#1 best destination in the world

 

Hobbiton Movie Set, Waikato

Hobbiton

Best time to travel: Jan-March, Dec
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Former movie set for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, consisting of 44 detailed hobbit holes, on the landscape of a former sheep farm
  • The location was selected due to its similarity to The Shire, as described by JRR Tolkien in the books
  • The locations offers guided tours and experiences such as an evening banquet, and second breakfast

Te Papa, Wellington

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Best time to travel: March-May
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • New Zealand’s national museum, known as Te Papa, which is Māori for “the treasure box”
  • Te Papa’s philosophy emphasizes the living face behind its cultural treasures, many of which retain deep ancestral links to the indigenous Māori people
  • The Museum recognizes the partnership that was created by the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, te Tiriti o Waitangi, in 1840
  • Opened in 1998

Hooker Valley Track to Hooker Lake, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

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Best time to travel: Jan-March, Dec
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • The Hooker Valley Track is a short walking track within the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park
  • Offers access to the proglacial Hooker Lake, typically with icebergs floating in it
  • The lookout point at the end of the Hooker Valley Track is the closest any walking track comes to Aoraki / Mount Cook, and reveals completely unobstructed views of the highest mountain in New Zealand, with Hooker Glacier in the valley below

Milford Sound / Piopiotahi, Fiordland National Park

Best time to travel: June-Aug
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Fiord on New Zealand’s South Island within Fiordland National Park
  • The fiord is most commonly accessed via road by tour coach, with the road terminating at a small village also called Milford Sound
  • As a fiord, Milford Sound was formed by a process of glaciation over millions of years
  • Milford Sound is home to a variety of animals, including seals, bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, and penguins

Mount Tongariro, Tongariro National Park

Best time to travel: Jan-April, Nov-Dec
Walk difficulty: Hard
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$$

  • Compound volcano in the Taupō Volcanic Zone of the North Island of New Zealand
  • Mount Tongariro is in the Tongariro National Park, New Zealand’s first national park and one of the earliest in the world
  • In 2012 an eruption occurred at the Te Māri Craters, which had been dormant since 1897
  • No injuries were reported, and the only significant property damage was to the Department of Conservation’s Ketetahi Hut

Abel Tasman Great Walk: Takapou to Marahau, Abel Tasman National Park

Best time to travel: July-Sept
Walk difficulty: Hard
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • National park located between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay / Te Tai-o-Aorere on the South Island
  • It is named after Abel Tasman, who in 1642 became the first European explorer to sight New Zealand and who anchored nearby in Golden Bay
  • Some of the birds that frequent the park are penguins, gulls, and herons
  • Possums, wild pigs, deer, and goats also frequent the park

Franz Josef Glacier, Westland Tai Poutini National Park

Best time to travel: July-Sept
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Temperate maritime glacier in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the South Island
  • The glacier is 1.86 miles shorter than it was 100 years ago
  • Based on these patterns, Franz Josef Glacier is predicted to retreat 3.1 miles, and lose 38% of its mass by 2100 in a mid-range scenario of warming