New Zealand Is on Our Travel Bucket List. Here’s Why It Should Be on Yours, Too.

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members j0055 and Kiwi Discovery and Stephen Prescott)

With 2012 coming to a close, we're doing a lot of thinking about where we want to travel in 2013. New Zealand (NZ) is at the top of our bucket list, and even though we've been there before, we're seriously considering going back. Here are a few reasons why NZ should be on your bucket list, too:

  • Given last week's release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, this first reason shouldn't really surprise you. The country's North and South Islands were the backdrops of Peter Jackson's latest film. SmarterTravel has put together a list of filming locations you can visit—from the rolling green hills of Matamata, the home of Hobbiton, to the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park that became Mordor. Even if you aren't a huge fan of the film, these breathtaking locations are still worth visiting.