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2011, the year of the Kiwi?

New Zealand has always been a favourite destination of mine. Whether you are looking for family orientated structure, romantic seclusion or exhilarating adventure, Aotearoa has consistently maintained its reputation as one of the world’s most versatile holiday locations. A melting pot of cultures, the country promises an experience unlike any other; with a proud South Pacific lineage supplemented by strong European associations and a more recent Asian migration, New Zealand is nothing if not eclectic. The nation’s two constituent territories, the aptly named North and South Islands, are only separated by a short boat ride across the Cook Strait, but despite their close proximity manage to retain a distinctive sense of identity and independence. New Zealand seems to enjoy an endless catalogue of breathtaking scenic, architectural and cultural landmarks which will enchant, dumbfound and excite; from the Bay of Islands, Auckland Skytower and the Te Pa Pa Museum to Mt Cook, Milford Sound and the Franz Josef Glacier to name a scant few. So what makes 2011 New Zealand’s year? Well, having already established itself as a haven for holidaymakers the world over, in 2011 the country will be a hive of activity as it plays host to the IRB Rugby World Cup. Like football in England or cricket in India, rugby is a national obsession amongst New Zealanders and this will represent the first opportunity the nation has had to host the event single-handedly (having co-hosted with Australia in 1987). The event will draw sports fans from across the globe and a television audience of millions, providing a unique opportunity for New Zealand to advertise itself as the ideal tourist destination. It is therefore no surprise that the tournament will coincide with a nation wide celebration of all things Kiwi; the ‘Real New Zealand Festival’ promises to promote indigenous arts, theatre, dance, food and industry. Another reason for the New Zealand tourist board to be in high spirits came with the news late last year that a certain band of small, hairy footed creatures would be making a welcome return to the island’s shores. It emerged that renowned director Peter Jackson had finally negotiated the legislative red tape that would allow him to start filming the much anticipated prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit. The two films which will chart the adventures of a juvenile Bilbo Baggins will not only supply steady employment for thousands of New Zealanders but give an undoubted boost to the country’s tourist industry as another generation of children and adults prepare to fall in love with the cinematic realisation of J.R.R Tolkein’s treasured novel. Unconfirmed reports are also persisting that New Zealand has been proposed as the first choice honeymoon destination for the years most hotly anticipated newlyweds. Sources have suggested since before the official engagement was announced that New Zealand had been earmarked as the ideal romantic hideaway for Prince William and Kate Middleton to celebrate their impending marriage. It has been a long tradition amongst British royals to visit important Commonwealth countries following a marriage and those associated with the New Zealand tourist industry are only too aware of what the future king’s presence could do for business. The manager of one luxury property, the award winning Lake Okarerka Lodge near Rotorua, has already called for Prime Minister John Key to extend a formal invitation to the couple for them to visit the island nation. The spotlight seems to be well and truly fixed upon New Zealand for the year to come and in my opinion there has never been a better time to enjoy this incredibly diverse and rewarding country. From baking summers on Ninety Mile Beach to the snowy slopes of Queenstown New Zealand is a year round luxury holiday destination. James Bell is a Director of Turquoise Holidays. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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  1. It seems a dream land, made more magical by the ors, elves and hobbits stepping across the land.
    I would love to visit

  2. Great news for New Zealand as it’s sure to bring in additional tourism. It looks like a beautiful country and I would love to visit one day.

  3. new zealand is one of my favourite countries it is beautiful and has so much to do and see there really is something for everyone. auckland is a compact cosmopolitan harbour front city. wellington is a cool cafe culture city and where you get the ferry to the south island and picton on the interislander ferry. it is so easy to get aound the country whether you hire a car, take the bus or some of the amazing train journeys with scenary to die for. Queenstown is one of my favourite places it is stunning and while it is an adventurers paradise (there are some fab things to do) you can also chill or visit milford sound. all this and some fabulously friendy people that really make you feel at home – you so have to go!

  4. I want to go to New Zealand just for the night skiing, heard it’s amazing. The scenery looks out of this world.

  5. Emily the sking in and around Queenstown is fab – it is a real adventure playground any time of the year and has some pretty spectacular scenery although it often reminds me of Scotland, not that i’m biased or anything!

  6. Ha ha thanks Irene maybe I’ll save a few pennies and head for Scotland then, can’t beat the scenery there!

  7. Have always wanted to go to New Zealand. Funnily enough, my nanna was telling me it was like Scotland the other day too!

  8. New Zealand is certainly in for a big year with the Rugby World Cup being hosted there. It will be interesting to see the affect this will have on the property market in New Zealand.

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