INSTYLE – Can’t decide on your next travel destination? Bryce Dallas Howard recommends New Zealand. Thanks to her Jurassic World shooting schedule, which has taken her to the country for months at a time since the first film’s release in 2015, she has quickly moved from “tourist” to “semi-local.” When she’s not shooting alongside her Jurassic World co-star Chris Pratt (the sequel hits theaters in 2018), you can find her exploring New Zealand’s vast green hills, breathtaking oceans, and hip shops.
“New Zealand is this magical dreamland,” she tells InStyle. “It’s like a utopia where the people radiate kindness and the adventures of the natural world call to you.”
If that’s not enough to convince you, Howard, who’s now a brand ambassador for Tourism New Zealand, shares her top five secret spots to explore. Check them out below.
1. Paper Plane in Mount Maunganui
“I wish I could live in this store!” Howard says. “It’s the brick-and-mortar of one of New Zealand’s coolest online stores (paperplanestore.com). In essence, it’s a carefully curated collection of very stylish and beautiful products. If you are in the neighborhood and want to pile on a gluttony of cuteness, visit Sugar Town Cake Parlour, too. The name says it all.”
2. Commonsense Organics in Wellington
“In Wellington, I visit Commonplace Organics daily,” she tells us. “It’s your one-stop, ethical grocery shop. I felt like I was part of a community whenever I was in there, and marveled at the variety and selection. There are many New Zealand products I’m dying to export. Plus, its next door neighbor, Hot Yoga of New Zealand, complements Commonsense quite nicely.”
3. East Cape
“One of the most under-visited places in New Zealand is the East Cape,” she says. “It’s the first in the world to welcome the sunrise, which makes for a magical experience. Not many tourists visit since it’s a region off the beaten track, but it’s just as beautiful as the rest of the country.”
4. Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve
“The most incredible place to see stars and the Southern Lights in New Zealand is the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve,” she says. “It’s a breathtaking view of heaven.”
5. Hokitika Gorge
“If you want to see water that’s naturally the color of blue Gatorade, make your way to Hokitika Gorge,” she says. “These stunning glacial pools can be viewed from fun swing bridges and short trails built for exploring.”