What We Love
- For a small island country, New Zealand packs a punch with one of the highest concentrations of natural wonders on Earth: geothermal pools, brooding volcanoes, majestic peaks, dense forests, deep fjords, and sunny beaches.
- The national All Blacks rugby team confronts its rivals each game with the Haka, an iconic ancestral war dance of New Zealand’s native Maori people.
- Visiting the bucolic Hobbiton movie set, where “The Lord of the Rings” was filmed.
- Boarding an America’s Cup sailing yacht at the Viaduct in Auckland for a cruise around Hauraki Gulf.
- Exploring the braided channels of the Dart River by jet boat, absorbing views of stunning snow-capped mountains, ancient native forests, waterfalls, and glacial valleys.
Things To See & Do
- Stay in Queenstown, the center of activities and restaurants, as well as the jumping-off point for all the outdoor adventures Kiwis are famous for.
- Stop by Rotorua, New Zealand’s cultural heartland, where the Earth’s crust is so thin that it bubbles and steams to the surface.
- Check out the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which offers great insight into the people, flora, fauna, and landforms of NZ. The institution houses a superb collection of Polynesian artifacts, including an 80-foot Maori war canoe from 1836.
- Earn your wine by touring Napier, the Kiwis’ vineyard country, by kayak, horseback, or whitewater raft—then take a break on one of the gorgeous local beaches.
- Sail through Milford Sound, a picture-perfect fjord.
- For the truly adventurous, consider trekking the Te Araroa, a long-distance hiking route that spans both islands.