Photography by Anna Kidman (Orleans)
1. Of Glowworms and Glaciers
When it comes to natural wonders, New Zealand has it all. There are the luminescent creatures in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Punakaiki’s pancake-shaped rocks and blowholes, and UNESCO World Heritage designated Fiordland National Park
, just to name a few. They’re all included on Swain Destinations’ 14-day customizable adventure between Auckland and Christchurch, which also visits the Franz Josef Glacier for a hike or an optional flightseeing tour. Expect plenty of culture as well, from a traditional Maori hangi
feast and Tamaki heritage experience to a sheepshearing show and winetasting at a family-owned estate in the Marlborough region.
Auckland’s “it” spot of the moment, the historic Britomart precinct buzzes with hip fashion, haute cuisine, and late-night haunts. Head to Orleans (48 Customs Streeet E.)
for live jazz with your crabcakes and 1885 Britomart (27 Galway Street)
for sophisticated clubbing.
2. Getting Zippy
African Travel gets your adrenaline pumping for nine days in southern Africa as you rappel down Table Mountain in Cape Town, cage-dive with sharks off Dyer Island, and follow game in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Once the private game reserve of Zambia’s president, Zambezi National Park offers adventurers the chance to zip-line above the Batoka Gorge
, canoe along the Zambezi River, and trek through the mist of Victoria Falls. Travel begins in Cape Town and concludes in Johannesburg and is totally customizable.
3. Higher Calling
Rail travel reaches maximum awe while passing Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies
. See it as you sip fine wines and dine on gourmet cuisine aboard the Rocky Mountaineer during a two-day journey between Vancouver and Jasper (or reverse).
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Traveler magazine, August 2014.
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