New Zealand’s South Island is a mecca for extreme sports and outdoor adventures. But it is also a haven for laid-back wine country tours and rapturously beautiful scenery. Rudy Maxa journeys to Abel Tasman National Park, whose famous coastal trails offers hikes that can last from three to five days, and visits a local artists’ colony to get a crash course in Maori bone carving. Topping New Zealand’s list of popular destinations is Queenstown, the birthplace of bungee jumping. Rudy braves whitewater rapids on river boards, and straps himself in for the high altitude thrills of soaring over Shotover Canyon on the world’s highest giant swing.
Surrounded on three sides by ocean, Margaret River in Western Australia is a small peninsula nestled in a corner of paradise. Its thousands of miles of coastline and beaches hug coastal waters colored in endless shades of green and blue, and overall the region contains magical, deserted, primeval places just waiting to be explored.Watch Now >>
One of California’s original twenty-seven counties, El Dorado is the undisputed home of the Gold Rush, and, possibly the home of the American vineyard too, with vines dating back to 1849. Simon visits a number of historic sites in the county, including Marshall Gold Discovery Park, and the actual location where gold was first found.Watch Now >>
The grandeur of Mt. Rainier, still an active volcano, is overwhelming. Hear the crunch beneath your boots as you hike the area’s challenging trailheads. Replenish your soul as you walk amongst ancient forests, and behold the wondrous splendor of Mt. Rainier’s glorious sub-alpine wildflower meadows.Watch Now >>