Stewart Island, New Zealand
Stewart Island, located south of New Zealand’s South Island, is named after William W. Stewart, the first officer of the ship that sailed here from Sydney, Australia, in 1809. The island is also called Rakiura, which translates to Glowing Skies in Māori, so-dubbed for either the sunsets that paint the skies rosy hues or for the southern lights, the Aurora Australis. No matter what moniker you attach to the island, you surely will be calling it remarkable. Roughly the size of Singapore, Stewart Island is surprisingly pristine and relatively uninhabited, with most of its human population gathered in Oban and an abundance of wildlife—especially birds—burgeoning throughout its lush forest. The two most famed animals, penguins and kiwi, can be found here. Trek, kayak, fish and breathe in the fresh air to appreciate rugged mountains, white-sand beaches and a general sense of nature’s grandeur.