Find These Aquatic Paradises Tucked Away In New Zealand Apr 12, 2017 by Cathy (Awesome Escape Blogger)

New Zealand is a destination you have to have on your bucket list, particularly when it comes to wonderful open water experiences. The air is fresh and you can go skiing and surfing in the same day, share a beach with penguins, see boiling mud pools, cycle on winding mountain passages, and take a helicopter ride all the way up to the top of a glacier so you can get lost in its spectacular crevasses and caves. And that’s all after you’ve finished your adventures in the water.

Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve

Logan R - flickr.com

Legend Jacques Cousteau gave his stamp of approval to this spectacular diving site, rating it in the realm of 'top ten' in the world. Located just off the coast of North Island, Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve is a scuba diver's dream, covering an area of 2400 ha. Cliffs form a maze with caverns and caves and they're just waiting to be explored. There's no doubt that you'll see a wild medley of tropical fish and vegetation, many of which you won’t see anywhere else thanks to the subtropical waves from the Coral Sea. This is a place where divers from around the world come to explore. All skill levels are welcome and there are plenty of dive shops around to get you suited and set up for discovery. Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve is a magnificent underwater world you’ve just got to see to appreciate.

Akaroa is All About the Dolphins

If you loved watching Flipper as a child, Akaroa is the place you want to visit if you want to actually swim with the dolphins. Might not be Flipper exactly, but it's pretty close. In this town, you’ll discover an extinct volcano, a beautiful harbor, and a peninsula loaded with some of the rarest dolphins in the world. You’ve never really been swimming with dolphins until you’ve been here. Trust us, you’ll love it.

Surfing Raglan – Surfing Dream

If you're serious about surfing kiwi-style, you better make your way to Raglan, Manu Bay. Rumor has it that Raglan has the world’s longest left-handed break. If you're just starting your surfing career, it might be wise to take some beginner lessons over at Ngarunui Beach; it’s patrolled and the waves aren’t so monstrous. It's a little less intimidating to say the least. The best time to hit the waves are from October through April, but don’t forget to take in the stunning sunsets and the many wonderful beach activities available.

Calling All River Rafters and Anglers

Tongariro River is one of the best angling spots in the world and can also accommodate all those thrill-seekers looking for paddling options. Here you’ll find over sixty wildly rolling rapids as the river soothingly winds through the mystic ancient beech forest. While on the river, keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful blue whistling ducks.

Auckland for Sailors, Young and Old

If you have a love for sailing, you better make your way to Auckland where you’ll discover yachts that actually participate in the America's Cup and you'll even be able to sail on them through the breathtaking Waitemata Harbor. Become one with the guide team or have a go at it yourself, all while taking in the beautiful views of the Auckland skyline in the background.

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