TWO decades ago film lovers fell in love with the beauty of New Zealand featured in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. One of the enchanting sets is the iconic hobbit house which later became one of the locations that must be included in the traveler’s itinerary list.
Not only is the “Lord of the Rings” film franchise celebrating its 20th anniversary, but with New Zealand’s borders reopening, now would be a great time to plan a trip across the Pacific and enjoy the beauty of its cities, lakes and mountains.
With a plethora of spectacular sights and local attractions, there is so much to discover and love about New Zealand. From Queenstown wineries to the natural springs of Lake Taupo.
Here are five recommended places for adventurers in New Zealand:
Many consider Queenstown the adventurous capital of New Zealand, where travelers can enjoy the country’s natural beauty while participating in all kinds of outdoor activities.
Winter sports fans should visit the slopes of the Remarkables and Coronet Peak mountains. For the brave you can visit Nevis Valley for an adrenaline rush with the world’s largest bungy jumping and swing, while hikers can climb 907 meters of Queenstown Hill for 360-degree views. For travelers looking to relax more, visit one of the many wineries in the area to sample Pinot Noir, the region’s specialty wine.
Located in the heart of Kawarau Village, right on the shores of the beautiful Lake Wakatipu, tourists can enjoy stunning views for travelers to pamper themselves after a day of exploring.
As the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, there is plenty to do in Christchurch. Nature lovers should visit the Christchurch Botanical Gardens or bask in the sun at Sumner Beach, and art lovers can head to museums such as the Christchurch Art Gallery and the Canterbury Museum which are great to visit, whatever the weather.
Stroll down New Regent Street for boutiques and cafes, and stay at the charming Chateau on the Park, Christchurch where you can sit by the outdoor pool, explore the gardens and enjoy seasonal cuisine at the Garden Court Brasserie.
New Zealand’s charming capital city is surrounded by mountains and lush wildlife, making this the perfect place to visit if you want to experience nature and the city at the same time.
Take the iconic red cable car to reach Wellington’s Botanic Gardens or take in the views from Mount Victoria. Te Papa Tongarewa has the National Art Gallery and National Museum, where you can learn about the history and culture of the indigenous Māori people. Film buffs should visit the Wētā Cave workshop, where artisans create costumes, make-up, and props for the film industry.
When you’re in Wellington City and at Lambton Quay, next door to Wellington’s cable car and less than five minutes from the waterfront where dining and activities abound. During your stay, don’t forget to enjoy the brand’s signature, warm welcome chocolate chip cookie.
4. Lake Taupo
New Zealand’s largest lake is one of the most stunning places and has a special attraction for adventurers, even if sometimes they just want to relax and enjoy the view.
Take an hour-long hike to see Huka Falls, then relax tired muscles at one of the area’s natural hot springs. Combining modern comfort with Victorian charm, views of the surrounding volcano, hot spring valley and lake view dining from the restaurant balcony.
Auckland is New Zealand’s most populous city, making it the perfect place for someone who wants to experience the vibrant city vibe with its natural surroundings. Head to the Sky Tower for some great views, and don’t leave without strolling on one of the surrounding beaches with a signature fish and chips dish.
The city’s many night markets will give you a taste of Auckland’s culinary diversity. Stroll down Queen Street for some shopping, and stay for a cocktail at one of the best restaurants in town along the Auckland bridge at night.
Retreat your bit at the end of Princes Wharf, home to shops, restaurants and bars with harbor views. If you prefer to stay outside the city, there is one recently opened hotel that balances pastoral charm with modern conveniences. [sources/photo special]