Australia and New Zealand’s long rivalry shows no signs of letting up. While Australia seems more popular on paper, attracting 5 million more tourists each year; New Zealand has many advantages over its neighbour that just can’t be denied. Here are 4 New Zealand Destinations that you shouldn’t miss.
Why Should you visit these New Zealand Destinations
Australia might welcome more visitors each year; but none of its cities make a more stunning first impression than Queenstown, New Zealand. In 2015, Queenstown Airport was voted the ‘World’s Most Scenic Airport Landing’ in a poll conducted by private jet booking service PrivateFly. The main gateway to southern New Zealand, Queenstown Airport is surrounded by rugged mountains and the breathtaking waters of Lake Wakatipu.
The Nevis Swing
New Zealand has long been regarded as an adrenaline junkie’s paradise. In 2008, it cemented that reputation with the addition of the world’s largest swing. Located 40 minutes from Queenstown, the Nevis Swing suspends riders from a 160-metre-high launch deck before dropping them into the Nevis Canyon. Riders freefall for about 70 metres before rushing towards the other side of the valley at speeds of roughly 120 kilometres per hour. With a trajectory of 300 metres, the Nevis Swing is a thrill-seeking opportunity like no other.
Auckland’s City Views
Auckland’s skyline is instantly recognisable by the tall spire protruding far above the surrounding buildings. At 328 metres tall, Auckland’s Sky Tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere (and a full 19 metres taller than its Sydney counterpart). Daredevils can walk around the dizzying observation deck; or even leap from the tower in an electrifying base jump by wire. Those looking for more relaxing ways to enjoy the panorama can choose to dine at New Zealand’s only revolving restaurant instead.
Millions of years ago, a volcanic eruption near the Poor Knights Islands (one of New Zealand’s top diving locations in Northland) created a giant gas bubble; this bubble formed what is now known as Rikoriko Cave. At 130 metres long and 80 metres wide, it’s the largest sea cave in the world; and over twice the size of its two closest competitors. Once inside, the cave’s ceiling arches 35 metres overhead; while the chamber is estimated to extend another 26 metres beneath the water’s surface. Because of these astounding dimensions, Rikoriko Cave contains plant life that is unlike anything found elsewhere in the world.