The Best of New Zealand: A Photo Essay
I have always dreamed of visiting New Zealand.  Ever since I saw it on the map right near Australia, I knew it was a place I just needed to get to.  Since that day most likely won’t be anytime soon (sad face), I have asked my friends over at Our Favorite Adventure to entertain my readers with some of their best photos from New Zealand.  Enjoy!  I can’t promise that you won’t be looking at ticket prices by the end of the post 🙂 I just did… 

New Zealand, without question, is one of the most stunning countries in the world when it comes to natural beauty. There is something for everyone, mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, beaches, caves, you name it, it can be found in New Zealand! We were fortunate to spend 25 days on a road trip through the country to see some of the most impressive sights.

New Zealand is home to two world-famous living glaciers, Fox and Franz Joseph. This is Fox Glacier, that ice is 300 meters thick!
Abel Tasman National Park is located on the South Island in the northwest corner. The Great Walk track through the park lines beaches like this! We camped about 10 feet from this beach one night.
In Abel Tasman NP Inspiration Point is a side hike that rewards you with views of crystal blue water, granite cliffs and occasionally…
A seal lion playing
Seal Pups in Kaikoura…where do I begin? Seeing these babies, hundreds of them, playing in the stream isn’t something you will find in a guidebook or travel brochure…you just have to know where to look! 😉
In Rotorua the Whakarewarewa Living Thermal Village is a Maori village where they still live today and offer tours that include a traditional culture performance.
Milford Sound is breathtaking, if you visit New Zealand this is a must-do. You simply have to go to see it in person, no picture can substitute the real thing.
We are incredibly fortunate to be house sitting on the Banks Peninsula near Christchurch and regularly go down to the beach to hunt for mussels for a meal! Talk about organic food!
Though there are nine Great Walks in New Zealand, we only had the opportunity to complete one. The Routeburn Track is a 2-4 day alpine hike that takes you up above tree-line for some phenomenal views.
If you have never been whale watching, Kaikoura, New Zealand is the best place to go for your first tour! They have many, many different species of whales that frequent their waters at different times of year. This is a sperm whale blowing air out of his blow hole, no photoshop here…to the naked eye it was a rainbow!
Sperm whale diving!
In the far North there is a small beach called Spirit Bay that has sand composed tiny particles of purple, pink, orange, and yellow shells!
Tongariro Alpine Crossing is no longer a ”crossing” because of some damage from a recent volcanic eruption in November 2012, but you can still hike it as an out-and-back. Most of the trail looks like you’re wandering around the Mt. Doom film set for Lord of the Rings.
Wai-O-Tapu is a Thermal Wonderland outside of Rotorua that is full of geysers, hot pools and bubbling mud.
This is little guy is a Yellow-Eyed Penguin and he lives near Dunedin, New Zealand. There are less than 2,000 of this species left in the world (they are only found in New Zealand), so in order to see them you have to take a tour on the private land where their breeding grounds are protected.
Is New Zealand on your travel wish list?
Kathleen and Brock are an American couple and the creators of In 2012 they sold all of their belongings and left behind a conventional life to live the life of their dreams. Their mission is to inspire others by sharing their journey. They have spent the past year traveling slowly through the United States, Australia and New Zealand. You can follow their story on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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