Discover a haven between bush and bay, hurtle above an ancient forest and indulge in French dining across the ditch. Here are the best new things to see in New Zealand.

Drink at a sustainable, design-led city bar

Palmer Bar and Restaurant, 1 Albert Street, Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland’s newly rejuvenated 1 Albert Street building is home to Palmer, a city-centric cocktail bar and restaurant. Sip well-shaken cocktails, such as the Habanero Margarita, that are mindfully mixed using local produce and unused peels, husks and juice from the kitchen to minimise waste. Should a few drinks turn into a longer session, grab the Lamb Ribs with Romesco or the Fried Chicken with Hot Honey. That’ll fortify you for another round of Martinis on the expansive rooftop.

Eat at Auckland’s sleek new French bistro

Origine Restaurant, New Zealand

Take in the waters of Commercial Bay through French restaurant Origine’s epic floor-to-ceiling windows, sitting on a walnut-coloured leather banquette. The menu is a modern exploration of traditional French fare grounded in New Zealand produce, such as the Wood-Fired Duck Breast with Confit Fig. Pair the latter with the berry notes of a beaujolais from the French-focused wine list, before heading into the classically styled Le Bar for a Hennessy XO cognac nightcap.

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Stay at a luxe Marlborough Sounds sanctuary

Bay of Many Coves Resort, New Zealand

The Bay of Many Coves Resort is set in 52 hectares of private Marlborough Sounds bushland, overlooking Miritu Bay. Take your morning coffee onto the generous balcony of your contemporary, treehouse-like luxury apartment before lacing up your walking boots to hit the Queen Charlotte Track or zipping up your wetsuit to meet the sealife at nearby Motuara Island. Guests arrive at the resort by boat or helicopter then settle into a front-row seat to nature, filled with stargazing, birdwatching, spa experiences and long sessions at The Quarterdeck – one of three on-site restaurants – drinking crisp Marlborough sauvignon blanc and sampling local cheese.

Discover a geothermal wonderland

Champagne Pool at Waiotapu Thermal Springs, Rotorua, New Zealand

New Zealand’s beauty runs deep. At Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland in Rotorua, you can catch all the action originating from the depths that give the region its hot springs, geysers and steaming lakes. Witness the Lady Knox Geyser, whose waters can reach an astonishing 10 to 20 metres high, as well as the other-worldly geothermal park – an extensive and colourful system filled with intense oranges, vibrant blues and emerald-greens – covering more than 18 square kilometres, plus the country’s largest, bubbling mud pool.

Explore an ancient forest from above

Rotorua Canopy Tours, New Zealand

Step into a harness and whizz above a prehistoric forest in Rotorua. The Original Canopy Tour is a three-hour exploration along two swing bridges and 600 metres of ziplines that will appeal to every adventurer (aged six and up). Feeling brave? Look down as you zoom along the 220-metre line to the ground and try to spot a native bird and those iconic silver ferns. As a small-group guided experience it’s perfect for fearless families.

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You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. See terms and conditions. Qantas Travel Money is a prepaid Mastercard® payment facility available to Australian resident Qantas Frequent Flyer members aged 16+. Issuer: Heritage Bank Limited (AFSL 240984). Consider the PDS and TMD available at qantastravelmoney.com. Mastercard® is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Conditions apply. 1 Pay no foreign transaction fees on purchases when you load your Qantas Travel Money with one of 10 foreign currencies supported by the product and transact in that same currency. A foreign exchange rate will apply to foreign exchange transactions in accordance with clause 7 of Part B of the Qantas Travel Money PDS which can be found at qantasmoney.com/travel-money-card. A 0.5% fee applies to debit card loads. 2 Membership and the earning and redemption of Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Terms and Conditions. Eligible purchases do not include money orders, traveller’s cheques, gambling chips or purchasing foreign currencies in cash. See qantasmoney.com/travel-money-card or contact Mastercard Qantas Travel Money Global Support for full details. Qantas Points are earned as follows: 1.5 Qantas Points per AU$1 equivalent spent in foreign currency and 1 Qantas Point per AU$4 spent in Australian dollars. Qantas Points are calculated using the Qantas Travel Money Daily Rate as defined in the PDS, and may vary daily. 3 Terms and conditions apply. Visit mastercard.com.au for details.

Image credits: Josh Griggs (Origine)

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