Go tramping in the land of superlatives
No matter where I go in New Zealand I am surrounded by beauty and silence. New Zealanders are proud of their land and are very environmentally aware. Ten to fifteen percent of the country has been declared protected national parkland.
Finding fauna on South Island
On New Zealand’s South Island, the astounding geology and abundant flora are apparent overall. But where are all the animals?
Wilderness like nowhere else on earth
Nature is the greatest actor on the stage of New Zealand’s South Island – wild, desolate, and yet more varied than the North.
Want real thrills? Just add water
Queenstown, in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island, is billed as “the adventure capital of the world” and in the 1990s was the first to offer the modern version of bungy jumping – which originated in the Polynesian Vanuatu Islands, where men still tie vines to their ankles and hurl themselves off man-made towers.
Where to sea New Zealand’s wildlife
The astounding geology and abundant flora of New Zealand are apparent overall, but where are all the animals? Native birds seem few and far between, with the flightless kiwi a national symbol that is almost extinct, a relic from an ancient paradise.
Hobbit locations galore
The Lord of the Rings trilogy gave international recognition to New Zealand’s remarkable landscape. The two-part Hobbit epic was another massive pair of adverts for the country's tourism industry, just as the first three films have been.
Nature unchanged over millions of years
Hello New Zealand, described as “Too many sheep!” by George Bernard Shaw when a journalist asked him about his trip in 1934. It’s true there are nearly ten times as many sheep per square kilometer as people. But there’s something else that makes New Zealand special: wild, untouched nature unchanged over millions of years. Something Shaw had overlooked, surely.