New Zealand

Middle Earth - Essential New Zealand experiences

Ever since the first The Lord of the Rings movie was released in 2001, New Zealand has been known as the "Home of Middle-earth".

Magical and otherworldly, New Zealand's landscapes form the backdrop for enthralling adventures and experiences you'll remember for a lifetime. Here's New Zealand's top-10 'greatest hits' - the most spectacular destinations, activities and sights that await you in the home of Middle-earth.

01. Southern Lights

01. Southern Lights
Also known as Aurora Australis, the Southern Lights is a night-time symphony in the sky of green and red created by electrons colliding from the magnetic field of the South Pole.
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02. Hike the Tongariro Crossing

02. Hike the Tongariro Crossing
One of New Zealand's most spectacular day walks, the volcanic landscapes, emerald-coloured lakes and snowy volcanic peaks can only be described as spectacularly otherworldly.
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03. Lake Tekapo

03. Lake Tekapo
The snow-capped mountains, milky blue water and golden hills of tussock that surround Lake Tekapo will make you feel like you've stumbled upon an alpine paradise.
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04. Whale watching in Kaikoura

04. Whale watching in Kaikoura
Experience a majestic Sperm Whale - the gentle giants of the sea - with a whale watching expedition in Kaikoura.
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05. Kayaking in Milford sound

05. Kayaking in Milford sound
Described by Rudyard Kipling as the '8th wonder of the world' Milford Sound's towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls and sky-scraping mountain peaks make kayaking in the fiord an unforgettable experience.
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06. Glacier hiking

06. Glacier hiking
Witness ancient valleys of ice that cascade almost to the sea with an enthralling glacier hike.
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07. Moeraki Boulders

07. Moeraki Boulders
Formed 65 million years ago, the Moeraki Boulders - some up to 2metres high - are spectacular relics of a time gone by.
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8. Kerosene Creek natural hot springs

8. Kerosene Creek natural hot springs
Soak in water naturally heated by the earth's energy amongst lush native forest - Kerosene Creek is one of New Zealand's many natural hot springs.
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9. Cathedral Cove

9. Cathedral Cove
Reached by a picturesque walkway, Cathedral Cove is a gigantic arched cavern passing through a white rock headland that joins two stunning, secluded coves.
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10. Ninety Mile beach

10. Ninety Mile beach
Ninety Mile beach is an enchanting paradise of forest, white sand and rolling ocean waves at the very top of New Zealand.
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See also: The Hobbit Trilogy - Home of Middle-earth
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