Travel to Queenstown and Wanaka
A premier vacation destination with incredible adventure activities, spectacular terrain, snowboarding, bungy jumping, heli-skiing and jet boating all take place against a stunning backdrop of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu and majestic mountains. If adventure isn’t your thing don’t worry, with top golf course, destination spas and numerous wineries you will be in the perfect location for some relaxation. Queenstown arguably produces New Zealand’s best Pinot Noir wines; make sure you sample a taste or two at one of the many pubs or wineries in the region.
Nestled below towering mountains, skiers flock to Wanaka from all over the world for superb snow skiing at Cardrona and Treble Cone. But Wanaka is much more than a winter destination. Year round activities include fishing, hiking, canyoning and mountain biking, and the town’s iconic lake creates a picture postcard landscape.
New Zealanders, or Kiwis, as they call themselves, are among the friendliest people on earth.
English is the most common language in New Zealand; however Maori is also an official language.
Maori, who are Polynesians, were the first inhabitants of New Zealand, who are thought to have arrived more than 1,000 years ago in double-hulled waka (canoe), from islands in Eastern Polynesia (Hawaiki). Maori settled on both main islands of New Zealand and named the country Aotearoa (Land of the Long White Cloud).
Dutch Navigator Abel Tasman, the first European discoverer, arrived in 1642 and named the islands New Zealand. He didn’t stay, and it wasn’t until Captain James Cook arrived over a century later that the area was colonized.
From the late 1790’s on, whalers, traders and missionaries arrive, establishing settlements mainly along the far northern coast of New Zealand. From 1839 to 1841 New Zealand was administered as part of Australia’s New South Wales colony.
In 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, an agreement between the British Crown and Maori. It established British law in New Zealand, while at the same time guaranteeing Maori authority over their land and culture. The Treaty is considered New Zealand’s founding document. The grounds and the building where the treaty was signed have been preserved and, today, the Waitangi Historic Reserve is a popular tourist attraction. The original Treaty itself can be seen at the New Zealand Archives in Wellington.
Gold was discovered in the mid-19th century in the South Island and many more European settlers arrived – many staying to establish farms in the South Island. In the early 1880’s new refrigerated ships made it possible for New Zealand to begin to export dairy products and meat to the United Kingdom and the economy became heavily agriculturally based.
New Zealand was the first sovereign state to give voting rights to women in 1893. In 1907 New Zealand gained dominion status within the British Empire and was granted autonomy in 1931 by the Statute of Westminster which was formally accepted in 1947.
New Zealand today is an independent nation within the British Commonwealth. The British Monarch, although constitutional head of state, plays no active role in the administration of New Zealand’s government.
The capital city is Wellington, although the largest city is Auckland, both situated in the North Island.
The official currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$).
New Zealand’s climate is mainly mild. The far north is subtropical in the summer (November to March) and the far south can get below freezing in the winter (May to August). Nevertheless most of New Zealand has lots of sun, moderate temperatures and modest rainfall.
The average rainfall in New Zealand is between 25 and 60 inches. This provides the country with excellent farming and lush rainforest but it also means that a rain protection is necessary.
Must be in acceptable standard of health to enter New Zealand
United States of America citizens do not need a visa to enter New Zealand, but are required to provide:
• Travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements
• Evidence that you can support yourself in New Zealand (approximately NZ$1000 per month per person)
Tipping & Porterage
Tipping is not as entrenched a custom as it is in the US, however, generous donations by American visitors have changed the expectations of many who work in the tourism industry. Generally, a 10% tip at finer restaurants is sufficient, and taxi drivers only expect a tip if they helped with luggage.
All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand.
Currency is New Zealand dollar denominations:
Coins: 5c,10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2
Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 & $100
230/240 volts, 50 hertz.
Most hotels and motels provide 110 volt ac sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only.
The urban water supply in New Zealand is safe to drink.
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Private secluded villas with uninterrupted views of Lake Wakatipu only…
Browns Boutique Hotel
A stylish European inspired boutique hotel / B&B superbly positioned…
Award-winning European-style alpine lodge with stunning lake and mountain…
Hotel St Moritz
Renowned as one of Queenstown’s finest, Hotel St Moritz enjoys an…
Seven minutes from Queenstown and spectacularly situated on Lake Wakatipu,…
Mercure Queenstown Resort
Mercure – a Remarkable view from a unique vantage point.
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Centrally located in one of the most picturesque settings in the world,…
Rydges Lakeland Resort…
Situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu, Rydges Lakeland Resort…
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel…
Experience a new level of sophistication at the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel…
The Rees Hotel Queenstown
Showcasing breathtaking panoramic lake and mountain views, The Rees is…
Hike, Funyak and Kayak
New Zealand is an outdoor lover’s dream destination, and this trip is…
Auckland & Queenstown
Experience New Zealand’s iconic cities of Queenstown & Auckland on…
Auckland, Rotorua &…
Experience the ambiance of three classic cities on your New Zealand vacation!
Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington…
Experience New Zealand’s best spots!
Cook Islands, Auckland…
Experience some of of the South Pacific’s best kept secrets, the Cook…
Exploring Australia &…
Explore the highlights of Australia and New Zealand. See the Great…
Highlights of Australia…
Discover the top destinations of Australia and New Zealand on a 22 day…
Journey to Middle-Earth
Appealing to those Frodo and Gandalf fans, this vacation encompasses official…
Meet the People
Enjoy your time exploring the history of New Zealand, its culture and its…
Milford Sound Milford…
When the day visitors depart a silence descends upon Milford Sound. Experience…
Self-drive New Zealand
New Zealand must be the luckiest tourist country in the world, with its…
South Island Escape
Renowned for its mountains, lakes and glaciers, the South Island of New…
Travel across the spectacular South Island on a 10 day guided vacation.
Boutique Wine Tour
Duration: 5 hours Central Otago is one of New Zealand’s most exciting…
Christchurch to Queenstown…
Duration: 11 Hours. We leave Christchurch in the morning and travel through…
Dart River Jet Safaris
Duration: Wilderness Safari: allow 6 Hours Queenstown return or 3 Hours…
Doubtful Sound WIlderness…
Duration: 12 Hours. Doubtful Sound remains an unspoiled and remote wilderness.…
Milford and Fiordland…
Duration: 2.5 Hours. Milford and Fiordland Highlights is an interpretive…
Milford Sound Nature…
Duration: 13 Hours. Milford Sound is simply stunning—luxuriant rainforest…
Milford Track Guided…
Duration: 9 Hours. The Milford Track is internationally acclaimed for its…
Safari of the Scenes
Duration: 4 hours A truly breathtaking excursion through the diverse scenery…
Duration: 25 Minutes. World famous as the ultimate jet boat experience,…
Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Duration: 2.25 Hours. The journey begins with a cruise across Lake Te Anau…
TSS Earnslaw and Walter…
Duration: 3.5 Hours. Enjoy a scenic cruise from Queenstown to Walter Peak…