The most popular flight destinations in New Zealand are Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch. Although these are the main gateways into the country, there are more than 20 airports you can fly into using various airlines.
There are flights to New Zealand, flying from Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo Airport, Cape Town’s International Airport and Durban’s King Shaka airport to any of the four main gateway airports in New Zealand – Emirates and Qantas Airlines will transport you to your destination city of choice, whether the flight is direct or 2-stops. Should you be flying in to one of the more than 20 alternative airports, you’re most likely to make use of Etihad, South African Airlines, Singapore, Lufthansa or KLM.
Known to its residents by the Maori name of Aotearoa (Land of the Long White Cloud), more than a third of the country is reserve or national park region, with more than 25 marine reserves. Even skiers and ski boarders can head out to the ranges of the south island. What’s so spectacular about this country is that the scenery changes from pristine lakes to moody rainforests in a few kilometres.
And there’s something for everyone. Take your pick.
The Remarkables – A short 45-minute drive from Queenstown towards Otago, South Island you’ll find The Remarkables mountain range and ski-field. Here you’ll find slopes for the beginner and the more progressive skier, and a team of instructors are available to you every step of the way. The highest point in the range is 2319 metres, with a number of lakes on the mountain forming part of the ski-field.
Doubtful Sound – Home to abundant wildlife, this place is an adventure that will take your breath away. The only way to get there is by a cruise across Lake Manapouri and a coach trip (departing from Queenstown and Te Anau) over Wilmot Pass, and although this may sound like a journey, what you will find makes this more than worth the while. Day trip and overnight cruises available to tourists, as well as a two-day kayaking experience, or a five-day expedition for the more adventurous.
Splash Planet – A great family venue in the heart of Hawkes Bay, this amusement theme and water park offers thrilling slides and rides. A combination of wet and dry attractions will keep the family entertained throughout the day; it’s only a pity that Splash Planet is only open during the summer. Check out the most extreme ride of all, the Sky Castle Screamer.
Wine Tasting – Drive the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail through Martinborough, Marlborough and Central Otago for a selection of more than 120 vineyards. While you’re at it, you might as well indulge in tastings, with most wineries having fine-dining restaurants on-site. Try the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and the Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blends).
Big Sky Stargazing – At the foot of Mount Cook you will find professional telescopes and passionate guides to enhance your stargazing experience. New Zealand has been recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve, making it the largest reserve of this type worldwide. In Queenstown you can catch a gondola high into the mountains and pick out your favourite constellations.