Need a reason to visit New Zealand? Here’s one:
This is not a photo of a magical fairy land. I repeat, this is NOT a magical fairy land. This is an actual photo of how Lake Tekapo in South Island looks like in the summer.
If that’s not reason enough to pack up and go, here are 10 more reasons why you NEED to go to New Zealand.
[If you’d like to visit the neighbouring land of Down Under instead, here are 9 reasons why you should visit Australia in 2016]
1. You’ll actually enjoy sleeping in a vehicle instead of a comfortable hotel room.
Love having the open road all to yourself? Always dreamed of singing at the top of your lungs while you’re cruising down gorgeous highways? Nothing beats being able to stop over at any time you like when you see views like these as you drive down the incredibly scenic roads of New Zealand. The country is blessed with the most spectacular scenery, and you’ll be missing out if you don’t have the freedom to explore it! Plus, campervans are actually pretty comfortable, and you can save money by cooking your meals on the go
2. You’ll never be able to see the whole sky blanketed full of stars like this anywhere else in the world!
One of the best stargazing sites on earth, 4,300 square kilometres of New Zealand’s South Island has been recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve, and is the largest reserve of this type worldwide. That’s one more reason to enjoy being in a campervan too!
#HHWT Tip: Australia isn’t he only place where you can check out the Aurora Australis, New Zealand is one of the closest countries to the South Pole where the aurora originates, so if you head far enough down south, you might just see a light show like no other!
3. You’ll get to cruise down the 8th Wonder of the World!
Rudyard Kipling (who wrote The Jungle Book, in case you didn’t know – yes, the one with Mowgli, Baloo and friends) called Milford Sound the 8th Wonder of the World and we can definitely see why! Take a boat cruise, fly overhead to get a birds eye view, kayak your way through the tranquil waters or stay overnight at the amazing fiords and soak in the amazing scenery, cascading waterfalls and soaring peaks of Milford Sound.
4. You can pretend you’re an actor on the movie set of Lord of The Rings or The Hobbit.
Whether you’re a hardcore fan who wants to retrace the entire steps of adventurers who have traversed Middle Earth or if you’d just like to visit the cute homes and green pastures of Hobbiton (which is located in a very real 1250 acre farm), no trip to New Zealand is complete without visiting some of the actual film locations of Peter Jackson’s Academy-Award winning movies.
You have to admit that looking out the doorway of a Hobbit’s home to a view like that is pretty sweet!
5. You can bask in the romantic twinkling light of…glowworms!
Describing the lights emitted from glow words at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves as magical is putting it mildly! The Arachnocampa Luminosa species of glow worms is unique to New Zealand, and you can marvel at God’s magnificent creations through a boat ride in the cave. You’ll be able to experience more than 120 years of worth of cultural and natural history!
6. Have a heart pumping and adrenaline rushing time at the Adventure Capital of the World!
Known as the Adventure Capital of the World, no trip to New Zealand is complete without spending some thrill-seeking time in Queenstown. Bungee jump, paraglide, go on a luge, parachute off a cliff, jet boat on mere inches of water down the Shotover River, or jump off a plane – Queenstown has it all.
If having a near-death experience isn’t really your thing, Queenstown still has plenty to offer in terms of on the ground activities like horse riding through amazing landscapes like this:
…Or you could always just hang out and enjoy what the town has to offer (and by this we mean enjoy the fresh seafood!).
7. Experience the contrasts of being on a glacier at the edge of a rainforest!
Where else would you be able to hike inside an actual glacier or take a heli ride over one if not at at Franz Josef or Fox Glacier located on the South Island of New Zealand? Descending into the lush rainforest of Westland’s National Park from its origins in the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the world’s steepest and fastest flowing commercially guided glacier. This dramatic landscape is not available anywhere else in the world!
8. See one of the best rugby teams in action!
…or at least buy yourself a jersey of the All Blacks, the internationally renowned rugby team of New Zealand. They’re known to intimidate their opponents with a traditional Maori dance called the Haka at the start of every game. You could also learn the Maori war dance at Maori villages in the North Island and intimidate your own opponents!
9. There’s no other place in the world that you’ll be able to see an actual Kiwi (the bird, not the fruit)
Kiwi birds are endangered and can only be found in New Zealand, and the Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua is where you can see them (if you don’t spot one in the wild that is). Aren’t they just the cutest little balls of fluff? These flightless birds are the national symbol of New Zealand!
#HHWT Tip: If you’re animal lovers like we are, you should also go and swim with the smallest dolphin species called Hector’s Dolphin, which can only be found in…you guessed it…New Zealand!
10. You can be among the first to witness a brand new day!
If you make your way to the town of Gisborne in North Island to catch the sunrise, you might just be one of the first people in the world to be alive in a new day! How amazing is that? Gisborne is also a great place to catch the waves and surf, if you’re skilled at balancing on a board in the open sea.
We could really go on and on about the awesomeness of New Zealand . Some other things we wanted to include were being one with the sheep at a farmstay and digging your own hot tub at the Hot Water Beach in Coromandel Peninsular but we had to stop somewhere! If you’re not ready to pack your bags right now, we think you might need to rethink your priorities in life