New Zealand is a destination of extremes despite the pint sized geography of the country. Extreme beauty, decadent culture, wild and windswept sights, chic cities rife with class and culture and of course extreme sports like surfing, canyoning and sky diving make it the ultimate destination for travellers wanting to embrace adventure.
Yet the first thing you may need to consider when selecting luxury accommodation, off the beaten track lodges or holiday houses in New Zealand is where it is you want to stay. The North and the South islands differ dramatically when it comes to scenic images, activities, weather and more and the better you understand the big differences, the closer you will be to the right decision.
New Zealand truly is a sight for sore eyes and in either the north or the south you will feel as though you have stumbled upon the Garden of Eden. Those seeking honeymoon accommodation beside the ocean with warm waters, glistening sunlight and great geothermal volcanos rising like Mount Doom on the horizon will fall in love with the exotic touch on the North Island.
The south is also sparkling with mountains, this time topped in snow and surrounded by glacial lakes, dramatic fjords and thrill seekers looking to take to the slopes. The weather is not quite as mild as the North but stretches of soft summers can of course still be found on these shores.
Whether you are heading to New Zealand for a romantic couples retreat, a family holiday or with friends seeking some adrenaline fuelled mayhem, this will have an impact on which island you select. The north island is all about water sports, city exploration and a hint of cosmopolitan living. This is the place to surf, fish, swim and soak up the sun. Hit the chic cities of Wellington and Auckland for fine dining, art and lashings of culture.
Adrenaline junkies should head straight to the south as its known as the extreme sports capital of the world. The mountainous terrain makes it the perfect place for skiing, snowboarding, tearing up the slopes and hanging on to the side of sheer cliff walls for dear life. Away from the slopes you can feel the thrill of white water rafting, kayaking, and scenic hiking.
Culture vultures will adore the north island with its gourmet dinners and open air concerts in Rotorua, its grandiose museums in Wellington and its colourful Maori roots. The north is where many of New Zealand’s habitants have settled making for bright cities, a rich flowing wine culture and luxury accommodation to suit every taste.
The south is sparser with natural beauty carving the way. Rugged landscapes, agriculture and romantic retreats paint a truly wild picture and is perfect for those looking to get away from the hordes and find their own spot of sheer bliss.
Stargazing at Castlepoint, Wairarapa – Daniel Rood
Lighthouse at Castle Point, Wairarapa – Mike Heydon
Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, Lake Pukaki, Canterbury – Miles Holden
Surfing at Raglan Beach, Waikato – Paul Abbitt
Skiing at Treble Cone, Lake Wanaka – Martyn Williams
Wellington City – Julian Apse
Milford Sound, Fiordland – Rob Suisted