Bryce Dallas Howard is famous for appearing in films like The Help, Jurassic Park and Pete’s Dragon, but the actress’s latest role is tourism ambassador for New Zealand!
A longtime fan of the beautiful landscape, Howard first visited the country at age five where her dad, Ron Howard, was directing the fantasy film Willow.
“It was like stepping into a portal and stepping out into a magical kingdom,” recalls Bryce. “The green was shocking, the mountains epic, the water full of what looked to me to be sparkling diamonds. I have been chasing this experience my whole life. New Zealand is truly my ‘happy place.'”
Here, Howard’s must-see destinations when visiting New Zealand:
1. The Harbourside Markets
“The Harbourside Markets in downtown Wellington is a combination neighborhood market and food truck mecca. Wellington, itself, is idyllic because it has a robust artistic community and entrepreneurial spirit. As a result, the community is going through a lot of growth.”
2. Doubtful Sound
“Doubtful Sound is shockingly picturesque. It’s one of those places that is so beautiful it makes you want to cry. Fiordland National Park is definitely one of the most incredible places on this planet.”
“This charming town is an example of a historic gold mining town. It almost feels like the Wild West out there. Autumn in particular is so beautiful with the leaves falling around you in these little towns — it feels like a movie!”
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4. Waipoua Forest
“Waipoua Forest is culturally significant to the Maori as home to the Tane Mahuta, the largest living kauri tree known to stand today. I met Bill Matthews, a local Maori guide, there and shared in a very moving ceremony and prayer. It was an incredibly transcendent experience.”
5. The Bay of Islands
“The Bay of Islands must be one of the most beautiful and peaceful places that I’ve ever been. Looking outside of my hotel room one day I thought to myself that it looked like Neverland. There are little sandy coves with untouched beaches, dozens of private islands, and pods of hundreds of dolphins diving in and out of the #nofilter water. Being there is such a serene experience. It’s transformative to see and experience such natural beauty. The climate is quite warm; therefore, the winters are mild. It’s my favorite place in contrast to Queenstown, which is more mountainous and gets snow in the winter. It’s a perfect example of how everything in New Zealand is so geographically close yet so different.