New Zealand is widely-renowned for many things, from its rugby team and Haka dance (Maori war dance used to intimidate enemies) to its breathtaking landscapes and adventure-rich surroundings. But this magnificent country also provides plenty of excitement!
Farms and rural life play an integral role in New Zealand culture and economy; why not embrace farm life during your Work & Travel program in New Zealand?
Orana Wildlife Park
Orana Wildlife Park is New Zealand’s only open range zoo, covering 80 hectares just 15 minutes drive from Christchurch Airport and housing over 400 animals from 70 species spanning 80 different species. Daily animal presentations offer visitors amazing wildlife experiences like travelling through a Lion Reserve or hand feeding an majestic Giraffe or meeting up close mighty Rhinos! Orana also provides native New Zealand animals such as Kiwi, Tuatara (an exotic native reptile), and mischievous Kea.
Orana Wildlife Park is owned and managed by the Orana Wildlife Trust, a registered charity. Their purpose is to offer quality recreational opportunities to the public; conserve endangered native and exotic wildlife; educate visitors – particularly children – about these endangered creatures; as well as conduct research into threatened species.
Mount Eden’s grass-covered crater stands as the highest natural point in Auckland and makes an ideal vantage point from which to overlook downtown Auckland. Furthermore, it offers the ideal place for a peaceful walk away from urban bustle.
At first, this crater served as a Maori hill pa, with terraced steps still marking its summit. Later on, this suburb became home to country houses of Aucklanders from all backgrounds; during the 1950s and 60s many artists, writers, and teachers made this their choice of residence.
Today’s visitors to Mount Eden can explore its gently sloping road (closed to cars but open to pedestrians and cyclists) or hike its more challenging trail. Nearby Eden Garden is another impressive public garden located within an abandoned quarry with five acres filled with lush plants, flowers and trees that are both native and exotic in nature.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Waimangu Volcanic Valley, New Zealand’s youngest geothermal valley, presents an astounding display of New Zealand’s North Island’s natural beauty. Notable attractions here include powder-blue Inferno Crater Lake which fills and empties every 38 days; Frying Pan Lake; Warbrick Terrace where colors come alive; and Inferno Crater Lake which fills and empties every 38 days; but highlights also include stunning powder-blue Frying Pan Lake and Warbrick Terrace where vivid colours take center stage in landscape.
Explore the area on one of the many walking trails dotted throughout the park, taking in bubbling lakes, bubbling streams, native bush, and bubbling waterfalls along your journey. Or opt for something a bit more exciting with Mt Haszard Hiking Trail which leads high above valley floor providing panoramic views of volcanic terrain!
Visit Mount Tarawera is home to numerous tours, but for those preferring not to walk you can hop aboard one of the free shuttle buses which travel regularly around. Additionally, this area boasts beautiful forests and abundant birdlife due to regrowth after 1886’s Mount Tarawera eruption wiped out all previous vegetation.
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park provides visitors of all ages a wealth of experiences. Perhaps best known for one of New Zealand’s Great Walks – the Abel Tasman Coastal Track which winds between Marahau and Totaranui; kayaking also allows access to some beautiful bays within its boundaries.
Maori have occupied the Abel Tasman coastline for more than 800 years, leaving traces of middens, pits, terraces, and defensive sites (pa) throughout. Sailboats filled with Maori collected food from both sea and land sources while cultivating kumara on suitable land.
Marahau serves as the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park and features accommodation options like Abel Tasman Lodge and Kaiteriteri for visitors looking to experience hiking its Abel Tasman Coastal Track or taking day hikes within its boundaries. You may also opt to stay at beachfront cottages Onetahuti or Bark Bay or camp at Anchorage Bay for the full experience.
Wai-O-Tapu is one of the North Island’s premier geothermal attractions, where visitors can explore an exquisite landscape filled with natural colorful pools, bubbling mud pots, and steaming fumaroles. A highlight is Champagne Pool where visitors can observe how different minerals create vibrant shades of greens, yellows and oranges that create its stunning palette of hues.
Be mindful when exploring these pools that they may contain boiling hot waters that could burn your skin, or contain sulfur-rich steam that could irritate your nose and throat in small doses; in larger quantities it could become toxic and pose a health threat to both children and adults alike. Therefore, when venturing out with children nearby it’s wise to be very cautious and keep close.
This park may not be dangerous, but you should wear appropriate shoes and a hat when entering bubbling mud pools to reduce risk. With three colored loop walks on offer and short routes within 1.5 hours on an average day you should be able to complete even one of them!
Kuirau Park stands out as an inner city park offering free geothermal attractions for visitors. Here, visitors can marvel at Rotorua’s bubbling geothermal activity – its hot springs, mud pools, and boiling lakes await visitors, along with occasional eruptions that require safety fences to keep people away from these incredibly hazardous pools.
Maori legend holds that the park’s main lake takes its name from an alluring beauty who bathed there. After an unscrupulous Taniwha (a mythological creature resembling an aquatic monster) abducted her and took her away into its lair below, angered gods caused the lake to boil violently so as to destroy Taniwha and prevent further incidents from occuring.
Other activities at the park include viewing Kiwi (New Zealand’s national bird, which cannot fly) in their natural environment, exploring traditional Maori buildings, and strolling through Quota Scented Garden which was donated for garden lovers.