New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand's awesome landscapes, lush forests, amazing wildlife and pleasant climate make it a haven for many outdoor activities and a great place to unwind. If you're driven by adventure, New Zealand makes it easy to get off the beaten track to traverse the remarkable landscapes that New Zealand has to offer. New Zealand is a southern paradise of wildlife, waterfalls, forests and beaches, many of which have been awarded World Heritage status.

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Ninety Mile Beach, Waipoua Forest, South Island Mountain

New Zealand. A third of Ontario's size, but with scenery to rival all Canada, and friendly locals eager to show you the best country in the world (they might be right!). With our rental car, guidebook, and Automobile Association road maps, we left Auckland to explore the country. A couple of fifty-something tourists, pretending we were thirty years younger, laughing our way across the country, with the navigator calling, “Watch the curb!”, as the driver learns to drive on the other side of the road.

We walked the sands of Ninety Mile Beach, felt puny amongst the monster kauri trees in Waipoua Forest, and relished fish & chips from Paihia's national champion takeout. With a toitoi frond waving out the window, we drove into the time warp of Napier's art-deco architecture, and ate hokey-pokey ice cream (delectable). We matched magnificent South Island Mountain and glacier scenery with local Marlborough wines and ocean fresh fish. In spectacular Milford Sound we were drowned in rain one day, (but ate crayfish to compensate), and sparkled in sunshine the next. Now home again, our photographs, native wood bowl, and paua jewelry mementos keep whispering for us to return.

Submitted by:
Rob P., Peterborough


While touring New Zealand with friends last year, we all wanted to see the penguins so abundant in that land in their natural habitat, but always seemed to be too far away from the coast at dusk when they normally return to their nests from the ocean.

One day, travelling along the coast road to Invercargill we saw some tourists gathered on rocks jutting out into the ocean. Curiosity getting the better of us, we parked the SUV, and then climbed, slipped and slid over the beautiful and wet, fossilized rocks near the ocean's edge until we arrived at the object of everyone's interest. And there it was, one, solitary, yellow-eyed penguin, the world's rarest, proudly standing alone guarding its own and others nests. Lucky for us, it was one that had been injured and treated by the local wild-life authorities before being released back into the wild, and as yet was unready to enter into the water. Later on our trip among many highlights, we saw wallabies, kangaroos, snakes and spiders, all in the wild and The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. But nothing could match this magical moment for any of us.

Submitted by:
Derek S., Ajax