Three of New Zealand's most stunning natural wonders have been included in Lonely Planet's new collection of the world's best.
Published this month, Lonely Planet's 50 Natural Wonders to Blow Your Mind tours the world's most mind-boggling wild and wonderful places - and we're lucky enough to not have to travel far to see some of them.
Listed alongside well known international spots like the Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon and Norway's Trolltunga, are three of New Zealand's best.
While it must have been hard for the editors to choose only three, it was Milford Sound, the Moeraki Boulders and the Waitomo Caves that made the cut.
Here's what Lonely Planet had to say about each of them:
Milford Sound, South Island
"Despite now being one of NZ's most visited tourist sites, the Fiordland region remained cut off to most of the world until a road to the Sound was finally opened in 1954. It still has a pristine and undiscovered feel (if you can see past the enormous cruise ships on the water) which is largely due to its inhospitable climate ... If the wet weather is putting a dampener on your outdoor activities, consider one of the famous boat cruises on the Sound. The boats can take you right up close to some of the spectacular waterfalls that crash for hundreds of metres over the edge of the surrounding sheer cliffs."
Moeraki Boulders, South Island
"We imagine this is what it would look like if giants had abandoned a game of prehistoric bowls here on the beach ... Magic or no magic, this windswept coastline is a crazy playground. 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."
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves, North Island
"Touring the limestone caves illuminated with the phosphorescence of thousands upon thousands of tiny glowworms sure is an other-worldly experience. Made up of three different levels, the last level, known as the Cathedral, is where you board a boat on the Waitomo River to drift underground through the Glow-worm Grotto. It is most serenely beautiful ... Stunningly lit to make the most of the spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations, the cave's other chambers are equally striking places to explore."
Published 4 May 2017
128pp, full colour; 120 x 178mm, flexi
RRP: NZD $16.99