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  • Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga: From the spiritual tip of the North Island where, Maori say, the souls of the dead depart, to mountainous sand dunes, quicksand, and the broad flat stretch of Ninety Mile Beach, this is a must-see area filled with the unexpected.
  • Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland: The earth's molten core hints at its artistic potential in a veritable rainbow of color and steamy chaos manifested in geysers, mud pools, hot bubbling lakes, steamy terraces, and more. A photographer's paradise, but tread carefully.
  • Tongariro National Park: Three major volcanoes dominate a rugged central plateau landscape: Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe. An indomitable threesome, they're rife with Maori legend and rich in a few modern stories as well. Great for skiers, trampers, and anyone else wanting a physical challenge.
  • Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers: This is one of the very few places on earth where you'll find full-fledged glaciers this close to the ocean. In a slow, ever-onward creep, they make their way from the heights of the Southern Alps down into untouched rainforest.
  • Fiordland: Come here on a wet day (and that's easy because this place gets the most rainfall in New Zealand), and you'll think you've stepped into the living set of The Lord of the Rings. This place defies all superlatives. It is the ultimate must-see.
  • The Catlins Coast: This is wild, natural New Zealand at its unspoiled best. From unique fossil forests to all manner of seabirds and mammals, native bush, waterfalls, wild beaches, unforgettable tangles of driftwood, and a frustratingly changeable climate - the area takes a lot of beating, but the resulting dramatic impact is unforgettable.
  • Ulva Island: Tucked into Stewart Island's Paterson Inlet, tiny Ulva Island will leave you speechless with its incredible native bird life. It's wall-to-wall feathers here - and what's more, they're not afraid of humans. Don't go without your camera; you'll need evidence once you start telling friends back home about it.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.