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Picture Perfect New Zealand

Text by Sitanshi Talati Parikh Photographs from Tourism New Zealand.

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New Zealand is famous for its inherent, untouched natural beauty. It is also fast gaining a name as a place of luxury set amidst idyllic surroundings. From sumptuous lodges and myriad activities, from scenic drives and exciting film tours, New Zealand offers it all to the discerning traveller.

SELF DRIVE IN NEW ZEALAND

Spectacular mountains, active volcanoes, cavernous fjords and craggy coastline, scenic lakes, streams and beaches, bubbling mud pools and geysers, its distinctive Maori culture and genial hospitality; makes New Zealand a perfect destination for a remarkable self-drive vacation.

The enormous diversity of its topography is comparable to an entire continent. One is no farther than 70 miles from the ocean at any point in time. A couple hours of travel can take one from subtropical beaches to alpine glaciers, from fjords to rainforests and from cosmopolitan cities to great expanse of wilderness.

The best way is to self-drive in camper vans or motor homes. Moreover, an Indian driving license is valid in New Zealand. The fact that all cars are right-hand drives and signposts are in English make driving there a piece of cake. New Zealand Tourism offers efficient touring routes especially themed for the convenience of travellers.

NATURE AND THE OUTDOORS

Dramatic landscapes, lush vegetation, and inimitable wildlife make New Zealand a paradise for nature lovers. Steep mountains provide countless hiking, climbing and skiing opportunities, others being fishing, golf, mountain biking and swimming.

New Zealand society is diverse, sophisticated, and multicultural, with an impressive blend of Kiwi warmth and honesty.

FILM TOURS

All of New Zealand's natural beauty and proximity of the different locales make it the destination of choice for moviemakers. It is not surprising then, that some of Hollywood's biggest movies such as The Lord of the Rings, Whale Rider, The Last Samurai, King Kong and now The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe have chosen NZ as their location of choice. Some of the popular Bollywood movies shot on location New Zealand include Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, Rehna Hai Tere Dil Me and Mein Prem Ki Deewani Hoon. Special package tours are also on offer to visit the locations where the movies have been shot.

LUXURY LODGES IN NEW ZEALAND
Sumptuous cuisine, superb accommodations and magnificent country settings amidst the scenic beauty of New Zealand, personalized hosting with a flawless sense of style - are all exceptional and charming characteristics of the lodges of New Zealand.
Lodges are a luxury statement in New Zealand today and offer a unique range of services and seclusion options. With some of the best lodges in the world, they are the optimum place where one can be close to nature and the country.

At each location, visitors may self-cater, captain the rowboat from their own lakeside jetty and enjoy total privacy and anonymity. From stocked goodies, to delicately prepared gourmet meals New Zealand is a culinary delight. At Pukeko Landing, the bathroom tub opens onto birdsong and native forest on the shore of Lake Tarawera. The Te Kowhai landing property, which is adjacent to the gorgeous Lake Taupo, features ancient native timbers alongside state of the art technology.

A sneak preview into some of New Zealand's lodges:

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs: The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs affords stunning 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. Guest activities include world famous game fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing, sea kayaking, and hunting for boar and pheasant, picnics at the three private beaches with a picturesque waterfall.
For more information on Kauri Cliff log onto: www.kauricliffs.com

The Lodge at Paratiho Farms
The Lodge at Paratiho Farms sits on a 2000-acre farm, which is situated in the heart of New Zealand's centre of art and culture - town of Nelson. It has all kinds of leisure facilities, including a tennis court, a separate petanque and croquet lawn as well as a heated swimming pool, along with health and beauty spa facilities.
For further information: Phone: 64 3 528 2100, Fax: 64 3 528 2101, Website: www.paratiho.co.nz

Wharekauhau Country Estate
The 'grand' lodge, is modelled on an Edwardian country mansion and is located in the middle of a 5,000-acre working sheep farm. Sitting on a plateau overlooking Palliser Bay, affords a spectacular view of the craggy coastline. The activities the country-estate offers are mountain biking, coastal and bush walks bird watching, clay target shooting and wine tasting tours in the nearby Martinborough region.
For further information: Phone: 64 6 307 7581, Fax: 64 6 307 7799,
Website: www.wharekauhau.co.nz

Each location provides a distinctive experience, leaving a lasting impression on the visitors.

For more information on New Zealand, log on to www.newzealand.com

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