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Best Hot-Air Balloon Rides

Best Hot-Air Balloon Rides: Queenstown, New Zealand

Courtesy of Sunrise Balloons, Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand

Adventurists and adrenaline junkies descend on the Southern Lakes region of New Zealand for the rugged hiking and biking terrain, ski slopes, world-class golf, and gorgeous lakes and fjords. But thrills are also found in the skies above. Sunrise Balloons rises above the Queenstown area—better known to J.R.R. Tolkien fans as Middle-earth since many of the scenes in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were filmed here. Views of the Southern Alps, Lake Hayes, and Mount Tutoko in Fiordland National Park will keep your camera working overtime. Forty-five-minute flights culminate with champagne and pastries. From $386 per person; ballooningnz.com

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