New Zealand is a country of stunning and diverse natural beauty: jagged mountains, rolling pasture land,
steep fiords, pristine trout-filled lakes, raging rivers, scenic beaches, and active volcanic zones. These islands are one
of Earth's most peculiar bioregions, inhabited by flightless birds seen nowhere else such as a nocturnal, burrowing parrot
called the kakapo and kiwi. Kiwi are not only one of the national symbols – the others being the silver fern leaf and
koru – but also the name New Zealanders usually call themselves. These islands are sparsely populated, particularly away from
the North Island, but easily accessible. There are sparklingly modern visitor facilities, and transport networks are well
developed with Airports throughout the country and well maintained highways. New Zealand often adds an adventure twist to
nature: it's the original home of jet-boating through shallow gorges, and bungy jumping off anything high enough to give a thrill.
New Zealand has been called "God's own country" and the "Paradise of the
Pacific" since the early 1800s. Be sure to allow sufficient time to travel in New Zealand. Distances are larger than you
probably think and many roads wind along the coast and through mountain ranges (particularly on the South Island). It's
rewarding to tour for three or four weeks on each of the main islands, although you can certainly see some of the
highlights in less time.