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EXPLORE


New Brighton Pier, near Christchurch


Abel Tasman National Park


fi shing. Abel Tasman, meanwhile, has some amazing sea kayaking while Kaikoura is the place for whale watching. As for the adventure capital of New Zealand, this is undoubtedly Queenstown, with raſt ing and bungy jumping just a couple of the white-knuckle activities on off er. All these locations provide numerous opportunities for walks and longer hikes, but most importantly, all also off er swim opportunities. Lastly, on the lower west coast of the South Island is Milford Sound, located in the beautiful Fjordland National Park. It takes some travel and planning to reach, but is well worth the visit.


Milford Sound Out on the Coromandel Peninsula, meanwhile, you can fi nd Hot


Water Beach, where at low tide you can dig your own personal spa pool on the beach (goo.gl/gtzoI). The city of Rotorua has 11 major lakes nearby, or if you can handle the cold water, the southern lakes of Wakatipu, Queenstown and Lake Wanaka are chilly but crystal clear, and surrounded by stunningly beautiful mountains. At the top of the South Island the town of Nelson has more annual sunshine than anywhere else in the country, and in close proximity are Abel Tasman National Park and the Marlborough Sounds, both of which provide amazing ocean swimming opportunities. Rivers traverse the countryside of New Zealand, and swimming holes abound.


OTHER ADVENTURES The Bay of Islands is perfect for boating, warm climates and bays. The Poor Knights Marine Reserve, found off Tutukaka on the upper east coast of NZ, is one of the World's best-known diving locations. Lake Taupo in the central North Island is also famous for its trout


DANGERS AND HAZARDS There is a lot of water in New Zealand, so plenty of swimming is to be had – but also plenty of which to be aware. The west coast beaches can have big surf and strong rip currents, so while they're beautiful and rugged, you do need to proceed with caution. East coast beaches are generally a safer swim option. The further south you go, the colder the water gets, and hypothermia becomes a risk, and be especially careful in rivers; they can rise quickly, and have hidden currents and objects. Also, because New Zealanders love being on the water, boats are probably the biggest hazard to an open water swimmer. It is important, therefore, to be seen. Have a boat or kayak escort whenever possible and don’t swim alone. In the lakes there is lit le that will hurt you, apart from the odd boat and the cold. In the ocean there is marine life, but encounters with sharks are rare – you are more likely to chance across a dolphin or seal. But treat all sea life with respect, and give it space.


HINTS AND TIPS


When it comes to choice, New Zealand has a lot to off er. Our advice is not to do too much – unless you have plenty of time on your hands. Plan in advance and decide on your priorities – you’ll enjoy your experience more if you are not rushing from place to place. You can get up and down the country by train and plane, but


transport does require planning. The best place to start is newzealand.com


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Photo © Doug Singer


Photo © Steff en Hillebrand


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