Welcome to our Small Town Travel Guide compiled by New Zealand’s Information Network to help you plan your visit to our beautiful land.
From downtown Auckland a fast ferry can whisk you over to Waiheke Island, the ‘Suburb on the Sea’. Waiheke has a special charm and seaside holiday atmosphere. The laid-back, independent island lifestyle epitomises the traditional Kiwi way of life.
‘The Mount’ is the colloquial term of affection for the volcanic cone that rises abruptly on the long sandy peninsula known as Mt. Maunganui. This icon for lovers of sun, sand and surf, symbolises all the diverse pleasures to be had at this Kiwi holiday ‘hot spot’.
In New Zealand the most striking near-desert experience you can have is on the road to Waiouru. State Highway One winds through a bleak windswept tussock plain called the Rangipo Desert. This is a unique alpine semi-desert, with the forbidding appearance of a wild desolate wasteland.
To experience the North Island’s ‘Alpine Country’ on the seismically sensitive Central Volcanic Plateau, there’s no better place to go than Turangi. Turangi has the pulse of this volcanic heartland, with New Zealand’s largest lake (Lake Taupo) on its front doorstep and the vast Tongariro National Park.
The small market town of Taihape lies on the southern edge of the Central Volcanic Plateau and promotes itself as the ‘Gumboot Capital of New Zealand’. It takes a certain degree of boldness and fierce independence of spirit to claim such a title for your town.
Paihia began as a peaceful mission station on the gentle shores of the Bay of Islands. This is where the foundations of Maori and European life in New Zealand were laid. Today it is a town that expresses the lively holiday spirit of an increasing throng of international visitors and Kiwis.
Ohakune has been called the ‘après ski capital of the north’. This new image of a party town may be seen as an alternative to its traditional role as the ‘Carrot Capital’ of New Zealand. The town is strategically placed at the foot of Mountain Road leading directly to the Turoa Ski Resort on Mt. Ruapehu.
Where can you climb to the summit of a dormant volcano in the morning and surf a world-class break in the afternoon? New Plymouth. This prosperous and welcoming city sits at the foot of the sleeping giant of Mt. Taranaki (also called Mt. Egmont), the proud symbol of a diverse and exciting part of New Zealand.
Kaitaia is New Zealand’s most northerly service town and the commercial heart of the Far North. The word Kaitaia means ‘abundance of food’ in Maori, chosen for the prolific bird life in the ancient Kauri forests and the plentiful supply of fish and shellfish along the 90 Mile Beach.