Famous for natural beauty, wildlife, and adventure, New Zealand is a long way to travel, but well worth the effort to cross the oceans.
I arrived in New Zealand with my backpack in 2000 and ended up staying for seven years. Here are some of my favorite places for a wonderful trip and some reading recommendations while you enjoy your stay.
(1) Swim with marine mammals in Kaikoura
The depths of the Hikurangi Trench are just offshore at Kaikoura and attract an abundance of sea-life to the area. You can go whale-watching, swim with wild dolphins, kayak with the seals, or just enjoy kai moana (seafood) while gazing out across the ocean. A magical place.