Water is a large and important part of New Zealand’s identity; and it’s just one of the things that makes the country one of the best destinations in the world to visit.
New Zealand is surrounded by water.
The three main islands (North Island, South Island & Stewart Island) are separated by water.
There are numerous lakes (3,820) and rivers (over 180,000 kms worth) that are part of the scenic make up of the country.
Even in Māori mythology of how New Zealand (Aotearoa) came into being is steeped H2O reference.
The Māori god, Māui went fishing one day in his brothers canoe and caught the North Island – known in Māori as “Te Ika a Maui” (the fish of Māui). And the South Island became Māui’s canoe (waka). The South Island’s official Māori name is “Te Waipounamu” – The Waters of Greenstone.
It is no surprise then, that the country has a lot of water based activities, such as sailing, diving, fishing, rafting and of course various boat cruises – one of my bucket list items is to do a cruise in the Milford Sound.
Or you can self drive around the country – you never know what you might find, like I did on one trip from Nelson to Christchurch (normally about a 6 hour drive with a couple stops). I decided to deviate my trip at the last minute (something I would never normally do!)
I decided on my drive to go down the Queen Charlotte Drive, around the top of the South Island between Havelock and Picton, instead of just heading south to Blenheim. The drive I did that day took around 10 hours because I kept stopping along the way. It was long, tiring but still one of the best road trips I’ve done in New Zealand.
I can’t even describe just how stunning the area of the bays at at the top of the South Island but I hope that the above picture goes some way to showing it.