is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island), and numerous smaller islands, most notably Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. The indigenous Māori language name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, commonly translated as The Land of the Long White Cloud. The Realm of New Zealand also includes the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association); Tokelau; and the Ross Dependency (New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica).
The Bay of Plenty is part of the Pacific Coast Highway, a scenic touring route that traverses the east coast of the North Island.
For Waikato also boasts an extensive labyrinth of underground caverns that formed millions of years ago and are now a major tourist attraction.
Hamilton is the region's main center and is also the country's fourth largest city located on the banks of the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest.
The town is famous for its themed gardens, and the local zoo, which has the largest free flight aviary in the Southern Hemisphere - an excellent chance to find out about New Zealand's distinctive native birds. The southern end of Hamilton's main street offers an excellent choice of restaurants, cafés and bars.
To the south of Hamilton, the small and pleasant town of Waitomo is the focal point of the region's subterranean wonders. A popular tourist stopover, the caves are easy to explore on a boat trip like no other, revealing a hidden world of glow-worms and wondrous limestone formations. This being New Zealand, there are of course the adventure options when it comes to exploring the caves, in the form of black water rafting- it's fun, it's fast and it's wet and abseiling. Above ground, the area around Waitomo is also popular for horse riding and bush walking.
Wellington is a picture perfect city set between a magnificent harbour and rolling green hills. It is also a compact city where funky shops, exciting galleries and great restaurants are within easy walking distance.
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and it offers an unforgettable city experience in a natural setting. It is located between a beautiful harbour and rolling green hills. Wellington has excellent shopping, professional theatre and cafes and restaurants all close to untouched nature spots. Wellington is only two km wide so it can be explored easily on foot.
Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum is on the waterfront. Walk to Te Papa from a central city restaurant and stop at a local fashion store or an art gallery on the way.
Wellington is the arts and culture capital of New Zealand. Festivals and events are held here throughout the year. A highlight is the bi-annual New Zealand Festival - a month long arts festival. Wellington is for nature lovers as well as arts and culture enthusiasts.
The South Coast is one of Wellington's most beautiful places. Visit the New Zealand fur seal colony or just watch the waves.
Mountain bike through native bush at Makara Peak, or kayak out to Scorching Bay - the choice is yours.
Discover New Zealand's heritage in Wellington. The city is home to Parliament Buildings as well as many historic buildings and museums which tell the story of New Zealand.
With a larger boat-to-person ratio than anywhere else on earth, it is a paradise for sailing enthusiasts and every weekend the waters of the Hauraki Gulf come alive with a flotilla of colourful sails. The best way to experience the city is from the water, sailing around the attractive harbour or on a ferry cruise to one of the many stunning islands dotted about the Gulf.
Beyond the bustling downtown area, dominated by the southern hemisphere's tallest building, the Sky Tower, the city sprawls outwards, with low-slung buildings and wooden houses among leafy parks and walking tracks.
The suburbs wind their way around picturesque bays and harbours and between volcanic hills that provide panoramic views over the city and mountains, encompassing numerous green urban parklands that are dotted with sheep.