Two New Zealand destinations on opposite sides of the country have been included in TIME magazine's 100 Greatest Places 2021.
In a list that included New York City and the Athens Acropolis, Ōtautahi Christchurch and the region of Tai Tokerau Northland earned mentions as leading world destinations for very different but worthy reasons.
Christchurch the "rebuild city" was honoured by the American publisher for undergoing a ten-year transformation following the devastating 2011 quakes.
Writer Wynne Lockhart said the city's redevelopment is showing no sign of slowing, "welcoming hotel, restaurant and public-space openings almost every month."
The Riverside Market, Turanga Library and walking along the Avon River were picked out as highlights of the city centre. And while building works and empty lots are signs that there's work still to be done, "they are regularly filled with creative and interactive installations such as hammock forests and a coin-operated dance floor."
Mayor of Christchurch Lianne Dalziel said the inclusion on the list was testament to the city's "ingenuity and innovation", which was "embedded in our city's DNA"
Although international travel was limited, the exposure from the US magazine would surely keep Christchurch on the top of tourists' must-see lists.
"I am sure this will excite even greater interest in the city we have become," she said.
Until recently a popular gateway for US tourists, last year the city earned a place on the New York Times' 52 places again, following a feature in 2014.
From a forwards-focused city of tomorrow, to Aotearoa's ancient home of heroes: "legendary" Northland was also recognised in the 100 greatest places.
TIME's Ali Wunderman praised the Te Ahurea Māori pā in Kerikeri and the storied scenery of Hokianga Harbour. The exhibition Manea Footprints of Kupe was "sure to delight" as it retold the story of the hero's arrival in New Zealand for a new generation.
The plaudit was also earned for Northland's natural delights - such as Tawhiti Rahi Poor Knight's Islands, which hold "some of the world's best diving".
"It is wonderful to see Tai Tokerau Northland recognised in this list," said Tania Burt, GM of Northland Inc tourism board.
While she had high hopes for raising the profile with international guests who are dreaming of a holiday in New Zealand, Burt also hoped it would "remind our domestic visitors that what we have to offer a visitor is truly world-class."
TIME Magazine's pick of 100 Greatest Places 2021 included perennial favourites such as Beijing's Forbidden City, Paris and even Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.
However the list was also peppered with lesser-known gems such as the eco sanctuaries of Benguerra Island in Mozambique and sunken sculpture park in Cannes - which only the fish and divers would know was there.
The magazine said its top 100 was a "tribute to the people and businesses at the forefront of those industries who, amid extraordinary circumstances, found ways to adapt, build and innovate."
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