New Zealand

Lonely Planet Magazine (US) - - Easy Trips -

In New Zealand, tee­ter­ing on the rim of the Pa­cific Ring of Fire, mud bub­bles, moun­tains ex­plode and glaciers melt into rivers rush­ing to­ward im­mense oceans, pass­ing geother­mally heated beaches. Seem­ingly solid land­scapes are torn asun­der with a vi­o­lence and un­pre­dictabil­ity we don’t ex­pect in a coun­try where ev­ery ur­ban cor­ner of­fers cafés and pop-up bars serv­ing ar­ti­san cof­fee and sub­lime craft beers. It’s a wildly ex­cit­ing place. The coun­try is criss­crossed with qual­ity trails, but there’s a royal flush of routes – a premier league of paths that col­lec­tively ca­ress the coast, clam­ber around the South­ern Alps, ex­plore es­carp­ments, flow through Fiord­land and ven­ture onto the shoul­ders of vol­ca­noes. These are the Great Walks. A tenth walk, the 28-mile Pike29 Me­mo­rial Track, is in de­vel­op­ment and ex­pected to open in 2019.

» Don’t Miss Watch sun­set across Lake Waikare­moana from an eye-wa­ter­ing aerie on the cliff, or spy a shy kiwi bird while walk­ing Ste­wart Is­land’s Rak­iura Track. Hik­ing past the 570-foot-high Ear­land Falls on the Route­burn Track, one of New...

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