Although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have departed New Zealand after an extensive nine-day royal visit, you can take inspiration from their kiwi adventures by booking a trip to New Zealand.
From sailing around the beautiful harbor-side city of Auckland to exploring Hobbiton and the exciting alpine resort town of Queenstown, New Zealand offers travelers a wealth of options “fit for a royal.”
Tourism New Zealand has a suggested 13-day itinerary that follows in the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess:
Auckland – Known as the “City of Sails” Auckland is a vibrant city of harbors, beaches and islands; its Harbor has hosted two America’s Cup campaigns, and is also where Duchess Kate recently beat her husband in a sailing race!
Hobbiton – An enchanting village of perfectly-formed Hobbit holes, Hobbiton is the must see Middle-Earth filming location for all Lord of the Rings fans.
Rotorua – A fascinating place of Maori culture and geothermal wonders, Rotorua lies on the Volcanic Plateau and is home to both Te Puia (the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute) and the world-famous Pohutu Geyser.
Wellington – New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, is nestled between a sparkling, expansive harbor and emerald green hills. Famed for its arts, culture, cuisine and natural beauty, Wellington is also home to New Zealand’s national museum (Te Papa) and Zealandia – a unique eco-sanctuary for native animals.
Blenheim – The sunny town of Blenheim is known for its vineyards and artisan food culture but perhaps most renowned for its fascinating Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, one of the world’s largest private collections of Great War aircraft and artifacts. The royal couple, escorted by Sir Peter Jackson, made sure to visit!
Marlborough Sounds – On the doorstep of Blenheim, the beautiful Marlborough Sounds is home to emerald-green inlets, white sandy bays and crystal- clear water. The perfect waters for a leisurely boat cruise!
Christchurch – Known as the “gateway to the South Island”, Christchurch is a resilient city rapidly recovering from the devastation of its 2011 earthquake. It’s set to hold the opening match of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Francophiles should make time to also visit the nearby boutique town of Akaroa, a charming place infused with French culture and cuisine.
Queenstown – One of the country’s most popular visitor destinations, set on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu at the foot of a huge mountain range, Queenstown is known as the home of adrenaline activities in New Zealand, from bungy jumping to the Shotover jet-boat ride enjoyed by the Duke and Duchess! (See photo below.) Queenstown is also a destination for luxury experiences – from gourmet cuisine to spa treatments, the perfect bit of pampering to conclude a royal travel experience!
- Sail Auckland’s harbor aboard one of Team New Zealand’s successful America’s Cup yachts
- Tour the enchanting village of Hobbiton, the filming location built exclusively for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy
- Explore the enchanting Waitomo Caves, a labyrinth of underground caverns twinkling with glowworms
- Visit the world-famous Pohutu Geyser in Rotorua, and enjoy a traditional Maori feast and cultural performance in Mitai Maori Village
- Stroll through the fascinating Omaka Aviation Heritage Center in Blenheim, home to one of the world’s largest private collections of Great War aircraft and artifacts
- Take a spectacular Shotover Jet boat ride across the beautiful waterways of Lake Wakatipu
– Text & images courtesy DQMPR for Tourism New Zealand