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