NEW ZEALAND (BEST PLACES TO VISIT)
1. Muriwai Beach, Auckland
Just a 40-minute drive from Auckland’s City Centre and you can find yourself on the West Coast. Massive black sand dunes, amazing surf and killer sunsets make this one of the best spots you can visit in New Zealand’s biggest “city”. Visit on a stormy day and see why it’s earned its nickname of the Wild West Coast. Don’t forget to check out the Gannet Colony that overlooks two stunning bays and has hundreds of huge birds flying right over your head.
2. Milford Sound
The ultimate New Zealand experience. This has to be hands down the most beautiful place in the entire country – if not the world. Get ready to be completely mind blown by expansive rainforest, towering mountains, hundreds of cascading waterfalls and DOLPHINS! The Sound can be explored by boat, kayak or plane each offering their own unique point of view. You’ll quickly realise not a single image you’ve ever seen compares to how magnificent this place is in real life.
3. Matapouri, Northland
One of the best places to visit in New Zealand if you’re looking for mermaids! OK, that was a lie. But you can find a place here that they would definitely hang out if they existed. Named “The Mermaid Pools” these huge hidden emerald rock pools are so deep you can right on dive in. Top tip: avoid visiting at high tide as the waves can crash over the rocks at an alarming speed and sweep you off your little sunbathing perch.
4. Mount Cook
The magnitude of this place needs to be seen to be believed. Taking the Hooker Valley walking track, you’ll be met with dramatic scenes of New Zealand’s highest mountain. An easy journey takes you alongside the rushing Hooker River, over very photogenic swing bridges and offers views of humongous ancient glaciers. If you stand still and listen, you can actually hear the glacier constantly cracking and moving. If you’re short on time, head to Tasman Lake – an easy 20-minute walk from the car park – where you can see Mount Cook reflected in the water and big icebergs just floating on by.
5. Great Barrier Island
One of the magical places to visit in New Zealand that not many people make the effort to reach, but the trip is well worth it. A 4-hour ferry ride or a 30-minute flight will see you frolicking on white sandy beaches, jumping off secret waterfalls and chilling in natural hot springs hiding in the bush! More often than not you will find yourself alone while exploring this epic island. To blend in with the locals, don’t bother wearing any footwear and say hello to everyone you see.