New Zealand is blessed with many heritage and tourist centres, many of which existed centuries ago while some were created recently. Be it a natural tourist centre or manmade, as an adventurous woman, if you have not seen any of the following places, you need to put them in your must visit list.
Whether you are a first timer in New Zealand or regular visitor, a resident or a citizen; these tourist centres will make you love New Zealand even more. Permit me to add that there are many people who have been in New Zealand for many years, but have not visited some of these tourist centres, what have you been doing with your vacation is my question to you?
If you are travelling from the United States then bear in mind that Donald Trump is shaking things up a bit with Visa and travel policies over there. As countries like New Zealand have reciprocal arrangements with the US it may mean that getting travel authorisation takes a bit more effort than it did before. Make sure you know the lay of the land well before your travel, and stay up to date with the latest state of affairs. If you need some guidance then contact a specialist in travel like www.esta-approval.com/.
Though there a many tourist centres here, I have carefully selected five. These five have links to what many of us love most- movies! Yes, most of the movies we love were shot in some of these locations. So, instead of just fantasizing about Middle Earth, if you are a fan of Lord of the Rings, why not visit the sites yourself, and live even for a day, in the happiness of the Hobbits.
1. The Hobbiton Movie Set
The first on our list is my favourite, and I know some of us love it too. If you have watched J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, or Hobbits, you should be familiar with this location.
Popularly called the Hobbits Liar, this location is often characterized with happiness. The Hobbits were always happy, despite the arrival of Gandalf and other subsequent horrifying events. Visit Hobbiton – still a happy place.
Sir Peter Jackson’s team discovered the location while they were scouting for locations in 1998 for the Lord of the Rings movie. The place is located in Waikato which once housed the Alexander farm, a stunning 1,250 acre sheep farm.
You should expect to see, the beautiful cave houses covered with green pastures, a wonderful lake that supplies water to the plants and many more. The numbers are endless and only you can narrate the beauty you see here. Try this guide for eating with the locals.
2. Mt Taranaki
If you love the sight of a great mountain, then Taranaki is your best shot. This location houses the famous Mt Taranaki, located in Egmont National Park, Taranaki.
This volcanic mountain has been around for over 120,000 years, and it is one of the tallest mountains in New Zealand- with a height of 2518 metres. You don’t need to be afraid of loneliness, as the mountain is the most climbed mountain in New Zealand, so you will definitely find company.
Though the peak of this mountain is snow capped most of the year, you can climb to the highest point if you are experienced, but take care because conditions can change quickly – more on safety in the mountains here
And in case you are interested in botany, you will find the progression of plant species from surf to summit amazing. This mountain also served as the backdrop for the popular movie, ‘The Last Samurai’ which featured Tom Cruise.
3. Cathedral Cove
This served as the location for the popular movie series The Chronicles of Narnia. It served as the set for the ruins of the castle Cair Paravel, in the same movie.
The Cathedral Cove is walking distance from the beautiful Hahei Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula.
This tourist site, named after the cave located near it, is about 840 hectares (2,100 acres) in size. It also has a gigantic arched cavern that you can pass through, and a white rock headland to join the two secluded coves. If you love taking photos, the arched cavern can always serve as a photo frame. Its beach is sandy with shady pohutukawa trees along the foreshore.
My verdict is that this is a perfect place for a picnic and a swim, and if you can hire a kayak to explore
4. Kaitoke Regional Park
Why do I love Tolkien and anything associated with him? Well the answer is: Lord of the Rings was my favourite growing up, and the Kaitoke Regional park, holds a strong memory.
This park is located at the North of Wellington. For Tolkien’s fans, this is the location used for Rivendell, the home of the elves.
Though you will not see the film set there, the location for Rivendell is still a beautiful picnic spot with river swimming and bush walks. The Kaitoke Regional Park is also a very large location as it covers 2860 hectares in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges.
5. The Aoraki Mount Cook
The Aoraki Mount Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand, with a height of 3,754 metres. Down at the foot of this great mountain is the historical village of Mount Cook.
Though this place is very comfortable for country life, it is one of the most unforgiving parts of New Zealand; which is why I love it. This site plays host to the movie, Vertical Limit.
The weather is always unpredictable, because it can change in the blink of an eye, even in the summer. One of my greatest experiences here is that I learnt to prepare for the worst weather.
The region is only 44 kilometres long from the coast, and storms can easily arrive from the Tasman Sea, creating a dangerous condition for climbers.
If you love challenging the weather like me, then give it a shot here.
Accommodation for Women in New Zealand
As you are traveling in New Zealand – look out for the very special collection of accommodation for women travelers here, part of a world wide network of women owned travel businesses, which began in New Zealand.