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Christchurch, the Garden City, and the Canterbury region are the perfect destination for daredevils. From northern Kaikoura to Waimate in the south, Canterbury is an adventure sports paradise. Hangliding, helibiking, bungee jumping, snowboarding, jetboating, rafting and skydiving get the adrenaline going. Golfing, flightseeing, swimming with dolphins and soaking in thermal pools are more laid-back temptations. Christchurch, a city of parks and gardens, is the countrys third largest urban area.
If you like Art Deco architecture, you must visit Napier. The town was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, then completely rebuilt in gorgeous Art Deco style. A number of local wineries also offer tours and tastings.
Bubbling mineral springs and pools promise maximum relaxation in Rotorua, on New Zealand's North Island. Therapeutic hot mud pools, dramatic geysers and a buried village are within easy reach of the city. What happens in the bubbling mud geysers of "Rotovegas"—the area at the top of Fenton Street—stays in Rotovegas. Once you've made the most of the mud, soar nearly 2,000 feet on the Skyline Gondola for views of Lake Rotorua, then zip back down to explore the lake by paddle steamer, fishing charter or WWII amphibious vehicle.
The lush parks and golden beaches of Tauranga make it a popular destination for outdoorsy folks and watersports lovers. Here on New Zealand’s North Island, you’ll find a variety of opportunities for surfing, white water rafting, kiteboarding, hiking and golfing. Take a refreshing dip in the swimming holes by Kaiate Falls, which cascade beautifully over the bluffs. Families might like to visit one of Tauranga’s amusement park, take a guided nature tour or swim with dolphins in the Bay of Plenty.