Best Places to Visit in New Zealand
Visiting New Zealand is a once-in-a-lifetime dream for many travelers. On one hand, are its beaches and barrier islands, and on the other are volcanic peaks and icy glaciers. In between, there are sub-tropical forests, mind-boggling rock formations, and the ethnic beauty of quaint Maori villages.
But that’s not all. There are cities with shopping and entertainment venues, and not to forget the wildlife that can be only seen in New Zealand and nowhere on this earth. Get your luggage ready, for New Zealand is calling, and here are the best places to visit in New Zealand.
Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound
The finest national park in New Zealand is a wonder of natural landscapes at its best. Fjordland National Park has such exotic and surreal places as Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Hiking is the best thing to do here, and Lake Manapouri is perfect for kayaking and boating. The awesome jagged cliffs towering on both sides of the fjords are a feast for your eyes. Glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, forests, icy mountains greet you from everywhere.
Bay of Islands, North Island
Here at the Bay of Islands in North Island, you will see the blue sea, scores of small islands, and sheltered bays. A luxury yacht cruise is best to see this wonderland of New Zealand. The sub-tropical islands are best to see unique rock formations like Hole in the Rock. There are beaches like the Ninety Mile Beach, and Maori villages that you can explore. Waipoua Forest has tall trees and glow worms at Kawiti Caves, which is a natural phenomenon.
Tongariro National Park
On North Island, Tongariro National Park is a landscape of sublime beauty. There are volcanoes, snowy mountains, alpine forests, lakes, and forested slopes. Lake Taupo, Taranaki Falls are spectacular sights here, and hiking is the best thing to do in Tongariro National Park. There are hot springs also, and horse riding, river rafting, hiking are the best exciting things to do here.
Rotorua, North Island
One of the best hot springs and geysers in New Zealand can be seen in Rotorua on North Island. There are places like Hells Gate Geothermal Park and Waimangu Volcanic Valley where tourists can watch bubbling mud and volcanic steam from boardwalks. Rotorua Museum is best to know the history of Rotorua. There are spa facilities for tourists and Waitomo Glowworm Caves are the best to see the natural phenomenon of limestone caves twinkling with the light of bio-luminescence of glowworms.
Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, South Island
At Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers in New Zealand, you feel the thrill of seeing rivers of ice flow down from icy mountains. You can actually walk at the base of these glaciers and watch the jagged spikes of the icy river frozen over millions of years. The best things to do here are guided walks in which you will come across caves and hot pools, and the glacier itself is so gigantic. You can also hover above the glaciers on helicopters and seaplanes to see the enormity of these glaciers.
Abel Tasman National Park
Hiking on the Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of the best things to do in Abel Tasman National Park. The hike will take you to see the rugged coastline full of jagged rocks and lush green forests. There are such famous rock formations as the Split Apple Rock, and a kayak ride into the Abel Tasman Canyons is a fun thing to do. A seaplane tour is best to see the park from above, and you can sail on a yacht or paddle on the coastline. There are scenic bays where you can swim.
Mount Cook National Park, South Island
At Mount Cook National Park, you will see a world of ice and snow, and glaciers flowing from icy mountain peaks. Tasman Glacier, the longest glacier in New Zealand is within this park, and Mount Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain is also in this park. There are hiking tracks and lakes, scenic roads, from which you can have excellent views of the mountains. Kayaking, helicopter ride, hiking, camping, swimming, stargazing, are the best things to do at Mount Cook National Park.
Coromandel Peninsula, North Island
From the blue ocean to the green paradise of sub-tropical forests, you can see all in the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. There are scenic coves like Cathedral Cove to craggy rocks strewn along the beaches, and bays where you can find placid waters to swim. There are hot water pools where you can take a soothing dip and Hauraki Rail Trail where you will see fascinating scenery. You will find towering cliffs like The Pinnacles and wildlife at Whenuakura Wildlife Sanctuary.
Kaikoura, South Island
At Kaikoura, you can go and watch so much marine life, from sperm whales to dolphins, orcas to seals. You can go on whale watching tours or see them from a helicopter. You can stroll through lavender farms at Lavendyl lavender farm, or see albatross colonies. Watch the snow-capped mountains or taking a stroll on Kaikoura beach are also the best things to do on Kaikoura. You can take the 11 km Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway and watch the seals.
Auckland is one of the top tourist places in New Zealand. Sky Tower is the most recognizable monument in Auckland, from which you get sweeping views of Auckland. A day trip to Waiheke Island is the most sought-after adventure. Museums like New Zealand Maritime Museum have exhibits about the maritime history of New Zealand. Natural harbors have quays and wharves where you can have a stroll. You can go on dolphin and whale watching cruises from Auckland and have a relaxing time at beaches like Takapuna Beach and Maraetai Beach.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a dream destination for tourists. On Lake Wakatipu, they can do boating or go on hiking trips. A scenic drive through Skippers Canyon is also a thrill in itself. Adventure seekers can go speed boating on Shotover River, bungee jumping on Kawarau Bridge, or ski on snow-covered mountain slopes. A gondola ride will give you a splendid view of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. You can watch the Kiwi bird in the Kiwi Birdlife Park.