You won’t find a country that packs more untouched, dramatic and diverse scenery into a small space than New Zealand. The light here is special somehow, making the fiords, glaciers, rainforest, volcanoes, beech forests and rugged coastlines crisper, brighter and more spectacular than you'd ever expect.
You'll find yourself surrounded by some of the best scenery on the planet with few signs of civilisation and no one else around. As an independent nation that lies across the Tasman Sea from Australia, New Zealand is home to only 4.5 million people. About a third of them reside in Auckland city and the rest are spread out around 2 main islands, which together are about half the size of California, leaving vast tracts nearly uninhabited.
Kiwis are welcoming, resourceful and as friendly as they come. They'll charm you with their accent, wave as you pass by on a country road and often stop for a chat. With no snakes, land predators like big cats or bears, or any other nasty critters, New Zealand is a haven for hikers. We have, however, got lambs frolicking in the paddocks, Tui birds calling in the forests and fur seals lazing in the sun on the rocky shores.
An extensive network of hiking and biking trails and almost 1000 backcountry huts mean the options for exploring the wilderness can be overwhelming. Luckily, we've spent years 'tramping' (the Kiwi term for hiking) in the mountains, biking the trails and paddling the calm waters to hand pick the places we go. Some spots, such as the Milford Track, are deservedly world renowned, while other amazing locations are virtually undiscovered. Off the trail, our towns are charming and unique and since Kiwis love their creature comforts, you'll never be too far from a beautifully made cup of coffee. Sweet as!