New Zealand is a red-hot tourist destination for adventure travel, and the incredible landscape brings people from all over the world. This top-selling, definitive guide includes a full-color outdoor activities chapter, a special Maori Culture section, and an in-depth history chapter by the country's preeminent historian.
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What the LP guide lacks in New Zealand is the stuff that you actually go for--the natural places like waterfalls, beaches, mountain trails, free hot springs, etc etc. Lonely Planet doesn't get this. They're treating Nz as if it's Italy or London and concentrating on commercialized attractions, restaurants, hotel, motels and the like. But NZ is so not about that stuff (as it would be in Italy). NZ is about cruising around and enjoying the natural world, for free if possible. But the LP writers don't seem to go to many natural places...they are under such time constraints to get their books done that they have no time to actually walk on a beach, climb a mountain , or bask in a hot spring. And thus, there's none of those cool NZ places in this book, or in the latest edition.
When I was just in New Zealand, I found a new guidebook called NZ Frenzy. It TOTALLY became my travel bible...it featured everything I went there for...gorgeous people-free beaches, scenic trails, free caves full of glowworms, not-on-the-map waterfalls, hidden hot springs...real off-the-beaten-path stuff--REALLY. But, sadly, it's not available in the USA. So, you'll probably buy an LP to get you ready to go to NZ, but once there, don't rely on LP or Rough Guide to get you to the neat free natural spots. Find an Nz Frenzy and you'll be glad to have it in addition to your major travel guide. I'll be going back--there's so much to see, and it's all SO cool--I love it there!!