10 things to see in New Zealand that aren’t the set of LOTR

1. Islands

Here’s something that will blow your mind. It’s not just one big island. There are more islands, everywhere.

Bay of Islands


2. Really Small Islands

Try building a shack on these, Robinson Crusoe.

Cathedral Cove


Puponga, Archway Islands


Sea Stack


3. Fields

Seriously, fields everywhere. Only 5% of living things in NZ are human – the rest are English backpackers and animals. But the place is still so huge we were able to find three photos of fields with no sheep or Pommies bungee-jumping.


4. Mountains

Huge stuff, everywhere! Some surrounded by water.

Mount Taranaki


Novara Peak


Milford Sound


Doubtful Sounds


5. Waterfalls

Bowen Falls


A glow worm cave in Waitamo. It’s not entirely a waterfall, but there’s probably a waterfall nearby.


6. Huge Beaches

Ripiro Beach is the country’s longest beach at 66 miles (107km) long, longer than the falsely-named Ninety Mile Beach.


7. Tiny Beaches

Sometimes modesty matters. Check these little contenders. .

NZ’s smallest in the Abel Tasman National Park


Te Henga Beach


8. Photo Opportunities that will make you look Creative

Seriously, you couldn’t take a bad photo of these trees with a Gameboy camera. Instagram these guys with an inspirational message about finding yourself and you are IN.

Lake Wapatipu, Queenstown


Devil’s Punchbowl


9. People, Buildings and the World’s Steepest Street

New Zealand does have, in fact, buildings; buildings that aren’t hobbit dwellings, and that we suspect house inhabitants that aren’t hobbits (or the cast of Flight of the Conchords). Like this house on the world’s steepest street.


10. Australia

Seriously, you’re not going to go all that way and not go see this guy, just a 3 hour flight away.


Getting There

It’s roughly a 13 flight from LA or a full day with stopovers from Europe. Enough time to watch LOTR, have a scotch and a LOTR-inspired dream, and check some Beached Whale. 


An adventurous traveller who simply wants to explore this incredible world we call our home. Originally from the States, she has recently moved to Sydney to enjoy the golden sandy beaches and friendly culture of the great Land Down Under.

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