Senior Travel to New Zealand

Oct 28th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

What makes New Zealand so alluring to visitors is the variety and great number of New Zealand attractions all located within relatively short driving distances from one another. Comprising two main islands with a network of fine roads, New Zealand is as satisfying for a short holiday as for a somewhat longer trip which can cover the whole country in a month or so.

You can see a variety of New Zealand attractions, for instance, by simply taking a five-day tour of either the North Island or South Island. I have never known anyone who visited either island to come home without saying that the visit was overwhelming beautiful. Just don’t try counting sheep! New Zealand is, of course,

the land where The Lord of the Rings was filmed, and if you’ve seen any or all of the three movies, you’ll be struck, at close hand, by the wondrous landscapes of this wondrous land. The cities are New Zealand attractions in themselves: Wellington, the nation’s capital; Auckland, the City of Sails; Christchurch, that most English of New Zealand cities; or Dunedin in the south.

Here’s a suggestion for the North Island in Five Days:

  • Day 1: Auckland, City of Sails
  • Day 2: Paihia and Waitangi
  • Day 3: Rotorua and Maori Culture
  • Day 4: Taupo and Waitomo
  • Day 5: Back to Auckland

First-time visitors to New Zealand often think of a few days’ tour of the country, taking a sampling, as it were, of the country’s myriad offerings. You won’t see much of New Zealand in less than a week — not much of either the North Island or South Island — but there’s enough of variety and contrasts found in, say, a five-day tour.

The North Island is usually the favored choice, mainly because Auckland is the popular entry point to New Zealand. The North Island is actually the smaller of the two major New Zealand islands but boasts two of the country’s more important cities: Auckland in the north and the usual gateway to New Zealand; and Wellington the nation’s capital, in the south. Auckland was the New Zealand capital from 1840 to 1865. Before that period, the capital was Russell in the Northland close to Waitangi, birthplace of the nation. Auckland today is the commercial and industrial centre of New Zealand and is its largest city.

The South Island of New Zealand comprises plains, mountains, glaciers, fiords, providing spectacular panoramas as you travel through it. A relatively small country like New Zealand is conducive to “mad dashes” and you can do the high spots of the North Island in five days. You can certainly do the same on the South Island. You won’t see everything on a five-day South Island tour and there will be places you’d like to come back to. But you can visit Christchurch, your likely first stop by air, and from there proceed southwest to Queenstown via either Greymouth or Mt Cook. We’ll take the Mt Cook route for purposes of this article but you may miss the West Coast glaciers altogether except for a look from Mt Cook.

The South Island in Five Days

  • Day 1: Christchurch
  • Day 2: Akaroa and Mt Cook
  • Day 3: Queenstown
  • Day 4: Milford Sound
  • Day 5: Back to Christchurch

Folks from New Zealand are called New Zealanders. People from New Zealand are Maori or Pakeha (non-Maori). Maori can be also be called Tangata Whenua and Pakeha people might also be called kiwi.  

Here you can choose from several New Zealand toursAir New Zealand has several packages for seniors to investigate.
Finally, you may sign up at Larry Rivera’s Travel Guide online for ongoing information about New Zealand.   He says, “Having lived in — and loved — Australia for more than 20 years, I feel I must share my affection for this vast, exciting country and help you feel the very heartbeat of its rich and diverse existence. I have, of course, traveled New Zealand many times (as large numbers of Aussies do) and marveled at its myriad attractions. But Australia is home.”   jeb

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