I was thinking about visiting New Zealand this summer, is it really as beautiful as everyone makes it out to be?
I'm from New Zealand, so of course I will say yes. But I mean it - there is so much beautiful scenery, which you don't have to travel very far within the country to see.
During our Winter (which is during your Summer), a lot of our country looks really nice, especially parts of the South Island. And you don't have to travel far within the country to see it either. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what I think is beautiful, you might not. The pic attached to this post isn't much, and isn't of anywhere 'famous' in NZ - its just a general photo of mine (of the steam engine I look after) in the Alpine Scenery, about 1.5 hours inland from Christchurch. It gives you a bit of an idea of how a rather ordinary part of our country can look like during the winter, further down South towards Queenstown the scenery would be even more spectacular. And even during our Summer, the countryside looks quite spectacular.
Takes over from Danbob
New Zealand is pretty awesome, and if you're coming over in your summer, you're in for a view consisting of sheep, snow, and... well, sheep!
Danbob's right about not having to go far to see some really spectacular scenery- If you can, try and get yourself on a South Island train journey. You see some of the picturesque landscapes which New Zealand seems to be world famous for. Just remember, we don't actuall have hobbits running around... :P