New Zealand is a relatively small country consisting of two islands – north and south – with more sheep than people, but it's still a fantastic destination. New Zealand citizens (nicknamed 'Kiwis') are open, friendly, and perpetually looking to have a good time, happy to share their knowledge with tourists or offer to sit and chat at one of the well-appointed lounges in Auckland and beyond.
And despite its deserved reputation for ruggedness, New Zealand offers many quality restaurants featuring the freshest ingredients, along with high-end accommodations that will suit any style. These range from the fanciest hotels in the world to simple but comfortable hostels aimed at the backpacking set who wander the country in search of their next adventure.
Auckland is by far the biggest city in the country with more than one million of the country's 4.2 million citizens calling it home. As a result, it's where you'll find many of New Zealand's best hotels and restaurants. Dine at Kazuya Restaurant or The Shed, and don't miss the Goat Island Marine Reserve.
Christchurch operates as your jumping-off point to all the south island's adventures but make sure to hit Orana Wildlife Park and take a helicopter ride over the city before you take off into the wild. If you need to stock up on snacks and drinks, King of Snake is an excellent option, while Addington Coffee Co-Op is the place to go for people watching and a late morning pick-me-up. The George Christchurch offers top notch accommodation.
From Christchurch, head to Queenstown – one of the extreme sports capitals of the world – for everything from white water rafting and skydiving to hiking.