A long established and well respected UK based travel guide has named New Zealand as the third most beautiful country in the world.

Rough Guides described New Zealand as a “Godzone” and wrote that “you never meet anyone who has been and didn’t love the place.”

It also praised the “distinct and fascinating culture of the Maori.”

New Zealand was honoured for its rolling green hills, majestic mountains, breathtaking fjords and amazing diversity of landscape from one island to the next.

“Given this stunning backdrop it’s not surprising that there are boundless diversions, ranging from strolls along moody windswept beaches and multi-day tramps over alpine passes to adrenaline-charged adventure activities such as bungy jumping, skiing, sea kayaking and whitewater rafting.

“Some visitors treat the country as a large-scale adventure playground, aiming to tackle as many challenges as possible in the time available.”

New Zealand’s landscape diversity makes it a real winner with many overseas visitors who can enjoy everything from great golf courses to beaches, bush and mountain hikes all within a matter of hours of eachother.

With its broad mix of Asian and European cultures New Zealand has also become a gastronomic delight to discerning foodies and wine aficionados.