Few countries in the world are as famous for their beautiful scenery as Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud – better known as New Zealand. Peter Jackson used its homeland as the film set for Middle Earth from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. And indeed, this other end of the world feels like a journey through a fantastic land that must have sprung from the pen of a famous author, who threw around breathtaking descriptions of landscapes as he wrote – from waterfalls and dense forests to snow-capped mountain ranges, white sand beaches and azure ocean bays.


But in addition to nature, the cities also have much to offer. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is the perfect starting point for touring the rest of the country. The city is also the perfect place to gain your first cultural experiences. The Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, or Museum of New Zealand, tells the entire story of the country, the Maori culture and the cultural heritage associated with it. It is considered one of the most innovative museums in the world. Innovative in its time was also the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, which made New Zealand famous worldwide. For all film fans, Tolkien fanatics and interested people, there is a possibility to visit Weta Workshop. This is where Tolkien’s words became real sets, where the film’s special effects and equipment were created. A behind-the-scenes tour lets you experience a whole new perspective of this epic film.


In addition to the cultural experience of Wellington, Queenstown offers just the opposite. It is the perfect place for all adrenaline junkies who flock here from all over the world to go adventuring. A. J. Hackett jumped off a bridge here in 1986 with a rope at his foot – and bungee jumping was born. Today, there are numerous ways to plunge from daredevil heights, from platforms to canyons to bridges (including diving into the water, of course). Everywhere in the sky you will spot skydivers and paragliders, and on the waters of the Sbotover River you can get the next adrenaline kick in white-water rafting. During all these adventures, you are always surrounded by the sensational scenery of the Southern Alps as well as various lakes.

Tongario Crossing:

For all those who are looking for adventure, but without the excess of adrenaline, New Zealand is also just the right place due to its countless hiking routes and tours. Among them, the Tongario Alpine Crossing is often considered the best day hike in the country. It’s a challenging trek that takes you across a fascinating volcanic landscape. Peter Jackson used this area as Mordor and Mount Ngauruhoe as Mount Doom. One of the highlights along the way are the Emerald Lakes, with their sulfurous shoreline edges glowing in greenish-bluish and sometimes yellowish colors.

Coromandel Peninsula:

Those who are more drawn to the beach will find their personal paradise on the Coromandel Peninsula. Situated on the northeast coast of the North Island, not far from Auckland, you will find 400 kilometers of white sandy beaches and in the interior natural rainforests with beautiful flora and fauna. Especially in summer, the famous Cathedral Cove is the absolute highlight of the region. An arched cave, surrounded by turquoise waters, is a postcard view beyond compare. One of the best ways to explore the coast are kayak tours – and with a bit of luck you might even meet dolphins, orcas or other sea creatures.

Milford Sound:

On the other side of New Zealand, on the southwest coast of the South Island, lies perhaps one of the most beautiful places on our planet. Milford Sound, deep in the Fjordland National Park, boasts beautiful fjords, valleys and mountains, lakes and waterfalls. While on a boat you can get very close to the masses of water tumbling from the mountain peaks, it is not unlikely that you will encounter schools of dolphins and seals playing in the water. If you like hiking, you can walk one of the world-famous hiking routes that wind through the national park along snow-capped mountains, sparkling rivers, and the greenest rainforests.