New Zealand’s South Island tends to attract the most adventure press, which is understandable, considering it’s essentially a Disneyland of mountains and rivers. But the North Island is chock full of wonder too. The Whanganui District is on the west coast, and, as you can see from this terrific film, a paradise by bike and raft. Since we can’t fly there right now, we’ll just have to imagine.
So you can’t travel to New Zealand, but you can read about it. Start with Michael King’s The Penguin History of New Zealand. Comprehensive, but not strictly academic, it’s a great starting place.