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Summer 2015

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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...
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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...
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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...
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Rotorua, New Zealand
Before traveling to Rotorua, everyone will warn you that it smells like rotten eggs. Don't be put off, that's only because of the amazing geothermal features of the area. And the smell comes and goes, too. Sitting on a caldera, Rotorua has...
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Lake Taupo, Waikato, New Zealand
On the shores of New Zealand's largest lake sits the holiday town of Taupo, in the center of the North Island. Popular with vacationers and adventure travelers, there is plenty for everyone. An ancient volcanic crater, nowadays Taupo is a...
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Wellington Ferry Terminal 1 Aotea Quay, Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Perhaps one of the most iconic kiwi experiences to be had in New Zealand is to catch the ferry between Wellington and Picton. While the Cook Strait doesn't seem too big, it actually takes around three hours to negotiate the occasionally rough seas...
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South Island, New Zealand
New Zealand’s mountains are nothing short of majestic. Sir Edmund Hillary honed his craft on the country’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook, before conquering Everest. The Southern Alps are the spine of the South Island with such ranges as...
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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...
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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...
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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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Florida, 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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Milford Track, Fiordland National Park 9679, New Zealand
Steve from Trips and Tramps makes a great tour guide through the Milford Track. The guided half-day hike, an easy seven miles on a well-groomed trail, was just a tease—given the time, the full four-day, 33-mile track would be well worth it. We...
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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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194 Cable Bay Rd, Nelson 7071, New Zealand
Something that we figured our kids wouldn’t appreciate quite as much were the renowned vineyards of the nearby Marlborough region. Knowing that we couldn’t subject them to hours of wine tasting, we settled for having lunch at a couple of the...
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1 Cadillac Way, Annesbrook, Nelson 7011, New Zealand
The city of Nelson itself is quite quaint and very accessible. Perhaps its most celebrated tourist attraction - that we were told not to miss - was the WOW Museum, a rather eclectic gallery featuring a strange mix of award-winning garments...
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Lake Te Anau, Southland, New Zealand
For an unusual and equally as memorable family outing, venture to the Te Anau glowworm caves. This mysterious place can be reached only by crossing Lake Te Anau by boat and traveling the 200-meter long network of caves by foot and then small raft...
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Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast 7886, New Zealand
The village of Franz Josef is home to one of only three glaciers in the world that meets a temperate rain forest. In fact, it almost reaches the ocean. One of the others, Fox Glacier, is just 12 kilometers down the road. To make our visit...
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3 Arthurs Point Rd, Arthurs Point 9371, New Zealand
Queenstown is the home of every kind of wild thrill imaginable, all amidst a magnificent scenic backdrop. My boys have never been ones for extreme adventure, so going to the top of Bob’s Peak via a slow-moving gondola to see the city from a...
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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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1199D Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach NSW 2108, Australia
If you need a break from lounging on the lovely northern beaches, cruising up to Barrenjoey in Palm Beach will bring you to this absolute gem. The hiking trails are plentiful and the view from the top is incredible. With sweeping views in all...