New Zealand has 12 national parks: 4 on North Island and 8 on South Island.
Whether you are on the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island or in Milford Sound in the South Island, New Zealand's coasts compete for splendour. In the north, visitors in search of nature will find a mosaic of creeks and rocky promontories. In the south, the fjords around Milford Sound are simply breathtaking. It doesn't even matter if the weather is foggy or sunny, you will be utterly speechless. Fans of the Fantasy genre will immediately recognise one of the places where the famous Lord of the Rings was filmed.
The 'Land of the Long White Cloud' is a mosaic of enchanting lands, where the fauna is relatively limited but always impressive by its rarity. You cannot think of New Zealand without thinking of the kiwi, a small flightless bird in danger of extinction. Those feeling brave enough can venture out to the forest in the middle of the night to try to catch sight of this nocturnal animal. Otherwise, you can always see one at the Kiwi Birdlife Park, even though the poor bird loses a lot of its charm when it is caged.
The possum may be cordially hated but it is also a symbol of the island. Unlike the kiwi, it is impossible to avoid, regardless of the region.
From Kaikoura you can head out onto the open water to spot majestic sperm whales, sometimes accompanied by regular whales, dolphins and other lords of the water. Meanwhile, seals, sea lions and blue-beaked penguins relax along the coast, under the protection of the country.
In the south of the country, it is very pleasant to watch the albatross, with its impressive wingspan, in ballet-like flight.
Because of its Maori history and heritage, New Zealand has an extremely rich culture. You can, for example, visit the Te Papa Tongawera Museum in Wellington, considered to be one of the most beautiful cultural establishments in the world. Extremely well-designed, it gives both the young and old an insight to the country's current issues and geopolitical and environmental challenges. The section dedicated to the Maori people is very comprehensive and really represents the soul of this ethnic group. Rugby, more than just a sport here, is also rooted in New Zealand's culture. You just have to spend an evening in a pub during a match to fully understand the religious fervour of its supporters. Over the centuries, the Maori have developed their own tribal (or warrior) rituals that are today known around the world thanks to the All Blacks team. Their tattoos and warrior dances, like the Haka, are a founding part of their culture and should not be taken lightly.