For the majority of us, New Zealand is a dreamy destination with more places to visit and once-in-a-lifetime place to see. The geographical diversity, the rocky alpine terrains, and the fantastic beaches are only some of its main attractions, which only makes the selection process even more difficult.
It’s not a rank that we’ve come up with, but rather a list of destinations that you should check when going to New Zealand.
Without wasting any more of your time, start reading about the best places to visit in New Zealand:
1. White Island
White Island is the most active volcano in New Zealand, which makes it a popular destination amongst the adrenaline frenzies. Splurge yourself with a helicopter ride and see the volcano a lot closer.
As the volcano is still active, you’re going to have to wear a gas mask and a hard hat- so don’t panic.
Even if people name it White Island, the volcano’s entire name is Te Puia o Whakaari, which is the Maori name. It means “the Dramatic Volcano.”
It was Captain Cook naming the volcano the White Island back in 1769 as the volcano looked to be covered in a cloud of white steam as he sailed closer to it.
If you think that the helicopter ride is too much for you, you can take the boat or try the scuba diving around the White Island. It’s still going to be a fantastic experience!
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand, and there are many reasons for which you shouldn’t skip it from your list. Many international flights are arriving in New Zealand through Auckland Airport, so it’s one starting point when visiting New Zealand.
Lonely Planed name Auckland as one of the top 10 cities in the world (back in 2014), so you should see it.
Auckland Art Gallery is going to impress you with the vast collection of 15,000 works of modern, contemporary, and historical art. The Auckland Domain park is a beautiful place to have a time out, whereas the multicultural bars and restaurants give you the chance to try all sorts of cuisine. The adventure fans can try the Auckland Bridge Climb or the Auckland Bridge bungee jump.
Christchurch has been through some big earthquakes back in 2010 and 2011, but the city is coming back really strong. The new buildings are made of old shipping containers, catching tourist’s attention.
Plenty of Christchurch’s main attractions didn’t disappear in the earthquake, and the Botanic Gardens are a perfect example within the category. You may admire some of the tallest, oldest, and most massive trees in the botanic gardens.
Don’t forget to take a trip on the Christchurch Gondola, a cable car which is going to let you enjoy the scenery that Mountain Cavendish offer.
4. Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park
Hiking aficionados should turn their eyes to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, where they can find glaciers, rocky terrains, and fantastic mountain ranges. Part of the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage, the area, is one perfect destination for all the outdoor enthusiast.
Many see Queenstown as the adventure capital of New Zealand, and you should use our word for it. Found on the southwest side of the South Island, Queenstown is a popular destination for skiing during winter and spring months. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot see it outside the winter and spring months.
Bungee jumping, jet boating, sky diving, and river rafting are only some of the activities that you can try in Queenstown.
One thing we need to mention is the Shotoyer Canyon Swing, which is only the world’s highest cliff jump. Are you an adrenaline junky?
But high-adrenaline activities aren’t the only things to try in Queenstown. The restaurants sure don’t disappoint, and some say that it’s here where you can have the best burger joint in the world.
6. Piha Beach
Piha Beach is one place where landscape photographers, surfers, and holiday Aucklanders like to go. The beach has a rough vibe, but in the right way and its black sands are going to stay with you for quite some time.
The Lion Rock (a volcanic monolith) is going to leave you speechless with its Maori carvings and war memorial. You need to see it!
7. Waitomo Glowworm Caves
If you’re looking for just one place that is going to leave you speechless in New Zealand, this one is a sure contestant. There are thousands of glowworms illuminating the caves and a boat ride through the cave is going to help you get all the scientific explanation behind the particular phenomenon.
You can also try black-water rafting in pitch-dark conditions- except for the glowworms. It’s not a spectacle to miss, for sure!
8. Cape Reinga
You’re going to find Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island. According to the Maori legends, it’s the place where the spirits are leaving Earth for reaching the ancestral homeland of Hawaiki.
Take your time and get to the iconic lighthouse-the scenery is breathtaking!
9. The Franz Josef Glacier
Another great thing about New Zealand is that you can hike a glacier in New Zealand. You can get there with a helicopter or try a guided walk instead. Please note that tours are also going to include some chill hikes and even ice climbing.
Regardless of what you may think, you’re not going to freeze to death on the Franz Josef Glacier. By contrary, the glacier gets plenty of sunlight, whereas the temperatures get only a bit lower than the ones nearby.
End your trip with a bath in the Glacier Hot Pools which the glacier is feeding.
10. Lake Tekapo
The bright blue color of the glacial waters are going to amaze you during the day, but the night view isn’t less impressive. The beautiful lake or the Mt. St. John Observatory is part of the South Island’s International Dark Sky Reserve.
If you go in the spring, you’re going to admire the beauty of lupins coloring the roadside with pink and purple hues.
11. Coromandel Peninsula
It’s a popular summer destination amongst the New Zealanders. The campsites, the coastal towns, the fishing places, and the surf spots are some of the main points of attraction.
The Hot Water Beach and the Cathedral Cove are going to make you seal the deal when finishing up your list of destinations.
12. Milford Sound
Many agree that Milford Sound is the most critical asset of the Fiordland National Park. Thousands of tourists check it every year as the natural scenery, and the inky waters are unforgettable.
If you’re a bit more adventurous than that, you should check the Milford Track, which is a multi-day hiking trail that New Zealanders love.
Wanaka is a small town, but the friendliness and fantastic lake and alpine scenery make it stuck with you for many years to come.
It’s a great winter destination for the skiers, but it can provide numerous activities during the summertime too. There are plenty of water-based activities to try thanks to the lake, giving the name to the town.
It’s a tiny seaside town on the Wairarapa coast, close to the capital city Wellington. You’re going to admire the tallest lighthouse in New Zealand (75.5ft) or get blown away by some of the most dramatic seaside scenery.
You’re going to find plenty of fossil shells when heading to the lighthouse. On a lucky day, you may even have an encounter with the seals or birds. And while you’re there, keep in mind to check the sheltered lagoon too.
15. Mount Taranaki
Some know it as Mount Egmont, but whatever the name, this place is a dormant stratovolcano that you can find on the western coast of the North Island. It has a symmetrical shape, resembling Mount Fiji in Japan. The resemblance is so impressive that Mt. Taranaki was used as a backdrop for the famous mountain in the movies (“The Last Samurai” featuring Tom Cruise).
Any hike around the Egmont National Park is going to be an excellent opportunity for any outdoor lover.
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