The 24 most beautiful places to visit in New Zealand

Are you looking for a destination with varied and breathtaking natural landscapes? Don’t hesitate any longer and go visit New Zealand, the “land of the long white cloud”!

Summary

  • 1. Northland
  • 2. Bay of Islands
  • 3. The Coromandel Peninsula
  • 4. Le Tongariro
  • 5. Wellington
  • 6. Rotorua
  • 7. Mount Taranaki
  • 8. Auckland Beaches
  • 9. Bay of Plenty
  • 10. Waitomo Caves
  • 11. Abel Tasman
  • 12. Mount Cook
  • 13. Lake Wanaka
  • 14. Le Fiordland
  • 15. Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki
  • 16. Banks Peninsula
  • 17. Kaikoura Peninsula
  • 18. Pancake Rocks
  • 19. Queenstown
  • 20. Arthur’s Pass
  • 21. Nelson Lakes
  • 22. Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers
  • 23. The Catlins
  • 24. Les Moeraki Boulders

For many, New Zealand is the nation of the best rugby team in the world, the All Blacks , but it is actually much more than that! Considered the land of the Maori people, this country in Oceania, lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, has nearly 4.9 million inhabitants, and attracts more and more nature lovers every year. .

New Zealand, or Aotearoa in Māori, is divided into two main islands. The most populated North Island is home to subtropical forests, green hills, volcanoes and the country’s capital, Wellington . While the wilder South Island is characterized by its mountain ranges as far as the eye can see and its wide open spaces.

Wondering what to do in New Zealand? We have selected for you the 24 most beautiful places to visit in the land of kiwis and sheep!

1. Northland

Cape Reinga, New Zealand

Photo credit: Unsplash – Steven Biak Ling

There are countless natural treasures hidden in the sunniest region of the country, located, as its name suggests, in the far north of New Zealand: the Mermaids Pools , natural pools in the coastal village of Matapouri , the dense forest of Waipoua and its giant kauri trees (endemic trees of New Zealand), the 88 kilometer long beach of Ninety Mile Beach , the mythical Cape Reinga, at the tip of the North Island, or even the Bay of Islands.

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2. Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Mantas Volungevicius

It would be a shame to visit New Zealand, and more particularly the Northland region, without going through the beautifully named Bay of Islands . What to see and do in this heavenly bay with 144 islands? Turquoise water, coves of fine sand and the possibility of swimming with dolphins.

3. The Coromandel Peninsula

Coromandel Peninsula, Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – russellstreet

Located less than two hours by road from Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula is a favorite destination for New Zealanders (nicknamed the kiwis), and rightly so! The spectacular cove of Cathedral Cove , the natural hot baths of Hot Water Beach and, among others, the landscapes of the Pinnacles, in the Kauaeranga Valley, are undeniably things to do in New Zealand!

4. Le Tongariro

Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

Photo credit: Unsplash – Emily Woolerton

What to do in New Zealand? Visit the Tongariro National Park , a place of strong cultural and spiritual significance for the Maoris and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! As you travel the 19.4 kilometers of the popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike, the spectacular landscapes of the three volcanoes and their emerald lakes will pass before your eyes.

5. Wellington

Wellington, New Zealand

Although less populated than Auckland, Wellington has nothing to envy to the big city. Located in the heart of a bay and backed by hills, in the south of the North Island, the capital with its colorful houses is known for its artistic and cultural life, and its excellent quality of life.

It includes the National Museum of New Zealand, the famous Te Papa Tongarewa .

6. Rotorua

Rotorua, New Zealand

The city of Rotorua , built on a volcanic plateau, is famous for its geothermal activity and its thermal springs, its Maori culture, as well as its fascinating Redwoods Forest, a real playground for all outdoor sports enthusiasts .

It is also a starting point for Hobbiton , the famous Lord of the Rings filming location, and therefore a must for all fans of the trilogy.

7. Mount Taranaki

Mount Taranaki, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Dave Young

What to do in New Zealand? Head for the west coast, in the heart of the Egmont National Park to admire or attempt the ascent of this majestic volcano which culminates at 2518 meters above sea level. Its perfectly conical shape is often compared to Mount Fuji in Japan.

8. The beaches of Auckland

Piha, Auckland, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Kathrin & Stefan Marks

Although very attractive, Auckland , the largest city in New Zealand, does not seduce all its visitors, however the many beaches that surround it are unanimous! We will particularly remember the wild beauty of the beaches of Piha , Muriwai, Karekare or even Bethells.

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9. Bay of Plenty

Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – gérard

If you have the chance to visit New Zealand, take the time to stop in this region where fruits and vegetables, such as kiwi and avocado, grow in abundance. You can gain height by going to Mount Maunganui, located a few kilometers from the city of Tauranga.

10. Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Donnie Ray Jones

What to do in New Zealand to live an atypical experience? We visit the Waitomo Caves to witness an incredible and magical natural spectacle, that of the thousands of glow worms , or shiny greens, which shine in the dark of these impressive caves.

11. Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Photo credit: Louise Voyage

Head to the South Island and Abel Tasman National Park , named after the Dutch explorer who discovered the country in 1642. The 60 kilometer hike along the park’s stunning coastline is one of nine Great Walks to do in New Zealand.

12. Mount Cook

Mount Cook, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Narni’s ahar

How to visit New Zealand without going to contemplate Mount Cook , or Aōraki in Māori, its highest point (3,724 meters)? Time seems to stop when the clouds reveal the snow-capped peaks of the rock and ice giants of this national park, a UNESCO heritage site.

13. Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – junaidrao

How can you resist facing this huge lake , and its famous tree, with the sumptuous mountains of Mount Aspiring National Park as a backdrop? The surroundings of the lake offer very beautiful hikes such as Roys Peak, whose exceptional view on arrival will make you forget the difficult ascent!

14. Le Fiordland

Fiordland, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Andrew Price

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fiordland National Park is by far one of the most spectacular places to visit in New Zealand. Could it be the mist that stagnates in its humid forest, its innumerable waterfalls, or the fjord of Milford Sound sculpted by the glaciers that make the magic of this remote place? We let you judge for yourselves…

15. Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Mattia Fabris

What to do in New Zealand to be amazed? Contemplate the particular blue of lakes Pukaki and Tekapo , before ending the day at Mount John University Observatory to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view, and admire one of the most beautiful starry skies in the world. Simply stunning!

16. Banks Peninsula

Akaora, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Bernard Spragg. NZ

The Banks Peninsula , not far from Christchurch, is the result of the eruption of two now extinct volcanoes. Driving along the winding roads of this peninsula, covered in green hills occupied by sheep, you will find yourself in the pretty French village of Akaroa.

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17. Kaikoura Peninsula

Kaikoura Peninsula, New Zealand

Photo credit: Unsplash – Jessica Snoek

Kaikoura , or the paradise of marine animals, is a unique place, where the mountain meets the sea, not to be missed if you plan to visit New Zealand. We go there to observe the country’s marine fauna and marvel at its incredible scenery.

18. Pancake Rocks

Pancake rocks, Punakaiki, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – StarCitizen

Are you planning to visit New Zealand on a road trip? Plan a stop at Punakaiki , in Paparoa National Park, to contemplate the Pancakes Rocks! But what is it, then ? The Pancake Rocks are stacked layers of rock, like pancakes, which overlook the sea. Another beautiful creation of nature!

19. Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Peter Kurdulija

Queenstown , on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, at the foot of the Remarkables mountain range, is an essential stopover for all adventurers, thrill seekers and winter sports enthusiasts. If you are wondering what to do in New Zealand, you can add this destination to your list.

Take advantage of your visit to this region to stop in the former gold diggers’ village of Arrowtown, before taking the enchanting road to Glenorchy!

20. Arthur’s Pass

Arthur's Pass, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Small

On the way to Arthur’s Pass , this 100,000 hectare national park located in the New Zealand Southern Alps! If you want to visit New Zealand to explore its wide open spaces and get a breath of fresh air, you’ve definitely come to the right place.

On your way, don’t miss Castle Hill , where huge blocks of limestone are erected across the hills.

21. Nelson Lakes

Nelson Lakes, New Zealand

Change of scenery in Nelson Lakes National Park , renowned for its two large and superb glacial lakes, Rotoiti and Rotoroa. It is a destination of choice when looking for what to do in New Zealand.

22. Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Flying Kiwi Tours

The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are also two beautiful places to visit in New Zealand. Nestled in the heart of Westland National Park, these spectacular glaciers and their blue ice caves offer a striking sight.

23. The Catlins

The Catlins, New Zealand

Credit photo : Flickr – Toni Almodóvar Escuder

The Catlins region , with airs of the end of the world, occupies the extreme south of New Zealand, and seduces with its rural landscapes, its forest and its beaches, from which it is possible to observe many marine species, such as the Penguins.

24. Les Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

Photo credit: Flickr – Bernard Spragg. NZ

To visit New Zealand is to discover nature in all its splendour! These spherical rocks, as if stranded on the beach, can measure up to three meters and weigh several tons. The Moeraki Boulders continue to fascinate visitors who venture to this part of the country!

25. The Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Photo credit: Instagram – tobias_werner_photography

Located in the country’s largest wine region, the Marlborough Sounds are a series of rolling islands and secluded, deserted and breathtaking coves. It is accessed from Picton, which is the connecting port between the two New Zealand islands on the South Island. It is in this sumptuous setting that you can undertake the Queen Charlotte hike.

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Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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