• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

New Zealand’s Best kept Holiday Secrets

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Almost everyone who spends any length of time in New Zealand toys with the idea of staying there forever. Moreover, it’s not hard to understand why. Although New Zealand is a relatively small country, holidays in the country often leave people with a sense that there is still so much more to see, do and experience. Which, though, are New Zealand’s truly best kept secret destinations? The places off the beaten track which only the locals know about?

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

The Catlins

Situated just west of Invercargill, the southernmost city in New Zealand, the Catlins are one of the most sparsely populated and naturally pristine of areas in the country. Rugged coast meets dense, ancient rainforest, spectacular waterfalls, and numerous opportunities to chance upon yellow eyed penguins and endangered bird and sea mammal species which frequent the area. If you want to lose yourself in nature, the Catlins is, in this case, the place to do it. The only problem? It gets very windy at times so remember to wrap up warm even in the summer.

Te Wairoa Buried Village 

Located near Rotorua in the North Island of New Zealand, the Te Wairoa buried village was a thriving Maori settlement up until 1886 when the entire village was buried by ash due to a local volcanic eruption. Essentially the Pompeii of New Zealand, visitors can today explore over 12 acres of frozen in time Maori residences and traditional rock and wood carvings.

Hot Water Beach   

Looking for a unique beach experience? Located on the Coromandel Peninsula of the North Island, Hot Water Beach is unique in that it is heated year round my natural hot springs bubbling away under the beach itself. This being the case, the most popular activity at Hot Water Beach involves digging your own hot tub and relaxing until the tide later washes it a way for you. Be careful, though, temperatures on some parts of the beach can sometimes rise to over 63 degrees Celsius!


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