Recently, The Telegraph Travel Awards named New Zealand the best country in the world.
More than 75,000 readers voted and for the fourth year in a row, the southwestern Pacific Ocean country reigned supreme!
But what gives Kiwis (that’s the cute name for the locals!) the advantage? Well, we rounded up just a few of the reasons why New Zealand is awesome. Naturally, more than a few have to do with the epic landscapes…
1. Poet Blanche Baughan called The Milford Track “the finest walk in the world.”
2. Fiordland National Park is real, despite its magical appearances.
3. The geysers in Rotorua are more than a little impressive.
4. Speaking of Rotorua, there are also hot springs.
5. If you’re a thrill-seeker, Kawarau Bridge is where bungee jumping got its start.
6. Their famous jet boating is not your average speedboat trip. The vessels go through slim canyons and make quick 180° turns on a dime.
7. Hobbiton is an actual place.
8. Actually, all of New Zealand is basically Middle-earth. (This is beautiful Mount Doom, aka Mount Ngauruhoe.)
9. You can take a helicopter ride…
10. …which lands on a frickin’ glacier! Yes, you then get to hike around said glacier.
11. Off the Kaikoura Peninsula, you can swim with wild fur seals. (It’s just as awesome as it sounds.)
12. Tongariro National Park is not too bad to look at.
13. On second thought, all the national parks — including Abel Tasman — should be on this list.
14. Even if you’re not a fan of insects, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves are not to be missed.
15. The native Maori culture is incredibly fascinating and very much still active.
16. Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown is nothing to scoff at.
17. A visit to Cathedral Cove is a religious experience.
18. There are about 20 sheep to every human being in New Zealand…which means this is what you can expect for your vacation.
And those are just A FEW of the reasons New Zealand is so great. So, what are you waiting for? Take a trip to Middle-earth!