#3 best destination in the world

Sky Tower (Auckland)

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  • Telecommunications and observation tower 1,076 ft tall
  • Tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere

Mission House

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  • New Zealand’s oldest surviving building
  • Samuel Marsden established the Anglican mission to New Zealand with lay preachers, who lived in the Bay of Islands under the protection of Hongi Hika, the chief of the local tribe, the Ngāpuhi
  • In 1819, Marsden purchased 13,000 acres from the Ngapuhi
  • Using Māori and skilled European labour, Butler had completed the centre piece Mission House by 1822
  • Later purchased by the Kemps, and stayed in that family for 142 years, until Ernest Kemp donated it to the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in 1974

Hobbiton

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  • Movie set tour for Lord of the Rings

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

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  • Cave known for its luminescent glowworms, exclusively found in New Zealand
  • Geological and volcanic activity has created around 300 known limestone caves in the Waitomo region over the last 30 million years

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

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  • Active geothermal area in New Zealand’s Taupo Volcanic Zone
  • Due to geothermal conditions beneath the earth, the area has many hot springs noted for their colourful appearance, and boiling mud pools
  • Prior to European occupation, the area was the homeland of the Ngati Whaoa tribe

Tongariro National Park

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  • Oldest national park in New Zealand
  • Fourth national park established in the world
  • Active volcanic mountains are located in the center of the park
  • There are a number of Māori religious sites within the park’s summits
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

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  • National museum of New Zealand
  • #19 of the top 25 museums in the world
  • Emphasizes New Zealand’s deep ancestral links to Māori and New Zealand’s cultural treasures
  • 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

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

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  • Garden that has a variety of collections of exotic and local plants of New Zealand
  • Founded in 1863, when an English oak was planted to commemorate the solemnisation of the marriage of Prince Albert and Princess Alexandra of Denmark

Castle Hill

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  • Hill named because of the imposing array of limestone boulders in the area reminiscent of an old, run-down stone castle
  • Widely considered to be the epitome of New Zealand’s South Island climbing scene
  • Filmed in the 2005 movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Mount John University Observatory

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  • Astronomical research observatory established in 1965
  • In 2008, the observatory discovered the smallest planet outside of our Solar System, MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb
  • The planet is 3000 light years from Earth

That Wanaka Tree

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  • Popularly known as the movie setting for Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and A Wrinkle in Time

Westland Tai Poutini National Park

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  • #22 of the top 25 national parks in the world
  • Established in 1960, the centenary of the European settlement of Westland District, extends from the highest peaks of the Southern Alps to a wild and remote coastline
  • Included in the park are glaciers, scenic lakes, and dense temperate rainforest, as well as remains of old gold mining towns along the coast

Queenstown Expeditions

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  • Luxury half day scenic experiences in all-terrain vehicles with glass roofs, WiFi and leather seats
  • Tours areas of Central Otago, Glenorchy and Paradise
  • Guides share stories of Maori Mythology, Gold Mining history and Farming in New Zealand

Fiordland National Park

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  • #10 of the top 24 national parks in the world
  • Formed during a cooler past, when glaciers carved many deep fiords
  • Retreat of the glaciers after the ice age left behind U-shaped valleys with sharp cliffs
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Milford Sound

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  • Fjord in Fiordland National Park, known as New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination
  • Formed by a process of glaciation over millions of years

Nugget Point Lighthouse

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  • Lighthouse built in 1870

Costs

Number of Days: 21 days

Best Time To Fly: Dec-March

Airline tickets: $1,505

Seattle -> Auckland (one way) = $819
Wellington -> Christchurch (one way) = $29
Christchurch -> Seattle (one way) = $657

Food: $43/day x 21 days = $903

Rental Car: $169/day x 21 days = $3,549

Gas: $274

Entertainment: $408

Airbnb: $112/day x 20 days = $2,240

TOTAL: $8,879