The New Zealand rainforests are home to a wide range of unique plants and birds.
About 10–15% of the total land area of Aotearoa is covered with native flora, from tall kauri and kohekohe forests to rainforest dominated by rimu, beech, tawa, matai and rata; ferns and flax; dunelands with their spinifex and pingao; alpine and subalpine herb fields; and scrub and tussock.
Photos by Marc Adamus
Rotorua is one of the world’s most spectacular Geothermal Wonderlands. It is part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, a geothermal field extending from White Island off the Bay of Plenty Coast to Mt Ruapehu far to the south. Rotorua’s array of geothermal features – volcanic crater lakes, spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools, hissing fumaroles and colourful sinter terraces – are sure to impress.
Rotorua’s geothermal wonderland and the volcanic activity has drawn visitors since the 1800s and remains a huge draw card at spectacular thermal parks.
These include Te Puia, where the Pohutu geyser is the star of the Whakarewarewa Valley erupting up to 20 times a day to heights of 30m. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland – well known for its colourful waters and the famed Chamapagne Pool; Hells Gate is renowned for its mud baths and Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the youngest geothermal eco-system in the world.
Tiritiri Matangi Island is a wildlife sanctuary located 30km north east of central Auckland accessible by ferry.
The island boasts an impressive array of native birds from Kiwi to Kokako as well as breathtaking scenery. You can choose to take a guided tour or guide your self around the island. Highlights you must check out are Fishermans Bay and the Arches on the eastern side of the island as well as Hobbs Beach (a nice place to swim).
Travelling from Auckland or Whangaparaoa to Tiritiri Matangi, the typical ‘whitish’ cliffs of the Auckland area shine out in the sun. These are the familiar ‘Waitemata Group’ rocks. They are made up of mainly alternating layers of sandstone and mudstone, interspersed irregularly with thick beds of volcanic debris flows.
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The largest cruise ship to visit New Zealand made its debut in Auckland this morning with nearly 6500 passengers and crew on board.
The 168,666-tonne, 348mOvation of the Seas set off from Sydney on December 18 and arrived in Waitemata Harbour at 6.30am. It is owned by cruise line operator Royal Caribbean.
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Stunning Portraits Of The Maori People By Photographer Jimmy Nelson.
The long and intriguing story of the origins of the indigenous Maori people can be traced back to the 13th century, the mythical homeland Hawaiki, Eastern Polynesia. Due to centuries of isolation, the Maori established a distinct society with characteristic art, a separate language and unique mythology.
Defining aspects of Maori traditional culture include art, dance, legends, tattoos and community. While the arrival of European colonists in the 18th century had a profound impact on the Maori way of life, many aspects of traditional society have survived into the 21st century.
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The pancake rocks are the most visited natural attraction on the West Coast with good reason. These ancient formations are a true wonder of nature – and they really do look like pancakes!
Nature began this work of art about 30 million years ago. Over thousands of years, alternating layers of small marine creatures and sand became buried and compressed on the ocean floor. This created areas with multiple layers of hard limestone and softer sandstone.
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About 1–15% of the total land area of New Zealand is covered with native flora, from tall kauri and kohekohe forests to rainforest dominated by rimu, beech, tawa, matai and rata; ferns and flax; dunelands with their spinifex and pingao; alpine and subalpine herb fields; and scrub and tussock.
The Arataki Visitor Centre is the gateway to the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park in West Auckland, with more than 16,000 hectares of native rainforest and coastline. It’s 250km of walking and tramping tracks provide access to beaches, breathtaking views, and spectacular rocky outcrops, including the Hillary Trail, black sand beaches, waterfalls and giant kauri trees.
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