Australia and New Zealand
On the world’s largest island of Australia, outside of the must-see sights (the Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge, a pod of kangaroos, a stop through wine country, the Great Barrier Reef), the continent down under is awash in history, wildlife, unforgettable experiences and plenty of farm to fork culinary delights.
Experience an absolute paradise on a New Zealand vacation, a country of considerable beauty that fulfills nearly every expectation: awe-inspiring lush landscapes with rugged mountains, extreme volcanic terrain and ancient glaciers, green vistas and splendid beaches — all the better enjoyed with a glass of New Zealand wine.
New Zealand -- Aotearoa-- is a country that has managed to find a way to balance its European cultural influences with its proud indigenous traditions. There's the healthy outdoor lifestyle, with diverse sports and some unique [and crazy] activities only the Kiwis could invent. Bungee jumping, anyone? There's the friendly people and a rich Maori heritage. The real draw is the beauty and majesty of the island nation’s wilderness. There really is a reason why Peter Jackson chose to film the Tolkien movies in New Zealand. There are no reasons not to go! So, when will you be leaving? (see more below).
Generally, the best time to visit New Zealand in terms of the weather is during their summer (which is our winter in North America). And though you may get caught in a tropical rainstorm while visiting the North Island, you’ll at least be able to access the more picturesque mountain regions of the South Island during your stay. New Zealand is made up of two main islands and several smaller ones. The topography of the two islands ranges from sea level up to twelve thousand feet, and the climate and weather can vary drastically between the two islands, depending on your elevation. The South Island is farther from the equator and enjoys four distinct seasons, while the North Island is more sub-tropical and has a variety of microclimates.
The two main cities in New Zealand have well-developed mass transit systems and taxi service available. Some of the smaller towns also have taxi service, but getting from city to city can be problematic without renting a car. Transportation by train is available within the two main cities, but most other train travel in the country is more about the scenery than the destination. If you are not traveling with an escorted tour group, the best way to see New Zealand may be to rent a vehicle, and TravelStore can readily arrange your self-drive vacation.
New Zealand: Wild Journeys (B. Ansley), The Bone People (K. Hulme), Wildboy (B. Yelavich), Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All (C. Thompson).
New Zealand: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Whale Rider, Utu, The Piano, The Chronicles of Narnia, Once Were Warriors, Bridge to Terabithia, The World’s Fastest Indian, Boy, Heavenly Creatures.