New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 2 main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. Capital Wellington, on the North Island, is home to Te Papa Tongarewa, the expansive national museum. Wellington’s dramatic Mt. Victoria, along with the South Island’s Fiordland and Southern Lakes, stood in for mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s "Lord of the Rings" films.
Population: 4.693 million (2016)Trending, World Bank
Points of interest: Milford Sound, Abel Tasman National Park
Waiheke Island is the most populated and second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. Its ferry terminal in Matiatia Bay at the western end is 21.5 km from the central-city terminal in Auckland.
Milford Sound is a fiord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls, which plummet down its sheer sides.
Abel Tasman National Park is a wilderness reserve at the north end of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for the Abel Tasman Coast Track, a long trail winding over beaches and across ridges between Marahau in the south and Wainui in the north.