It’s no secret that New Zealand is the ultimate place to go to reach Middle Earth. But did you know that it’s also home to epic airlines, fluffy sheep, hundreds of miles — er, we mean meters — of unadulterated national parks, and some of the friendliest locals you’ll ever meet? Well, now you know, which means that you no longer have an excuse to go anywhere else but New Zealand on your next trip. Still need convincing? We thought you might, so we sent our swashbuckling couple, Ilona and Darek, down south and they’ve come back with a couple of reasons why you need to check this country off of your bucket list. Right now.

Air New Zealand Keeps You Safe and Amused on the Long Journey

Try to watch this without laughing, we dare you.

You’ll Consider Becoming a Vegetarian After Spotting Cute Little Lambs…

*Pets lamb, is confident that heaven exists*

A photo posted by IDM Travels (@idmtravels) on

…And Then You’ll Immediately Nix That Idea After Trying Some of the Lamb

Sorry, lamb.

A photo posted by IDM Travels (@idmtravels) on

Winding Mountain Roads Make For Long Car Trips, But Amazing Scenery

Plus, you get to feel like a badass when you master driving on the left side of the road.

A photo posted by IDM Travels (@idmtravels) on

It’s Super Easy to Hike to Beautiful Spots Like This:

A photo posted by IDM Travels (@idmtravels) on

And This:

And This One, Too:

There’s a lot of hiking, if you didn’t catch that.

A photo posted by NEW ZEALAND (@destinationnz) on

There’s a Growing Wine-O Culture

(That means lots of good wine, kids).

A photo posted by Jo Mills (@ripponjo) on

You Can Feel Like Bilbo as You Hike Around the South Island

Sneaky little hobbitses.

A photo posted by New Zealand (@purenewzealand) on

Scrolling Through Instagram Is Basically Itinerary Planning

It’s called *multitasking*. Capisce?

You’ll Be Closer to the South Pole Than to the Equator

(Maybe you’ll meet a South Pole elf?)

A photo posted by IDM Travels (@idmtravels) on

You Can Have a Trip in Total Solitude if You Want…

*Belts out “All By Myself” to curious herd of sheep on soul-searching hike*

A photo posted by IDM Travels (@idmtravels) on

…Or You Can Eat, Drink, and Be Merry With Fellow Travelers and Friendly Locals

We’ll have another round, sir.

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There Are 9 Hikes Throughout the Country Designed to Show off the Area’s Most Beautiful Sights

Gotta catch ’em all.

A photo posted by IDM Travels (@idmtravels) on

Okay, Seriously, Why Haven’t You Booked Your Trip Yet?

We’ll White Fang you if you make us. Go on, git!

A photo posted by Gotta Love NZ (@gottalovenz) on

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About The Author

Mary Zakheim
Content Writer

When she is not figuring out what the middle button on her headphones is for, explaining the difference between Washington State and Washington D.C., arriving to the airport too early or refusing to use the Oxford comma, you can usually find Mary in the mountains, at a show or on her couch. Mary is a content writer at Fareportal and likes annoying her coworkers with weird GIFs throughout the day.