We’ve touched on the glories of Oceania before, perhaps most notably by looking at must-see destinations on Australia’s East Coast. It’s truly an almost ridiculous corner of the world when it comes to tourism appeal – packed with gorgeous places, fun events, interesting locals, and all that good stuff. But in this post we’re going to look instead at New Zealand, and 10 reasons it might just be the most awesome place on Earth.
1. The Ocean Is Everywhere
Back in 2009, an online newspaper article told of a few New Zealand wine growers who had attempted to located the single point in the country farthest from any ocean. They landed at a point near a place called Castle Rock, which is 119.44km from the Pacific Ocean. That’s about 74 miles. 74 miles is as far away from the ocean as you can possibly be when you’re in New Zealand. That’s pretty awesome for a country that’s far more than some tiny island in the middle of the ocean.
2. It’s Literally Middle Earth
If you’re reading up on New Zealand travel, you’re probably aware that it served as the backdrop for much of the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit film trilogies. And in many cases, they didn’t even need to use CGI to enhance existing landscapes (ahem, Game Of Thrones). That means New Zealand is (basically) literally Middle Earth.
3. It Has The All-Blacks
The All-Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team, is about as dominant and fascinating as any country’s national team in any major sport. Take this for evidence: a preview of an event called the Six Nations, which doesn’t even include New Zealand, mentioned this side multiple times, suggesting that teams were chasing them in the rankings and saying England was vying for a record “currently held by World Cup winners New Zealand.” The All-Blacks simply lord over rugby, to the point that they’re even on the minds of people covering events across the world.
4. You Can Basically Fly
Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit with this one. But New Zealand happens to be the unofficial world capital of bungee jumping and skydiving, which means if you happen to be into that sort of thrill seeking, it’s probably the place to go.
5. There's Great Wine
New Zealand has become known for having some of the better wine producing regions in its part of the world. Typically the area produces a variety of top-notch red wines, though for travelers the actual vineyards are as exciting as the grapes and wines. There aren’t too many more beautiful places than a New Zealand winery.
6. The Beaches Are Terrific
We already talked about the fact that beaches are pretty much everywhere – or at least, you can infer as much from the fact that you’re never much more than 70 miles from the water. But it’s worth mentioning specifically that there are some really cool beaches in this country. In fact, you know what? I’m just going to borrow a phrase from Lonely Planet on this one: it’s heaven for beach lovers.
7. So Many Water Activities
You can learn to surf, kiteboard, scuba dive, paddle board, parasail, windsurf, or pretty much anything else that sounds appealing, all at the aforementioned excellent beaches of New Zealand. For that matter, if you want a water activity that’s a little less active, you can even book some time on one of the country’s famous jetboats, which are basically super fast and agile speedboats that ferry tourists around the rivers at top speeds.
8. The Hiking Is Unrivaled
You can visit the Alps in summertime, explore the American Southwest or Pacific Northwest, climb a mountain in Africa, walk the Great Wall of China, or do whatever else comes to mind. You will not find a hike objectively better than some of the best walks in New Zealand. As British journalist and poet Blanche Baughan said of the Milford Track in particular, it’s the finest walk in the world.
9. The Cities Are Underrated
This is something you kind of have to see for yourself. But suffice it to say New Zealand’s cities are a ton of fun, despite being somewhat overshadowed by Middle Earth and whatnot.
10. Pure. Natural. Beauty.
If you haven’t gotten the idea yet, this is a country that’s bursting at the seams with stunning natural attractions. No one can definitively say what the most beautiful country in the world is – it’s a subjective concept, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and all that. But New Zealand certainly has as good an argument as any country, and a better one than most. <br />