19. New Zealand
Temperature: 22°C high; 12°C low
Flight time from UK: 24 hours
Time difference: GMT+11
On New Zealand’s South Island, you can ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon. It’s action-packed, with wild swimming, white-water rafting, glacier hiking, bungee-jumping, sky-diving, horse-riding… On the North Island, you’ll find hot springs – pure bliss – and off the coast of Auckland, some of the most amazing beaches you’ll ever see. Take a couple of weeks out to do a classic campervan trip when the islands are at their most Middle Earth-y. New Zealand has its own breed of super lodges in superlative settings, from remote bays to rugged mountaintops and beside lakes so enormous and awe-inspiring it’s difficult to comprehend.
Sustainable travel tip: The small seaside town of Kaikoura, not far from Christchurch, is widely hailed NZ’s most sustainable spot. Known for its resident sperm whale population and regular blue whale sightings, the town has established a community trust, Whale Watch, owned by the local Maori people. Not only is this a multi-award-winning, responsible whale-watching operator, but it reinvests profits in community education and employment, and the local environment. Check out the brilliant Hapuku Tree Houses and Lodge too, with locally sourced food, composting and recycling programmes, salvaged interiors and a native tree-planting scheme.
Read about the best New Zealand lodges
New Zealand’s Best Lodges
Above: Scrubby Bay, Akaroa