New Zealand has proven a popular destination for Malaysians be it making a Lord of the Rings pilgrimage to Hobbiton or getting an adrenaline rush from a variety of adventure sports.
Data from Tourism New Zealand has shown that Malaysian tourists to the country have gone up 10% in 2015 as compared to the previous year, with more visitors venturing outside the main towns and cities.
Whether you’re heading there for the first time or returning for more of what the beautiful country has to offer, here are five places you absolutely cannot miss:
Bay of Islands
A collection of more than 140 subtropical islands, the Bay of Islands was New Zealand’s first colonial capital. With lush green hills contrasting crystal clear waters, the Bay of Islands Maritime Park offers some of the best spots for diving and snorkelling.
You can also opt to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in to a rustic countryside experience with a farm stay. And don’t miss out the iconic lighthouse standing at the tip of Cape Reinga which carries deep cultural significance to the Maori.
For amazing outdoor holidays all-year-round, Ruapehu is home to Tongariro National Park, a dual World Heritage site. The 80,000ha park is a major draw for anyone from hikers, cyclists and skiers to botanists, geologists and nature lovers.
Join the popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a one-day trek crossing the park’s striking terrain dotted with steaming craters, old lava flows and thermal lakes.
Marlborough is home to New Zealand’s very own Wine Country. – Pic courtesy of Tourism New Zealand
Wine and dine to your heart’s content with Marlborough’s thriving foodie scene. You can even combine your love for the outdoors and wine by riding through Marlborough’s Golden Mile through Rapaura and Renwick. The six kilometre ride across beautiful landscapes and warm weather features nine wineries where dining, art and an ice-cold drink awaits!
Abel Tasman National Park
New Zealand’s smallest national park, Abel Tasman National Park features a stunning coast which you can explore by foot or sea, combining the best of both a relaxing beach paradise and the physical exertion of outdoor activities.
Choose from a number of kayaking companies for guided tours from Marahau, Kaiteriteri and Golden Bay or go off on your own adventure by renting kayaks and staying at campsites, huts or lodges in the park.
Located on the shore of Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges, Queenstown is the ultimate destination for adrenaline junkies with activities like bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, river rafting and more. It’s also known for cycling paths that range from easy scenic tracks to downhill mountain biking accessed only via the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest cable car lift! But don’t fret, there are more relaxing options like walking trails, spa treatments, boutique shopping and good food.