Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Enjoy your 'Players' Holiday in New Zealand

For everyone who needs an extra dose of the good life, New Zealand is the place to go – after all what else can you expect from a country which has the word “zeal” in its name itself? This island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean was amongst the last places in the world to be settled by humans. Couple that with its colonial past and you have a distinctive mix of exotic biodiversity and a vibrant culture renowned for its warmth. The country comprises of two main landmasses – the North Island and the South Island along with numerous smaller islands. With a population of only about 4 million people, New Zealand is refreshingly uncrowded. Is it any wonder then, that the country was selected as the location of the upcoming high-octane Bollywood flick “Players” starring Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Sonam Kapoor and Neil Nitin Mukesh.

This stunningly breathtaking country has a diverse geography encapsulating glaciers, mountains and even volcanoes. Visit Rotorua and you can see spouting geysers, hot water pools and bubbling mud pools. The mountains are dotted with rivers and lakes which accentuate the natural beauty of the place. New Zealand is the natural habitat of many varieties of whales, dolphins and a vast selection of interesting birds. If you are curious about the island nation’s flora and fauna then you should include one of the smaller islands on your itinerary. For instance, Stewart Island conjures a pristine picture of New Zealand forests at their prime. The island is also home to the famous national bird of the country - the kiwi. You can sit back and enjoy the Aurora Australis or the “Southern Lights”on this small island making it the perfect spot for a camping adventure.

There are plenty of activities for everyone in New Zealand. You can take advantage of the wonderful natural scenery and go on a guided tour or kayak the beautiful rivers of the area. Cave diving is an especially popular sport for those who are looking for something out of the ordinary. It is easy to find a guide who can teach you the basics so that you can embark on your own adventure within a short period of time. The extensive coastline of the country provided the perfect backdrop to Bipasha Basu sizzling bikini scene in “Players”. New Zealand also boasts of a diverse culture with both indigenous and immigrant populations. There are various throbbing metropolises in the Northern Island and small communities which lie off the beaten tracks on the smaller islands.

Once you have explored the natural beauty of New Zealand, you can venture into its world-class urban centers. There is a lively entertainment scene with nightlife, cafes, bars and top class restaurants. Most cities stage first class concerts and shows. The country offers everything from exclusive designer stores along with traditional arts and crafts markets and even large chain stores. Auckland is renowned for its museums and shopping malls. While there, you can also indulge in the traditional food of New Zealand. There has been an attempted revitalization of Maori culture and prominent exhibits in the local museums of Auckland testify the same. These feature an abundant variety of ancient artifacts and modern information on the lifestyle of the Maori. Furthermore, Auckland offers conventional entertainment as well in the form of casinos and sightseeing tours.  The Sky City is a must-visit – this enormous glass tower overlooks all of Auckland.

Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and has been dubbed the 'coolest little capital in the world'. It has a vibrant café scene and some of the best restaurants in the country. Wellington is a city which enjoys fine dining and good coffee. It is known as New Zealand’s arts and cultural capital - there are many interesting and contemporary public sculptures around the city. The waterfront of Wellington houses the “Te Papa Tongarewa” (meaning “Our Place”) which presents New Zealand’s story through art and interactive displays.  “Players” has been extensively shot in Wellington and takes advantage of the varied terrain of the central city with its steep streets, leafy suburbs, dramatic coast and natural harbor.

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the country's third-largest urban area. The large number of public parks has resulted in Christchurch earning the moniker of “The Garden City”. The Willowbank wildlife park lies to the north of the city. Travis Wetland - an ecological restoration program designed with the aim of creating a wetland - lies to the east of the city centre. The city is known for its many live acts and has a professional symphony orchestra. It is also the seat of the experimental music scene in New Zealand.

Let MercuryTravels whisk you away to this fascinating destination – we promise that you will never be the same again!

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