When one goes to the top part of New Zealand, one of the possible ports of entry would be Whakatane Airport. It is about 13 kilometres to the township of Whakatane, which makes the airport a convenient route for those who want to see Mount Tarawera and White island. Only one passenger flight runs between this airport to Aukland, as the rest of the space is used for operating agricultural aircraft and commercial helicopters. A flight school can also be found here, which makes Whakatane a busy hub, especially during peak tourist season.
Whakatane Airport, however, will soon be ending its flight operations near the end of April in 2015. Tourists scheduling their trip to town and the surrounding areas will have to divert their flight plans to Rotorua International Airport. Although it is 80 km away from Whakatane, this port of entry is accessible from other popular cities in New Zealand such as Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown, Gisborne, and Hamilton.
Where to go
Those going to other parts of New Zealand should head down the lower part of North Island. Wellington makes quite a nice destination due to its lovely location by the harbour. Hikers climbing up to the hills will find breathtaking views all around while those in the downtown can enjoy going through various cultural landmarks. Those who want to visit the museum will be delighted with Te Papa, the national museum. It has various collections of Maori artefacts with fine displays on natural history. The city is also famous for its craft beers, which makes it a must for travellers to taste the brew.
From there, one can go to Queenstown in South Island for adrenaline-rush sports or lazy walks. This popular destination in New Zealand is filled with adventures to look forward to such as the bungee jumping. There are also helicopter rides available to see place in all its beauty from high up in the air. Paragliding and white-water rafting are also recommended for those who want to experience thrills. Those who want to enjoy quiet days, on the other hand, can stroll in Queenstown Gardens or view marine life in Underwater World. The Kiwi Birdlife Park also awaits those who want to see exotic birds up close or visit Gibbston Valley Wines for a taste of their vintage after eating at the restaurant there.
When going on a nearby plane trip, one can hop on a plane to Australia. The megacities – Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne – all feature enjoyable sights and activities that a three-day stay will not suffice. Add to that is Tasmania, an island off the south coast of the country. The countryside is a delight to explore, especially Cataract Gorge near a wildlife park. Hiking is not only enjoyable here, as there is also the suspension bridge and chairlift sail to look forward to.
A trip to Japan can be an eye-opening experience as one stands by the foot of their cherry blossom trees in summer while looking at the distant snowy peak of Mt. Fuji. From there, one can turn to marvel at Himeji-jō, which some say is the grandest castle in the country. The entire castle is surrounded by moats and other defensive structures which hark back to the times of feudal Japan. Those who want to experience the traditional onsen or hot spring bath can venture to Kinosaki. Meals made with the fresh crab are also the specialty here, making it one of the most essential stops in a Japan tour.
How to get out
Those going on a trip outside New Zealand can start their trip with a connecting flight from Whakatane Airport to Auckland Airport. From there, trips to Australia, Polynesia, and nearby parts of Asia can be reached. Some of the airlines serving here are: Air New Zealand, Air New Zealand Link, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Vanuatu, Aircalin, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Emirates, Fiji Airways, Fly My Sky, Hawaiian Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Korean Air, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Virgin Australia, and Virgin Samoa.
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