Beautiful Places to Visit in New Zealand

Beautiful Places to Visit in New Zealand

While most people dream of visiting a beautiful and stress free place for a vacation, a number of places come to mind which includes countries in Europe, America and Oceanic. Among them, New Zealand ranks as one of the favourites simply because of their stunning scenic and breathtaking views. Moreover, there is no hectic itinerary in majority of the tours to New Zealand which gives the visitor freedom in visiting the many places and attractions here.   

While many may be asking what is there to do in New Zealand, let us assure you that this country is so very different compared to popular destinations like London, Paris, Tokyo or Los Angeles. With stunning scenery and amazing landscapes, there is just so much to explore around both islands here. Among the beautiful places in New Zealand are;

Rotorua and the beautiful landscapes
Rotorua

The name Rotorua comes from Māori, the full name being Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe where Roto means lake and Rua two – Rotorua thus meaning 'Second lake'. Among the popular places to visit here is the Mitai Maori Village where you will have an authentic introduction to Maori culture. See warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe down the Wai-o-whiro stream. During the Maori cultural performance, you will learn about their past, carvings and ta moko which is the traditional Maori tattoo art. Guests also get to experience a traditional Maori Hangi dinner where your meal is cooked in the ground. 

Rotorua is also well known for their thermal and natural wonders which include the famous Wai-O-Tapu to see the Lady Knox Geyser that erupts daily at 10.15am and Waimangu Volcanic Valley to see the Frying Pan Lake, one of the largest hot water springs in the World, Inferno Crater Lake which rises and falls as it heats and cools and also the rare and unusual plants have adapted to grow on the hot earths.


Hobbiton, the village seen in Lord of the Rings movies
Matamata

Well known for Hobbiton, the Hobbit village in the world renown Peter Jackson’s movies of Lord of the Rings, this farm town is now one of New Zealand’s most visit places due to Hobbiton Town. Here, you can visit all the popular sets seen in the movies, dine at the Green Dragon Inn and visit the Shire store to get all kinds of souvenirs from the movies. For those spending the day here, you can experience a traditional Shire dinner and see how Hobbiton looks like at night. Last but not least, take photos in front of Bilbo Baggins home which is one of the hobbit holes here.

Tours to Hobbiton includes free transport to and from the set (20 minutes each way), a fully guided tour of the Movie Set, a visit to the Green Dragon Inn and shopping time at The Shire's Rest unless stated otherwise. If you have watched any of the Lord of the Ring movies and loved it, this would be highly recommended for you. 


Fiordland National Park in Milford Sound
Milford Sound

A fjord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island, within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. This is also acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination with amazing picturesque scenery. Boat cruises here that last two hours are the highlights for anyone visiting this place. Two prominent waterfalls that everyone visits are Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. Milford Sound has also been judged as one of the world's top travel destination in an international survey. 

Te Anau Glowworm Caves 
Nearby, the Te Anau Glowworm Caves are another not-to-miss attraction. Hidden beneath the mountains on Lake Te Anau’s western shores is an amazing underground network of 12,000 year old caves lit by hundreds of glowworms. Visitors are taken by boat from the lakefront for a scenic view before going on foot traveling through the limestone passages  to find a grotto of thousands of glittering glow worms. Definitely an experience not to miss for those who love a little bit of outdoors and adventure. 




Wanaka

Located in southern end of Lake Wanaka, this resort town is situated in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. Wanaka also caters to a number of restaurants, cafes and a diverse nightlife for the tourist. Other attractions in the town include Puzzling World and the Paradiso Cinema. Puzzling World contains a maze, optical illusions and a leaning clock tower apart from a number of wineries in the area. Just out of town next to the Wanaka Airport is the National Transport and Toy Museum

Lake Wanaka is a popular resort area, and is much used in the summer for fishing, boating and swimming. The nearby mountains and fast-flowing rivers allow for adventure tourism year-round, with jetboating and skiing facilities located nearby. A recommended time to visit Wanaka is also during the autumn period when you get to see the multiple colours of Wanaka. 


Dunedin

Considered to be one of the four main cities of New Zealand for historic, cultural, and geographic reasons Dunedin is also a heritage city, where you will find a wide range of accommodation, restaurants, cafés, arts and crafts and many attractions. For museum and art lovers, you can check out the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Toitū Otago Settlers Museum and the Otago Museum, where you will find some of the best collections in New Zealand.

Dunedin also has some key attractions which are a beautiful Chinese Garden, the Dunedin Railway Station, Baldwin Street which is also the steepest street in the world, Larnach Castle and the must-visit Cadbury World Chocolate Factory. 

Yellow Eyed Penguin
For nature lovers, check out the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve which is is a private conservation reserve dedicated to helping the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin survive. A short bus trip over the farm takes small groups to the reserve where you next go on foot through a unique system of covered trenches and into viewing hides. These hides allow access to the living areas and breeding grounds of this shy penguin, providing the opportunity to witness and photograph undisturbed activity at close range.


Beautiful colors of Arrowtown near Queenstown
Queenstown

A resort town in the South Island that boasts of 220 adventure tourism activities including skiing and snowboarding, jet boating, whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, mountain biking, sky diving and many others. A must visit spot around Queenstown is the Skyline Queenstown Complex, a five minute walk from central town which offers awe-inspiring views of the region and an abundance of entertainment and adventure for everyone. Guests can take the Skyline Gondola up Bob’s Peak to enjoy award winning cuisine at the scenic Skyline restaurant, Kiwi Haka Maori culture performances and even try out the Skyline Luge which is a thrilling downhill ride.

View of Queenstown from the Skyline Complex
The Sky Tower is also another must-not-miss place as this is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand at 328 meters. The tower also offers possible the best 360 degrees views of Auckland and also up to 80 kilometers in every direction. Inside, there is a club, lounge and also New Zealand’s only revolving restaurant. For the extreme traveler, try the Sky Walk or Sky Jump which is not for the fainthearted! 

For a historical experience, take a 20 minute drive to Arrowtown which is a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. This town is also a wonderful place to browse, enjoying the dining, the shopping, and soaking up Arrowtown’s lively heritage.

Kawarau River is another popular destination for tourist adventure activities which include riverboarding, jet boating, white water rafting, river surfing, and bungee jumping. This river offers beautiful scenic views and for those who are not doing any of the outdoor adventures offered here. 


Auckland at night
Auckland

Also known as the ‘City of Sails’, the most popular city in the North Island with the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. Being a city, Auckland offers popular shopping spots like Queen Street, Britomart, Ponsonby Road, Karangahape Road, Newmarket and Parnell whilst the Otara and Avondale flea markets offer an alternative shopping experience on weekend mornings. 

Among the iconic symbols of the North Island, the Auckland Harbour Bridge which is the second longest bridge in New Zealand offers the famous Bridge Walk where guests are taken for a walk on top of the bridge. Mission Bay is another popular place where you can find Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium which is a well-known aquarium showcasing penguins, turtles, sharks, tropical fish, sting rays and other marine creatures.

Viaduct Events Centre at night
Another not to miss place is the Viaduct Events Centre which is a stand-alone, multi-purpose events centre built on the Halsey Street extension wharf at Auckland’s waterfront. If you are walking around here, try the local tram in the Wynyard Quarter.  

Overall there are many other beautiful places to visit in New Zealand and this article simply highlights some of the popular scenic places on both islands. For those wanting to visit New Zealand, there are numerous New Zealand Tour Packages offered by travel agents where you can choose from 8, 9 and also 12 day tours. These tours are also created to give visitors the best of both islands too. Look our for our next exciting travel article on New Zealand. 

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