New Zealand: Where summer comes in winter


Turn the routine upside-down and take a flight to where December, January, and February are the warmest and sunniest months of the year. Witness the perfection of the untouched wilderness, walk the Hobbit’s paths from The Lord of the Rings movies, and go yachting or surfing.

New Zealand lies on two main islands – the North Island, and the South Island – as well as the hundreds of smaller islands. And the two major urban destinations are obviously the capital city Wellington and the most populated one – Auckland. 

Wellington is full of authentic XIX - early XX century architecture and is a real pleasure for simply roaming through. For arts, history, Māori culture and Natural History look for the Te Papa museum, Search Zealandia national park for kiwis, and take a ride in Wellington Cable Car from the main shopping street Lambton Quay to the botanic garden. Enjoy the Cuba Street Carnival, and don’t forget to visit the Peter Jackson’s Weta Studios – arguably the most successful promoter of New Zealand’s beauty. After all, it’s hard to deny the impact the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies had in worldwide popularization of the country.

Auckland is the largest and the most populated New Zealand city – and also one of the most livable cities worldwide, according to various ratings. Nicknamed the City of Sails, it’s literary a paradise for a marine-driven lifestyle. 100 000 registered yachts, tons of yacht and surfing clubs and so on. And then you’ve got a wast shopping area, restaurants, night clubs, theaters, you name it.

For a real dive in New Zealand’s sights, one has to dwell further into the wilderness. Some good choices are the forests and beaches of Coromandel Peninsula, the lakes and geyser of Rotorua area, the Tarawera lake near the Mount Tarawera volcano, as well as Taupo – the largest lake of the country depicted in Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne, Franz Josef Glacier in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, or Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound fjords, the famous Moeraki Boulders on the Koekohe Beach, and, of course, the Mount Cook or Aoraki, – New Zealand's highest mountain.