It’s one of the most stunning places on the face of the earth.
New Zealand boasts volcanoes, placid lakes, rolling hills, opulent beaches, remarkable mountain ranges and delicious food to boot. These 20 photos demonstrate 20 good reasons why New Zealand is one of my favorite places in the world. Just look and see for yourself.
1) Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is just off the coast of Auckland, and may very well be its best-kept secret. The climate is perfect for producing award-winning wines and incredibly tasty olive oils. The beaches that dot this tiny little island are also some of the most peaceful I’ve ever seen.
2) Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo is possibly one of New Zealand’s most well known lakes. Its turquoise color comes from leftover glacial sediment and, on a clear day, you can see Mt. Cook in the background.
3) Franz Josef Glacier
Hiking the Franz Josef Glacier was, singlehandedly, one of the greatest things I’ve ever done and possibly the most photogenic subject I’ve ever encountered. During my climb, I explored ice caves, drank glacial water, and pick-axed footpaths across the icy surface!
4) Bungy Jumping Over Queenstown
That’s me, bungy jumping over Queenstown. Queenstown is considered to be the adventure capital of the world. From skydiving, jetboating, paragliding and heli-skiing, the adrenaline junky deep inside of you is going to get a kick out of this place.
5) Lush Coastline, Northland
The far north region of New Zealand, known as Northland, sports some seriously lush coastline. Surprisingly, this photo wasn’t taken too far from a beach!
6) 100% New Zealand Beef
New Zealand takes immense pride in their produce, especially their lamb and beef. I’ve written about this meal before, but it stands out so far in my mind that I simply have to include it. It was one of the greatest feasts I’ve ever eaten.
7) Sailing in the Abel Tasman National Park
Somehow, one tiny country packs the best of every world. It’s not all rolling green hills, but also breathtakingly blue waters that just beg you to set sail.
8) Sand Dunes
New Zealand is home to a lot of beautiful beaches. This is one of them.
9) View from the Road: Lake Wakatipu
Just like much of the rest of New Zealand, the road butting Lake Wakatipu is fresh and unspoilt. I took this photo from a small lookout area by the side of the road.
10) New Zealand Traffic Stop
And in New Zealand, traffic police don’t stop vehicles. Sheep do.
11) Sunset in Omapere
Looking out over the dunes of Omapere, we had arrived just in time. The setting sun cast ethereal shadows across the lush grass as the mist rose above the deep blue waves.
12) Vineyard Relaxation
New Zealand gets its reputation for killer wine because they do, in fact, produce killer wine. I spent the day here, drinking wine in the vineyard.
13) Landing in Queenstown
Flying into Queenstown is not an experience that is soon forgotten. The aerial view over the mountains is surreal and spectacular, like something straight out of a sci-fi film.
14) Low Tide, Abel Tasman National Park
Undulating sand for miles and miles.
New Zealand takes pride in their local foods. Here is a serving of zucchini bruschetta with homemade bread, a local cheese, and a housemade white wine grape jelly.
16) Waiheke Island Sunset
The sun sets on Waiheke Island, leaving trails of deep reds and yellows in the sand.
17) Ninety Mile Beach, Northland
Ninety Mile Beach, in Northland, is more than just a beach. It’s a community and an ecosystem. This is the rocky fulcrum of the beach itself, being visited by some locals.
18) Sail Away
…into the vast blue waters of The Land of the Long White Cloud!
19) Lake Wakatipu
Another shot of the ever-stunning Lake Wakatipu, with streaking clouds above.
20) Cape Reinga
Cape Reinga lies at the northernmost tip of New Zealand. From this iconic lighthouse, you can see the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean crash together. In traditional Maori culture, it is believed that Cape Reinga is the jumping off point for spirits to enter the underworld.
Great work, New Zealand!