From rural village retreats with breath-taking scenery to exhilarating hiking trails, soaring mountains, to dipping valleys, glaciers, waterfalls, and lovely beaches, New Zealand is the place to head for some of the most captivating countryside escapes. While you hire yourself a car to start your nature ride exploration, peruse a few top picks for your perfect New Zealand English countryside outing.
Mud pools, geysers and Maori culture in Rotorua
It’s location within the Pacific Rim of Fire makes Rotorua a geothermal wonderland. From colourful sinter terraces to bubbling mud pools, clouds of steam, natural hot springs, stunning spouting geysers – the Pōhutu geyser being the show stopper, crystal-clear streams, and magical forests, there is much to marvel about and enjoy at the same time when you visit this region for your countryside outing. The Maori culture is big on showing hospitality and respect to their visitors. Marry that to the awesome scenery and the fascinating culture and practices and you have an unimaginable Rotorua experience. It’s perfectly okay to soak in a natural hot stream or get pampered at a luxurious spa.
Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park
Paparoa National Park located on the West Coast of the South Island is an intriguing countryside escape with dramatic nature and lush rainforest. The curious limestone formations known as the Pancake Rocks along with the blowholes are captivating. From breath-taking cliffs to wilderness, this child friendly countryside escape has something for everyone, even those confined to a wheelchair. It is important to adhere to instructions, keep on the established path and keep tabs on children as the limestone is fragile and vulnerable in some areas.
Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson in Westland Tai Poutini National Park
Lake Matheson and the nearby Fox Glacier are the epitome o
ure blending the right ingredients to produce a work of art and grandeur. The water filled depression was created approximately 14,000 years ago after the Fox Glacier’s last major advance towards the sea was halted. It sits between two moraine terraces on the northern side of Cook River Fla and has long been featured on postcards, stamps, beer bottles, and even chocolate boxes. The dark brown colour of the waters gives the lake its excellent reflection properties.
Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park
A jaw-droppingly beautiful place, Milford Sound is a must see for anyone visiting New Zealand. This is the best known and only fiord in Fiordland National Park that is accessible by road. Its location and accessibility allows visitors to comfortably explore its entire length right out to the open ocean and then return on any of the many cruise options. The sheer cliffs rising vertically upward from the ocean are a magnificent sight. Give yourself ample time to drive along the stunning but windy alpine to enjoy the scenery.
Catlins Forest Park
The Catlins Forest Park is located in the south-eastern region of the South Island. It is in this park that hikers get their New Zealand wildlife fix. The rugged and varied scenery includes stunning waterfalls, sandy beaches with sunbathing sea lions, famous rock formations including a blow-hole, and an ancient fossilised forest.