#15 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

Tree Church

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  • Barry Cox, the creator of New Zealand’s Tree Church, has long appreciated the beauty of churches he has seen all over the world during his own travels, and decided to create one of his own
  • The project began in 2011
  • The planted trees were trained across an iron frame until they began to grow together to shape the gabled form of the church
  • The church has continued to grow over the years and is now almost completely formed, although the iron frame remains, waiting for the day when the structure will be sturdy enough to stand on its own
  • Cox’s grounds also include green garden walks and a medieval-style labyrinth

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

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

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

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

Hooker Valley Track

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  • Short walking track within the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
  • Has views of Aoraki / Mount Cook and access to the proglacial Hooker Lake, typically with icebergs floating in it

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

Otago Central Rail Trail

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  • Walking, cycling, and horse riding trail
  • The original railway line was completed at the turn of the 20th century

Nugget Point Lighthouse

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  • Lighthouse built in 1870

Fiordland National Park

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  • 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

Sutherland Falls

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  • Waterfall named for the explorer who first climbed up the cliff face to find it in 1890

Costs

Number of Days: 24 days

Best Time To Fly: March-May, Sept-Oct

Airline tickets: $2,329

Seattle -> Auckland (one way) $960
Wellington -> Christchurch(one way) $54
Queenstown -> Christchurch (one way) $90
Christchurch -> Seattle (one way) $1,225

Food: $37/day x 24 days = $888

Rental Car: $48/day x 18 days = $867

Gas: $159

Entertainment: $321

Airbnb: $133 x 20 days = $2,660

TOTAL: $7,224