New Zealand might seem like a pleasant, peaceful country, and do you know what? For the most part, it is. Sheep don’t get involved in much crime, after all. However, beneath the crust of the Earth lies a tumultuous hive of activity that has literally shaped the nation. It’s called the Pacific Ring of Fire, and it’s the product of tectonic plate movement that has forced up the mountain ranges we see today, such as the Southern Alps (notice how they are all in a big line?).
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The South Island’s West Coast is one of those NZ must-visit destinations. It perfectly blends scenic coastal driving with lush, native forests, a wealth of history and more tourist attractions than you can jingle your car keys at.
Make sure you try these 10 things to do around its largest town: Greymouth.
Our ‘Off the beaten path’ series is all about seeing more on your adventure holidays to New Zealand. Kiwi cities are beautiful, but if you hire a rental rental car and explore some of the countryside as well, you’ll be swept off your feet by the sheer bounty of exciting, memorable things to do.
If you are planning on visiting Christchurch, use this itinerary to help you make the most of your NZ road trip, beginning here.
New Zealand is a winter wonderland. Whether you’re exploring the winding mountain roads of the South Island or the great, undulating hills of the north, you’ll see craggy peaks lit up with brilliant hues of white. Unless you visit north of Auckland, where it’s a subtropical climate, the chances you are going to see Kiwi country with a plentiful dollop of snow.
If you are renting a car and going on a NZ winter road trip, ensure that you have these items packed and ready.
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Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular winter tourist activities here in New Zealand, and it’s not surprising why. This country is positively swathed in fantastic alpine resorts, from buzzing major commercial operations to smaller, more laid-back clubs.
But let’s not dillydally with an intro – on your next NZ winter holiday, make sure you visit at least one or two of these locations.
New Zealand is a country where fun, outdoor experiences are the name of the game. From bungee jumping in Queenstown to exploring the wilderness of Northland, there is a genuine plethora of things to see and do outside in this fabulous country.
As a nation that consists primarily of two main islands, neither of which are particularly wide, the beach is never far away. In fact, Te Ara encyclopaedia states that no location here is more than 130 kilometres from the great blue, and there is around 18,000 kilometres' worth of coastline to be explored.
We've listed some of our favourites with special titles and the closest rental car branch to pick up your rental car , to help you figure out what should feature in your New Zealand beach holiday road trip plan.
Queenstown: ‘The adventure capital of New Zealand’. Despite there being less than 30,000 people living in the area, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s much bigger, considering how mighty a reputation this truly stunning South Island town has.
We could not recommend hiring a car here more, and exploring the sheer bounty of entertainment it has to offer. Click to see details for our Queenstown Airport branch
As the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’, you’ll probably never run out of things to do in Queenstown. This is especially true if you have access to a local unlimited-kilometres rental car, as you can see not just the famous town itself, but also the bounteous surrounding area.
With a landmass of around 270,500 square-kilometres split between its two major sections (aptly named the North and South Islands) it is about the size of the UK, but with only 4.5 million people the population is less than half that of New York City – that makes for grand wide open spaces and absolutely stunning countryside. A self-driving paradise!
In 2001, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released around the world, putting New Zealand tourism on the map like never before.
Over a decade and five films on and NZ is equated to Middle Earth more than ever before. In fact, the International Visitor Survey cites that 13% of international visitor arrivals are a direct result of the movies. Whether you’re visiting New Zealand because you’re a fan or you’re just looking for a fantastic NZ road idea, we’ve highlighted all of the top Lord of the Rings filming locations and points of interest for you!