What do The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Last Samurai all have in common?
They were all filmed in breathtaking New Zealand.
This country offers a stunning range of beaches, cliffs, mountains and incredible topography you really have to see to believe.
It may take you awhile to get there, but this island is well worth the trip.
Where is New Zealand?
Located southeast of Australia on the Tasman Sea, it will take you about 12 hours to get there from the west coast of the United States.
The New Zealand population is comprised of just over 4.75 million people. The population is English-speaking, open, and friendly to tourists and expats.
You’ll find open-air adventure combined with a down-home feel, and enough experience there to draw you wholeheartedly into the mix.
The only thing to worry about once you arrive is that you may not want to leave.
You too can put yourself somewhere on the New Zealand map. The only question you need to answer is where.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top three adventure destinations in the country.
Experience the Best of All Worlds in Auckland, New Zealand
Want to put yourself on the New Zealand map?
You’d do well to travel to Auckland. The capital of New Zealand is a vibrant city, offering a taste of local and international culture as well as heart-stopping opportunities for adventure.
A Taste of New Zealand Culture
For a glance into the mindset of the native population, head over to the Toi o Tomaki (also known as the Auckland Art Museum). This stunning gallery, set in a truly modern-style building, features local Maori-themed art as well as contemporary art. It’s also free to get in!
Consider taking a stroll down Queen Street afterwards to balance out your day with fine dining and shopping through the local products and big-name brands.
Adventure Time in Auckland
If you’re a The Lord of the Rings fan, you’ve just got to visit Hobbiton. This place is the site of the famous shire from the beloved trilogy, and you can get there easily from Auckland. Take an organized tour or simply drive there yourself to experience the magic.
To experience balmy New Zealand beaches, take the 25-dollar ferry over to Waiheke Island. This paradise offers long stretches of relaxing white sand and several vineyards with wine-tastings. Adrenaline junkies can book a zip lining tour to see the island from above and all around.
New Zealand’s Queenstown Offers a Buffet of Adventure
Queenstown is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire country. Here you can stay at one of the many resorts, or choose a homier bed and breakfast.
In the Air Above Queenstown
Ever tried skydiving? New Zealand is the perfect place to book your adventure. Travel high in the sky before leaping from the plane for the ultimate rush of excitement.
If bungy jumping is more of your style (or even if it’s not, and you just want to try it) head to Nevis Bungy Jump or the Kawarau Bridge. This bridge could almost be a historical site, recognized as the first bungy jumping site in the world.
In the Waters of New Zealand
White water rafting much? Now you do.
You at least have to try this favorite New Zealand pastime, and Queenstown offers up gorgeous mountain scenery in which to indulge your desire for the ultimate adventure.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing water experience, consider taking a river cruise around Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy the mountain views and even stop for a swim and a picnic when the weather calls for it.
In the Mountains and Valleys
Hike through the gorgeous mountains surrounding Queensland in the winter to play in the snow or the summer to take a dip in the springs.
Head over to Springbrook National Park to see abundant wildlife, including Koala Bears and exotic birds. Here you’ll also be able to see towering waterfalls and scenic rock formations.
Waitomo is the Spot for Spelunkers in New Zealand
Whether you’re an amateur spelunker or a professional cave-diver, the New Zealand caves are not to be missed. The Waitomo Caves are among the most famous in the world, and for good reason.
Staggering sights await you under the hills of Waitomo. You can choose to raft through the black water or crawl through cavern filled with glow-worms for an otherworldly sight. You can even zip line through the caves!
Feel free to visit the neighboring countryside for a look at rural New Zealand life, on horseback or simply by walking. The nearby Pureora Forest offers gorgeous hiking, swimming, and camping.
New Zealand Awaits You and Your Family
New Zealand is a great place to take your friends or the whole family for a round of unforgettable fun. Visit any season to experience the magic of this dynamic country.
No matter which activities you’re into, you’re sure to find something here that delights you!
Feature image via Hertz