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Gap Year New Zealand :: your questions :: Should I visit both the North and the South Island or are they the same?

Should I visit both the North and the South Island or are they the same?

They very definitely are not the same. In fact they are so different they might as well be two totally different countries. Both are destinations in their own right and need to be visited. However, if you are short on time it perhaps makes sense to pick one or the other to avoid simply dashing around, spending a lot of money but ultimately not seeing much at all. Typically speaking the North Island is your best bet if you are looking for subtropical climates and warmer waters for water-sports and it also has arguably the best of the geothermal and Maori cultural experiences. The South Island is your best bet if you like remote wilderness, less people, mountains or want to visit fiords and glaciers there are none of these on the North Island. The South Island is also home to Queenstown dubbed the adventure capital of the world. However, all of what you can find in Queenstown, activity wise, can also be found in the North Island especially around Rotorua although admittedly not in the same high concentration. Otherwise, breathtaking scenery and beautiful beaches are everywhere, skiing can be done on either island depending on the time of year and if it is a warm welcome you are hoping for choose either island; welcomes of this type are found just about everywhere you might wander.

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