42 Things I Love About New Zealand

TranzAlpine Scenic Rail

1. Shocking beauty of the snow-capped Southern Alps
2. Hobbits lurking around every corner
3. Championship golf overlooking Hawke’s Bay at Cape Kidnappers
4. Greeting a Maori warrior, forehead to forehead
5. Biting into a massive Big Al burger at the one and only Fergburger in Queenstown
6. The dubious yet satisfying meat content of a classic sausage roll
7. Exciting cuisine using the best locally sourced meats and produce
8. Air New Zealand – They make the long journey a true pleasure
9. Jet boating on a cool morning through the misty mountains of Wanaka

wanaka winter

10. The North Island’s rolling hills dotted with millions of sheep. Baa
11. Joining Kiwis as they fling themselves from various heights in a variety of ways
12. Exploring the stunning vineyards of the Marlborough wine region
13. Getting the perfect reflection of Mts. Cook and Tasman at Lake Matheson
14. Those strange little nocturnal brown birds known as the Kiwi
15. Driving along the South Island’s West Coast and catching the Tasman Sea at sunset
16. Interpreting the Kiwi’s unique ability to understate everything.
17. Browsing and buying some of the many warm and wonderful wool products. Baa
18. Enjoying dinner and a movie at Cinema Paradiso in Wanaka
19. Getting used to the smell of sulfur at Lake Rotorua

Sheep mountain

20. Zorbing.  21. Experiencing one of the top train adventures in the world on the TranzAlpine
22. Punting through the classically English scenery of Christchurch
23. Flying through the treetops on the Zip Trek experience in Queenstown
24. Wandering the bubbling geysers at Te Puia in Rotorua
25. Fjordland and its uncommonly gorgeous views
26. Phil Keoghan
27. Underwater river tubing in Waitomo with the glowworms as your guide
28. Enjoying a hot coffee on a foggy morning in Wanaka
29. Relaxing in one of the country’s many thermal spas
30. No scary or poisonous animals on either island (hear that Australia?)

Blackwater Tubing Waitomo

31. Rugby.Rugby.Rugby
32. Feel like an explorer as you trek through the New Zealand hinterlands
33. For a Northern Hemisphere resident, snow in June is amazing
34. Landing and exploring Franz Josef glacier via helicopter
35. Feel what it’s really like to be alone with nature with only your thoughts as companion
36. A hotel that’s a plane. Or a train. Or a Hobbit hole.
37. Without question, New Zealand is the global headquarters for adventure travel
38. Meandering through the quiet gold rush town Greymouth
39. Exploring the Antarctic missions based in Christchurch. Penguins people, penguins!
40. Visiting Christchurch as residents rebuild this still great city
41. Partaking in a traditional Maori Hangi
42. NON STOP beauty – everywhere, always.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

18 Responses

  1. Gerard ~ GQ trippin

    Thanks for this. I plan on doing more than half of these next January. Wish I had longer than a month! My GF & I are thinking 2 weeks north isle, 2 weeks south isle. Does sound about right?

    • Matt Long

      ha, well since I spent a week exploring both islands, a month sounds like luxury to me 🙂

    • Lori Winter

      We’ve been here 9 months and we still don’t feel like we’ve seen everything! 😛 I’m glad you’re taking a full month though. You’ll love every minute! Don’t forget the beaches of Northland–they will be spectacular in January! I recommend Bream Head Scenic Reserve near Whangarei and snorkeling at Goat Island (an hour north of Auckland).

  2. Alex

    Is the 42 number of items, random or a geeky tribute to Douglas Adams? 🙂

    • Matt Long

      Yay Alex! Geeky tribute and you’re the first to get it 🙂 If I had prizes, I’d give you one.

  3. Joe Sylvester

    Thanks Matt I am ready to go back and do the 35 I missed

    • Matt Long

      and I’d be more than happy to join. 🙂

  4. Mandy

    New Zealand seems like a really great place to live or make a visit to. I wish i could travel there one day. This would be my dream. A friend of mine is in australia now for work and tarvel. She also wants to visit New Zealand for some weeks. I´m so curious about what she will bring from there. i think there will be really nice pictures and memories. When i´m reading your listing i wish i could be there now.

  5. Nichole chism

    I agree with everything you have said, I Love NZ! I grew up there and one of my favorite treats were milk bottle lollies.

  6. Hilarye

    I’m so jealous- I want to love New Zealand too!

  7. Stella

    As a Kiwi living in Japan, this piece made me nostalgic for home! Thank you for loving my country like I do! 🙂

  8. Erik

    Amen on all of these, Matt, but especially #42. (As my 12,000 photos attest to!)

  9. Daz

    Thoroughly enjoying browsing your site with a distinct bias towards your Enzed (NZ) experience. As a kiwi living in Australia, anticipating my return home to NZ, you’ve stoked my passion for the return to the country I love notably for the vistas and hiking adventures. Thanks for sharing and caring so much in your travle adventures. Definitely bookmarking your site!

  10. Liv

    What about the little kiwis Matt? (I mean the birds!) They are so cute! ;o)

  11. Robert

    Glad you enjoyed NZ. Certainly one of the better places to visit on this planet. I also enjoy the way the small towns have focussed on something special to their area. Tirau – corrugated Iron art , Dargaville – the Kumara , dozens of other examples like Hunterville – Huntaway herding dog.

  12. RationalMatthew

    I love the fact that everything is so delightfully unsafe from the driving to the glaciers to the adventure sport to the open air train carriages…

    • Matt Long

      Yup, it’s an extreme but beautiful place!

  13. Nimrod

    I gather you haven’t made it back? I arrived here because on the article on “Makeuseof” and then looking to see if NZ was here as we are going for 25 days in Feb 2016. We wil do the west Coast N to S and will check out Med in Wanaka . Lake Mathesion I knew of . Your comments as to underestimating echo those of friends who just came back. I know how much we are NOT going to see so wonder how after the taste you do not return. But yes there are a lot of place we would all like to visit. Have subscribed to your blog in the mean time.


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