Could NZ be the best country on the planet?
Stop everything you’re doing. The Brits are onto something. For four years in a row now, New Zealand has come out on top as their fave country as voted in the UK’s Telegraph Travel Awards. Let me repeat that: four years! Here’s our guess as to why and 18 reasons to jump on the NZ-train and GO! It’s a 100% #nofilter zone Legit. The natural scenery is so RIDIC AMAZING that this is all-round #nofilter territory. IRL it's even BETTER.
Same, same, but diff (+ SO close)
Same language, similar currency (no epic (mis)calculations), similar culture, same love of coffee and brunches, same side of the road. But still, v diff. And still, SO CLOSE. One of the coolest capitals Thirsty for culture and cheeky #foodporn eats? Windy little Wellington is on fleek. The bar scene is v hip, there are hipster cafes galore and markets and trendy events are hap’nin’ year-round.
Epic adventure overload
Epic adventure is epic scenery’s bae. Don’t just instagram that super mountain – slay a summertime climb or carve it up (or should we say down?) come ski season. Go jet-boating, mountain biking, zip lining, caving, canyon swinging and surfing. New Zealand is THE adventure capital of da whole planet. Our fave? Can’t even... But probs glacier trekking or abseiling into glow worm caves, woo! Did we mention it’s the home of bungee? Where else but the original home of bungee to leave your fate to a thickened piece of elastic? YOLO!
Selfies at Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu
Say whaaaaaatttt? It’s the Maori name for a hill in Hawkes Bay. Also the longest place name in the world. BTW don't miss Shag Point, Cape Foulwind or Hooker Valley while you're at it.
Swimming holes errrrywhere
Break out that new cossie over and over. The sea is NEVER more than about 130km away, turquoise lakes fill the gaps and insta-worthy waterfalls stashed in the forest are only ever a short mini-adventure-hop away. Prefer hot tub temps? Bubbling hot springs yaaaaaassss!
Brag time. Tane Mahuta is NZ’s biggest tree at 4.4m in diameter. The highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook is 3724m in the sky. Blue Lake in Nelson Lakes National Park has the clearest water IN THE WHOLE WORLD. Plus you’ll find the tallest free standing building in the Southern Hemisphere in Auckland and the first man to climb Mt Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, was a Kiwi. Yas he was. #winning
Chocolate rollin' comps
Yeah, yeah, so it's not running of the bulls. And you may not be of Jaffa-era. But Dunedin’s annual Jaffa Race is one of travel’s most random experiences. This hip university town races giant orange and purple Jaffas down Baldwin Street - the steepest street in the world.
More New Zealand inspo:
Maori culture = mesmerising, yeah?
We heart the Haka. But more, Maori art (and tattoos), crafty weavings and carvings make for the coolest pin-ups back home, yeah?
Developed a palate for wine yet? NZ wine country is it – the perfect spot to ditch the goon bag 4evaaaaa. The cheese and chocolate is on par too. #blessed
It's easy to do NZ with the squad. It's a quick fly ride, sooooo easy and it's the ULTIMATE road trip destie.
Still want that ride in a big jet plane?
We says yah do it! NZ warrants that. A scenic flight is worth a few extra shifts at the bar to get the #viewofgods from up top in the clouds. Don’t and you’ll have one serious case of FOMO. The kind that lingers. Believe it.
Enter Middle Earth
This is Lord of the Rings country. Get off the beaten track to find the land of Mordor (Tongariro National Park), the Paths of the Dead (the Putangirua Pinnacles) and then - obvs - there's Middle-Earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set.
The Shire #RealMiddleearth #NZMustDo #LOTR #TheHobbit #Lakefront #HamiltonWaikato #Summer #hobbitontours A photo posted by Hobbiton Movie Set (@hobbitontours) on
The animals won’t eat you
Compared to Australia – hello venomous snakes and spikers and dingos and crocodiles and jellyfish and (insert more killer animals here) – there’s practically zilch out to eat/bite/sting you in NZ. The humans are famously friendly too.
Next level Christchurch
Christchurch is no regular gig. Rebuilding after the 2011 earthquakes, the city has gone next level entrepreneurial and fully embraced all things quirky, individual and modern. Think food trucks, shipping container shops, arty haps and creative pop-ups central. Check. It. Out.
Amongst destruction, people still need to drink #christchurchrebuild #urbandecay #design #shippingcontainers A photo posted by Charles (@c.j.mcarthur) on
Awesome artwork on bare walls in the CHCH CBD #christchurchrebuild A photo posted by lcaseley (@lcaseley) on
Anything that explodes in nature is kinda can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it spellbinding. In a good way. With volcanic action New Zealand’s thang, there’s plenty of where that came from. The spurting geysers around Rotorua in partic are a treat.
Still got swag from space
According to the ‘singing astronaut’, Chris Hadfield, the Marlborough wine region is one of the best lookin' spots on Earth – you know, from orbit. #humblebrag
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