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New Zealand Travel / April 30, 2019

Queenstown is a destination often name-dropped by travel writers.123rf

Queenstown is a destination often name-dropped by travel writers.

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

Last year 261 media parties from all over the world visited New Zealand, getting to experience some of the country's best sights and top attractions for free.

They do this as part of Tourism New Zealand's $1.2 million International Media Programme, which is used to host journalists, broadcasters, bloggers and social media stars and show them all that New Zealand has to offer.

Every itinerary is different, created to suit the needs of each publication. Tourism New Zealand says it does not endorse any particular operators, but instead works with regional tourism organisations to get advice on the best places to go and things to do.

In case you were wondering what it might be like to see the country through the eyes of a travel writer, Tourism New Zealand provided a sample itinerary, originally given to writers from Indonesia's MyTrip Magazine who visited in October 2015. Here are some of the highlights.

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Waiheke Island is a must-do on the itinerary.

Day one: Arrive in Auckland and check into The Heritage. Experience a harbour sailing tour and take in the iconic city skyline on the Pride of Auckland yacht. Have dinner at an eatery in Ponsonby Central. Suggestions: Have a pre-dinner drink at Bedford Soda & Liquor before sitting down to enjoy a humble burger at Burger Burger. For dessert, save room for an ice cream sandwich at The Dairy.

Waiheke Island is a must-do on the itinerary.Day two: Head out on a Fine Art, Food and Fashion walking tour of downtown Auckland. Explore the Britomart precinct, and have lunch at Ostro. Experience one of Auckland's most popular adventure activities, SkyWalk, before heading to Takapuna Beach for dinner at Madam Woo.

Day three: Depart on a ferry to Waiheke Island. Soar above vineyards and a treetop canopy and down into pristine native bush on an Eco Zip experience, before enjoying a Food and Wine tour of the island. Check into The Oyster Inn for the night and have dinner there.

Day four: Spend the morning enjoying a stand-up paddle boarding lesson at beautiful Oneroa Beach. Return by ferry to Auckland, and transfer to the airport for a flight to Wellington. Check into the Museum Art Hotel, and have dinner at Whitebait on Clyde Quay Wharf.

Wellington's Museum Art Hotel.

Day five: Enjoy a half day Wellington tour, including the capital's cafe culture, art and history, before heading to Te Papa to explore selected exhibition highlights. Spend the afternoon at your leisure on Cuba Street, before dinner at the Museum Art Hotel's restaurant, Hippopotamus. After dinner, head to the Zealandia sanctuary for a night tour, encountering some of New Zealand's rarest wildlife.

Wellington's Museum Art Hotel.Day six: Visit the Weta Cave and go on a Weta Workshop tour. Make your way to Dockside Restaurant and Bar on Queen's Wharf for lunch, before spending the afternoon exploring the Wellington Waterfront, including the Wellington Writers Walk and Oriental Bay. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Christchurch. Collect a rental car and check into Breakfree on Cashel. Enjoy dinner at Mexicano's.

Day seven: Enjoy a tour of Christchurch city, including the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Re:START mall and the Christchurch Gondola. Have lunch at C1 Espresso, and spend the afternoon Punting on the Avon. Have dinner at Curator's House in the Botanic Gardens.

Day eight: Drive to Lake Tekapo and enjoy the afternoon at Tekapo Springs, experiencing the hot pools, day spa and snow tubing. Check into Lake Tekapo Motels and Holiday Park and enjoy diner at Rakinui Restaurant at Peppers Bluewater Resort. Spend the evening on an Earth and Sky Mt John Stargazing Night Tour, enjoying the largest International Gold Dark Sky Reserve in the world.

Supplied/Prue Blake

Lake Tekapo's iconic Church of the Good Shepherd.

Day nine: Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd before taking a Grand Traverse Scenic Flight, which gives a spectacular view of Aoraki Mt Cook and the Tasman Glacier. Drive to Queenstown and check into the Sherwood Queenstown. Have dinner at The Skyline Restaurant.

Day ten: Head off on a Nomad Safaris 4WD and Shotover Jet adventure. Spend the afternoon on the Queenstown Wine Trail, including a special winery menu lunch at Gibbston Valley Winery. Drive to Queenstown airport for a flight to Auckland. Stay at Novotel Auckland Airport before departing New Zealand the next morning.

What would be on your itinerary for a travel writer visiting New Zealand? Let us know in the comments.

Source: www.stuff.co.nz