Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is a New Zealand enclave encompassing more than 140 subtropical islands next to the country’s North Island. It’s known for its undeveloped beaches, big-game fishing and Maori cultural artefacts. It’s also home to the 19th-century whaling port of Russell, whose waterfront promenade is lined with remnants from its days as the country’s first colonial capital.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Milford Sound is a fiord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s known for towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls, which plummet down its sheer sides. The fiord is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins. Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory offers views of rare black coral and other marine life. Boat tours are a popular way to explore.
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland, based around 2 large harbours, is a major city in the north of New Zealand’s North Island. In the centre, the iconic Sky Tower has views of Viaduct Harbour, which is full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes. Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, is based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Wintergardens. Near Downtown, Mission Bay Beach has a seaside promenade. Best Places to Visit in New Zealand
Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Waiheke Island is the most populated and the second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. Its ferry terminal in Matiatia Bay at the western end is 21.5 km from the central-city terminal in Auckland. Waiheke is the second-largest island in the gulf, after Great Barrier Island.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch, known for its English heritage, is located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Flat-bottomed punts glide on the Avon River, which meanders through the city centre. On its banks are cycling paths, the green expanse of Hagley Park and Christchurch Botanic Gardens. In 2010 and 2011, earthquakes destroyed many of the historic centre’s stone-built buildings.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand, sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, set against the dramatic Southern Alps. Renowned for adventure sports, it’s also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns. There’s bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers. In winter, there’s skiing on the slopes of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. Best Places to Visit in New Zealand
Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, New Zealand
Whakarewarewa is the legacy and home of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people, who have been sharing their unique way of life with visitors from all around the world for over two hundred years.
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Franz Josef Glacier was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor. The glacier is five kilometres from the town of the same name, and a 1.5 hour walk will take you to within 750m of its terminal face.
If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a heli-hike or a guided ice walk. Aerial sightseeing is another option.
There’s a range of natural attractions in close proximity to Franz Josef Glacier Village. Lose yourself in the rainforests, waterfalls, and lakes.
In the town, you’ll find plenty of places to stay and eat, or relax at the Glacier Hot Pools or explore the wildlife centre. At nearby Lake Mapourika, you can take a kayak tour or rent a stand-up paddleboard.
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Its height, as of 2014, is listed as 3,724 metres. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. A popular tourist destination, it is also a favourite challenge for mountain climbers.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves attraction is a cave at Waitomo on the North Island of New Zealand. It is known for its population of Arachnocampa luminosa, a glowworm species found exclusively in New Zealand. This cave is part of the Waitomo Caves system that includes the Ruakuri Cave and the Aranui Cave. Best Places to Visit in New Zealand