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This is a selection made from among articles on Adventure Travel Europe. For a permanent link to this article, or to bookmark it for future reading, click here.



For a comparatively small country, the Land of the Kiwis has been abundantly blessed with a diversity of natural attractions that will make a New Zealand adventure travel tour a truly memorable experience. The two main islands of New Zealand were originally inhabited by the Maori people, who called their home Aotearoa, “the land of the long white cloud”. In the nineteenth century the islands were colonized by British settlers.

For lovers of nature, New Zealand is a paradise. The seas off New Zealand are a great place to see several species of whales and dolphins, as well as seals, penguins, and the New Zealand sea lion, one of the rarest sea lions in the world.

If you take one of the many cross-country hikes available for your New Zealand adventure travel tour, you will see unusual flora that does not occur naturally anywhere else in the world. Among New Zealand’s unique plants are the Mount Cook lilies, the largest daisies in the world; the vegetable sheep, a strange, hairy plant that from a distance looks like a sheep; and the kauri, New Zealand’s best known tree, which can live up to four thousand years.

No land-based mammals evolved on New Zealand’s islands, but hundreds of species of birds, many of them flightless, populate all parts of the country. The best known is the kiwi, New Zealand’s national symbol. But there are also albatross, kakapo and kea.

Backpackers will love their New Zealand adventure travel tour. There are bush walks, mountain trails, and beaches that offer splendid scenery and unique experiences. You can hike across a glacier, or you can bathe in naturally heated water at Hot Water Beach near Whitianga. Along the Catlins Coast you will see the strange Moeraki Boulders. These naturally formed spheres are perfectly round and have honeycombed centers.

Of course, because New Zealand is composed of islands, you can be sure to include water sports in your New Zealand adventure travel tour. In addition to sailing, canoeing, kayaking, jet-skiing (a New Zealander invented the jet-ski) and white water rafting, New Zealand also offers the unique experience of “black water” rafting through subterranean caves.

If you like the thrill of bungee jumping, a sport that originated in New Zealand, then you’ll want to take the leap off Kawerau Bridge, sit of the very first commercial bungee jump. Visitors to New Zealand have also said a tour of the country is not complete unless you take in a rugby game. It is the New Zealander’s national game, and one at which they excel.

Add to all these such activities as fishing, caving, skiing and surfing, you can hardly go wrong with New Zealand adventure travel.

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