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname “Windy Wellington.”
After flying into Christchurch we picked up our hire car and drove 140km directly to Hanmer Springs.
Hanmer Springs is a resort town in the Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, with its mineral waters. The surrounding mountains are home to trails and seasonal ski slopes. The nearby Conical Hill and Heritage Forest has a trail winding to a lookout point. To the south, rugged Waiau Gorge is known for its whitewater rapids and abundant salmon and trout.
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk
This is an all-weather walk around the curious limestone formations of pancake rocks and blowholes. With the exception of an optional short section with steps, the walk is suitable for wheelchairs (with assistance). Blowholes form from a mixture of compressed water and air escaping through the caverns below and being forced upwards, creating a huge wall of spray. They are at their best around high tide when there is a south-westerly swell. Spectacular views, geological oddities, coastal forest, rich birdlife and marine mammals are highlights along this walk. The Pancake Rocks are most spectacular in the Putai area. They were formed 30 million years ago from minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants landed on the seabed about 2 km below the surface. Immense water pressure caused the fragments to solidify in hard and soft layers. Gradually seismic action lifted the limestone above the seabed. Mildly acidic rain, wind and seawater sculpted the bizarre shapes.
Getting there: The walk is at Dolomite Point, near the little settlement of Punakaiki on SH6. It’s 44 km north of Greymouth and 57 km south of Westport, on the far North West Coast.
Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers
Franz Josef / Waiau is a small town in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand. Whataroa is 32 kilometres to the north-east, and the township of Fox Glacier is 23 kilometres to the south-west. State Highway 6 runs through the town.
Fox Glacier / Te Moeka o Tuawe is a 13-kilometre-long temperate maritime glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It was named in 1872 after a visit by then Prime Minister of New Zealand Sir William Fox.
Greymouth is a town on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Its History House Museum has exhibits chronicling the town’s mining and jade-hunting past. To the south, Shantytown Heritage Park is a re-created gold rush town with a museum and steam train. North of Greymouth, the Point Elizabeth Walkway winds along coastal clifftops to the forests of Rapahoe Scenic Reserve, home to abundant bird life. Check out the Monteiths Brew House Address: 60 Herbert St, Greymouth 7805, New Zealand, and taste their fine ales.
Hokitika is a township in the West Coast region of New Zealand’s South Island, 40 kilometres south of Greymouth, and close to the mouth of the Hokitika River. Hokitika offers the best of the West Coast of New Zealand – a dramatic beach, wide range of walks, two serene lakes, wild rivers, mountain views and great cafes and galleries. Fun-filled, relaxed holidays like you used to have but with better coffee. Hokitika – the cool little town.
Wanaka, a resort town on New Zealand’s South Island, is set on the southern end of its namesake lake with views of snowcapped mountains. It’s the gateway to the Southern Alps’ Mount Aspiring National Park, a wilderness of glaciers, beech forests and alpine lakes. Treble Cone and Cardrona ski resorts are near the park. Just outside the town is the outdoor maze and sculpture gallery of Puzzling World,
Things to do,
- Puzzling World – The Illusion Rooms, Puzzle Centre and Maze will leave you baffled!
- National Transport and Toy Museum – visit the largest collection of toys in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Warbirds & Wheels – classic cars, warbirds and wearable creations.
- Crossfire – line up on the target and shoot for fun.
The Wanaka Speight’s Ale House is situated on Ardmore Street next to Bullock Creek and across the road from Lake Wanaka. The outdoor decks afford all day sun with a picturesque view of the lake. As a top Wanaka restaurant the Speight’s Ale House offers a great range of speciality beers, indoor/outdoor dining and a wide variety of gastromeals. The Speight’s Ale House is operated by the owners and is very popular meeting place for Locals, Holiday Makers, Skiers and Tourists alike.
Queenstown, New Zealand, sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, set against the dramatic Southern Alps. Renowned for adventure sports, it’s also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns. There’s bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers. In winter, there’s skiing on the slopes of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
Fergbaker this would have to be the best bakery i have ever tried on the planet, Address: 40 Shotover St, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand, check the menu below.
Prime New Zealand beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli & tomato relish.
|Fergburger w/ cheese
|Fergburger w/ cheese
Blue, Swiss, Brie
|Double Ferg w/cheese
|Double Ferg w/cheese
Blue, Swiss, Brie
Prime New Zealand beef American streaky bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, aioli & tomato relish.
Prime New Zealand beef, American streaky bacon, cheddar cheese, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli & tomato relish
|Mr Big Stuff
1/2 lb of prime New Zealand beef topped with melted cheddar cheese, American streaky bacon & bbq sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion & aioli
Prime New Zealand lamb, mint jelly. lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli & tomato relish.
Wild Fiordland Deer with a Thai plum chutney, lettuce, tomato, red onion & aioli.
|The Bulls Eye
Primo New Zealand Ribeye steak (200g). Grilled medium, topped with rings of white onion, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, aioli & tomato relish.
Fresh Blue Cod, beer battered with Ferg’s dill tartare, lettuce, tomato, red onion, & aioli.
Slow roasted New Zealand pork belly, lettuce, tomato, red onion, hash brown, with aioli and a delicious apricot seeded mustard.
Butterflied & crumbed chicken breast, American streaky bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli & tomato relish.
Grilled chicken tenderloins marinated in a chilli, ginger & coriander yoghurt with cucumber raita, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli & mango chutney.
Grilled chicken tenderloins with sundried tomato tapenade, lettuce, tomato, red onion & aioli.
Grilled chicken tenderloins marinated in a ginger soy sauce dressed with sweet chilli, lettuce, tomato, red onion & aioli.
Grilled chicken tenderloins rubbed with cajun spices, cooled with a lemon yoghurt, lettuce, tomato, red onion & aioli.
|Holier than Thou
Tempured tofu with a spicy satay, coconut and coriander sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, snowpea shoots & aioli.
Falafel patties dressed with lemon yoghurt and chipotle chilli sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, avocado & aioli.
|The Morning Glory
With your choice of avocado or hash brown, American streaky bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, red onion, tomato relish & Ferg’s tarragon mayonnaise.
|The Dawn Horn
American streaky bacon, egg, hash brown, cheddar cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion, beetroot, tomato relish & Ferg’s tarragon mayonnaise.
Al delivers a double serving of prime New Zealand beef (1/2lb), lashings of bacon, a whole lotta cheese, 2 eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, red onion, relish & a big wad of aioli.
|Fries with your choice of sauce:
Sauces: aioli, wasabi mayonnaise, tomato, barbeque or sweet chilli
|Crumbed Calamari with Ferg’s wasabi mayonnaise (½ dozen / dozen)||$5.00 / $9.00|
|Homemade onion rings with aioli sauce|
The Luge Take a thrilling ride enjoyed by all ages and abilities. Our purpose built Luge carts put you in complete control as you take on over 800 metres of banked corners, tunnels and dippers. Once you’ve conquered the course, hop on the chairlift and do it all again, and again, and again. Gentle and leisurely or steep and adventurous, you’ll be hooked. Once is never enough. Address is Luge Advanced Track, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand, information and ticket sales here Luge Tickets and Info
Coronet Peak and other stuff Coronet Peak is a commercial skifield in Queenstown, New Zealand located seven kilometres west of Arrowtown, on the southern slopes of the 1,649-metre peak which shares its name.
Doubtful Sound / Patea is a very large and naturally imposing fjord in Fiordland, in the far south west of New Zealand. It is located in the same region as the smaller but more famous and accessible Milford Sound. It took second place after Milford Sound as New Zealand’s most famous tourism destination.
All our Doubtful Sound experiences start in Manapouri which is around 2.5 – 3 hours from Queenstown and 30 minutes from Te Anau.
Visit New Zealand’s largest hydroelectric power station, the Manapouri Underground Power Station, located deep beneath Fiordland.
The construction of this power station was one of New Zealand’s greatest engineering achievements, with the majority of the work completed underground in a remote location. The only external signs are the above-ground control building, a switchyard and two sets of transmission lines that loop across the head of the lake on their way to join the national grid.
A visit to the Manapouri Underground Power Station begins with a cruise across beautiful Lake Manapouri. You will then travel by coach down a 2km (1.2 miles) spiral tunnel to view the immense underground machine hall and learn the story behind this power station. Tickets and information here Doubtful Sound Cruise.
Invercargill is a city near the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s a gateway to wilderness areas including Stewart Island, with its Rakiura Track. In town, the Southland Museum and Art Gallery has natural history collections and live tuatara reptiles. Queens Park features flower displays and sports facilities. To the southeast, Waituna Lagoon is home to abundant birdlife and trout populations.
Queens Park, Invercargill Queens Park is a tourist attraction in Invercargill, New Zealand, and was part of the original plan when Invercargill was founded in 1856. The park is 200 acres in extent.
Bluff, previously known as Campbelltown and often referred to as “The Bluff”, is a town and seaport in the Southland region, on the southern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Bluff is at the end of a peninsula that forms the western side of Bluff Harbour and Awarua Bay, with the port located in the relatively narrow entrance channel. It is on State Highway 1, which terminates one kilometre to the south of the town at Stirling Point. At Stirling Point there is a signpost showing the distance and direction to various major cities and locations around the world, including the Equator and the South Pole. Bluff is dominated by Bluff Hill / Motupohue (standing at 265 m (870 ft)), which provides some shelter from the prevailing westerly winds.
Waipapa Point is located at the southern end of the Catlins region and is east of Invercargill on the South Island’s south coast.
Waipapa Point marks the scene of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipwreck. On 29 April 1881, 131 people were drowned when the passenger steamer Tararua was wrecked on a reef off the point. Tararua was on one of its regular trips between Otago and Melbourne, via Bluff.
The sad tale of the wreck, in which only 20 of the 151 on board survived, is explained in Ingram’s New Zealand Shipwrecks.
|Location:||latitude 46°40’ south, longitude 168°51’ east|
|Elevation:||21 metres above sea level|
|Tower height:||13 metres|
|Light configuration:||flashing LED beacon|
|Light flash character:||white light flashing 5 times every 20 seconds|
|Power source:||batteries charged via solar panels|
|Range:||9 nautical miles (16 kilometres)|
|Date light first lit:||1884|
Roxburgh is a small New Zealand town of about 600 people in Central Otago. It is in Teviot Valley on the banks of the Clutha River, 40 km south of Alexandra in the South Island.
Alexandra is a town in the Central Otago district of the South Island of New Zealand. It is located on the banks of the Clutha River, on State Highway 8, 188 kilometres by road from Dunedin and 33 kilometres south of Cromwell.
Lake Tekapo is a small town located at the southern end of the lake of the same name in the inland South Island of New Zealand. It had 369 residents according to the 2013 Census, being one of five settlements in the sparsely populated Mackenzie Basin. The color of the lake’s water truly sets it apart from other lakes. It’s a beautiful turquoise blue created by rock flour from surrounding glaciers. The glaciers in the headwaters of Lake Tekapo grind rock into a fine dust on their journey down towards the lake. This rock flour is suspended in the water and causes the magnificent turquoise.
Church of the Good Shepherd
Church of the Good Shepherd during a summer sunset in February and Situated on the shores of Lake Tekapo is the Church of the Good Shepherd, which, in 1935, was the first church built in the Mackenzie Basin. The church at Lake Tekapo was designed by Christchurch architect R.S.D. Harman, based on sketches by a local artist, Esther Hope. The church is arguably one of the most photographed in New Zealand, and features an altar window that frames views of the lake and mountains.
Mount John University Observatory previously known as Mt John University Observatory, is New Zealand’s premier astronomical research observatory. It is situated at 1,029 metres ASL atop Mount John at the northern end of the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island, and was established in 1965.