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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Zealand Paperback – March 19, 2012
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"Known… for its four-color maps, photos and illustrations, the [DK] Eyewitness Guides are extremely user-friendly for travelers who want their information delivered in a concise, visual way." – Chicago Tribune
"The best option… Color photos, maps, and diagrams bring the place to life." – The Philadelphia Inquirer--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Next, come the sections on hotels, shopping, restaurants, and other practical needs. These sections are not as comprehensive as you'll see in some other guides such as Frommer's New Zealand (Frommer's Complete). And this really is what it comes down to. The Eyewitness guides are not as detailed as most of the other guide books. They are, however, the only series to offer hundreds of color photos to help you visualise your trip and this is an invaluable planning tool. I highly recommend that you buy this guide as well as one of the more detailed books and use them both to plan your trip. That's the only way to get everything you need to plan a great vacation.
The guide is broken out in the usual DK manner, with an introduction to New Zealand, a survey by area of the North Island and South Island, travelers needs, and a survival guide. New Zealand is one to two long days travel from most US points of origin and is a surprising large and diverse country, ranging from the sub-tropics to the sub-Anarctic.Among the highlights: The big cities of Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch; the spectacular Southern Alps and Fjords on South Island; the beaches in Northland; and the fascinating mixture of Maori and British culture to be found around the country.
Unless the traveler has weeks with which to explore New Zealand, careful advance planning is likely to pay off in opportunities to see more of the country within a limited time. What the guide doesn't cover, the text offers various websites for further investigation. "DK Eyewitness Travel Guide New Zealand" is very highly recommended as an introductory planning guide for what might become the trip of a lifetime.
I believe that carefully reading about a desination is important for planning any trip. The Eyewithess Travel Guides are the best way to obtain that overview and prioritize where you want to go. The New Zealand guide is enormous help to us with our planning.
Liked the abundance of photos.
It seemed like they included mostly all very touristy attractions. There's other things to do in NZ that are very cool and sometimes even free and should be mentioned.
Also, I wish they had talked a little bit more about camp grounds and hostels. I found that to be a great alternative to pricey hotels while traveling around.
Additionally, you also have to get a more detailed map of the major cities (usually I found them for free at the I-Sites) and the roads if you're traveling by car.
No mention in the book about the tour buses like Kiwi Adventures. Would have been useful to know about but I'm glad I didn't use those buses after all.
Also, they don't really mention any of the Lord of the Rings sights. You can buy the (very pricey) LotR tour book in NZ.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing deserved a double page on its own in my opinion but they just gave it a brief mentioning when they talked about the general area.
I found the recommendations to be standard, nothing exceptional or off the beaten track.