For most backpackers, New Zealand is the highlight of the Pacific. As the largest country in the region, there is plenty to see and do including a lot of the fun activities which the county is famous for such as bungee jumping, sky diving, whitewater rafting and jet boating.
The availability of working holiday visas is another of New Zealand's attractions. Many backpackers stay up to a year, finding work through temp agencies in the cities or picking fruit around Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and the Bay of Plenty. It is also a convenient stopover enroute between Australia and North America.
Although parts of New Zealand have a strong Polynesian culture, it is unlike any other country in the Pacific region. Not only is the climate much more temperate than smaller Pacific islands, the country has a unique landscape with geothermal activity, fjords and snow-capped mountain ranges.
New Zealand is home to some excellent hiking trails which include the famous Milford Track along with lesser known, but still spectacular, tracks such as the Queen Charlotte Track and the one-day Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
New Zealand has spectacular scenery and lively cities although many travellers' best memories are of the people and good times. This country is perfect for the backpacker, there is a great network of excellent backpackers hostels, good transport connections and fun activities. Enjoy!