New Zealand is one of the most breathtaking countries in the world. Its natural beauty is evident in its hidden beaches, deep fjords, jagged mountains, and peaceful lakes. But it’s a really long flight to reach these isolated islands. Here are seven perfect excuses to finally make the long trip to Aotearoa.
Aotea Track: Take a bushwalk to hot springs, listen for fernbirds, look for beautiful orchids, and take in the views of the lush forests, the hidden coves, the sparkling water, and the small islands on Great Barrier Island.
Rakiura Track: Search for the elusive kiwi, follow an 18-mile trail, pass large bays, cross steep hills, and search for old Māori sites on Stewart Island.
Ohakune: Switch seasons to visit New Zealand’s largest ski resort during their winter, ride an express chairlift to the top of the mountain, hike to a crater lake, and take in the view of a volcano on the North Island.
Hot Water Beach: Dig a big hole in the sand, watch it fill with bubbling water, sit in a natural hot tub, and enjoy gorgeous bay views from one of the most unusual beaches in the world.
Queen Charlotte Sound: Pass uninhabited islands, isolated coves, a pod of social bottlenose dolphins, and freshly painted sailboats while riding a ferry through Marlborough Sounds.
Bay of Islands: Drive north of Auckland, stop at small wineries along the way, ride a ferry to Russell, visit waterfront historic sites, and eat freshly caught seafood in the Far North.
Hawke’s Bay: Find an Art Deco city, a restored farmhouse, lots of sunshine, overflowing orchards, and the perfect climate for Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot grapes around Napier.