Some of our favorite New Zealand locales
» Aspen House, inexpensive, Auckland, 011-64-9-379-6633. It may not be fancy, but the crisp, clean aspen house offers plenty of bang for the buck. In fact, figure in the free breakfast and it might be the best deal in town.
» Croydon House, moderate, Christchurch, 011-64-3-366-5111. "Quaint," "comfortable," and "friendly" are just a few of the adjectives we've heard used to describe this small B&B-style hotel in the historic center of town.
» Victoria Court Motor Lodge, moderate, Wellington, 011-64-4-472-4297. Ironically, you won't need your car at this shiny new motor court, because numerous attractions are just a stroll away. families take note, as cooktops and microwaves come standard.
» Hay's, expensive, Christchurch, 011-64-3-379-7501. Lamb is the big seller here, particularly the rack of lamb.
» Kermadec Ocean Fresh Restaurant, moderate, Auckland, 011-64-9-309-0412. The city of Auckland is surrounded by water, so you might surmise seafood is a specialty. And this is one of the best places for it.
» The Fat Ladies Arms, Palmerston North, 011-64-6-358-8888. We admit the name was what first got our attention, but for cheap eats, serious drinks, and a game of pool, look no further. Although, sadly, the clientele is primarily the age we claim to be, not the age we necessarily are.
» New Zealand Cricket Museum, Wellington, 011-64-4-385-6602. Boasting memorabilia dating back to 1743, this well-regarded repository is dedicated to New Zealand's other national sport.
» Sky Tower, Auckland, 011-64-9-363-6000. This cloud-busting spire is the tallest in the southern hemisphere. Grab a bite at the tippy-top revolving restaurant or stand atop the glass floors in the observation level and look dooooowwwwnnn.
» Karekare Beach & Waterfalls, approximately 22 miles west of Auckland. You might remember this breathtaking stretch of sand from the opening scene of the award-winning film the piano or episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess.
» New Zealand National Parks, www.doc.govt.nz. Being that almost a third of the country is designated as national park, it's hard to avoid them. Not that you'd want to. It's some of the most beautiful and varied landscape you'll ever see.