Recommended routes New Zealand
The distances between the îZé especially as one crosses the country by small roads.
A good option is to start in the north before leaving by plane from the south, either by resuming a domestic flight and then returning to Auckland, or by leaving from Christchurch, where international flights also arise (to Australia in particular). You can obviously go the other way, from south to north, but it may seem more appropriate to save the grandiose fjords of the South Island for the end.
Two weeks in the North Island
Unmissable, Auckland is a modern city, alive, vibrant even, which is pretty without being beautiful, unlike its site on Hauraki Bay, dotted with islands. The port with the America's Cup infrastructure is the nerve center. Superb skyline. At 18 p.m., the center is deserted and everyone runs to the docks and cafes, or to the beaches of Takapuna.
Northland and Bay of Islands
Further north, we cross hills dotted with sheep in the direction of Northland and the Bay of Islands: some 144 islands set on turquoise waters where dolphins frolic and, as a backdrop, superb tropical vegetation, tree ferns and large pohutukawa covered with red flowers in summer. This is where the first English settlers landed.
Inland, parks preserve the last forests of large kauri, the oldest specimens of which exceed 2 years. We can push to the North Cape, a little sorry, but symbolically important for the Maori. To the west, sand piles up in corpulent dunes all along 000 Mile Beach.
The Coromandel peninsula
In the south-east of Zealand: we dig a bathtub with hot thermal waters in the sand. A real joy !
With a smell of New Zealand.
The Hawke's Bay area
The Hawke's Bay region to the east is worth for its endless orchards and vineyards (cellars open to visitors) and the pretty little towns of Napier and Hastings, rebuilt in an Art Deco style in the 1930s after an earthquake. Nearby you can see the large colony of gannets of the Cape Kidnappers.
Wellington, in the very south of Zealand. A touch of colonial nostalgia, a very original Parliament in the shape of a beehive (very interesting visit), and the most beautiful museum in the country, Te Papa. The site of the bay, discovered from the superb botanical garden, is splendid.
Two weeks in the South Island
Abel Tasman National Park
Blenheim is the most beautiful country in the country, can be explored for days on foot, by boat or sea kayak. Quite a few people in summer, but truly breathtaking landscapes, colonized by tree ferns. Magnificent beaches of black or golden sand. Further north, the Golden Bay terminated by the Farewell is also worth a detour.
The West Coast begins very close: the oceanic influence is obvious here, the waves roar, the beaches stretch endlessly, only populated by a few rare blue penguins, or simply dotted with large polished pebbles. The Pancake Rocks of Punakaiki are strange rock formations chiseled by erosion.
To the East
To the east, Kaikoura is the headquarters of sea excursions: off shore cross whales and sperm whales, dolphins and pilot whales. On land, it is easy to meet sea lions and sea lions. Further down the eastern coast, penguins make their appearance, then albatrosses and elephant seals. Near Christchurch, the port of Akaroa was founded by the French.
Christchurch, Zeeland women in Antarctica. The city was devastated by a violent earthquake in February 2011. Some buildings are on the ground, others are closed for safety. Now devastated, this ancient so British city is healing its wounds.
The New Zealand Alps
On the small roads going up to Zémarine, we reach the lakes of the Mélande, a bit trendy.
The trip ends in Fiordland, the fantastic land of fjords. We discover a first glimpse from Milford Sound crushed by the mass of Miter Peak (1 m). Boats and kayaks allow you to enter this isolated world, where frequent rains and abundant waterfalls tumble down. Again, dolphins and sea lions are common. Hikers will be interested in the most beautiful walk in the country, the Milford Track, which joins Lake Te Anau.
Those who have more time will push as far as Stewart Island to hope to see a kiwi. The wild landscapes and the feeling of the end of the world are well worth the trip.