50 fictional spots you can visit

CLOSE TO HOME: Peter Jackson has built the fictional village of Hobbiton right into the Matamatra countryside.

Movie buffs and bookworms who wish that some fantasy worlds were real, look no further.

Who's your celeb seat buddy?

SEAT BUDDIES: John Key, Rachel Hunter or Richie McCaw, who would you pick?

John Key has a lot of buddies hoping to sit next to him in Parliament - but that pales in comparison to those who want to share an armrest with him.

Feeling at home in Japan

SHOW AND TELL: Tina Dudley is finding lots to love about life in Japan, despite the language barriers.

The opportunities of life in a giant Japanese city make up for some of the challenges.

Biker on ride of his life

EPIC JOURNEY: Rhys Lawrey is currently undertaking a Round the World Trip on his Triumph, to raise funds to support The Prince's Trust.

The odometer ticked over 22,436 miles on Rhys Lawrey's Triumph Tiger 800XC motorbike as he rode into Nelson.

Exploring the Amazon Basin

HELLO THERE: A frog in the Amazon Basin.

With hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles and more, this reserve is spectacular.

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A honeymoon in the US

Memphis, USA

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4 countries in 3 months

Need some help with a Central America travel plan? Email us at travel@stuff.co.nz.

2 months in Central America

2 weeks in Africa

usa

NY: Top culinary spot

US TOPS FOR FOODIES: The moon rises behind the skyline of New York. A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the Big Apple's standing as a top-notch US culinary destination.

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars.

Just checking in

Turns out that after checking in to a dream resort, travellers then check in on Facebook.

How a cute bear saved millions

Fans mob Friends cafe

Glasses of Maker's Mark and water at the Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bourbon in Louisville

In Kentucky's bourbon country, the classic American whiskey isn't just for sipping.

canada & alaska

Franklin ship found

Sir John Franklin.

It’s not often that tourists are offered the chance to be part of history but that happened in Canada this month.

Idyll characters

There are glaciers sliding over cliffs, dense spruce trees, and 350 bald eagles.

Life on the ledge

Powder day, every day stuff nation

A Coastal Brown Bear catches a sockeye salmon in shallow water next to Brooks Falls in the Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska .

Up close with bears

In the Alaska of my mind, it is always summer.

hawaii

The big paddle

THE BIG PADDLE: Guides with Kayak Kauai drag a boat ashore in a surf landing at Polihale Beach State Park, at the end of the day-long paddle of the Na Pali coast.

This is the "Everest of sea kayaking," but the day's peak experience will have nothing to do with a high mountain.

Guardians of Lanai

There's place where the paths of two men intersect, where, in different centuries, both had a vision.

First came a fin

A taste of unspoiled Hawaii

PATRIARCH: At 90, Fred Kamaka remains a lively ambassador for the ukulele factory which bears his family name.

Smile, you're in ukulele country

Nothing sets the humiliation bar higher than learning how to play the ukulele.