• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

New Zealand At Its Most Scenic

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WSI

 

Anyone who ever visits New Zealand will testify to the stunning natural beauty of the country. From secret beaches to rugged snow-capped mountains, New Zealand is easily one of the most visually spectacular of the world’s holiday destinations. The only problem is that after a while people simply start taking even the most stunning scenery in New Zealand for granted. In this case, where are the best places in New Zealand to experience the country at its most scenic even by New Zealand’s own standards?

Milford Sound

Credit Orion Expedition Cruises

Credit Orion Expedition Cruises

Made up of miles of otherwise impenetrable fjord land, a day or night cruise around Milford sound is a must for anyone who wants to experience New Zealand at its most magisterial. Even in poor weather, water cascading over towering waterfalls into the surreal quiet of the Sound itself leads to a truly magical visual experience. Surrounded by cliffs towering upwards of 3000 feet overhead, Milford Sound is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful fauna and fauna. In fact, such fauna even includes black coral, an aquatic organism  which has a lifespan of over 4000 years making it the longest living known life form on the planet.

Wai-O-Tapu 

Picture courtesy of Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Picture courtesy of Waimangu Volcanic Valley

 

Located near Rotorua, the hot water spring, mud bath and geyser capital of New Zealand, Wai-O-Tapu is a geothermal wonderland perhaps most famous for the Devil’s Bath, a stagnant pool of sulfuric green water which is actually considered a natural wonder. Of course, such a description doesn’t make the area sound too scenic. However, Wai-O-Tapu itself is considered the best place outside of Yellowstone National Park in the US for experiencing truly iconic geothermal features and resultant geology and natural scenery.

Franz Josef Glacier 

Composed of more than 12km of in places cobalt blue ice, walking on the Franz Josef Glacier on New Zealand’s South Island is like stepping into a surreal blue-white world looking down over miles of lush sub-tropical rainforest. One of only a handful of glaciers in the world which terminate into such temperate climates, the only place outside of New Zealand where you can experience such scenery is Argentina. In this case, taking a Heli-hike onto the Franz Josef, or for that matter, nearby Fox Glacier really is a once in a lifetime experience.    



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