New Zealand Adventures - North or South Island - Travel

New Zealand Adventures - North or South Island   by Martin Guptill

in Travel    (submitted 2012-07-11)

This issue is frequently posed on vacation boards by individuals preparing a whole New Zealand vacation with minimal time. Of course, the 1st reply is usually to find time for both of those. The North and South islands are incredibly distinctive from one another in character and landscape. To obtain a real emotion to the place, a few weeks allows time for you to take advantage of the various surroundings, exercises and tradition of both islands. However, for those who only have a week to ten times, listed here are some details to take into consideration in making your option:

Scenic Characteristics

The scenic highlights on the North Island are its shores and its volcanic landscape. The is really a showcase for alpine surroundings, waterfalls and primordial forest.

The rugged, black sand shores on the North Island's west coast offer you remarkable surroundings and surf. The greater sheltered, white colored sand shores on the east are perfect for swimming and enjoyable. Some New Zealand pursuits that accentuate the North Island's seashores include a visit to ninety Mile Beach front inside the Considerably North, sailing while in the Bay of Islands, browsing Piha's surf seaside and gannet colony, and soaking at Warm Drinking water Seaside in the Coromandel.

Rotorua, from the central North Island, could be the hub for volcanic and geothermal adventures. Its landscape functions boiling mud pools, steaming lakes and gerbe, also as dormant and lively volcanoes that may be explored on organised tours.

The South Island's landscape is dominated through the Southern Alps operating down its size. The Alps bisect the island into two distinct zones: the West Coastline, covered in lush beech and rainforest, and also the much more arid East Coast, with higher region sheep stations and scenic tussock land.

The South Island's topography helps make it the site of vintage New Zealand adventures for instance glacier hiking, bungy leaping, black water rafting, sea kayaking and world-class tramping/hiking.


The North Island could be the seat of recent Zealand's indigenous Maori culture, with Rotorua its cultural epicentre. Below, there are a number of opportunities to participate in standard Maori customs also to learn their area in contemporary New Zealand existence.

Wellington, New Zealand's capital is located in the bottom in the North Island. Guided tours of its parliamentary buildings can be obtained. The town is additionally house to Te Papa, the nationwide museum that may be a showcase of recent Zealand artwork and purely natural story.

The story and way of life in the South Island is much more characterized with the European settlers who had been lured through the opportunity of land possession and mineral riches. Central Otago and also the West Coast have traces of a gold rush that took place within the late 1800s. Both locations have opportunities to know concerning this period and to consider your hand at locating 'the color'.

Flora & Fauna

The North Island's subtropical climate supports a wide range of flora. Northland capabilities some from the few remaining stands of giant kauri trees that once dominated. While in the Coromandel, small group tours can take you into remote temperate rainforests where guides educate you to the flora, fauna and heritage with the region.

The South Island is better known for accessibility to a range of native wildlife. In particular, Kaikoura is actually a mecca for marine-life encounters, including whales, dolphins, fur seals, albatross and other pelagic species. Dunedin's Otago Peninsula can also be home to penguins, royal albatross and sea lions.


Should you intend to self-drive rather than take an organised tour, driving conditions may be a factor in your decision. The comparatively gentle terrain of the North Island means a straightforward driving experience as highways pass through undulating farmland and scenic plateaus.

The are shaped by its remarkable scenery. Two main highways, on either side of your ranges, run its size. 'Highway' is usually a term used loosely on the West Coast: one-lane bridges and hairpin switchbacks are common as the road navigates the narrow space between mountain and sea. South Island driving requires full attention; even so, the reward is great scenic 'bang for your buck' in the short time you are there. Alternatively, leave the driving to a different Zealand tour operator while you gawk for the views.

While in the end, be comforted from the notion that whichever island you choose, you will find spectacular scenery and experiences that will likely have you saving and setting up for a return vacation to see the rest.