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Jason Burgess

Where the earth meets the sky: Mount Ngauruhoe under heavy cloud above Oturere Valley.

From high above the Rangipo Desert on the lunar-like eastern flank of Tongariro National Park, the giant energy-carrying pylons that tower over State Highway 1 look no bigger than Transformer toys. The volcanic summits of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, snow long gone, brood under a veil of cloud. Sporadic sunbursts on the track ahead transform ochre and grey scoria into pools of mauve and yellow. There is no sound other than our footsteps. 

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Hikers pass Lake Cootapatamba on the walk to Mt Kosciuszko.

Sometimes great beauty demands effort. For every drive-up lookout in Australia, there's another hidden delight that can only be reached on foot. Some are reached on simple strolls, but others reward only those prepared to hike for a full day, or days. Here are 10 of the best exclusive sights for those prepared to leg it.

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Paul Jurak

Australia is a country of beautiful coastline but seeing it from water level is incomparable.

Australia's national anthem is clear about this: home is girt by sea. It is a country of coastline – about 35,000 kilometres of it – and while you can drive parts of it and walk others, seeing it from water level in a kayak is incomparable.

There are countless kayaking opportunities across the country, both along the coast and in the rivers that vein the land, running from mild to wild and everything in between.

Becky Roberts and Tom Leuschke at the apartments they manage in Port Vila.

Becky Roberts and Tom Leuschke at the apartments they manage in Port Vila.

What inspired your move, and how long have you been there?

My husband Tom and I have been living in Port Vila, Efate Island, Vanuatu for three months. We found out about a joint management job and thought it would be an exciting adventure.

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TNZ

When even the black runs start to pall, get an adrenaline rush with bungy jumping above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

 Experience the delights of a short break in Queenstown and Wanaka

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Ron Lindsay

WOW returns to Wellington in September.

Where else but Wellington delivers the wow factor?

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