eTA application and Top travel locations to visit in New Zealand : White Island is the country’s most active volcano, which makes it one of the best places to go in New Zealand for adventurous travelers. Get up close and personal with White Island by taking a scenic helicopter ride with Volcanic Air Safaris. Your White Island tour won’t be a leisurely stroll: Because this is a very active volcano, you’ll have to wear a hard hat and gas mask. You may even see volcanologists monitoring the volcano. Although the volcano is commonly known as White Island, its full name is Te Puia o Whakaari, a Maori name that translates to “The Dramatic Volcano.” The island was first called White Island by Captain Cook in 1769 because every time he sailed near it, it appeared to be covered in a cloud of white steam. (Cook never realized it was a volcano.) If a helicopter tour of White Island is not your thing, there are a number of other ways to explore the volcano. You can take a boat to White Island or get a bird’s-eye view of it on a scenic flight. You can even go scuba diving around White Island for a look at the volcano’s underwater vents.
Home to the iconic Abel Tasman Coast Track (one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks), Abel Tasman National Park sits right at the northwestern tip of the South Island. Hiking is just one of the must-dos in the area: you can also kayak the beautiful blue waters and its surrounding coves — if you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins and swimming next to you. Within a three-hour drive from Auckland lies the beautiful Bay of Islands region. Island trails, secluded coves, an abundance of marine life, and exquisite rock formations are some of the key highlights its visitors can look forward to. Some of the area’s most popular destinations include Cape Brett, the Poor Knights Islands, as well as the towns of Paihia and Russell.
Just outside of Rotorua, on the North Island, is the incredible destination of Wai-o-tapu. This park is filled with geothermal activity, and you can hike through volcanic landscapes that look more like outer space than the rest of New Zealand. At Wai-o-tapu, one of the highlights is the Lady Knox Geyser, which erupts daily with a show-stopping display straight up into the air. Nearby, geothermal spas give you the perfect place to unwind after a day of hiking along Wai-o-tapu’s volcanic trekking paths. In the Tongariro National Park, located in the center of the North Island, is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This crossing is a day-long hike that covers Mount Tongariro itself and passes along the base of Mount Ngauruhoe. The crossing might be recognizable to film buffs, because scenes from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy were filmed there. The Blue and Emerald Lakes are major scenic attractions along the way, and both have historic significance to the local Maori people and should therefore be treated with the utmost respect.
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On the tumultuous Pacific Ring of Fire, Rotorua is one of the most active geothermal regions in the world. This is a land where the earth speaks. Boiling mud pools, hissing geysers, volcanic craters, and steaming thermal springs betray the forces that birthed much of New Zealand’s dramatic topography. Visitors can take a walking tour of these geothermal wonders, soak in steaming mineral springs, and learn about the region’s rich Maori history and culture. Adventure seekers will also find plenty of things to do. Sky-diving, luging, and mountain biking are some of the activities on offer. Trout fishing is also popular, and Rotorua is the gateway to the ski fields of Mt. Ruapehu. Nearby Wai-O-Tapu is also a popular tourist attraction with colorful hot springs and the famous Champagne Pool and Lady Knox Geyser.