Are you wondering where to go for your next New Zealand holiday?
The "south of the South" of New Zealand may be just what you're looking for.
Now's the time to pop in to the Napier i-SITE Information Centre, even more so for families, to get organised in time for the next school holidays.
The i-SITE's friendly and well-informed team are enjoying sharing their travel knowledge and expertise with locals planning to travel within New Zealand.
Several of them have visited the Fiordland National Park, which includes the stunning Doubtful Sound, Te Anau, and Milford Sound, and Rakiura Stewart Island.
It's definitely an experience, says team member Margy, who describes it as the sort of place you will end up wanting to visit more than once.
"It's such a beautiful part of the country."
Photographers will find the spectacular scenery particularly appealing, and there is plenty for families to see and do.
One of the best ways to see the stunning fjords is by boat. It is possible to cruise across Lake Manapouri, take a coach over the historic Wilmot Pass – stopping for photos, of course – before starting your Doubtful Sound cruise, which takes three hours.
It's a wonderful place to see dolphins, and at the right time of year, fur seals on the rocky island outcrops, and now and again, penguins.
Both Sounds are in the UNESCO World Heritage area.
The Napier i-SITE team can help you book the right excursion, whether it's a day trip you're after, or an overnight cruise which comes with opportunities to explore in different ways, such as by kayak.
"The staff on the vessels really know their stuff – the rich history of the area, and the wildlife. Although any time of the year is a great time to go, spring is particularly lovely as there may still be snow on the surrounding mountains," Margy said.
As for Rakiura, getting there is half the fun. You can either take a one-hour ferry ride from Bluff to Oban, which can be invigorating, to say the least, or go by plane.
The beaches are amazing, and the birdlife is incredible – there are more than a few stories about Kiwis encountering kiwi in the daytime – or you can do a nocturnal excursion and experience the bush at night.
The local guides are truly passionate about the creatures they share their island with.
"Visiting Rakiura should be a goal for every New Zealander, and we can get you there."
Queenstown is a great place to stop over, and is also home to the famous 108-year-old TSS Earnslaw, still plying its trade across Lake Wakatipu, including stops at Walter Peak Station, which offer farm tours by bike or horse, and gourmet barbecue dining.
And who knew Te Anau had its own glow worm caves?
The i-SITE team know how to seek out the special deals, including combos, child rates and multi-tour booking discounts. They can make the bookings for you, and best of all, do it all without costing you a booking fee or credit card fee. They are the right people to ask, too, about the hidden gems that can turn a holiday from being simply memorable to unforgettable.
Pop in to see the experts at the i-SITE on Marine Parade, give them a call (0800 84 74 88) or drop them an email (email@example.com).
There's no better time to see Aotearoa.