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The best places to visit in New Zealand
With picturesque landscapes, multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites and countless natural wonders, New Zealand has something for everyone. Whether you’re planning a relaxing scenic drive or looking to do daredevil stunts, put New Zealand at the top of your travel wish-list.
1. Skydive at Lake Wanaka
For the ultimate adventure, skydive at Lake Wanaka. Take in the stunning view of New Zealand’s highest mountains as you free fall from the plane. Watch as the sparkling waters of the mighty Clutha River comes closer to view. Strap yourself in and jump your way to the most exciting experience of your life.
2. Step into Middle Earth
No tour of New Zealand is complete without a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film trilogies. Put yourself in the shoes – or hairy feet – of Bilbo and Frodo as you explore 37 Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, and The Mill.
Fans of the newer trilogy, “The Hobbit” should also head to Lake Pukaki where the scenes of Lake-town were shot. The sprawling sheen of Lake Pukaki and the Alpine Peaks in the horizon were the backdrop for many of the landscape shots in the Lord of the Rings.
3. Climb a Glacier
The majestic Franz Josef Glacier is 12 km long and 19 km above sea level, making it a tough climb for even the most seasoned hiker. We recommend going on a guided tour that can safely take you to the various points of interest. These tours also provide the ice axes and crampons necessary for your trek.
Alternatively, book a helicopter tour from a local airline. The helicopter drops guests off between the first and second icefalls and a guide will walk through the broken ground atop the glacier.
4. Stay with a Maori Tribe
Learn about Maori culture by spending a night at the Tamaki Maori Village. Take part in Mau Rakau, an ancient form of combat training, or Waiata Ringaringa, hand action songs that have been passed down through generations.
Have a hangi buffet feast then do the fearsome haka to burn calories. End the night huddled next to an open campfire where Maori myths and legends are told.
5. Glow in the dark
If you thought the clear starlit sky of New Zealand was magical, wait till you visit the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. The glow worm, Arachnocampa Luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable blue light every night in Waitomo’s famous caves.
Let a guide take you through the Cave’s historical and geological significance as you enjoy the luminescent view of glow worms lighting your trail.
Far from being a boring place with nothing much to do, New Zealand offers much more than farmland and sheep. An exhilarating mix of activities and cultural experiences makes New Zealand a destination like no other in the world.
by Nicole-Marie Ng