New Zealand may be dwarfed by its grand Australian neighbor down under, but it offers a dizzying array of diversity in a compact area there’s no cause for an inferiority complex. From cosmopolitan cities to breathtaking nature, indigenous culture to adrenalin-fueled activities, this small but multifaceted country offers visitors so many tempting options within its borders you can’t possibly squeeze it all in. Spanning the North and South Islands, here’s a hobbit-free shortlist of cool Kiwi highlights to help you hone in on your must-dos.

1. Go Tramping

So stunningly scenic are the nature trails within New Zealand, the Kiwis have coined their own word for hiking. Whether you do a day-walk or a multi-day trek, you just have to get out there and tramp. The South Island has some of the top trails, including the world-renowned Milford Track, Routeburn Track and Abel Tasman Coastal Track. A series of well-maintained backcountry huts make longer excursions comfortable (advanced booking may be required). On the North Island, volcanic alpine tramping around Tongariro Crossing is not to be missed.

Tramping New Zealand

Tramping New Zealand

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