Collected by Jes Arends
Lake Pukaki, Canterbury 7999, New Zealand
A magical alpine lake on the South Island is Lake Pukaki, crystal blue and turquoise. Oftentimes in the morning it's so still it reflects a perfect mirror of the clouds. One of many glacial lakes in the area, the best view is from the southside,...
Fox Glacier 7886, New Zealand
A drive down the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand wouldn't be complete with a stop at Fox Glacier. It's just a short 10 minute walk with potentially a river crossing or two out to the closest point you can go without a guide. One of...
Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast 7886, New Zealand
Brace yourself for the physical pull you'll feel as you approach the dramatic, 7.5 mile long glacier named Franz Josef, in Westland National Park in New Zealand. Together with the nearby 12 mile long Fox Glacier, you'll be astounded by this unique...
State Highway 30, New Zealand
New Zealand's only Maori-owned thermal park, Hells Gate belongs to the Ngati Rangiteaorere, a tribe that has used the geothermal waters of this land to cook, bathe and heal for more than 700 years. Alongside observing Hells Gate’s attractions like...
39 Waitomo Caves Rd, Waitomo 3977, New Zealand
Arachnocampa luminosa is a glowworm—technically, a species of fungus gnat—that is unique to New Zealand. Although they’re found throughout the country, the premier place for viewing them is at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, located two hours west of...
126 Broadway, Matamata 3400, New Zealand
Welcome to Middle Earth in the South Pacific, and an ideal stop for traveling fans of the author J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies. Near the rural town of Matamata—itself a destination for its LOTR-inspired...
Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand
In mid-May I spent a day kayaking in the idyllic Milford Sound—my first day in New Zealand. The water was cool and clean and the fog gave the Sound a mysterious feel. Kayaking offered the opportunity to get up close with some playful fur seal...
Hampden, New Zealand
Legend has it that these boulders are the food baskets of the great ancestral canoes that brought the Maori to New Zealand. On a recent trip to New Zealand to celebrate my retirement, my husband and I enjoyed walking around the beach marveling at...
Karekare 0772, New Zealand
There are those who claim that “West is Best,” and it’s pretty hard to argue with them if you’re standing on one of Auckland’s West Coast beaches. From the wild seas of Piha to the black sands of Karekare Beach—made famous by the movie The Piano—...
Farewell Spit 7073, New Zealand
If you look closely at a map of New Zealand, at the northern tip of the South Island you'll see what looks like the long beak of the Kiwi bird. That 'beak' is Farewell Spit, at the end of Golden Bay, and its native Maori name is Tuhuroa. The spit...
Canterbury 7999, New Zealand
New Zealand is beginning to link up a national cycleway from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South. There are already numerous routes, both road and mountain paths, that make for an active alternative to flying between towns. If...
Lake Tekapo, Canterbury 7999, New Zealand
Even on a cloudy day, Lake Tekapo's brilliant shades of blue are caused by "rock flour" - finely ground particles of rock from the glaciers at the head of the lake and suspended in the melt water. The treeline is comprised of Monterey Pines which...
19 Killarney St, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand
A trip to Kaikoura isn't complete without eating fresh cray, strolling along the headlands and meeting the seals. Secure in our kayak, my friend and I paddled with our guide out into the ocean, watching the seals sunbathing and splashing on rocky...
Punakaiki, New Zealand
Along the wild west coast of New Zealand, you will find many curious rock formations and interesting coastlines. Near Punakaiki and a rainforest are the famous Pancake Rocks, a limestone formation that has formed lined pillar-like rocks along the...
3/201 Waiotapu Loop Rd, Waiotapu 3073, New Zealand
Choose a 30-, 40- or 75-minute path from which to explore the geothermal wonderland that is Wai-O-Tapu. This protected area offers a kaleidoscopic experience with chromatic pools that can reach temperatures of 75 Celsius (167 F) and high-spraying...
42/50 Mull St, Glenorchy 9372, New Zealand
The Road to Glenorchy is one that makes New Zealanders proud. Hugging curves, one lane bridges, trees reaching up on one side, cliffs dropping off the other, and the views, oh the views. Glenorchy is a half hour drive out of Queenstown at the end...
36 Weld St, Hokitika 7810, New Zealand
Driving on roads less traveled, I repeatedly slam on the breaks of my red rental car to gawk at the wave-carved rocks and listen to the unending surf pounding the west coast of New Zealand's South Island. In Hokitika (population just under 3,000),...
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