Dramatic alpine terrains comprised of soaring mountain peaks and towering volcanoes are a key feature of New Zealand's breath-taking landscapes.
You cannot avoid the mountains in New Zealand. In the South Island, the Southern Alps march up the backbone and fill the horizon while in the central plateau of the North Island a trio of volcanoes including the active Ruapehu stand stark against the landscape. If you have a bent for the mountains, this is the place to be. In the winter, there’s the thrill of skiing and snowboarding, carving your way down any one of dozens of pristine back-country ski-fields. For the climber, Mount Cook Aoraki National Park contains New Zealand’s highest peaks with experienced guides ready to take you to the top. Hunting is a popular pastime in New Zealand so there’s plenty of opportunity to seek the nimble thar and chamois up the mountains or deer in the thousands of hectares of unspoilt forest.
And then there are the walks. Three of New Zealand’s ‘great walks’ – the Routeburn, Milford and Kepler tracks – can be found in the magnificent Fiordland National Park. Walk them on your own or join one of the many guided tours. But keep an eye on the weather; it can be unpredictable so be prepared for sudden changes.