50th birthday trip
Collected by Michelle Sterling
Milford Sound Visitor Centre, Milford Sound Hwy 94, Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand
It's probably one of the most recommended activities for travelers headed to New Zealand's south island and it sure doesn't disappoint. A cruise on Milford Sound is an absolute must on any visit to Fiordland. With the gorgeous blue water, the...
101 Glenmore Street, Kelburn, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
Though Wellington seems best traversed on foot (as Hobbits do, right?), the cable car ride is well worth breaking this habit. Leaving from Lambton Quay, for $6 return, the cable car takes you up to the top of the Botanic Gardens, providing a...
Lake Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand
Soak up the endless horizon on this 15k tramp alongside Lake Wanaka. Why is this worth your Kiwi time? The rolling and winding track that follows the lake’s edge provides an unobstructed and ridiculous view of the snowcapped mountain tops (head...
11 Shakespeare Road, Bluff Hill, Napier 4110, New Zealand
Napier is known as the Art Deco capital of New Zealand (and probably the world). Yet there's more to this North Island city than white-walled tires, funky hats and oddly-proportioned buildings. The Cabana is an institution in the Southern...
Rangitoto Island, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
In the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto Island is just a short, not to mention highly enjoyable, 25-minute ferry ride from Auckand. The unpopulated island is actually a shield volcano that is the youngest (only 600 years old!) in the Auckland Volcanic...
North Head Historic Reserve sits on an old volcanic cone formed about 50,000 years ago - so check, super cool geology. In the 1840s it became a pilot station to guide ships into Auckland's harbor, and by 1885 a defense fort was built on the island...
Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo is one of those places in New Zealand that is instantly recognizable but few know its name. Bright blue with clear water surrounded by pink and purple lupines in the summer, it's the perfect background for these blooming flowers. A...
Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, New Zealand
The massive sandbar extending from Tauranga's harbor leads to one of New Zealand’s most beloved beaches at Mount Maunganui, known locally as The Mount. The white sand ocean-side beach is a surfer’s dream, and while an artificial reef was installed...
North Island, New Zealand
There's no other day hike in all of New Zealand that is as diverse as the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The terrain is so unique, the location was used to portray "Mt Doom" in the Lord of the Rings films. The nearly 20 kilometer trail winds into high...
South Island 7183, New Zealand
New Zealand's smallest national park certainly packs a punch. Unlike so many of the great ragged mountains that dot the country, Abel Tasman curves along the north coast of the South Island, peppered with golden sand beaches and steep cliffs that...
585 Waitomo Caves Rd, Waitomo 3977, New Zealand
Waitomo, on New Zealand’s North Island, is known mostly for its glowworms. This is one of the few places in the world where they exist and millions of visitors descend onto the village every year to walk through the dark caves and see the sparkly...
Wellington, New Zealand
I still owe my best friend millions for introducing me to Wellington's Cafe L'Affare while I was working in New Zealand. Founded in 1990, this quintessential cafe is cozy, delicious and gourmet ground breaking. What are your food choices, you ask?...
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