31. Go to New Zealand

Reader Poll: Travel

    Photo: Micha Pawlitzski/Corbis

This is what the earth looked like before we got here: strands of waterfalls, snowy peaks, surf-stringed coastline, and deep fjords. Kiwi-owned Active New Zealand will show you the country as the locals see it: in motion. Biking, sea kayaking, hiking, and drinking sauvignon blanc are just a handful of the options on the 14-day Rimu trip ($3,800 per person; activenewzea­land.com). Prefer to go on your own? Launch from Christchurch and head north around the South Island, stopping at Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses (from $468; hapukulodge.com)—just wait until you see the view from the shower. Next, ride rainforest singletrack and farmland overlooking Golden Bay on Abel Tasman Mountain Biking's multisport trips (from $144; abeltasmanmountainbiking.co.nz). Down south, raft the Shotover with Queenstown Rafting (from $134; queenstownrafting.co.nz). Ask for the Maori guide (and old salt) "Chief." He'll make sure you don't disappear when the Class V Mother-in-Law rapid completely submerges you.

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