New Zealand

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When it comes down to planning your day-to-day list of things to do, ShermansTravel experts have you covered. To make sure you get the most out of your vacation, we recommend the can't-miss museums and attractions, as well as the off-the-path activities and unique local experiences that will make your trip truly memorable.

Things to do in New Zealand

Auckland Museum

Housed in a beautiful neo-classical building, the museum has an extensive collection of Maori artifacts including intricately carved buildings and war canoes.

The Domain, 011-649-309-0443, www.aucklandmuseum.com
Tags: family | things to do | culture | architecture | museum

Blanket Bay

On New Zealand's South Island, the famously plush Blanket Bay lodge is best known for its fly-fishing. Yet come winter (summer in the U.S.), a chopper can zip guests off for a day of private skiing on Clarke Glacier. Later, skiers unwind with fireside cocktails.

Rapid 4191, 011-64-3-441-0115, www.blanketbay.com
Tags: skiing | things to do | outdoors | adventure

Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

The pristine blue-ice formations, caves, and giant ice rivers are best seen by helicopter – charter a “heli-hike” (Franz Josef Glacier Guides; 011-64-3-752-0763; www.nzguides.com) to get up close to these remote wonders.

, www.glaciercountry.co.nz
Tags: smart splurge | things to do | walk

Marlborough Vineyards

Wine buffs know the name Marlborough means world-class sauvignon blanc. This is New Zealand's premier wine country; visit world-class wineries such as Cloudy Bay and Nautilus Estate for tastings.

Marlborough, www.winemarlborough.net.nz
Tags: things to do | culture | tour | wine tasting

North Island Vineyards

New Zealand is producing knockout red wines in relatively unknown wine regions. The best come from two areas on North Island: sunny Hawkes Bay, an hour from Auckland by plane, where dozens of single estate vineyards produce wonderfully spicy syrahs and chewy cab-merlot blends; and diminutive Martinborough, another three hours south by car, where multiple boutique vineyards turn out earthy pinot noirs. Like California, both areas have heartily embraced farm-to-table cuisine and offer elegant overnight digs. Yet, in comparison, they seem undiscovered - no crowds, tour buses, or ratcheted-up prices. Travelers can also savor New Zealand cuisine (think lamb, venison, and seafood) at high-end country restaurants with evocative names like Old Church and Terroir. And, most important, they can sample flights of red wines yet to arrive stateside. 2009 Smart Luxury Award winner

North Island, www.hawkesbay.co.nz
Tags: smart splurge | smart luxury winner | winery | things to do | vineyard

Tongariro National Park

Hike active volcanoes, kayak mighty rivers and trek across alpine desert here. Look for Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom from Peter Jackson's Lord of The Rings movies).

State Hwy. 1, 4 & 47, 011-647-892-3279, www.nationalpark.co.nz
Tags: family | skiing | things to do | outdoors | fishing | walk | mountain climbing

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Connect with Maori culture at the Treaty House, possibly the most important historic site in New Zealand. Tours and performances take place daily.

Bay of Islands, 011-649-402-7437
Tags: family | historic | things to do | culture

Whakarewarewa Thermal Village

This little, still inhabited Maori village is home to the Pohutu geyser and boiling mud. Tours and performances of traditional action songs are included.

, 011-647-349-3463, www.whakarewarewa.com
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | culture

Whale Watch Kaikoura

Head out in search of mighty sperm whales as they migrate along the coast. Receive an 80% refund if none are spotted.

, 011-64-3-319-6767, www.whalewatch.co.nz
Tags: family | things to do | walk

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