1. New Zealand is the home of adventure
Where would the world of adventure tourism be without the bungy jump? New Zealander AJ Hackett mastered the art and let the world have a go at the Kawarau Bridge Jump, the first commercial bungy jump operation in the world. Oh, and let’s not forget the jet boat, ski plane and Zorb.
2. A unique culture
Experience the haka, a ceremonial Māori dance made world famous by the All Blacks rugby team as their pre-game ritual. Beyond the public sporting display, New Zealand celebrates its Māori culture in daily life and there are numerous places to experience it.
3. Real Middle‑earth
New Zealand is the home of the real Middle‑earth and what a travesty it would be if the rest of the world couldn’t find it. Find your way to New Zealand and you will discover real landscapes, hobbit holes and special effects studios famous for bringing JRR Tolkien’s creations to life.
4. Stunning fjords
Milford Sound is a misleading name for the spectacular fjord in the Fiordland National Park. Whether you choose to explore the stunning natural features by boat, kayak or air, you simply wouldn’t want to miss it.
5. Fine wine
New Zealand wine is increasingly known the world over as one of the finest drops. Sample Central Otago’s pinot noir, Marlborough’s sauvignon blanc or a Hawke’s Bay syrah on the vineyard at the source.
6. Wildlife wonders
New Zealand is home to some weird and wonderful wildlife, including birds that don’t know how to fly, monster marine mammals and a reptile that’s survived from dinosaur days. Swim with dolphins, take a whale-watching cruise and get up close to yellow-eyed penguins.
7. World-famous coffee
New Zealand is the birthplace of the flat white (coffee that is). Although the subject is of hot debate, one Auckland café claims to have invented the creamy, caffeinated burst of goodness that’s now a regular on café menus worldwide.
8. Grand glaciers
For a truly unique experience you won’t get in every country, take a helicopter to the top of Franz Josef or Fox Glacier for a guided walk onto the ice. With a temperate climate, these magnicant glaciers are among the most accessible in the world.
9. Geothermal phenomena
Feel Earth’s power in New Zealand, where you can witness erupting geysers, bubbling mud pools and steaming hot springs on your doorstep. To experience the geothermal wonders, head to the Volcanic Zone, including Rotorua, Bay of Plenty and Ruapehu.
10. Simply world-class
Finally, there is one obvious reason why New Zealand has to be on every map, and that is because we’re simply world-class. Beautiful, friendly, safe and simply awesome, you don’t have to go far in a country the size of New Zealand to find everything that you’re looking for.
Originally published on newzealand.com.