Lonely Planet's newest book "Wonders of the World" showcases 101 spectacular sights and how to experience them at "any budget" - and New Zealand hasn't been forgotten.
This year, the guide is pivoting away from the well-trodden paths, selecting less famous man made wonders: the entwined tree bridges of Meghalaya in India, the intricate Islamic architecture of Naqsh-e Jahan in Iran, and the massive Buddhist temple of Borobudur in central Java. Museums with remarkable collections of wonders have also been included, such as the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands and the British Museum in London.
The natural wonders chosen for the book are no less impressive: giant trees in California, cascading lakes in Croatia, multi-coloured hills in China, great waterfalls, the world's biggest cave, and such natural phenomena as the wave of cherry blossom (sakura) that sweeps across Japan each spring, and the light show of the auroras across the planet's northern and southern extremities.
But what about us? Fear not, New Zealand squeezes in with natural wonders Stewart Island and Milford Sound.
"Every day there were rainbows — and many seabirds. On one kayaking expedition, we gathered in a tannin-stained inlet as snow softly fell on our dazzled faces. We played limbo with the large tree branches that stretched into the ocean."
- Eleanor Barker
"A gasp was heard on the coach as we exited the dense bush. A ribbon of pink and purple snakes along the foot of the mountain — lupins, hundreds of them blooming pastel purple to pale pink. "
- Tess Nichol
"Thanks to Lonely Planet's network of travel experts and 45 years of experience, the book also includes guides to each of these wonders, with recommendations on the best times to visit, how to get there, and where to stay and eat - however deep your pockets," says Lonely Planet spokesperson Chris Zeiher.
Two sample itineraries cover short and longer trips to allow travellers to make plans based on what they have available.