New Zealand’s beautiful landscape is filled with an endless array of colors epitomizing the 'nofilter' hashtag. From emerald green rainforests and deep, blue waters to unreal geothermal pools and stars brighter than you could imagine, the two islands of New Zealand are a mashup of totally natural colors and shades that you'll never want to take your eyes off of. Here's a sneak peek at five vibrant spots:
While Champagne Pool sounds like something Queen Bey would swim through in her next music video, it's actually a natural wonder on New Zealand’s north island. This hot spring is located in the volcanic area of Wai-O-Tapu in Rotorua, and has a depth of more than 200 feet and temperatures of around 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Named after everyone’s favorite bubbly drink, the carbon dioxide bubbles at the surface are reminiscent of champagne, and the otherworldly orange ring that surrounds the pool is thanks to mineral-rich deposits. Cheers to nature for always managing to surprise us.
You have to earn your in-person look at New Zealand’s Emerald Lakes. Located along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the most popular hikes on the country’s north island, the winding, 19.4-kilometer trail leads through a national park known for its stark but undeniably beautiful volcanic landscape. There's a few warning signs at the beginning of the trail asking if you think you're fit enough to complete the journey, but those get increasingly less amusing as you make the steep ascent toward Red Crater. Luckily, it's all a small price to pay once you reach the top. From here, you can see three mineral lakes the exact shade of their precious gemstone namesake.
Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers
New Zealand’s south island is known for its magnificent glaciers, and Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers are two of the biggest and most beautiful. They make the list thanks to the crystalline blue of the glacial ice, and also feature a stark and stunning contrast between the blue of the ice and green of the neighboring rainforest. Depending how you prefer to experience the glaciers, you can take a helicopter tour or get up close and personal in an ice cave.
Bioluminescent creatures are able to emit their own light, and you can see them in action at New Zealand's Waitomo Glowworm Caves. The thousands of speckled lights that illuminate these caves are in fact gnats — both male and female glow in the larval stage of development, but as they grow older their characteristic glow becomes a tool for females to attract mates. Walk through the caves and end your tour with a boat ride through pitch black waters — the bluish glow from above will make it seem like you’re sailing through the stars themselves.
The Northern Lights are an absolutely stunning display of light dancing across dark skies, but the less discussed Southern Lights are just as breathtaking. New Zealand’s south island is a prime location to see the Aurora Australis, and in the skies they often appear as brilliant green and rosy pink sheets. Make note that if you plan to make a trip for it, your best chances to catch this elusive and magical phenomenon are in the winter, from March to September.
Have you recently been somewhere cool and took some awesome videos? Submit them to #VIVAStories for the chance to win a $10,000 trip! Watch the video below for more deets, and enter now.