Going to New Zealand
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- Wai-o-Tapu Thermal WonderlandWai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, 201 Waiotapu Loop Rd, Rotorua 3201, New Zealand
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I'd also recommend Rotorua (the volcanic hot springs hot spot of North Island) and Bay of Islands (I've heard the dolphin watching is unbeatable here.) Unfortunately, I never got to these places as I spent most of my time in Wellington and Tongariro National Park when I was on the North Island, but they were on my itinerary until very last minute. They'd be well within your 5-day exploration period outside Auckland!
recommended Tongariro National ParkThe filming site for Mordor and Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings: The park’s environment practically screamed Middle Earth, and I found myself wondering if Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, or Viggo ... read moreMortensen had walked the same ground I was. I could just see the dwarves and hobbits scrambling along, preparing for battle or wearily approaching the mountain to destroy Gollum’s beloved precious. Black, oddly shaped volcanic rocks littered the valley floor, marking eruption landing zones. At the foothills of rugged, craggy cliffs ran a creek stained red from active minerals. Odd plants sprouted from spongy soil, lining the crooked and uneven path that, on occasion, ran only a foot wide along a cliffside. Dizzying steps up a steep mountainside led to yet another plateau, where the brave of heart can choose to tackle Mount Doom. Loose gravel, slip and silt, tumbling volcanic rocks, and a steep incline has you going up two feet and down one (and that's just the climb up - coming down is worse.) Climb it if you can: it's one of the most difficult, nerve-wracking, and rewarding things I've ever done.Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsBecky Mahan
Epic nature time is not difficult in New Zealand, that's for sure. Tongariro is a bit of a drive out of Auckland, but you could totally make a 2-3 day trip out of it if you wanted. I'd highly recommend the trip, as gorgeous Tongariro still visits me in my dreams.
- Mount Eden250 Mount Eden Road, Auckland, AUK 1024 New Zealand
- Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter & Underwater World23 Tamaki Drive, Auckland, AUK 1071 New Zealand
- Piha BeachPiha Road, Auckland, AUK New Zealandrecommended Piha BeachOne of the most amazing beaches in the world. Lion Rock is a natural formation that resembles Lion's Mane is truly spectacular. A must-do day trip see if your find yourself in Auckland, NZ.
recommended Waiheke IslandRolling hills covered in giant ferns and undulating vineyards, surrounded by crystal waters of the bay. This place is worthy of a honeymoon. Super fresh, quality foods, and great wines at every single ... read moreplace I went.