Banks Penninsula, NZ
The Banks Peninsula extends out from the East Coast of the South Island like a wee thumb. A little over an hour from the city of Christchurch, the Peninsula is home to historical towns, such as the French settlement of Akaroa, and historical sights (the peninsula is formed by volcanic activity). The area is characterized by steep and undulating hills, deep coves, winding roads and amazing wildlife. There are plenty of boutique hotels, private bed and breakfasts and charming hostels around Akaroa and the Outer Banks, but the one I reccommend is the wonderul Le Bons Bay Backpackers. A wonderfully remote and rustic setting, this gregarious and memorable place serves home-cooked meals and takes guests out on fantastic private dolphin-watching trips. It's a bit of a trek to get to (and that's definitely part of its charm), but they do offer free pick-up or you can use the only taxi service in Akaroa, run by the sweetest lady. Underated, underappreciated and off the beaten track, The Banks Peninsula is a worthy stop on your New Zealand journey.
Please visit my fashion blog Anywhere But Here for an interview with local Vancouver designer, Hannah Fletcher of Narcissist