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PRODUCING REGIONS

New Zealand is divided in a total of 16 regions. Each region has its unique beauty – beaches, large and small cities, harbours, mountains, farms, unbelievable views, snow, thermal water, nature… A breathtaking scenery in every corner. A country that everyone should visit at least once!

Traveling through regions is the most popular choice, usually spending short periods of time in each region.

If the traveler's visa allows working, this is a great opportunity to explore the regions while earning money to keep the adventure going. Horticulture is one of the easiest ways to find a job while traveling, since orchards are present in each and every region in New Zealand.

About New Zealand Regions

Auckland

MAIN CITY: Auckland

The Auckland region is located on the North Island; a fairly developed place. With a sunny climate, the area is bathed in sunshine on the west coast with beautiful wild beaches and wonderful visuals; the east coast with more sheltered coves is the ideal destination.

Auckland city is the largest city in the country and the main transport hub. Known for being  ethnically diverse and for being the main financial capital of the country, the city receives a huge number of foreigners who give a special air to the place.

The region’s main horticultural produce includes: kiwifruit, avocado, wine grapes, strawberries, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, olives, cauliflower, pumpkin, carrots, onions and potatoes.

Bay of Plenty

MAIN CITY: Tauranga

No wonder that the Bay of Plenty is considered one of the best places to live in New Zealand. The combination of the most fertile land and the best white, sandy beaches is highly appealing.

Tauranga, the main city, is growing fast annually, and kiwifruit companies work towards this development with the primary production and processing of fruit. The spectacular coastline offers all sorts of opportunities for surfing, boating, diving and fishing. Also, on land there is a vast array of activities such as golf courses, wineries and many waterfalls and tracks to enjoy.

Rotorua city is also well known for events highlighting food and wine, and music, including an annual jazz festival, arts and culture, and sporting spectacles. Many tourists visit to see the geothermal steam vents, mud pools, geysers and hot springs. Today, its sense of being a centre of Māori culture makes it an essential part of any tourist’s itinerary.

Canterbury

MAIN CITY: Christchurch

On the Canterbury West side, there are the Southern Alps, snow-covered in winter and home to many ski fields.  Not only is skiing  an option, but also, bungee jumping, hiking, jet boating, fishing, mountain biking, rafting, surfing, swimming, golfing, watching whales, dolphins and seals, and visiting wineries and gardens. The area has many different attractions.

The key industries are construction, hi-tech manufacturing, technology, agribusiness and tourism.

Christchurch, the main city, offers an exceptional quality of life. The city draws thousands of people every year who go on to enjoy the host of natural, historical and cultural attractions that the South Island has to offer including stunning vineyards, rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, lakes, hot pools, marine life and glaciers.

Gisborne

MAIN CITY: Gisborne

The Gisborne region offers some of New Zealand’s best coastal scenery and beaches in uncrowded, often remote settings.

The interior is rugged and mountainous bush country. Freedom camping up and down the coast is popular in summer, as are exploring the vineyards, fishing, surfing and generally enjoying the safe and sandy beaches.

Gisborne city, the first city in the world to see the sun, combines semi-rural charm with easy access to some of the coast’s best beaches.

The main horticulture in the area is grape planting and wine production;  the region is noted for Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Malbec wines.

Hawke's Bay

MAIN CITY: Napier

The region of Hawkes Bay, on the eastern coast of the North Island, is known for the Mediterranean lifestyle. There is a lovely combination of sunny climate, great food and wine. Many excellent golf courses, several classic road cycle races and farmers’ markets give the necessary charm to the region.

Napier is the main centre with a unique architecture.

Hawke’s Bay is renowned for its primary sector industries – apples, grapes, pears and cherries – and is also well-known for the pastoral activities of sheep and beef farming.

The most famous wines are developed in the Gimblett Gravels area. The Cabernets and Merlots produced there consistently outperform French competitors in blind taste tests.

Manawatu-Wanganui

MAIN CITY: Palmerston North

The region contains areas of great ecological significance. Tongariro National Park is the largest park and has the world-famous crossing across the volcano. At the top of the mountain, after a few hours walking, it is possible to enjoy the beautiful crystalline blue lagoons of warm water that complete the amazing view.

The soil and climate of the region make the area one of the most important of pastoral farming in New Zealand.

Surrounded by mountains, dramatic west coast beaches, a beautiful natural landscape, and native bush, Palmerston North and Whanganui are the two major urban areas. The vibrant community offers special cafés, restaurants and a local market; it is easy to fall in love with the place.

Marlborough

MAIN CITY: Blenheim

The Marlborough region is on the top of the South Island connecting, by ferry, with Wellington.

The warm, settled, sunny days that contribute so much to the region’s successful wine industry create an ideal climate for outdoor activities. Iconic scenery and sheltered inland waterways are ideal for fishing and boating. There is excellent cycling, mountain biking, tramping and walks.

Blenheim is mainly a service centre for local farms but has a good selection of designer, boutique, speciality and day-to-day shops.

The region’s signature crop is grapes. Marlborough’s wine industry has led an extraordinary expansion in the production of, and global regard for, New Zealand wines. The region is known internationally for the consistent quality and distinctive style of its Sauvignon Blanc. Aquaculture, specifically green-lipped mussel farming, is an important economic activity

Nelson/Tasman

MAIN CITY: Nelson

Nelson / The Tasman region has many unique aspects: nowhere else in the world, would you find three very distinctive national parks in a relatively small area, offering glistening waters, golden sands, spectacular native forests, lakes and mountain ranges, easily accessible all year round.

The mix of shallow bays (Tasman Bay and Golden Bay) at the coast with the hilly and mountainous region, with attractive lakes and areas of limestone and marble which feature deep caves and sinkholes,  are something special.

Nelson city is smart and well-developed.

The main industry in the area is horticulture of apples, pears, kiwifruit and hops. Viticulture and winemaking are developing strongly.  Fishing (Nelson’s port is the largest deep-sea fishing port in Australasia), forestry and tourism complete the list.

Northland

MAIN CITY: Whangarei

Of subtropical climate, the region is known as ‘the winterless North’.

Spectacular for fishing, and different to most of  New Zealand’s beaches: there are expanses of white, sandy beaches. A perfect place with paradisiacal scenery.

The most populous city in the area is Whangarei, just two hours’ drive from Auckland city.

Northland’s main industries are tourism, wood processing, pastoral farming and marine engineering.

To add additional charm to  the environment, the Northland region offers a range of speciality stores, fashion shops, restaurants, cafes and other entertainment options including a strongly developing arts scene.

Otago

MAIN CITY: Dunedin

Inland Otago features some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery. Outdoor activities are hugely popular here, particularly skiing, ice skating and curling in winter, and kayaking, sailing and windsurfing on the lakes in summer. There are many great walks, and the Otago Central Rail Trail is one of the country’s top cycle trails.

Inland, agriculture, horticulture, viticulture – some of the country’s best Pinot Noir is produced here – and tourism are among the big employers.

Queenstown city is a tourist hotspot and has one of the most beautiful views inthe country. Bungeejumping and rafting are popular here.

Dunedin city, on the coast, is influenced enormously by its students. Education is a driving force for Dunedin’s economy with Otago University. Forestry and farming are important in the wider Dunedin region.

Southland

MAIN CITY: Invercargill

Southland has two distinct landscapes – expansive plains of fertile farmland crossed by trout-rich rivers, and Fiordland’s rugged, isolated coastline, inlets, lakes and mountains.

The region’s economies are agriculture, led by dairy farming and sheep.

Invercargill, the only city in  the region, offers a relaxed pace of life with wide streets, little traffic, spacious parks and gardens.

Fiordland National Park is the most popular tourist attraction in the area. Forestry is also significant as well as fishing.

Taranaki

MAIN CITY: New Plymouth

The name of the region was given because of Mount Taranaki, an almost perfect volcanic cone (similar to Mount Fuji in Japan).

From there, it is possible to see an unbelievable view. It is truly an incredible life experience.

There are several outdoor attractions in the region: surfing, with dozens of renowned surf breaks, boating, diving, and fishing. On-land skiing and tracking combine to make great adventures.

New Plymouth, its only city, in the north of the region, delivers an urban experience, and towns dotted around the mountain offer more laid-back, rural, smaller community living; although all options rate well in terms of affordability.

The industries in the area are agriculture and oil and gas (innovating the engineering sector). Many dairy farms dominate the land.

Waikato

MAIN CITY: Hamilton

The Waikato region is an interesting mix of a relaxed and peaceful place with a unique blend of vibrant and diverse cities.

The area is one of the richest agricultural and pastoral areas of the world.

The main city is Hamilton, home to the most beautiful gardens in the country.  Extensive cycleways and walkways contribute to a perfect, healthy lifestyle.     The city is steeped in culture, inspiring exhibitions at the Waikato Museum, music and theatre, and an impressive selection of cafés, bars and award-winning restaurants.

Fun in the region is guaranteed: Raglan, the mecca for surfers, or the Balloons of Waikato festival. Education is another important sector, including a major university.

Wellington

MAIN CITY: Wellington

The Wellington region is located at the centre of New Zealand linking the South Island by a scenic ferry ride across the Cook Strait.

Wellington city is the capital of the country. It is wedged between steep hills and the sea. There is a great area for walking or mountain biking in native bush or kayaking around the coastline. Windsurfing and sailing are also popular with the perfect winds around.

More than this, Wellington city is a modern and vibrant place. Many good restaurants, pubs and cafés are mixed with the art galleries, museums, theatres and festivals.

Wellington is home to many national institutions and government agencies, digital technology and film industries. Tertiary education and research are other important contributors to the local economy.

West Coast

MAIN CITY: Greymouth

The West Coast region is rugged, and in many parts, heavily bush-clad or forested. Several New Zealand’s most beautiful national parks, forests, rivers and heritage areas are located in the region. The dramatic scenery is heightened by the nearness of the Southern Alps.

The main characteristic of the people who  live in the area is a rural or semi-rural lifestyle. With so much rainforest on the doorstep, tramping, hunting, kayaking, mountain biking and fishing are all popular local pastimes. It is not possible to forget the glaciers, ‘pancake rocks’, wild and unspoiled beauty and native birds.

Tourism, dairy farming, mining and agriculture are the principal industries of the area.