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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Mount Tarawera, Bay Of Plenty 3073, New Zealand
Near Rotorua you'll find Mount Tarawera, one of New Zealand's most recent volcanoes. Erupting in the mid-nineteenth century, it buried a Maori village and killed over 100 people. Nowadays, it lies quiet, overlooking the beautiful Lake Tarawera...
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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...
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Lake Wakatipu, Otago, New Zealand
Autumn on the South Island of New Zealand was colorful enough to remind me of the trees at home, although back in New England, we don't have massive towering mountains looming over our deciduous foliage (I love you, White Mountains, but you ain't...
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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, 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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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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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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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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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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Manawatu-Wanganui 4691, New Zealand
This huge, single-day hike is in the running for the "Best Day Hike in the World" contest. If you're spending time in Taupo on the North Island of New Zealand and you love a challenging hike with unbelievable topography, be sure to give yourself a...
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Cape Palliser 5772, New Zealand
Driving around the southern roads in the North Island often lulls you into believing that this pocket of New Zealand is mostly rural farmland with more sheep than you could ever imagine. Once leaving the comfort of the Wairarapa wine region, it...
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Taupo 3377, New Zealand
Near Taupo are an amazing set of waterfalls and rapids called Huka Falls. An easy walk with plenty of viewing spots, at Huka Falls the turquoise green water thunders down the Waikato River headed towards the lake. Surrounded by lush forest and...
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111 Main N Rd, Napier 4110, New Zealand
Do you ever wonder what it would feel like to be a character in the Great Gatsby? You can head over to Napier, NZ, to find out. Every year, during the third weekend in February, this small city by the sea hosts Art Deco weekend: a huge festival...
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Stewart Island, New Zealand
We found these fantastic shells—hundreds of them—on Maori Beach, which is about a three-hour hike from Oban on Stewart Island.
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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...
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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,...
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10 Clarendon St, North Dunedin, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
Located 10 minutes drive from the city centre, St Clair's beach is a foodie and surfer's paradise! It's also the perfect place to grab some fish and chips and watch the waves roll in...however, it's usually quite windy so watch out! The beach has...
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Raumati Beach, Paraparaumu 5032, New Zealand
Always the perfect place to watch the sunset! A truly stunning stretch of beach, popular with locals and tourists alike. Off the coast, one can see Kapiti Island, home to a number of endangered native birds and wildlife. Day trips are available...
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Arrowtown, New Zealand
Hidden away in the Otago region of the South Island near Queenstown is the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. In the mid-nineteenth century, the town grew and grew thanks to the discovery of gold in the area. It was even home to a large...