Wednesday December 11, 2013
Hit the Road in the South Island
Image Courtesy of Tourism New Zealand/Ian Trafford
The South Island is the largest of the islands which make up New Zealand and the twelfth largest island in the world. Many visitors to New Zealand are surprised just how big it is and the distances involved in getting around the major sites.
If you want to see the best parts of the South Island, try to allow at least ten days. You will be doing a lot of driving, but then again, some of the best scenery will be seen from the road. I have created an itinerary for a ten-day road trip of the South Island which you can read here:
Sunday December 8, 2013
Milford Sound, home to the legendary Milford Track
Image Courtesy of New Zealand Tourism/Tourism Holdings
The Milford Track walk is amongst the finest wilderness walks in the world. Each year thousands of people trek for the four days and 53 kilometers along this remote part of Fiordland in the South Island. However, if you are planning to include the walk in your itinerary you will need to plan well in advance. A pass is required and numbers are limited. At this stage the walk is booked out until April of 2014.
There are guided and unguided walks available. No camping is permitted. You must either stay each night in a designated hut (for the unguided walks) or a lodge (for the guided walks).
Summer and autumn (November to April) are the best times for the Milford Track. Outside of these dates the track may be closed due to avalanche risks or other weather conditions.
Plan for next summer now if you can. The Milford Track is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Alternatively, you can walk part of the track on a guided Day Walk.
More about the Milford Track:
Thursday December 5, 2013
Try New Caledonia for a Romantic Holiday
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm
If you're looking for a romantic holiday destination close to New Zealand, check out New Caledonia. Part of France, it has more than a hint of the romance that the French are famous for. The main city, Noumea, is renowned for the quality of its French inspired food at its many restaurants. You will also find interesting shopping and quality hotels. All this within the romantic atmosphere of a Pacific island.
New Caledonia is less than three hours' flight from Auckland and I recently enjoyed a break there. You can read about what New Caledonia offers in the way of a romantic holiday in my story:
Tuesday December 3, 2013
Boat trip, Lake Te Anau
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm
If asked which is the largest lake in New Zealand, most people would probably reply Lake Taupo. But this is not strictly correct. Although Taupo has the largest surface area, the largest lake by volume is actually Lake Te Anau in the South Island. It also ranks as the largest freshwater lake by volume in Australasia.
The western side of the lake is covered in thick forests of the Fiordland National Park (including the entrance to the Te Anau Glow Worm caves). On the eastern shore is the small town of Te Anau itself. This is often described as the gateway to both Milford Sound and Doubtful Sounds. These are the only two of the Fiordland sounds that are accessible to the public with any ease, and Te Anau is the base for visiting both.
To learn more about Te Anau and the Fiordland sounds (which are in fact fjords) see: