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Touring the South Island

Driving in South Island, New Zealand

The dramatic scenery of the South Island makes it an ideal place to explore by car. With mountains, virgin forests, lakes and rivers and an endlessly varied coastline, allow plenty of time to see the best of what the island offers.

South Island Road Tours:
New Zealand Travel Spotlight10

Strange Taste Sensations from the Wild West Coast

Monday April 14, 2014

Hokitika Gorge near Hokitika, West Coast, South Island
Hokitika Gorge near Hokitika, West Coast, South Island
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

Fancy a taste of stallion semen or crispy tarantulas? How about a couple of seagull eggs easy over? Believe it or not, all of things are not only edible, they're among the many strange food 'delicacies' that are featured at the Hokitika Wildfood Festival. Held each year in March, this event draws in big crowds each year, keen to sample some of the weirdest foods available in the country.

Hokitika is one of the small and characterful towns that dot the coastline on the West Coast of the South Island. In one of the most isolated parts of New Zealand, the people who live on the coast imbue the whole region with a unique character. This, along with the breathtaking scenery, makes the West Coast a great place to explore.

To discover more about Hokitika and the other towns of the West Coast, see:


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Fine Dining in Auckland

Thursday April 10, 2014

Auckland Sky Tower, Home to One of Auckland's Best Restaurants
Auckland Sky Tower, Home to One of Auckland's Best Restaurants
Image Courtesy of New Zealand Tourism/Ken Hansen

Fine dining does not have an especially long tradition in New Zealand. The first restaurant to serve wine with meals was only opened in the 1960s, when such a concept was regarded as a strange novelty. However, the growth in sophistication for dining has taken place alongside the development of the New Zealand wine industry.

The best fine dining restaurants are in Auckland and Wellington. Auckland has a very high standard of establishments, some of which have been operating for many years. If you are looking for somewhere for a special occasion, Auckland is a place which won't disappoint. I have created a list of what are regarded as the best of Auckland's fine dining restaurants. See the full list here:

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Treaty of Waitangi: New Zealand's Founding Document

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Interior, Maori Meeting House, Waitangi
Interior, Maori Meeting House, Waitangi
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

Perhaps the most important event in New Zealand's history took place in 1840 with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The treaty, between the local Maori people and the British Crown, is in fact New Zealand's founding document. It marked the beginnings of New Zealand and a British colony and a new nation. Today the Treaty of Waitangi still retains a great deal of significance in New Zealand law.

The Treaty is named after the small headland where it was first signed. 500 Maori chiefs and representatives from the British Crown gathered at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. Today the area is named the Treaty Grounds and it is well worth a visit if in the Bay of Islands.

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The Best of Auckland City

Saturday April 5, 2014

Auckland City
Auckland City
Image Courtesy of Tourism New Zealand

Auckland is the arrival and departure point for most visitors to New Zealand. As the largest city in New Zealand, there is a lot more on offer than you might expect of your typical major international city. It has a hugely diverse population, made up of many ethnic groups; there is a significant Pacific Island population, making Auckland the largest Polynesian city in the world.

Auckland is also home to the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere, the Sky Tower.  If you like to walk you can walk between the two oceans on either side of the city - the Pacific to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west - in less than four hours. You will pass some of Auckland's 48 volcanoes along the way.

Auckland is a unique and exciting city. Check out the highlights with my story:

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