The scenery of New Zealand was made famous by the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, causing a spurt of interest among outdoors enthusiasts. It is a country endowed with high mountain peaks, arid deserts, deep forests, rivers, lakes and a long coastline. The best part is that whatever it is you want to do in New Zealand, you can find a great, self-powered means of getting to it and build part or all of your vacation around it.
Hiking, or "tramping" as they call it in New Zealand, is one of the best ways to explore the stunning and varied terrain of the country. Hiking tours are available that range from 2 days to 27 days in length, and many include activities like kayaking or rafting as part of the bargain. It is also possible to ply many of the same routes independently. For example, there is the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, a 28.5 mile route along the shores of Abel Tasman National Park. However, some established routes in New Zealand are either partly or entirely on private property, and many of the independent, cross-country hikes require backcountry camping. Those hiking independently should take care to properly plan their trip. Either way, hiking New Zealand will make for a great outdoor adventure.
Hiking New Zealand
PO Box 93
011 (+64) 33843706
As a nation made up of two major islands and several smaller ones, New Zealand is a natural destination for sea kayakers. Virtually the entire coastline of the country has something to offer for kayaking. There are guided tours, including multi-night affairs that include camping. Likewise, it is possible to rent kayaks and tour New Zealand's coastline independently, and with a little planning this could also become a long-term, multi-night trip as you make your way from beach front or fishing village campground to campground.
Natural High Adventure Tours
130B Montreal Street
011 (+64) 39822966
Mountain biking is increasingly popular in New Zealand, so there are always new trails being opened there. In addition, cycling by road is a good way to take in the scenery and travel from town to town. One cycling option is to do a self-guided bicycle tour. There are operators who will supply you with the equipment and a recommended itinerary, but from there the trip is up to you. Another option is to go off-road. Operators in New Zealand offer mountain bike tours ranging from day trips to "helitrips," or journeys that begin with being dropped into the middle of nowhere by helicopter. In New Zealand, there are plenty of bike-centered vacation opportunities.
Fat Tyre Adventures
P O Box 1068
011 (+64) 272262822
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.