New Zealand – the land of Hobbits, extreme sports, and spectacular views.

New Zealand, a beautiful green country, is swiftly becoming a destination of choice. It is a land of extreme sports, of breathtaking vistas and spectacular views, of lively cities, and a culture rich with tradition. More recently, it has become a movie-lovers paradise with trilogy films like the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit leaving their well-recognised mark on the nation.

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Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, NewZealand

Of the 3.2 million tourists that make the trip to New Zealand very year, about 40% of these are Australian. After all, hopping “over the ditch” can take less time that crossing from the east to the west cross of Australia! (Auckland is just a 3 ½ hour flight from Melbourne with flights starting from approximately $250 per person).

Recent first-time visitors, Susan and Tim Hogan, took advantage of all that New Zealand has to offer. As Susan put it, they crossed the Tasman to see “the beautiful landscapes and the Lord of the Rings filming locations.” A highlight was their visit to Hobbiton, a former film set that the makers of the movie, The Hobbit, have left behind to draw tourists. “The history tour gave us an insight to the making of the movie which we loved,” Susan said.

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Susan and Tim having a blast in Hobbiton.

But there’s so much more to New Zealand than film sets!

Susan and Tim marvelled at the sights and beautiful beaches of Mission Bay, they wandered through Kelly Tarltons Aquarium, enjoying the opportunity to see indigenous sea life, and they particularly loved the delectable cuisine. Susan’s review says it all – “An absolute must is to try the NZ Ice-cream. It’s the best!”

Best of all, Susan and Tim found travelling New Zealand easy and convenient. “Great tourist companies collect you from your hotel, take you out for the day and return you to your hotel so there was no need for us to hire a car.”

There really is something for everyone. From the thrill seeker, to the movie buff, to those just seeking a scenic escape. Susan and Tim relaxed and explored, and they loved their time across the ditch. “New Zealand is so serene! Amazing country sides and landscapes with lots to do.”