Fabulous destinations in New Zealand within a short flight from Auckland

photo by CC user tomas_sobek on Flickr

Having settled into a successful career in the prosperous metropolis of Auckland, you are happy with everything that you have achieved to this point in your life, but you now want to make travel a bigger priority in your life as you push forward into 2015.

While you are still quite busy with your job, you can still get away to a number of places within the country on the long weekends and holiday time that you are entitled to use through your place of work. The following destinations in New ZealandĀ give you the travel experience you are seeking with the short amount of time you have to play with this year…

1) Cook Islands

While summer may be still going strong in New Zealand at the time of this writing, the chillier days of winter will be upon us before you know it. Fortunately, you and your fellow kiwis have a Polynesian paradise within four short hours of the City of Sails, which can be accessed without taking your passport out of your underwear drawer, as these gems in the South Pacific are a territory of New Zealand.

Resembling Hawaii in many respects, the Cooks are a lush series of isles of volcanic origin, and a culture that actively works to keep the traditions of the local Maori alive and well. The latter point is represented by lively shows that involve music, singing and dancing that will supply you with memories that will elevate this place above other tropical locales that you have been to before.

2) Queenstown

Many foreign travelers prefer to make their way down to Queenstown via campervan or backpacker bus, taking the Inter-Islander ferry along the way. You’re a busy professional whose time is at a premium though, so you can only spare a week at the most at this point in your career.

Many flights take off for the Adrenaline Capital of the World on a daily basis from Auckland though, so this wonderful mountain-studded destination is still within reach for folks like yourself. Staying true to its nickname, Queenstown and its immeadiate vicinity have an endless list of activities that will spice up your life, with bungee jumping (some of the highest platforms in the world can be found here), white water rafting and jet boat rides being just a few of the exciting options at your disposal.

If you’d like to enjoy something a little more tame, a tour company offers daily cruises on Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding countryside is home to a number of award-winning wineries, offering tastings and lunch menus on most days.

3) Stewart Island via Invercargill

Looking for a quiet getaway from the hectic pace of life at home? In New Zealand, there is perhaps no stiller place than Stewart Island. Located 24 kilometres southwest of the South Island, this place is dominated by nature, with less than 400 permanent residents living here, and much of the native tree cover being virgin in nature.

Walking and backcountry trekking are popular pursuits here, as is sea kayaking. There are also many species of birds that are native to this island that many come here to view. Additionally, Mason Bay on the west coast is known by locals to be one of the best places in the country to see the nation’s icon, the flightless kiwi bird, in its natural environment.

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