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New Zealand, an experience of a lifetime is often referred to as The World In Miniature' when describing its magnificent scenic attraction. Only in New Zealand will you find Giant Glaciers, Bubbling Mud Pools, Tranquil Lakes, Snow Capped Peaks, Majestic Fiords, Vast Farmlands, Spectacular Scenery and choice of Activities to keep everyone busy. This diversity is a compelling reason for travellers to spend more time in the country than may seem appropriate for a nation of such size. Its friendly people of many culture make New Zealand a memorable holiday experience.

 
Auckland
 
SkyTower Auckland
SkyTower Auckland
 
Auckland was shaped 60,000 years ago by cataclysmic eruptions, leaving a legacy of dormant cones. The city stretches many kilometers north and south, straddling a narrow isthmus astride two seas - the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea. It is the largest Polynesian City in the Southern Hemisphere, the many island races bringing their individual skills and culture with them.The Pacific waters flow into the Waitemata, one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. With water on the doorstep, many Aucklanders own boats - truly a ' City of Sails '.
 
Waitomo Caves
 
Boat ride In Glow worms
Boat ride In Glow worms
 
One of New Zealand's top tourist attractions, the Waitomo Caves was discovered in 1887. They are renowned not only for an array of limestone formations but also for the glow worms that cling to the ceiling of the grotto in their thousands, to provide a twinkling "Milky Way" of lights. The local museum provides interesting information on the history of the caves and on the speliology in the area. New at Waitomo are two more active ways of viewing the caves and glow-worms - "Black-water rafting" and "Lost World Adventures", half, one and two day options.
 
Christchurch
 
Alfresco Dining Wellington
Alfresco Dining Wellington
 
Christchurch was surveyed in 1850 when the first immigrants arrived in Lyttelton in the summer of that year in 'the first four ships'. The colonists walked the rough track that led over the hills to what is now known as Christchurch. Much of the charm of Christchurch is created by the Avon River, which runs through many of the suburbs as well as the centre of the city. There are many areas where one can walk alongside the Avon and take advantage of the pleasant, almost rural atmosphere right in the heart of the city.
 
Queenstown
 
Birds Eye View of Hawkes bay Queeenstown
Birds Eye View of Hawkes bay Queeenstown
 
Nestled in a superb alpine setting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the year-round holiday centre to which each season brings a distinctive mood and beauty. Visitors from all over the world throng the narrow streets lending a cosmopolitan atmosphere to the town, which despite its modern hotels, shops and restaurants retains much of its colonial appearance. Queenstown is steeped in the history of the gold mining days when canvas towns sprang up along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and the gorges of the rivers, which form outlets for the waters.
 
Wanaka
 
The lake is the picture and the mountains are the frame - Lake Wanaka is a place to take a deep breath and relax. Protected from the outside world by the grandeur of the mountains, you’re enclosed in a hidden paradise.
Crystal clear lake waters lap the shores of Wanaka town and the feet of the Southern Alps, which are home to winter ski fields and the dramatically alpine Mount Aspiring National Park.

Lake Wanaka is New Zealand's fourth largest; its clean, blue waters are an inland sea for sailors and jetboaters to explore. Walking tracks and bridle trails wander the flats and foothills. In all seasons, outdoor adventures beckon.
 
Te Anau
 
Lake Te Anau Tracey Tibbles
Lake Te Anau Tracey Tibbles
 
Te Anau is sited on the cool, clear waters of Lake Te Anau - the South Island's largest lake guarding the main eastern gateway to Fiordland National Park. Te Anau is the starting point for the famous Milford Track Walk - from the head of Lake Te Anau over 53 kilometres (33 miles) of the most dramatic and splendid canyon, mountain and river scenery to Milford.
 
Fox Glacier
 
At the top of the Fox
At the top of the Fox
 
The Fox is the largest of the mighty West Coast glaciers. It is unique in that it ends in temperate rainforest, 250 metres above sea level. There are more 3,000 metres (10,000 foot) peaks at the head of the Fox Glacier than in any other valley in New Zealand. The Fox Glacier, like all glaciers, advances and retreats. The last advance continued from 1986-1999. Access onto the lower parts of the glacier is via a secret track that climbs through regenerating forest (forest previously wiped out by earlier glacial advances). From the track, you have wonderful views into the upper parts of the glacier.
 
The high peaks, snowfields and glaciers of Te Waipounamu (the South Island) are of great significance to Maori who named the glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe. This name derived from a tupuna (ancestor) Tu Awe who fell to his death while exploring the area. The bed of Te Moeka o Tuawe became his moeka (final resting-place). It is said that when his lover Hine Hukatere wept, the bed of the glaciers filled with her everlasting tears of ice.
Bay of Island
 
Bay of Island
Bay of Island
 
On the east coast of Northland a length of sand and rock coastline circles a sea pierced by 150 islands. Discovered by legendary Maori navigator Kupe, visited by Captain Cook in 1769, home to the Nga Puhi tribe (iwi) of Maori, the Bay of Islands is a truly remarkable area.Country cafes, gourmet restaurants, kayaking, swimming with dolphins, touching history, walking coastal tracks, seeing Maori war canoes, game fishing, cruising, resting. Bay of Islands has an abundance of different kinds of experiences to connect with the people and culture, ocean and land.
 
Rotorua
 
Te Puia
Te Puia
 
The famous Rotorua Spa and city on the shores of Lake Rotorua, is the centre of an extensive thermal region. The curative properties of the thermal waters were known to the Maoris long before the arrival of the Europeans and it was natural that this area should develop as a tourist resort and health spa. Even today, local Maoris cook food in the more active boiling pools or over natural steam jets.Whakarewarewa is the main thermal attraction adjacent to Rotorua City. Geysers play at regular intervals, other features being snowy silica terraces, steaming thermal water and boiling mud pools. Rotorua also provides the most accessible means of learning about New Zealand's native Maori people, by way of visiting a replica pre-European village, the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute, a modern day Marae (village centre).
 
Mount Cook
 
Tasman Lake
Tasman Lake
 
The highest mountain in New Zealand - 3,754 meters (12,316 feet) - Mount Cook is a continuing attraction for tourists, mountaineers and skiers. With the use of ski planes, enthusiasts can be taken to the high snow and skiing continues through most of the year. Scenic flights are available. There are walks in the area, which enable a visitor to enjoy the bush, birds and boulders.
 
Milford Sound
 
Milford Sound
Milford Sound
 
Milford Sound is simply stunning. In Maori legend, the fiords were created not by rivers of ice, but by Tu Te Raki Whanoa, a godly figure who came wielding a magical adze and uttering incantations. Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) is without doubt his finest sculpture. Whatever the fiord's mood, teeming with rain or with sun glistening on deep water,it will inspire you.
 
Dunedin
 
Penguins
Penguins
 
Dunedin is situated at the head of the Otago harbour, a 21 kilometre (13 mile) fiord-like inlet. This city retains a charm of its own with residential areas spread over the hills, which almost surround the city. Gold, extracted from rivers in the rugged backcountry, brought unexpected wealth to the city's Scots founders. Some they converted into stone to build the elegant churches, public buildings and commercial enterprises. A green belt surrounds the inner city, and contains magnificent botanical gardens.
 
Franz Josef Glacier
 
Group in Glaciers
Group in Glaciers
 
The spectacular Franz Josef Glacier descends to just 250 metres above sea level amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest. Of all the accessible temperate glaciers in New Zealand, the Franz Josef Glacier is easily the steepest and fastest moving. While many glaciers worldwide have been retreating, the Franz Josef Glacier still flows almost to sea level, through a temperate rainforest of ancient podocarp trees and other evergreen species. This combination of ice and temperate rainforest is a unique feature of New Zealand's glacier country, and is an ecosystem found nowhere else in the world.

South Westland is situated at 43.5 degrees south, equivalent latitude to the south of France. Cannes, for example, is the same distance from the coast as Franz Josef, with mountains of similar altitudes. Obviously there are no glaciers that extend down to sea level in France, so why does it happen here?

Running through Franz Josef is the Alpine Fault. Along this faultline the Southern Alps has been pushed up, and continues to rise in close proximity to the ocean. The weather that flows on to the West Coast is forced to rise over the Southern Alps, thereby cooling and dropping most of its moisture as rain and snow. This process causes up to 30 metres of snow to fall on the neve (or catchment area of the glacier), every year.

Snow that is compacted on the neve forms blue glacier ice that is funnelled down the Waiho Valley. The ice flows under its own momentum, forming a 'river of ice'. Although the terminal face of the glacier is continually melting, this is replaced by glacier ice flowing down from the neve. This is aided by basal sliding, caused by a layer of water beneath the glacier which is formed by the weight of the ice pushing against the valley floor.

The glacier slides forward at rates up to 10 times faster than most valley glaciers, presenting the visitor with a spectacular and unique icefall of crevasses, pinnacles, ice caves and canyons.
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