New Zealand – The Best Place in the World to Visit

As a proud Marmite loving, All Black supporting, jandal wearing Kiwi I couldn’t let this latest piece of news pass without mentioning it here.

Wanderlust AwardYes, for the Fourth year in a row New Zealand has been named the world’s favourite country by readers of The Telegraph ,with over 75,000 people voting.  In a similar survey for the World’s best travel destination at Wanderlust Travel Magazine it was also ranked 1st for the second year in a row (after being in the top 3 for the previous 3 years). Now for us kiwis that isn’t really that surprising, we don’t call it “God’s own” for nothing and in fact some of my co-workers here in Finland when they refer to New Zealand don’t actually use its name, they simply call it Paradise

As part of their article on the awards The Telegraph also published an article on the 26 Reasons why New Zealand is the World’s Best Country.

Kaiteriteri Beach
Kaiteriteri Beach

There are not many countries in the world where you can be skiing in the mountains in the morning, surfing in the ocean in the afternoon then enjoying dinner at a world class winery, or where you can see seals on the side of the State Highway.  It is a country of such diverse beauty that you really do need to see it with your own eyes.

I know in my travels I have run into many people who have seen “Lord of the Rings” or “The Hobbit” and have fallen in love with the scenery and YES, it really is as beautiful as it looks on screen.

Check out the video below for a glimpse of what New Zealand has to offer….

Get Off the Beaten Track

My advice to anyone looking to travel to New Zealand is avoid the package tours and “must see” destinations, get off the beaten track and enjoy the real New Zealand.  Walk some of the tracks, camp by the sea, bath in a volcanic hot pool on the side of a Mountain, skim stones on a deserted lake or just sit back with a world leading Sauvagnon Blanc and enjoy a BBQ (or a hangi if you have the right connections…) at the bach you have rented in the Marlborough Sounds…..

Check out AirBnB for somewhere to stay and enjoy New Zealand as an honourary “Kiwi”.

For some Real New Zealand Adventures check out our list here


New Zealand Bus Pass - Bus Tour

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Tony Fitzpatrick
Architect, Dad, Traveller & Head Rover at Around Rock 3
After a brief flirtation with Japan in the early '90's, and some occasional trips to Australia since, I have had an unrequited love affair with Japan and general desire to explore the world for the next 20 years while reality prevailed and I found myself pretty much stuck in my home country of New Zealand (not that is an entirely bad thing...).After a chance opportunity arose in mid 2012 to relocate our family to Moscow, Russian Federation I finally set off on my OE with my family in tow. It has been an amazing journey that has seen us experience life in Russia, Japan and now Finland, as well as visiting around a dozen countries so far in our adventure to date.While my family situation has changed along the way, I am continuing to explore the world with my tri-lingual son and enjoy sharing the adventures we have had with my followers.

12 comments

  1. Your article really convinced me about the beauty of New Zealand!
    Wow, I had know idea so many people have voted for New Zealand, and even in the 4th year in a row. Your advice to visit some not so famous places from New Zealand seems great, I’m sure there would be sooo many things to see.
    I know you’re from there and maybe you will be a bit subjective, but even so, what’s the best place to visit, according to you? From New Zealand, I mean 😛

    1. Hi Ashley,

      Great that it has convinced you of the beauty of this little place at the bottom of the world….. In my opinion the South Island is the best part of New Zealand, with about half of the land mass and 20% of the population it is very easy to be somewhere beautiful alone…. From the Marlborough Sounds at the top (my home province) to Te Anau, Glenorchy, Fiordland and co near the bottom, there are snow covered mountains, Glaciers, Beautiful crystal clear lakes, beaches, forests and wide open plains. You will find Fur Seals on the roadside, baby seals in secret grottos, glow worms and even penguins, Pukekos, Wekas and Keas in the mountains. You can surf, ski, fish and hunt and if your tastes are more leisurely there are some of the best wines in the world produced in Marlborough. Don’t get me wrong, the North Island is nice, but the South Island is Amazing…..

  2. You are right New Zealand is an excellent country it has some of the worlds most spectacular landscapes, from vast mountain ranges, steaming volcanoes to sweeping coastlines. Thanks for adding the video they are much better than pictures if you can get them to work for you. When do you think you might make another trip to Japan 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment, you are welcome, I love sharing my country with those I have met in my travels. Many think I am mad for having left it behind, but I have had 40 odd years living there so am luckier than most. Not sure when I will get back to Japan, hopefully it could be 2019 for the Rugby World Cup, fingers crossed….

  3. Hi Tony,
    What a great article that you took the time to craft which told the complete beauty of your home-country New Zealand.
    I’ve never been there – the closest being Hawaii during 6 visits but nevertheless at least several thousand miles away.
    The images and the beautiful video that you included spotlighted most spectacularly all that could be seen in New Zealand.
    As would be the case visiting any country for the first time, you stated that it would be best to avoid the tourist traps. I say the same thing regarding Hawaii – people get enamored with simply going to Waikiki to lie on the beach when, its jammed with other tourists and I know of a beach several miles away that is virtually uninhabited.

    I’ve always one day wanted to go to Australia. Perhaps it this becomes reality, and especially as in your article you sold me on New Zealand, I’d just have to pop over there on the way back home to the U.S.
    Great article, Tony!
    Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for your comment, definitely getting off the beaten track in any country is best and especially living as a local if you can makes it even better.

      I might be slightly biased here but I know of many people who have travelled half way around the world to visit Australia and New Zealand and the most common regret most of them have is that they spent too much time in Australia and too little time in New Zealand….. Don’t get me wrong, our West Island has a lot going for it, deserts, beaches, wild animals, deserts, beaches, poisonous reptiles and a few big cities, but our south island is just paradise….

  4. All of this looks amazing. I have a friend who always wanted to move to New Zealand once she gets her money right. I’ve never been there before but now it’s on my list of places to travel to. I want to go like everywhere in the world.
    Would you have any advice for my girl who wants to eventually live in New Zealand?

    1. Thanks Gina, maybe firstly she needs to find herself a good Kiwi lad , it might make the visa process easier…. but seriously I guess the best thing she could do is start working out what she is wanting to do there. There are certain occupations for which it is easier to get a job (if she needs one) and subsequently a visa. Then she would need to work out why she is going there and where she would like to live. Auckland and Wellington are much like any city in any western country while if she wants to escape the rat race there are plenty of small towns where live is peaceful and relaxing and close to nature while still reasonably close to a major city or shopping area. If you ever need any advice closer to the time feel free to contact me. I would be happy to help.

  5. Hi, thanks for your information here. It’s very resourceful and useful. I personally really love New Zealand. I went there once with my family to a few cities. Since then I am in love with New Zealand. I love the variety of activities there. Hopefully, you could give more information next time on the best adrenaline driven extreme sports such as bungee jumping all that. Because there are so many of them around New Zealand. Any recommendation for that? I’m planning to bring my girlfriend there. It is just a brilliant place to be.

    1. Hi Jerry,

      Thanks for your comment and kind words. Yes New Zealand is a truly beautiful country and I miss it every day, I am lucky though that I got to spend 43 years living there before leaving. I have actually been giving the whole promoting New Zealand thing some thought and think that rather than make it an insignificant part of this website that it deserves one of its own with blogs about all the amazing things to see and do so am in the planning stages of getting that up and operational. If you are going to do the bungy you might as well go for the biggest http://www.bungy.co.nz/the-nevis/the-nevis-bungy (I did the bungy once when I was young and did it off the no longer operating Shotover Bridge which was a similar height to this one, I have never been so damn scared in all my life but it was worth it….) Grab a rental car and spend your time exploring the South Island, there is so much natural beauty there and lots of adventurous activities that you will blow your mind. Drop me a line if you want any more specific advice closer to the time.

  6. New Zealand looks like such an amazing and beautiful place. Didn’t they film the LOTR series there? Absolutely gorgeous. Great idea too recommending AirBnB for places to stay. I hadn’t thought of that and would probably make the trip more affordable and allow for a bigger budget to see more attractions. But that said, some of the accommodations you’ve recommended look pretty cool too.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Yes it is a really beautiful place and yes they did film LOTR there. The landscapes you see in these movies are what we are lucky enough to call home….

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