Planning a first trip to New Zealand is never an easy task, unless you have all the time in the world, and the money to enjoy it. There is just so much to take in! For the rest of us on limited time and budget, where do we start; the North Island, or South Island? If you’re a member of Accor Vacation Club, and planning a vacation to New Zealand, things get a whole lot easier. With a selection of quality, thoughtfully selected accommodation options to choose from on both islands, its best to rely on popular culture to make the choice for you as opposed to hotels – and in that case the Hobbits of the North have it sorted!
In the centre of North Island’s farming country, Hobbiton Village sits on the edge of Matamata, and was used to make the Hobbit films and Lord of the Rings movie. When booking your Hobbit tour, look at booking the Waitomo Glow-worm Caves tour as well. It is close by, and the kids will be fascinated by their little glow-in-the-dark friends.
You may well have landed at Auckland Airport, but the city is worth more than just a cursory glance as you head toward your destination. Opportunities abound for unique photographs of dormant volcanoes, bubbling mud pools, cascading waterfalls, and surfers riding the rolling breakers on the local beaches. As the children tire, head into the centre, and round the day off at Auckland’s famous Sky City and its many attractions.
Before heading to the South Island, take a few hours out. If time allows take a whole day, and explore the sights and culture of New Zealand’s capital city. Visit the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa. Walk or ride to the top of Mount Victoria for the most fantastic views. Jump on the Wellington Cable Car, or go back in time at Zealandia. All before you board the ferry for your three hour trip across the Cook Strait to Picton, at the top of South Island.
Close to Picton, Marlborough Sound covers over 90 miles of New Zealand coastline. You could spend all the second half of your vacation, walking and cycling the coastline, visiting the nature reserves, and cruising the sunken valleys of this stunning part of New Zealand. If time is of the essence, book a three hour boat trip, to get a real feel of what this area has to offer.
For a laid-back, family day out, Christchurch ticks all the boxes. Enjoy a boat trip, or try your hand at punting on the River Avon. Stroll in the sunshine around the beautiful botanic gardens, or, if the kids are being a little restless, take them over to the International Antarctic Centre, to find out what it’s like to get caught up in an arctic storm.
From Puka Park to Wellington, Queenstown and Wanaka (and beyond!), as an Accor Vacation Club member, the fabulous facilities at each Club property, or Accor Hotels Select accommodation partner, will prove difficult to leave. Nonetheless, to find out why New Zealanders are in the top ten of the world’s happiest people, you need to get out and about, and find out what really makes your average Kiwi tick.
The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90.