Most of us spend day after day working and dreaming of the perfect vacation.
We all need breaks and vacations in our nonstop lives. The typical fantasy trip is running off to the tropics or backpacking through the tourist destinations of Europe. As tempting as those are, the hidden gem of getaways is absolutely New Zealand.
Here are the five places you must visit if you're ever lucky enough to find yourself in the scenic country.
1. Milford Sound, New Zealand
The Milford Sound is known as the eighth wonder of the world. Formed by glaciers during the Ice Age, this place is pure scientific history.
One of the best ways to absorb all its beauty is to take a trip on the water. Go on a cruise to see the waterfalls and wildlife. You'll find dolphins and penguins dominating the area. You can also choose to kayak and enjoy the scenery at your own pace.
After you've been mesmerized by the view, go ahead under the water and visit the Milford Discovery Center and Underwater Observatory. As the only floating underwater observatory, visitors can go up to 30 feet deep while staying completely dry.
And if you're taking the trip with company, the 360-degree view creates the perfect ambiance for romance.
2. Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are some of the most mesmerizing caves on the planet. Illuminated by millions of bioluminescent glowworms, it decorates the walls of the caves like tiny stars.
If you're seeking some thrill, you can try black water rafting. The Black Water Rafting Company allows you to float on a tube down a subterranean stream. It will be completely black and you can experience the glowworms in their natural habitat. Whether you want to jump off a waterfall or float down the cave calmly, the choice is yours.
3. Waiheke Island
If you're in Auckland, take the time to visit Waiheke Island. Waiheke Island is the land of vineyards and is a wine-lover's dream. We are all familiar with the amazing wine from New Zealand, and this is the perfect opportunity to taste as much of it as you can.
Book your trip sooner rather than later. It's a famous spot so you might find difficulties getting there without a reservation.
4. Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley
No trip to New Zealand is complete without exploring the Maori Heritage. Te Puia, the spot's nickname, is the place to experience the Maori culture, where you can find the Maori Arts and Craft Institute. At this heritage center, you can find an authentic “Steambox” meal which is prepared using ancient geothermal cooking techniques.
If you're looking to be part of the Haka ceremony, you will be given a welcome with their traditional song and dance. Once used as a war dance, it is now a symbol of unity and heritage.
This valley is also home to various active glaciers including the Pohutu, the largest active glacier in the southern hemisphere. Also consider checking out the legendary mud pools while you're there. These boiling pools can reach temperatures greater than 200 degrees.
5. Bay of Islands
If you're a water-sports enthusiast, then Bay of Islands is the perfect place to go. The region made up of 144 islands between Cape Brett and The Purerua Peninsula.
You can either scuba dive or take a ferry tour to explore the region. You can also hire a guide to take you whale watching. If conditions allow, take a swim with the wild dolphins.
If you're in Bay Islands, don't forget to visit the Hole in the Rock. It's an opening in the rock formation you can go through when the tide is right.
If you're planning to travel, keep New Zealand on your list. It is an amazing destination with a beautiful culture that should be visited by everyone at least once in their lifetime.