The Top 10 Places in New Zealand You Shouldn’t Miss
New Zealand (Aotearoa) is called the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. It has also been known as ‘God’s Own Country’ and the ‘Paradise of the Pacific’. New Zealand is a land of stunning natural beauty: picturesque beaches, wonderful rivers and lakes, steep fiords and active volcanic zones, tempting pastures, forests and mountains.
It’s a dream destination and a once-in-a-life place to visit, so if you are planning to go there for the first time or you plan to return, look at our suggestions what you should not miss there:
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and one of the best places in the country. We recommend the AucklandArtGallery, the Bush and Beach Tours, the AucklandWarMemorialMuseum, Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, GreatBarrierIsland, Auckland Zoo, WaihekeIsland, WaitakereRanges, SkyTower.
2. Milford Sound
R. Kipling called it the ‘eight wonder of the world’. It’s formed by glaciers during the Ice Age. Cliffs rise from fiords crowned by mountains and waterfalls. The scenery of Milford Sound is truly spectacular that has remained unchanged throughout the ages.
- 3. Lake Tekapo
It’s a magnificent and energetic lake with intense milky-turquoise colour. You can enjoy the lure of salmon and trout fishing here, mountain biking, water sports, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, scenic flights and golf.
The third biggest city in New Zealand, it was devastated by four large earthquakes between Sep 2010 and Dec 2011, but the city is live and back to normal again. One of the best places to visit here is the Cathedral Square and the CanterburyMuseum, the Garden City, a journey in the Christchurch Gondola and the ChristchurchBotanic Gardens.
5. Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands is one of the best places for fishing, watersports or sailing. This region is made of 144 islands between CapeBrett and PureruaPeninsula. The Bay of Island is about three hours by car from Auckland. You should not miss the Hole in the Rock, an opening in a rock formation that you can sail through when the tide is right.
Queenstown is also known as the ‘Adventure Capital’ of New Zealand. The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. People visit Queenstown for bungy jumping, jet boating, canyoning, white water rafting. It was initially known as ‘CanvasTown’ in the period of the gold-mining boom, and then was renamed Queenstown because it was said to be ‘fit for the Queen’.
7. White Island
The full name of this most active volcano in New Zealand is Te Puia o Whakaari or ‘The Dramatic Volcano’. The Island was first called the WhiteIsland by Captain Cook because each time he sailed near it, it was covered with white steam (Cook never realized it was actually a volcano). The surroundings and the scenery are surreal – it’s like walking on a moonscape with no plants inside the crater.
- 8. Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley
This is a Maori heritage centre where you can get an authentic ‘steambox’ meal prepared by ancient geothermal cooking techniques, as well as ceremony and traditional song and dance performance. This is also the home of the largest active geyser. Mud pools are natural attractions in the geothermal valley with boiling pool temperature of more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Waitomo Caves
Waitamo Caves should be seen by anyone travelling to New Zealand. You can enjoy the world famous boat under thousands of magical glow worms. The glow worm is unique for New Zealand, radiating their luminescent light in the Cave.
10. Tane Mahuta
Enjoy a great guided night tour or a journey back in time from Paihia to Hokianga and visit Tane Mahuta. It’s also known as the ‘Lord of the Forrest’. This is a great chance to encounter a kiwi in their natural habitat.
Have you been in New Zealand or are you planning to come back? What is your top 10?