New Zealand is home to some spectacular attractions, both natural and man-made. From ancient trees to sea-like lakes, check out these three enormous attractions when you’re enjoying your next family getaway.
New Zealand might be a bit smaller than Australia, but Aotearoa can still hold its own when it comes to who’s got the biggest. Dotted around this beautiful country are both natural and man-made attractions that make you feel very, very small. Across the North Island, gargantuan displays of grandeur can be found, and with Wyndham’s Rotorua resort, you’ll be well placed to seek each of them out as you take that well-deserved holiday.
The Mighty Kauri
One of the world’s largest tree species, many of the kauri forests that once covered much of New Zealand’s North Island have been culled through bushfires and over-logging. However, in the North Island’s upper reaches, several of these forests still remain, and giants lurk within.
Waipoua Forest is easily the biggest and best preserved of these, and there are several designated kauri walks that will bring you face-to-trunk with arboreal monsters. A wooded path snakes through these millennia-old trees, each more remarkable than the last. You can get right up close and touch Yakas – the seventh-largest kauri in existence, though you may feel ant-like in his presence.
Keep going and visit the Four Sisters – a group of four impressive kauri growing very closely together. Meander back, past ‘Cathedral Grove’ – a viewing platform that looks out into the ancient woodland beyond – and hit the giant’s trail once again. In a little over ten minutes, as the path twists this way and that, your breath will be knocked from your lungs as you encounter Te Matua Ngahere (Father of the Forest). This tree boasts a monstrous girth of over 16 metres and is believed to be over 2,000 years old, and is arguably an even more impressive sight than its near neighbour, the enormous Tane Mahuta, (Lord of the Forest).
Lake Taupo is so large that it resembles an inland sea rather than a lake. It is, in fact, the biggest freshwater lake in Australasia – its surface area alone is the size of Singapore. That’s not even to mention its daunting depth – Lake Taupo plunges to a scary 159 metres from the surface to lake bed.
The lake is a magnet for those who love to take in a bit of fresh air. With jet-boating, paragliding, snorkelling, and fishing available, there’s little chance you’ll get bored. You can even have a round of golf – we’re not joking! Every so often, a tiny pontoon appears on Lake Taupo’s surface, complete with three holes. From the shore 100 metres away, can you hit a spectacular hole-in-one? It’s insanely tough – but big money awaits the person who can hit the ball cleanly into the hole, which happens once every 8-10 days.
The Sky Tower
Dominating Auckland’s skyline, the Sky Tower is the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest free-standing skyscraper, measuring some 328 metres from ground level to the tip of the spire. What’s more, on a clear day, the Sky Tower can be seen for more than 82 kilometres in each direction – dwarfing even those crazy-big kauri trees!
The Sky Tower is much more than a simply enormous structure, though. It features a number of award-winning restaurants and bars, including the incredible Orbit – a rotating eatery replete with huge glass windows, allowing for 360-degree views of the city. Why not take in a nerve-racking Sky Walk – a death-defying tip-toe around the building’s outer rim, from a height of 192 metres? If that’s not enough of a rush for you, take a leap of faith from the same platform with SkyJump – fingers crossed that bungee cord doesn’t break!