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NZ in Lonely Planet guide to best places

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/05/2017

New Zealand has once again featured in a Lonely Planet guide to the world's top travel destinations, this time as part of a list of 50 of the most "mind-boggling wild and wonderful places".

As well as naming the US Grand Canyon for its rugged beauty and a footbridge in India made from a tree's living roots, Lonely Planet's list included New Zealand's Milford Sound, Moeraki Boulders and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

The Lonely Planet authors said, despite the South Island's Milford Sound being one of the country's most visited tourist sites, it maintained "a pristine and undiscovered feel ... which is largely due to its inhospitable climate".

They recommended taking a boat up close to the sound's spectacular waterfalls, which "crash for hundreds of metres over the edge of the surrounding sheer cliffs".

The Moeraki Boulders on the Otago coast, meanwhile, were a "crazy playground".

"We imagine this is what it would look like if giants had abandoned a game of prehistoric bowls here on the beach," they book's authors said.

"It's bags of fun to clamber over the gigantic stone balls, some of which are a huge two metres in diameter, and some sit in clusters, partially submerged in the water."

For an "other-worldly experience", the authors recommended visiting the North Island's Waitomo Glowworm Caves, which are stunningly lit by "the phosphorescence of thousands upon thousands of tiny glowworms".

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