The 5 Hottest Travel Destinations in New Zealand

New Zealand is undeniably one of the most charming countries in the world. The country is a relatively small island tucked away in the Pacific Ocean, with a population of approximately 4.5 million people. Its location far away from Australia and other continents makes it one of the go-to places for tourists that are looking to explore some of the world’s most sacred treasures.

In March 2018, New Zealand played host to over 3.8 million tourists. Picturesque landscapes, laidback Maori culture, and vibrant festival scenes are the primary highlights of a holiday in New Zealand. This post shall highlight the top spots you might consider visiting whenever your dreams take you to this glorious country.

1. The Fiordland National Park

The Fiordland National Park is New Zealand’s largest national park. The 12,607 square kilometers park occupies the southwestern region of the South Island and is a significant park within the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.

The fastest means to access the park is through a road drive from Queenstown to Te Anau, along the SH6 and SH94. You may also fly into airports located within Te Anau or other nearby towns, such as Milford Sound and Manapouri.

Vegetation in Fiordland National Park is predominantly dense forests with hundreds of plant species, including ferns, shrubs, and silver beech. There are also numerous wild animals to sight, mostly the endangered native animals and birds. Examples include possum, red deer, and dolphins, as well as birds like kakapo, mōhua (yellowhead), and takahē.

Besides game watching, Fiordland is famous for its refreshing boat tours to nearby points of interest like the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory.

Camping in Fiordland National Park allows you a more intimate encounter with its natural wonders. Some of the most popular campsites around the park include Fiordland Great Views Holiday Park, Getaway Te Anau, and more. Visit HitTheRoad.Rentals to learn more about camping in New Zealand. The brand works with over 83 Campervan providers in North and South New Zealand all with real customer reviews.

Another great way to explore Fiordland National Park is by taking a boat cruise to Milford Sound, which is the most spectacular fjord within the park. Other activities in and around Fiordland include hiking, tramping, trout fishing, and mountain climbing.

The best time to visit Fiordland National Park is during the warmer months of December through April.

The pristine waters of Fiordland

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2. Taranaki

Taranaki is located on the western coast of North Island, midway between Auckland and Wellington. The easiest way to get to Taranaki is to fly in, but the most exciting way is to take a road drive along New Zealand’s oldest heritage trail, the Forgotten World Highway SH43.

Taranaki is the ultimate adventure destination, featuring activities that suit travelers of all kinds. Popular things to do include surfing, hiking, snowboarding, mountain climbing, and watching the beautiful sunsets.

One of the special recommendations is the Pouakai Crossing, a full-day hiking tour that passes through the Pouakai Tarns. If you go on this hike on a calm day, you can see the magnificent reflections of the enormous Mount Egmont in the water. Most tourists prefer to head directly to the mountain for a full outdoor adventure, which includes mountain climbing, chartered flights over the mountain, and skiing, which happens between June and October.

If you’re into surfing, you can cruise the Surf Highway 45 and explore Taranaki’s top surfing destinations. And while you’re at it, you might consider visiting the Sugar Loaf Marine Park to swim with the seals and other marine animals.

February to mid-April is the ideal time to visit Taranaki.

3. Whangarei Falls

Whangarei Falls is arguably the most popular natural feature in Whangarei city. Nestled within Whangarei Scenic Reserve, the falls are an excellent destination for those who cherish the wild side of nature.

The 26 meters falls is located within a 10-minutes’ drive from downtown Whangarei or 2.5-hours’ drive from Auckland.

Besides sighting the mighty falls, the scenery is also perfect for photography, which makes it a preference for most honeymooners. There’s an opportunity to climb in behind the falls, and if you’re lucky to be there early enough, you can behold the rising sun as it hits the pristine waters, leaving your body covered in rainbows.

Climbing the slippery rocks around Whangarei Falls is an adrenaline-pumping adventure. However, the thought of getting behind the falls to enjoy a clearer view of the rolling landscapes and the sprawling Whangarei city makes it worth the risk. Are you afraid of heights? No need to fret, as you can still enjoy picturesque views of the waterfalls by taking a 30-minutes loop walk. Or, you can follow the trails down the Hatea River for a short but fulfilling walking safari.

The ideal period to visit the Whangarei Falls is during the summer months of December through February.

Cascading waterfalls

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4. Muriwai Beach, Auckland

Muriwai Beach is a top destination to include in your travel itinerary of New Zealand. Located within a 40-minutes drive from Auckland, this beach is famous for its enormous black sand dunes, incredible surfing opportunities, and surreal sunsets. The Muriwai Surf School, located close-by, offers lots of surfboards and sand yachts for hire, as well as surfing tuitions.

Apart from surfing, other watersports activities include hang gliding, paragliding, and fishing. However, ensure you check with the local authorities for the most suitable areas to go fishing or paragliding. Aptly named the Wild West Coast, Muriwai can get really wild during stormy days.

If you’re a nature lover, you might consider bushwalking along the Hilary Trail. Towards the southern end of the beach is the Muriwai Regional Park, a haven for golfers, cyclists, and horse riders.

A notable nearby point of interest is Maori Bay, located far south of the beach. The bay is famous for its steep cliffs and rocky terrain, which offer nesting spots for the region’s only colony of the Australasian gannets.

You can visit Muriwai Beach during the driest months from November to March. However, January till March is the ideal period for swimming at the beach, as the waters are calmer then.

Piha

Piha is a chic town situated along the rugged coastlines of Waitakere Ranges. It’s rather secluded location makes it ideal for travelers looking to escape the bustling city life.

The town is within a 40-minutes’ drive from Auckland city and is renowned for hosting international surf competitions. Piha is actually the most popular surfing spot in New Zealand. Its powerful waves make it a preference for seasoned surfers. As a beginner, you can take short surfing lessons at the Piha Surf Academy before hitting the water.

But surfing isn’t Piha’s only claim to fame. The beautiful black sandy beaches, incredible sunsets, and massive wilderness walking trails are more reasons to visit this quiet town.

While driving to Piha, remember to stop by the Piha Lookout along Piha Road to sample the town’s picturesque views from a vantage point. The Lion Rock, located in the middle of Piha Beach, also offers sweeping views of the pristine waters of the Tasman Sea.

Piha is also endowed with one of New Zealand’s most iconic waterfalls – the Kitekite Falls. The 40-m high cascading waterfalls are located within the town’s native forest in the Waitakere Ranges, making it ideal for hiking and walking safaris.

The best period to visit is from January to March when the temperatures are moderate, and rainfall is limited.

A surfer gliding amid raging waters

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There go our top recommendations for the most exotic destinations in New Zealand. Provided you visit any of these spots during fair weather, there’s no limit to how much fun you can experience.

Day Tours from Perth

If you are looking for something exciting to do while in Western Australia, don’t forget there are many exciting opportunities available to tourists just a short drive from Perth. Western Australia hosts many festivals and special events every year; here are some highlights for the remainder of 2019 and tours ready for 2020 that are all day trips in Perth:

Collie River Cruise Day Tour

Short drive from Perth to Eaton to board the “Elandra”. Cruise the Collie River where the dolphins, birdlife and many forms of wildlife unique to South Western Australia are abundant. Elandra explores many hidden spots, that other vessels cannot reach, taking passengers drifting by modern day mansions, then back through time. After the cruise enjoy lunch and free time in Bunbury WA’s third largest city with almost 70,000 people.

Christmas Fruit Picking Day Tour

Driving south on this short drive from Perth this morning heading along some beautiful National Park countryside we will be heading to Caraholly Orchard to pick our own Nectarines, Plums and Cherries, all the magnificent stone fruit in time for December’s Christmas feasts. On the drive home we will stop into the Pinjarra Bakery for a well-deserved gelato before heading back into Perth.

Manjimup Cherry Festival Day Tour

With an early start with the Day Tour departing Perth travelling to the picturesque town of Manjimup, set within the Jarrah / Karri Forests of the South West of WA, offers an authentic country destination with a rich experience to all who visit. Manjimup is the place to be during the cherry season. The town receives thousands of visitors during the annual Cherry Festival, providing the opportunity for the community of Manjimup to celebrate the cherry season and harvest. The Cherry Festival Carnival is held on the Saturday, including displays, markets & stalls and much more. In the afternoon there is free time to wander the Manjimup Timber Museum and historic gardens.

End of Year Christmas Mystery Day Tour

Less than two weeks short of Christmas day we celebrate the end of the touring year with a special Mystery Day Tour from Perth. Including a visit from jolly old bell chiming, big belly, big beard old mate Father Christmas, Morning Tea and Hotel Lunch. This is a great day tour to catch up with past traveling companions and enjoy summer in the Australian bush.

Summer Fruit Picking Day Tour

Driving south this morning from Perth for this unique Day Tour heading along some beautiful National Park countryside we will be heading to Caraholly Orchard to pick our own Nectarines, Plums and Cherries. At the Orchard they have a market selling a number of other local products and produce. On the drive home we will stop into the Pinjarra Bakery for a well-deserved gelato before heading back into Perth.

Penguin Island Wildlife Cruise Day Tour

A short drive from Perth down to Shoalwater for morning tea on the foreshore before we board our first ferry to transfer to Penguin Island. On the island we get up close with the penguins in the discovery centre and keep a look out for the other wildlife of the island. Later board a glass bottom boat for a cruise of the Shoalwater Bay wildlife sanctuary, taking in the rugged islands, nesting bird life and the rare Australian sea lions basking on the beach and frolicking in the water. Return to the mainland to wander the redeveloped Rockingham foreshore and City Centre.

Choosing a Perfect Christmas Party Venue in Melbourne

The Christmas and New Year’s Eve season is here. Probably, you have heard the hype about the parties that people want to throw for families, friends and even coworkers. On the other hand, bars, restaurants and other event venues are preparing to offer the best parties.

Melbourne has many areas that are known to provide excellent Christmas party venues, and it is good that you also know them if you are new to the city. Actually, it is invaluable for every person to have some options they can try this Christmas. The good thing about choosing a reputable venue for your Christmas party is that they offer customized services to your guests so that there is nothing to worry about once you have made the payments. Read on to learn more.

Track and Lounge Race Party

This is a track and lounge center that offers numerous activities. It is highly recommended for corporate end-of-year events that give people an opportunity to have fun at race party events, bond and wind down with beer, wine, cocktails and food. In addition to corporate events, families can also gather here on Christmas Eve to have fun together.

Lady Cutler in Melbourne

If you want to enjoy live music and performances on a boat during this Christmas season, this is the venue to book. It has large-capacity halls where people join in with public events and can also reserve private corners for dining. This location is highly recommended for families that are looking for endless fun through different types of music and a variety of food and drinks.

Vamos Tapas Bar

Your Christmas will not be complete if you do not visit Vamos tapas bar. First of all, their Latin American ambiance will set the holiday mood before you can even start with the colorful cocktails and tapas from various parts of South America and Spain. The Vamos website has a full menu of drinks, tapas and meals that you can enjoy especially if you are hosting special friends. They usually have a special menu for Christmas and any holiday specials.

Ahadi Lodge Tent

This tent is full of color and glamor. The management is open to customizing your Christmas party in any way that you want. This is why it is a popular choice for many people. The interior design enhances your party atmosphere even more, but the best part is the fact that they have a fully equipped bar and kitchen to make various drinks and meals to your desire. Book your party here, and you will not regret it.

Spleen Bar

This bar has a pool room that will make for a perfect Christmas party. They will provide meals and drinks as you order while enjoying pool games of your choice. This room can be made private once you have booked and paid the full amount for it, which makes it very tempting to try.

With all the above options, your Christmas party in Melbourne will be special and memorable. Be sure to book early if you would like to have the best experience with your friends.

How to Spend 48 Hours in Sydney 

One of the most important and time-consuming things when planning a vacation is choosing accommodation. Many factors need to be considered such as how far it is from the airport or the center, does it have markets nearby, and, of course, price and comfort. If your travel destination happens to be Sydney, here are some tips on how to spend your time there and how to find the perfect hotel.

If you are tired of all the ordinary hotels you normally stay in, and you want to experience something different, one option could be a boutique hotel. A boutique hotel is a small, luxury hotel that normally has a theme to it. It is very different from your everyday hotels, if nothing else, then simply because of the interesting design. It often has a homely atmosphere partly because of the small number of rooms, and also because of the combination of rustic elements with urban and chic décor. It is a perfect solution for anyone with a fun and eccentric personality. You can choose from many hotels depending on what you like. Gardens, restaurants, luxurious bedrooms, sea views, you name it, a boutique hotel in Sydney will probably have it.

Once you’ve settled the accommodation problem, you want to pick the right season if possible. The best time to be in Australia is definitely from December to February. You will be able to experience the true tropical summer there and along those lines, the first thing you should do is, of course, go to the beach. One of the prettiest is Bondi Beach. If you like white sand and clear turquoise water then this is the place for you. Another convenience about this beach is that it has many salons and shops in the vicinity, so if that is a part of your plan, you will certainly have where to shop. The perfect time for your beach trip is early in the morning if you want to avoid the crowd and this way, you can leave early and see what else this city has to offer.

The first thing you think about when you hear Sydney is probably the Sydney Opera House and you definitely don’t want to miss it. The program often offers tours with a dinner or a ticket for theatre or ballet afterward. If that is something you are interested in, you can always find the program online and choose what suits you. If not, a simple tour is also available where you will get to learn more about the Sydney Opera House. One more thing that you will get to enjoy is the Harbour Bridge which is near the Opera House, and it is an attraction by itself.

Since you have had one day of sightseeing and walking, you should relax on your second day. Take some time and enjoy the summer breeze in one of the restaurants at the beach. Some even have open rooftops from which you will be able to get the perfect view. One example is Bondi Icebergs which offers the perfect Italian menu with all seasonal foods.

After lunch, you can choose among many ferry rides available. Watson Bay is one of the most beautiful ones and you can even combine it with a perfect afternoon coastal walk.

To finish the night off, explore the rich nightlife in Sydney. There are many clubs that offer dance music, R&B, salsa or even live shows from famous artists. So, if you are lucky, maybe some of them will be there. Either way, don’t miss out on a fun night out on the town.

48 hours is certainly not enough time to experience Sydney the right way, but these few are a good start. Combining sightseeing, relaxing, walking and dancing, you will fall in love with this city and definitely want to come again.