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As one of the last places on Earth settled by humans, New Zealand is the rare holiday destination that still feels seamlessly connected with its natural surroundings, providing an Eden-like paradise for visitors. This is, after all, the place where Lord of the Rings was famously filmed, due to its innate, sprawling natural beauty.
Home to New Zealand’s two major cities, Auckland and Wellington, and two thirds of its population, the North Island offers dynamic urban centres along its coasts as well as bubbling volcanoes in the Central Plateau.
The Bay of Islands is a popular holiday destination for sailing, diving, snorkelling, and even swimming with dolphins. Further south, the Coromandel Peninsular, reaching into the sea between Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, offers many scenic hiking trails.
It's tricky to tempt travellers away from a beach break in the Med but if one place is up to the task, it's New Zealand. Here's why you should skip a Northern Hemisphere summer for winter down south.Read moreabout 5 reasons to visit New Zealand during winter
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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides valuable up-to-date travel advice for British citizens abroad. It is the best resource for reliable safety and security information. You can also find other important details, such as local laws, passport information and visa requirements. Stay safe abroad – check the FCDO before you travel.