New Zealand is once again riding high on the back of Peter Jackson's hard work; The Hobbit is number one at the box office and everyone everywhere is fantasising about a trip to Middle Earth.
January is one of the best times of the year in New Zealand, the sun is out, the temperatures are high and the beaches, mountains, hills and other breathtaking landscapes are all screaming come on in/up/down, the water/weather/wine is fine.
If you're in NZ this month, here's some of the best things to do and see.
David Ferrer, twice defending
champion at the Heineken Open.
Tennis - Auckland - 7th to the 12th
In New Zealand's biggest men's tennis events, some of the game's biggest names and biggest hitters descend on Auckland to get their eye in in one of the final warm up events before the Australian Open kicks off in Melbourne.
World No. 5 David Ferrer returns to The Heineken Open as the defending champion for the second year in a row but German duo Philipp Kohlschreiber and Tommy Haas stand in his way.
See food and eat it - Auckland - 26th to the 28th
While you might be full to bursting after the Christmas period, by the end of the month you might be starting to feel a bit peckish again.
And what better way to sate that hunger than with some of the best sea food the world has to offer in one of the most idyllic harbours in the world?
The Auckland Seafood Festival does just that when dozens upon dozens of chefs and caterers as well as musicians, beer brewers and wineries congregate in Halsey Wharf to offer up a delectable delight.
Music, in Parks - Auckland - Various dates
While the Music in Parks festival may not be the most imaginatively titled of music festivals, that doesn't mean it won't be worth seeing. With gigs and shows all over the place and every weekend this month, you'd be hard pressed to not to find something you’ll like.
Alright mate, just go home
More music in more parks - Christchurch - 17th to the 27th
Busking isn't respected very often, after all there's less quality control dictating who can stand on a street corner trying to get a tune out of a dying cat than there is on your average Simon Cowell-produced Victorian freak show.
However, once a year the city of Christchurch decides to just that. The World Buskers Festival returns for its 20th year this year featuring a plethora of international acts showing the best street skills (no pick pocketing or knife crime) on offer.
Laneway Festival - Auckland - 28th
At the end of the month sees one of the most popular new festivals stop off in Auckland.
The Laneway Festival is a multi-national tour which features some of the biggest names in new music including Alt J and Bat for Lashes.
Tickets sell out quick so get yours fast.
Luminate Festival - Canaan Downs - 30th
The Luminate Festival is not your average festival. Sure it might have plenty of bands and acts on stage to entertain you while you drink yourself into a stupor but there is also a great focus on celebration and sustainability.
Celebrated on the date of an ancient summer festival, Luminate Festival is ideal for those who want a little more than mudstained hangovers and nightmarish recollections from their festival experience.
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor with the New Zealand Visa Bureau, an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.
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