New Zealand is an island country which has two primary islands, the North Island and the South Island. The North Island is the more developed island where most of the population lives and the South Island is less developed but has more diverse and dramatic nature. New Zealand is a country for nature lovers and has stunning natural beauty everywhere that you look. Both islands have beautiful nature to see but the nature that makes up the two islands are completely different.
In my opinion, the North Island has more urban activities to do and the South Island has more nature related activities to do. I feel the best way to describe New Zealand is to separate it into four different topics which are the North Island, South Island, the amazing nature and unusual wildlife.
The North Island
The North Island is has beautiful rolling hills that remain green all year. The scenery is beautiful and on the surface it may look a little boring but don’t let that fool you. The North Island has some very special natural features that should be seen when visited. The two natural features that can be seen in the North Island are the Waitomo Glow Worms and the Rotorura thermal formations.
The South Island is better known for its extreme sports but the North Island has just as much adrenalin rushing activities. A few things that might be fun to do are zorbing, bungee jumping off the Harbour Bridge, hiking to the top of the Harbour Bridge or Tower Jumping off the Sky Tower.
New Zealand is predominately a made up of smaller towns and cities but there are two major cities in New Zealand and they are both located in the North Island.
Two Major Cities
Auckland is by far the most known city in New Zealand but the capital is located in Wellington which is the second largest city in New Zealand. Most people know very little of the things that can be seen in New Zealand’s cities. The following is a brief list of the attractions in New Zealand’s cities:
• Auckland – Sky Tower, day trip to Hobbiton
• Wellington – New Zealand’s capital with many museums, botanical garden,
The South Island
The South Island is thought of as being the prettier of the two islands and I think that it is hard to argue against it. The South Island also has beautiful rolling green hills but it has some of the most diverse natural beauty that I have seen in a small area. If you want to see natural beauty there is no better place to go than the South Island. Some of the natural features that can be seen in the South Island are fiords, glaciers, snowcapped mountains, pristine lakes and raging rivers.
In addition to being an outdoor lover’s paradise, the South Island is known for being a pioneer in extreme sports. The South Island is where bungee jumping and shallow water speed boating started. Queenstown is known as the adrenalin and adventure capital of the world.
The South Island doesn’t have the big cities that the North Island has but many of the towns in the South Island are nice art communities featuring nice original works from local artists.
Although New Zealand is a relatively small country it has an unexpected amount of amazing nature. There is so much to see that it will take you several trips just to see all of the different types of nature that New Zealand has to offer. The following is a brief descriptions of the different types of nature that can be seen in New Zealand.
• Mountains – The Southern Alps of the South Island have jagged snowcapped peaks and the most famous peak is Mount Cook which is also the highest peak.
• Lakes – Below the mountain peaks of the Southern Alps are turquoise lakes where you may have the lake to yourself. In the North Island beautiful Lake Taupo was formed by a massive volcanic explosion.
• Fiords – The fiord region of the South Island is where the mountains meets the Tasman Sea. The steep, densely forested mountains drop into the sea providing an amazing picture of the blue water meeting the green mountains that rise up to the snowy peaks. The region has been designated as Fordland National Park and has three fiords – Milford Sound, xxx and xxx.
• Glaciers – Glaciers may not be what you would expect to see on an Island in the South Pacific but this island is relatively close to Antarctica. New Zealand has several glaciers but the most famous is Fox Glacier and Franz Joseph Glacier. There glaciers are sustained by the enormous amount of rain that falls on New Zealand’s west coast.
• Volcanoes – New Zealand has numerous dormant and active volcanoes. Some of the volcanoes are on the two main islands but other volcanoes have formed smaller individual volcanic islands.
• Geysers – New Zealand is a geothermal hotspot which is obvious by the number of volcanoes but this also creates geysers and hot springs.
• Unusual Rock Formations – New Zealand has two unusual rock formations that I really can’t describe but I will be making posts on them. They are the Pancake rocks and the xxx boulders.
Being remote islands, New Zealand has some very unique plants and animals. Some of the more notable are:
• The Kiwi bird that is endangered and can only be seen in captivity.
• An alpine parrot that lives in the snowy portions of the mountains.
• Sea life on the South Island that includes penguins, seals and sea lions.
• The Kauri Tree which is one of the biggest trees in the world.
Don’t forget the sheep.
Of coarse, no discussion about animals in New Zealand would be complete without mentioning the sheep. New Zealand still has twice as many sheep than they do people which is obvious when driving through the countryside.
I have made 2 trips to New Zealand for a total of about 1 months within the country. I have seen many of the tourist sites and many places that are unknown to most tourist but there are still some things that I would like to see and I hope that I will be able to return to New Zealand again to see them.
Where I’ve been in New Zealand:
Note: click on the link above to see my posts on archived topics from the North and South Islands.
The posts about New Zealand in this blog will feature many of the interesting sites within New Zealand and as many of the wildlife species that I could photograph. I hope that you will join me as I reveal all of the wonderful things that New Zealand has to offer.