The AbsoluteVisit Blog

The Top 100 Places in the World...And So Much More

Blogs from: New Zealand

A Seaside City – Auckland, New Zealand

 

Photo of the Day – A Seaside City – Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland is a pretty cool city. It is not as big as I would have thought, but also much more hip that I had originally imagined as well. Like most worldly cities, Auckland sits on a bay which affords some incredible water to city views. Brad and I took a ferry from downtown Auckland to an island in the bay for a short hike. On our return, we snapped this picturesque view.

A Seaside City - Auckland, New Zealand
 

Clouds Over Mt. Ngauruhoe – Tongariro, New Zealand

 

Photo of the Day – Clouds Over Mt. Ngauruhoe – Tongariro, New Zealand

The famous Mt. Doom from the Lord of the Rings films is just one of the special views you get to take in on your stroll along the path of the world’s single greatest day hike. Beware, the weather can move through the area quite quickly, but if you are lucky you will catch a clear view of the volcanic crater crest.

Clouds Over Mt. Ngauruhoe - Tongariro, New Zealand
 

Cutting Through The Forest – Fox Glacier, New Zealand

 

Mystery Photo Answer

Hopefully everyone had fun with the “Stairway to Heaven” mystery photo on Tuesday. Maya N had the best guess in the comments – “Moscow”. This photo was taken in the famous Revolution Square station of the Moscow Metro. Great job Maya!


Photo of the Day – Cutting Through The Forest – Fox Glacier, New Zealand

One of the reasons New Zealand is such a special tourism destination is because of the unbelievable geographic diversity that can be found as you explore the North and South islands. A few hours north of Queenstown on the South Island lies the beautiful Fox Glacier, which cuts sharply through the surrounding tropical forest. While this is not the most impressive glacier that Will and I have seen, Fox Glacier was the first glacier that we set our eyes on and I can still remember the surreal moment standing in front of the massive field of ice in complete shock of what stood before me. Everyone should make plans to see a glacier one day.

Cutting Through The Forest - Fox Glacier, New Zealand
 

Floating Above Lake Taupo – Taupo, New Zealand

 

Photo of the Day – Floating Above Lake Taupo – Taupo, New Zealand

Since I used myself as a model on Thursday, it is only fair that I let Will debut his modeling skills today. In this picture Will finds himself several thousand feet above the beautiful Lake Taupo on the north island of New Zealand. I was floating down out of the sky somewhere next to him outside of the frame of this shot.

Words can not describe the extreme rush that you get when you jump out of a plane. If you haven’t done it yet – seriously you have to do it. What is holding you back?

Safety? Your odds of dying are in the 1 in 100,000 range. You are far more likely to die in a car accident this year than from the amazing lifetime experience of skydiving once.

Fear of Heights? I am terrified of heights – ask Will. Skydiving is just not that scary and I’m not saying that to be macho. Flying up in the plane is not a big deal at all since most of us have flown many times before. And jumping out isn’t scary either. In fact you don’t really jump out, you are gently pushed out by the tandem guide attached to you.

Go Go Go! I promise you will not regret it.

Floating Above Lake Taupo - Taupo, New Zealand
 

Christchurch Gondola View – Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Photo of the Day – Christchurch Gondola View – Christchurch, New Zealand

This picture is a special one to me as it is not only beautiful and interesting, but it also comes from the trip that “took me over the edge” to travel the world. During our first day in Christchurch and prior to our tour of the South Island, Brad, Eric (Brad’s brother), and I ventured up via Gondola to the top of a nearby mountain. Unknown to us, there was an awesome bay on the other side in between some other mountains and hillsides.

New Zealand is an amazing country with some of the most incredible landscapes I have seen. I suppose the really intriguing part of New Zealand is the diversity of landscapes in such a small area.

Have you been to New Zealand? What did you think? Favorite place?

Christchurch Gondola View - Christchurch, New Zealand
 

Black Swan Portrait – Rotorua, New Zealand

 

Photo of the Day – Black Swan Portrait – Rotorua, New Zealand

As we traveled and then explored the Rotorua area, we were not all that impressed by our surroundings, but did manage to find a few Black Swans. Brad was able to get a perfect portrait of a black swan and in this photo you can even see the beads of water on the swan’s head.

Part of traveling around the world is certainly seeing animals that are indigenous to a certain area or can only be found in a certain region of the world. In this case, the Black Swan is indigenous to both Australia and New Zealand, but unfortunately had to be reintroduced to New Zealand after it was hunted to extinction.

What are you favorite animals from around the world?

Black Swan Portrait - Rotorua, New Zealand
 

Tongariro Alpine Crossing Trailhead – Tongariro, New Zealand

 

Photo of the Day – Tongariro Alpine Crossing Trailhead – Tongariro, New Zealand

From what I remember, this was just the beginning of what turned out to be an epic day hike which some call the Best Day Hike in the World (AbsoluteVisit ranks it #85 in the entire world!). The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an incredible and extremely diverse trail taking you up, down, and around valleys, hills, mountains, deserts, volcanoes, and sulfuric lakes. In case you can’t tell, I highly recommend it!

This photo is pretty simple and can be replicated in lots of places around the world. The composition of the trail leading to something in the distance draws your eye from the front of the photo to the back keeping it interesting. With focus throughout the entire field of the photo, there are clear elements in the foreground and background which adds depth. Try this shot out – it’s easy and I bet you can find a similar composition just walking out your door.

Has anyone else been here? What is your favorite hike in the world?

Tongariro Alpine Crossing Trailhead - Tongariro, New Zealand
 

Above Cathedral Cove – Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

 

Photo of the Day – Above Cathedral Cove – Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

New Zealand doesn’t generally conjure up images of thick forests atop cliffs over a “Caribbean” colored sea, but that is exactly what this picture shows. The Coromandel Peninsula was one of the last stops Brad and I had on our road trip of New Zealand’s North Island. I distinctly remember the drive from Waitomo to Whitianga being extremely curvy and hilly, but it was well worth the focused driving for this view alone.

It seems that almost any area that has cliffs or mountains into any type of water (lake, sound, ocean, etc.) is always extraordinarily beautiful, this being a perfect example. In fact, also in New Zealand with similar characteristics (giant mountains falling directly into the sea) is Milford Sound which is another incredible natural destination.

What are some of your favorite locations where this cliff-to-sea or mountain-to-lake beauty exists? (Hint, hint – one of them might be here or here or here :) )

Above Cathedral Cove - Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
 
Prambanan Temple - Yogyakarta, Indonesia Read More
Shwedagon Pagoda Visit - AV #56
Read More
Chobe National Park - Botswana, Africa Read More
 
Connect with AV
 
 
 
 
 
The Top 100 Places in the World
1 Great Wall of China
2 Pyramids of Egypt
3 Machu Picchu
4 Serengeti Migration
5 Galapagos Islands
6 Grand Canyon
7 Angkor Temples
8 Antarctica Cruise
9 Taj Mahal
10 Iguazu Falls
11 Amazon Rain Forest
12 Great Barrier Reef
13 Bora Bora
14 Victoria Falls
15 Bagan
16 Petra
17 Potala Palace
18 Karnak
19 Mt Everest
20 Cappadocia
21 St Peters Basilica
22 Fjords of Norway
23 Jerusalem Old City
24 Burj Khalifa
25 Borobudur
26 Forbidden City
27 Kashmir Valley
28 Li River Cruise
29 Ladakh
30 Alhambra
31 Louvre Museum
32 Perito Moreno Glac.
33 Banaue Terraces
34 Colosseum of Rome
35 Easter Island
36 Venice Canals/Alleys
37 Kathmandu Valley
38 Wat Phra Kaew
39 Yellowstone NP
40 Pompeii
41 Rio Panoramic View
42 Palace of Versailles
43 Dubrovnik
44 Golden Temple
45 St. Basils Cathedral
46 Vatican Museum
47 Florence Cityscape
48 Acropolis
49 Amalfi Coast Drive
50 Kremlin
51 Hong Kong View
52 TerraCotta Warriors
53 Mezquita Cordoba
54 Chichen Itza
55 Damascus Old City
56 Shwedagon Stupa
57 Sahara Desert
58 Mont St Michel
59 St. Marks Square
60 Egyptian Museum
61 Hagia Sophia
62 Angel Falls
63 Delphi
64 Teotihuacan
65 Baalbek
66 Banff NP
67 Santorini
68 Matterhorn
69 New York Skyline
70 Neuschwanstein
71 Chartres Cathedral
72 British Museum
73 Prague Old Town
74 Burj al Arab
75 Yangtze River Cruise
76 Yosemite NP
77 Hermitage Museum
78 Torres del Paine
79 Chambord Chateau
80 Lijiang
81 Portofino
82 Great Ocean Road
83 Tongariro Alpine
84 Las Vegas Strip
85 Tikal
86 Topkapi Palace
87 Sydney Opera House
88 Eiffel Tower
89 Luxor Temple
90 Kerala Backwaters
91 Golden Gate Bridge
92 Cinque Terre
93 Metropolitan Mus
94 Uffizi Gallery
95 Ayers Rock
96 Cliffs of Moher
97 Pacific Coast Hwy
98 Shanghai Skyline
99 Glacier Bay NP
100 Wulingyuan
Cappadocia  Cappadocia, Turkey
 
Top 100 by Name Top 100 on a Map
Top 100 by Country Top 100 by Continent