New Zealand may be a nation in a corner of the world map, but that is exactly what makes it special. The landscapes, the flora-fauna and the culture are untarnished and unique. Couple this natural beauty with the innumerable outdoor activities on offer and New Zealand becomes a veritable tourist paradise. “New Zealand offers something for everyone. Be they families, independent travellers or honeymooners... there is something for them all,” says Mischa Mannix-Opie, regional manager for South and South East Asia, Tourism New Zealand.
Considered to be the mecca of adventure tourism, Mischa says there is a lot more to New Zealand than that. “There is Rotorua which is known for it’s Maori culture — that of the early settlers in the country. It also has natural geysers and hot pools. Rotorua is a place dipped in culture and natural marvels,” she says. She adds that Queenstown, surrounded by its majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu is inspiring and revitalising.
“It is the place where the adrenaline rush kicks in. But, what people don’t know is that it’s also a scenic treasure. And the best part is you can explore it by helicopter rides, boat rides and bus rides. And if that’s not enough, we also have bungee jumping, sky diving, jet-boating... you name it!” she laughs. “Families love to visit Auckland, while Wellington which is our capital city is a new attraction on the tourist map,” she adds.
New Zealand is also one of the few island nations in the world and has often been called the ‘paradise of the Pacific’. The country offers not just a travel-by-road experience but also lets visitors landing ‘take a ferry and reach a destination’. While glaciers may not be the first thing that one associates with an island in the South Pacific, New Zealand has several of them. The most notable ones are the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers in Westland National Park. “You can walk to the glaciers, walk on the glacier, fly to the glacier and even land on the glacier,” exclaims Mischa.
New Zealanders, also called Kiwis after their national bird, are known for their multi-cultural background and warm natures. And of course their sea food and wine. “Being a multicultural country our food is very interesting. You will find a lot Asian and Pacific island flavours fused with Kiwi culture. Another key attraction are the farmers’ markets where you can go and buy fresh fruit and vegetables. Our sea food is also very well-known,” says Mischa, while adding that she loves Indian food.
While India has always loved this far-flung nation, Mischa says New Zealanders love Indians even more. “India is the 13th largest in the inbound market to our country and the numbers have been rising. India also features on the qualitative market growth. Indians love to indulge in diverse experiences. Also we get visitors from India during April-May, that’s the time when other international visitors are not visiting. So India helps us when the market is a little low,” says Mischa with a smile.