In many ways, you could almost say that the city of Taupo is the North Island equivalent of Queenstown. Both of these cites are set on a lake, both are at the base of the island’s best ski slopes, and both are full of adventure activities that will leave you high on adrenaline. Taupo, however, doesn’t see nearly as many international visitors as its famous cousin to the south, although many of the outdoor activities in Taupo are just as enjoyable as Queenstown.
Whether you are a marine life lover, shutterbug or a thrill seeker, the Bay of Islands catamaran cruise to Hole in the Rock is an OMG “YOLO” experience.
If there is one thing you can count on Kiwis for it’s knowing how to have a good time. The country is constantly hosting festivals—from the Toast Martinborough Festival in November to September’s Whitianga Scallop Festival—and even in the depths of the winter months there is always a reason to celebrate. As the nation’s capital, Wellington is never left out on the action that brings New Zealanders together, and the Wellington On A Plate Festival is one of the country’s hottest activities for August.
Between the rumbling geysers, the thermal pools, the refreshing mountain lakes, and the cultural shows, Rotorua is one of the most popular destinations on the North Island of New Zealand. Most travelers, however, visit during the summer, when blue skies shine above Lake Rotorua and temperatures can stretch upwards of 80. But what about visiting Rotorua in winter?
There are two different ways of thinking about mud—it’s either a messy combination of dirt and water that dirties your shoes when you go for a hike, or it’s a soothing elixir of liquid Earth that can revitalize the luster of your skin. When traveling to Rotorua, you should probably consider it the latter, especially considering that the high sulphur content has been shown to be amazingly restorative.
Trendy, funky, and incomparably creative, New Zealand’s capital is one of the premier venues for artistic entertainment and expression. While walking the length of Cuba Street or grabbing a coffee in a local cafe, it’s easy to discern the bohemian nature that gives Wellington its cutting edge. More than just on the streets, however, visitors can explore this lively subculture at numerous entertainment venues around town. From live music performances and community theater to cultural re-enactments and exhibits, the following suggestions can serve as a mini guide for where to see shows in Wellington.