You’ll absolutely love this physically beautiful country!
There’s no other country on earth that offers such diversity for the visitor in action and interest terms, and being on such a tidy footprint makes it a fantastic holiday destination. There’s just so, so much to do and see that deciding what not to do during your visit might be your greatest problem. There are certain locations on the South Island where one can stand perfectly still and take in a beautiful coastline, the surf, a bustling city, snow capped mountains in the distance, and below, some of the most fertile farming plains in the world, and all of it from the one spot!
New Zealand has to be the most picturesque country on the planet.
The visual beauty of the farming plains, vivid green to glowing gold with the season, nestled under towering snow-capped volcanic mountains with their ancient glaciers that power ice-blue waterways rushing through magically lush valleys – it’s little wonder movie-makers are drawn here time and again to create their mythical worlds like ‘Middle-earth’ in big-screen productions such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy.
On viewing the world map you’d be forgiven for thinking New Zealand was essentially two small islands just a short distance away from the south-eastern corner of Australia. Well, yes it is only a short 3-hour flight from Australia’s east coast, and yes it comprises two main islands referred to as the North and South Islands, but small it is not!
The might and power of New Zealand the country, and New Zealand(ers) the people, is world famous.
From the all-conquering All Blacks, the world champions of rugby, to horse racing legends, cricket, netball and sailing, to producing the world’s best dairy products; it may be a small country but with it a massive reputation. From inventions that benefit all mankind like frozen meat (…and Bungy-Jumping!) to cutting edge technologies and leadership in the boardroom, New Zealand is anything but small!
Māori were the first to arrive in New Zealand, canoeing from Hawaiki over 1,000 years ago. Then came Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer and the first European to discover her, but it was the British who made New Zealand part of their empire.
An agreement between the British Crown and Maori was signed in 1840, establishing British law in New Zealand and today it has evolved to a productive nation of Māori, European (approx. 70%), Pacific Island and Asian cultures, a melting-pot population of 4.4 million that makes it quite unique. As one, they are a people affectionately referred to as ‘Kiwi’s’ the world over.
Today, rugby is embedded in Kiwi culture with goalposts framing all grounds year-round and four major events dominating the annual calendar. You can hear the mighty Haka echo through the great stadiums of the world as the All Blacks take on their rivals in the Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cups. They are a sport-crazy nation and proud of their heroic achievements on many sports fields.
Sailing, surfing, diving, fishing – Kiwis love the water – and with its 15,000 kilometres of coastline, lakes and rivers, New Zealand is also a water sports playground.
Approximately three quarters of the population live on the North Island, with one-third of the total living in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city and transport hub. Other major cities are Wellington (the national capital), Christchurch and Hamilton. Wellington was recently named ‘the coolest little capital in the world’ by Lonely Planet and definitely worth a visit.
Rotorua in the North is another great spot known for its bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as being a Maori cultural showcase.
Renowned for its first class ski slopes and resort facilities, New Zealand is the pick of the pick for Southern hemisphere skiing and what incredible scenery! Postcard-perfect views at every ski turn, alpine peaks, azure lakes & resort towns jam packed with Kiwi hospitality. That's what you experience when you embark on a New Zealand ski holiday. In the South Island, home to 3 main ski slopes, with world-class ski schools, accommodation, restaurants galore and wineries in the immediate surrounds, it’s simply heaven on a stick for ski enthusiasts.
Queenstown in the winter is simply magical and New Zealand’s ski-central. It's also home to some incredible golf courses, modern designs that make the most of the amazing natural terrain. Surrounded by mountain ranges, the courses include Millbrook, The Hills and Jack’s Point and all are a genuine must-visit for the keen golfer.
Where better to base your New Zealand experience than with Swiss Belresort Coronet Peak, just 7 minutes' drive from the centre of Queenstown!
We look forward to welcoming you to New Zealand soon!