THE ALLURE OF NEW ZEALAND
While two primary regions make up the land mass of New Zealand, the country is roughly 1,000 miles south of Australia. Composed of two main islands, New Zealand is nearly 1,000 miles long and 180 miles wide.
Marlborough: Located in the northeast corner of the South Island, Marlborough is the most famous, historic and important wine growing region in the country. It is also the largest. Marlborough’s first commercial vineyards were planted in the early 1970’s. Today the region accounts for more than half of New Zealand’s total wine production. Bordered by mountains to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, Marlborough is one of New Zealand’s driest and sunniest areas. The region is also cool and windy. The combination of conditions creates wines that are bright, crisp and fresh.
Wairarapa: Wairarapa, or Land of Glistening Waters, is quintessential New Zealand. Serene and natural, the district occupies the southeast corner of the North Island, southwest of Hawke’s Bay and east of Wellington, the country’s capital. For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Wairarapa is sensibly rural and underdeveloped. There are small, family-run businesses dedicated to local arts, crafts and other regional products. Rare and endangered birds can be observed at Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, 70 minutes north of Martinborough. Riverside and Castlepoint offer some of the best beaches for surfing swimming and fishing on the country’s photogenic east coast. The small town of Martinborough boasts more than 50 world-class vineyards and wineries. With its cool climate and ancient soils, Martinborough produces most of the North Island’s great Pinot Noirs and Sauvignon Blancs.
Activities: Each year millions of tourists flock to New Zealand for activities including golfing, skiing, snowboarding, fishing, swimming, yachting, bungee jumping, paragliding, sailing, snorkeling, hiking, biking, eating, climbing, sightseeing and wine tasting. Seasoned divers can explore the caves, tunnels and arches below the cliffs of Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve. Fly fishermen have their choice of hundreds of rivers and lakes. Skiers can choose between 25 ski areas including Turoa and Whakapapa in the north and The Invincible, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak in the south. Golfers have hundreds of world-class options ranging from seaside to inland and traditional to modern. Eco-tourists and hikers are drawn to the deep fjord of Doubtful Sound, the blue glaciers of Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park, the geysers, lakes and mineral baths at Rotorua and the steamy “Craters of the Moon” in Wairakei Tourist Park.
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