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New Zealand's South Island

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With some of the most dramatic and diverse landscapes on the planet, it’s no wonder why both natives and tourists hail New Zealand’s South Island as a paradise. Snowcapped mountains, glacial valleys, fields of wildflowers, and aquamarine lakes lure nature lovers and adventurous spirits from all over the world. In between bungee jumping in Queenstown and swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura, sip on wine in Wanaka and smell the lupines at Lake Tekapo. Definitely pack an extra camera battery.
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Lonely Planet voted Christchurch one of the Top 10 cities to visit in 2013. The gateway to New Zealand's South Island, vibrant Christchurch is surrounded by a region of natural wonders. A city where you can cycle alongside the river, indulge in...
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New Regent St, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
Opened in 1932, New Regent Street is Christchurch’s only complete heritage streetscape. With beautiful Spanish Mission architecture, and a distinctive pastel colour scheme, it’s long been popular with locals and tourists alike. In amongst the...
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1 New Regent St, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
Caffeine Laboratory has all the third-wave coffee shop trappings (locally roasted beans, passion fruit doughnuts). But there are splashes of New Zealand too: the long black (double espresso with hot water) and a sandwich made with bubble and...
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Kaikoura, New Zealand
Kaikoura is located on the east coast of the South Island just north of Christchurch. Here the high mountains rapidly drop away to deep seas, bringing all manner of marine life to the area. From seals to dusky dolphins to orcas and humpback...
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SH 1, Kaikoura 7371, New Zealand
This architectural, horticultural, and culinary masterpiece in the eastern New Zealand town of Kaikoura consists of a main lodge as well as five modern wood cabins stilted above the treetops. It’s no surprise that Hapuku’s owners, the...
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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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63 Cron Street, Franz Josef Glacier 7859, New Zealand
If there is one activity not to be missed in New Zealand, it's getting to explore Franz Josef Glacier in the South Island. One of the only glaciers in the world that drops down into a temperate rainforest, Franz Josef is a wonder to behold. The...
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Lake Matheson, West Coast 7886, New Zealand
Lake Matheson is a magical little spot near Fox Glacier. It's a great place to take a walk at sunset, before enjoying dinner and some local wine at the Matheson Cafe. On a clear day, the reflection in the lake proudly displays all the reasons to...
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188 Wanaka-Luggate Hwy, Wanaka 9382, New Zealand
It’s the weird and wonderful architecture that first attracts visitors to Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World. After all, how could it not when the first thing you see from the road is a ‘cartoon like’ leaning tower that seems to be defying all...
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Pembroke Park, FL, USA
This is your view from the top of the Diamond Lake Hike, which starts about 12 kilometers outside of the town of Wanaka. The views are so beautiful from the summit that it's nearly impossible to ever head back down the mountain. The track starts...
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246 Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Rd, Wanaka 9381, New Zealand
Located on Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, Rippon Winery is as well known for its view as it is for its wine. For more than 25 years, the Mills family has been producing world class wines on their family estate overlooking Lake Wanaka. Like many New...
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While not a connoisseur of the movies, I appreciated the natural wonders we explored on a Lord of the Rings tour. From unsuccessfully mining for gold to four-wheeling a river, the tour ran the gamut from fast and furious to calm and serene. With...
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State Highway 6, Gibbston Valley, Queenstown 9384, New Zealand
Bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand, so if you're going to try it anywhere in the world, shouldn't it be at the world's first commercial bungee site? With a 140-foot drop from an old bridge straddling a beautiful turquoise river, the...
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86 Mt Cook Road (SH80), Lake Pukaki, South Canterbury 7944, New Zealand
Luke, the proprietor of the Mt. Cook Lakeside Retreat, insists on meeting us at the top of the 1.5 km driveway to escort us down. Guests are required to have snow chains or a four wheel drive vehicle to make it the rest of the way down the icy,...
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Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
As if New Zealand couldn't be more picturesque, in the summertime (roughly December through February), the South Island is covered with incredible pink and purple lupines. The best place to see the fields of lupines are around Lake Tekapo in the...