I LOVE New Zealand. I spent almost three weeks traversing both islands top to bottom, from Auckland to Invercargill. I was blown away by the nature and wonder around every corner and equally impressed with the cool communities nestled alongside the scenery. Here’s a look at city life from my top three spots in New Zealand:
WELLINGTON • North Island
It’s easy to see why Lonely Planet called Wellington the “Coolest Little Capital in the World,” in 2011. Hip and trendy pubs, bars, restaurants, and craft breweries line the serpentine streets, and every neighborhood seems to have a unique and colorful vibe of their own.
HAWKE’S BAY • North Island
The southeastern coastal region of Hawke’s Bay is a favorite holiday destination for Kiwis, and for good reason! The neighboring cities of Napier and Hastings welcome tourists with black sand beaches, delicious food, bountiful orchards, and exquisite vineyards. Plus, Napier is home to more than a dozen little blue penguins, found in the National Aquarium of New Zealand.
QUEENSTOWN • South Island
Ah, the beauty of Queenstown! Located between sculpted mountains and crystal clear waters, this resort town offers thrill-seeking adventure and jaw-dropping wonder for people of all ages. Skyline Gondola provides picturesque views of the city, Kiwi Birdlife Park allows visitors to get up and personal with the country’s national animal, and if you’re daring enough to try, Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge is the world’s first permanent commercial bungee site.