Everyone should go to New Zealand at least once

, Assistant Editor


You have to see it to believe it

Quitting life for a spell and seeing the world is a rite of passage every person should take – but if you’re not going to New Zealand, you’re making an enormous error.

Tourism is the number one industry in NZ for several very good reasons.

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Nowhere else has bigger or bluer skies

New Zealand is a four season country – there’s sun, snow, wind and rain, and sketchy little micro climates everywhere because of the mountains.

On a good day, it is improbably blue. Whether it’s clouds or clear, your mind will be blown by how far and wide the sky stretches.

Lake Diamond

Lake Diamond

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

Two islands for the price of one

Separated by only a short ferry ride, New Zealand  boasts two islands that may as well be different countries – they’re entirely unique.

The North Island is home to adventure lodges like River Valley, the country capital, Wellington, and the scenery is rural and rough.

As you cross the channel, the South Island looms on the horizon like a tropical paradise. The water is crystal blue and impossibly clear, there’s a mountain on every street corner and honest to god palm trees everywhere.

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River Valley, North Island

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Lake Hawea, South Island

Magical Milford Sound will make you feel insignificant

You have not felt small until you’ve cowered in the wake of this monstrous wonder of the world.  The sheer magnitude of the rock faces coming out of the water is enough to take your breath away.

If given the opportunity, be brave and get under the waterfall too – it will bring you luck.

Photo credit: Hannah James

Photo credit: Hannah James

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Milford Sound

It’s the adrenaline junkies dream

Skydiving. Bungy jumping. White water rafting. Mountain biking. Skiing. Snowboarding. Caving. Paragliding. The list is longer than an arm.

You name it, they’ve got it.

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Lake Taupo

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Nevis Bungy

One word – Queenstown

You will barely believe this place is real.

Walking into Queenstown is like entering the set of a fairy tale – one full of bars, extreme sports and almost zero Kiwis.

Sitting right on the water, Queenstown’s offering is a hybrid of cafes, pubs, cocktail lounges and eating spots – and no restaurant is more important than the earth shattering, gut busting, eat-one-every-day Ferg Burger.

It’s the adventure capital of the world and inarguably the coolest place on the planet – it will satisfy your adrenaline munchies, enchant you with it’s charm and have your heart aching when it’s time to leave.

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Queenstown

Ferg Burger. Photo credit: Hannah James

Ferg Burger. Photo credit: Hannah James

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Queenstown

Every horizon is Instagram worthy

The landscape is completely inconsistent.

You can be driving through a whole lot of nothing and in five minutes be surrounded by towering mountains and hairpin valleys.

Even the cities are a patchwork of architecture and aesthetics, and it’s rare to have an outing and not encounter at least one body of water.

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Photo credit: Hannah James

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Queenstown

World famous trees, 90 mile beaches and the planet’s steepest street

New Zealand is constantly being credited for being the number one for something.

The indescribable Lake Wanaka hosts the world’s most photographed tree, Dunedin is home to the steepest existing street and it was ranked the best country in 2011.

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Dunedin

#ThatWanakaTree

#ThatWanakaTree

The Great Walks are unbeatable

If you’re going to trek for three days straight, you may as well do it somewhere good.

The Tongariro Crossing gives you a tour of Mount Doom, Abel Tasman takes you through the national park and if you’re looking for something more low key there are a million options for walks and hikes.

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Mt Iron

tonga

The Tongariro Crossing. Photo credit: Bijmin Swart

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Mt Doom

Go and see the glaciers before they’re gone

They’re retreating and it’s happening fast.

Franz Josef and Fox glaciers in particular are rapidly shrinking, and there truly is nothing cooler than donning cramp-ons, taking a helicopter ride and hiking through blue ice as far as the eye can see.

Franz Josef glacier

Franz Josef glacier

Franz Josef glacier

Franz Josef glacier

The winterless North

Sand board through the dunes of Cape Reinga and the Bay of Islands and get a tan while the Queenstown is covered in snow.

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Paihia – Bay of Islands. Photo credit: Sarah Campbell

bay of islands

Paihia – Bay of Islands. Photo credit: Sarah Campbell

You get all of the land and sea wildlife and none of the creepy crawlies

It’s almost too good to be true – go swim with dolphins, have a play with the sea lions and hit up the whale watching in Kaikoura, all without any fear of bumping into spiders the size of your face.

Photo credit: Hannah James

Photo credit: Hannah James

Kaikoura

Kaikoura

Mountains, volcanoes and lakes – oh my

North or South Island, the scenery is magnificent. The furthest you can be from a beach is 80 miles and the national parks are worth their weight in gold.

The volcanic activity generates hot springs and smelly sulphur pools, particularly in Rotorua – steam inexplicably rises from the ground in the most casual fashion, and with every rumble and shake you’re ready for the entire place to blow.

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Wanaka

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Alexandra

Rotorua. Photo credit: Sarah Campbell

Rotorua. Photo credit: Sarah Campbell

It’s the home of Lord of the Rings

Because who wouldn’t want to visit Middle Earth? Tick Hobbiton off your bucket list and feel like Frodo for a day.

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Hobbiton

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Hobbiton. Photo credit: Sarah Campbell

Do it, book your flight. It’s time to get lost in the right direction.

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