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Milford Sound, one of New Zealand's most famous tourist destinations
Found in the southwest Pacific Ocean some 1,500 kilometers east of Australia, New Zealand offers visitors vast expanses of untouched natural landscapes as well as modern and fresh cities. It’s this combination that entices 2.4 million international tourists to plan a New Zealand trip year after year.
The country is formed of two major islands and a number of smaller islands. The North Island is home to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, as well as its largest city, Auckland. This island was created by volcanic activity, and features a number of active and dormant volcanoes.
The South Island includes the cities of Christchurch and Dunedin, and generally is more mountainous than its northern counterpart. Both islands have plenty on offer when it comes to tourism. A popular attraction on the North Island is Auckland’s Sky Tower, which stands nearly 1,100-feet high and offers some truly stunning views.
Speaking of stunning views, Tongariro National Park – which was New Zealand’s first national park – is the perfect destination for those wishing to witness some of the North Island’s most spectacular natural views.
Picturesque scenery is by no means exclusive to the North Island either. The Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island has its own stake to offering the best vistas in the country. The park prohibits cars and is only accessible by plane or boat, adding a feeling of privacy to any hike.
Other popular natural attraction on the South Island is the Franz Josef Glacier, in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, and the Milford Sound, located in the Fiordland National Park.
Finally, in recent years New Zealand’s tourist industry has experience a boost as a result of the movie versions of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ being filmed here. Many visitors subsequently ensure that a tour of locations used in these films – including Matamata on the North Island which still has the Hobbit set available to visit – is added to their New Zealand trip plan.
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