New Zealand is often featured on people's travel bucket lists, but sadly, the same people can sometimes be put off because of the long journey time. However, it's more than worth the long flight! New Zealand is a stunning country with breathtaking views, lots of fun things to do, and friendly, helpful locals who'll welcome you and make you feel at home.
In case you still need convincing, here are five reasons to visit New Zealand this year.
New Zealand's number-one selling point has to be the beautiful, diverse scenery. From crystal blue lakes and impressive fjords to lush green forests and fields, there's something scenic to admire no matter which part of the country you decide to visit.
Other landscapes you could enjoy include:
Beaches (such as Cathedral Cove) Islands Glaciers Mountains (like Mount Cook) Volcanoes Hot springs Caves (like the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves)
Basically, there are very few natural phenomena you won't see in New Zealand.
There are lots of ways to sight see. Some people love a scenic train ride or helicopter flight, while others prefer to get out on foot and come as close as possible to the natural wonders. You could even go on a boat trip or hire a car or camper van. There are options to suit all tastes and budgets.
However you decide to organize your trip, don't forget the camera!
There's something for everyone to enjoy. New Zealand is known for its adventure activities, especially in Queenstown (nicknamed the Adventure Capital of the World). Adrenaline junkies can try their hand at bungee jumping, white water rafting, abseiling, canyoning, skydiving, jet boating, heli-skiing - you won't have any time to get bored.
There's still plenty to do for those who like their sightseeing to be a little more relaxed. Tramping (the Kiwi word for hiking) tracks are dotted all over the country and give you the chance to admire the natural beauty up close. Keep an eye out for unique species of flora and fauna, including the famous kiwi bird.
New Zealand's Maori culture has been well preserved and is respected throughout the country. You'll have the opportunity to visit attractions that help you learn more about its history, such as the national museum, Te Papa and the Maori village in Rotorua, where you can watch traditional performances and enjoy a hangi dinner, where the food is cooked underground.
Crime rates are relatively low compared to other destinations around the world and unlike neighbouring Australia, New Zealand doesn't have any dangerous animals or insects.
Kiwis are known for being friendly and welcoming, which can really make your trip feel extra special. Don't be afraid to ask questions, whether you need recommendations, directions, or just want to chat. You may even discover a local secret.
Have you ever been to New Zealand before? How was your trip? Let us know in the comments and be sure to share your recommendations for things to do!
This article was originally posted on 'Siddharth and Shruti'