Beyond the Bit

New Zealand: Stunning Landscapes & Unique Heritage

10.3.16 | Lifestyle
Photo Credit: Sara Orme

New Zealand is commonly referred to as the land of hobbits or the island chain next to Australia. In reality, it is much more. It is home to many beautiful natural landscapes, a fantastic wine region, a diverse culture, major equine events, and lots of sheep. Despite its small size, there is a lot to see and do when visiting this Pacific island nation.

New Zealand is one of the most isolated developed countries in the world. In fact, it is thought to be one of the last land masses settled by humans. Made up of two main land masses (the North Island and the South Island), New Zealand has a unique topography that consists of jagged mountains and volcanic beaches. With a diverse population made up of indigenous Māori and European descendants, New Zealand is also rich in cultural diversity. It’s diversity and beauty are two of the major factors that are contributing to the rise in tourism.

The islands of New Zealand provide a wealth of adventurous opportunities for visitors. Whether you are interested in exploring New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, or taking a hike on the famous South Island Trails, there is something to attract your interest. Major attractions include Hobbiton Movie Set, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, the Puketi Forest, Mt. Tarawera, and wine tastings. These, and many other, attractions await you.

If you are particularly interested in equestrian events, there is an entire world of equine events in store. Horseback riding expeditions are typical for much of the natural tourism industry in the countryside, and dozens of designated trails exist for your pleasure. One excellent opportunity to experience both horseback riding and a taste of local culture is to book a horseback trek with a Hangi lunch. Hangi is a traditional Māori cooking style that uses heated rocks in an underground pit oven. The Māori population is proud to share their traditions so opportunities such as this are a wonderful tool for enjoying the landscape and learning about the country’s native population.

Maori man
Photo Credit: James Heremaia

If you are looking for more mainstream Equine activities Auckland is home to several major equine events including the BMW Polo Open, the National Yearling Sales Series, and the Auckland Cup. Even when these events are out of season, Auckland is a haven for equestrians with its renowned polo club and race track. The city of Auckland highlights the fantastic equestrian heritage that exists all over New Zealand.

And speaking of heritage, don’t miss the opportunity to check out the Kaimanawa horses. These heritage horses are a population of wild horses descended from domestic breeds released in the 19th and 20th centuries. If you make arrangements with Journeys Equestrian Travels, you can actually see a Kaimanawa horse training session first-hand and learn more about these quiet and hardy creatures. The Kaimanawa herd is protected by the New Zealand government, as of 1981, and roams peacefully along the Kaimanawa mountain range.

If you would like to learn more about exciting travel experiences awaiting you in New Zealand, contact us today!

 

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