99 Of The Most Amazing Places To Visit In New Zealand

99 Of The Most Amazing Places To Visit In New Zealand

Have you ever wondered what place holds the honorary title of the most beautiful country? Our planet is incredibly diverse with its destinations, and pointing the finger at a particular location seems like an impossible task. There're 195 countries with different cultures and unalike views, yet they're all equally breathtaking – so is it even fair to choose a favorite? 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what makes a place "the most beautiful" is the memories you've made, the people you've met and, perhaps, the otherworldly views you will treasure for the rest of your days. 

However, speaking of the otherworldly views – New Zealand's scenery is among the most memorable in the world. The sixth-largest island country is filled with unique places that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime – and to help all the fellow adventurers, Bored Panda has gathered a couple of locations that'll make your next trip totally unforgettable. 

#1 Maori Rock Carvings At Mine Bay

The giant Mine Bay Māori rock carving of Ngātoroirangi on Lake Taupō has been hailed as one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary contemporary Māori artworks. Towering 14 meters above the deep water of Lake Taupō, the carving has become one of the North Island’s biggest tourist attractions.

The Mine Bay Māori rock carvings are accessible by boat only, and can be reached by taking a scenic cruise, sailing boat or kayaking trip from Taupō Boat Harbour.

Image credits: Ravernstal

#2 Waipu Caves

Waipu is a small town in Bream Bay, in the Northland Region of New Zealand, with a Scottish heritage. Near the town are the Waipu Caves, which contain a significant population of glow worms.

Image credits: CharlesBrooks

#3 Fiordland National Park

Rudyard Kipling once called Fiordland National Park “the eighth wonder of the world.” Quite simply, it’s one of the world’s most beautiful spots. Established as a national park in 1952 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990, the territory encompasses ice-carved fjords filled with pristine crystal blue water, deep lakes that seem almost primordial, spectacular snow-topped mountains that reach toward the sky, and sweeping vistas that stretch from the granite hills all the way down to the sea

Image credits: ryanresatka

#4 Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Waitomo Township is green and hilly, but underneath the sunny, glassy area lies something much darker and more intriguing: A system of caves and underground streams. Visitors to the Waitomo Caves can see the massive stalactites and stalagmites all lit up by the population of phosphorescent glow worms that live in the caves and illuminate the space with an eerie light. Those with a more adventurous heart can also choose to explore the caves via a zipline or by blackwater rafting, which involves holding tight to a rubber tube as they navigate the twists and turns of the underground river.

Image credits: waitomoglowwormcaves

#5 Whananaki

Whananaki is a locality on the east coast of Northland, New Zealand. A long wooden footbridge connects Whananaki North and Whananaki South, with an alternative connection being a 6-kilometer-long (3.7 mi) road that crosses the river above the estuary.

Image credits: Beau_B

#6 Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is beautiful and colored a unique cloudy blue due to the glacier-ground rock flour in its waters, and the town, with mountain vistas rising from the lake's turquoise edges, is both historical and friendly. Lake Tekapo might be gorgeous during the day time, but once the sun sets, this area is truly magical. It's part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, meaning that once night comes, the skies of Lake Tekapo are lit up by a mind blowing number of stars.

Image credits: danielmurray.nz

#7 Christchurch

Christchurch is a city on the South Island of New Zealand on the East Coast of the island and in the region of Canterbury. It's the second-largest city in New Zealand and is known as the Garden City for its gorgeous gardens and parks. The traditional English feel of Christchurch is offset by the common New Zealand feeling of never being too far from nature, and it's true: There are oceans, beaches, and mountains at the city's doorstep. The region of Canterbury is well known for its diverse landscape, with snow-capped mountains, beautiful blue lakes, and grassy plains.

Image credits: paul_wilson_images

#8 Tutukaka

Tutukaka is a locality on the east coast of Northland, New Zealand, in an area commonly referred to as the Tutukaka Coast.

As the closest marina to the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka is the base for boat tours for diving and snorkeling in the waters around these protected islands. At the peak of the busy summer months, Tutukaka's population swells from around 600 permanent residents to over 2,400. A walking track leads from Tutukaka to a small lighthouse at Tutukaka Head (South Gable).

Image credits: rachstewartnz

#9 Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park

Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Its height since 2014 is listed as 3,724 meters (12,218 feet). 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 favorite challenge for mountain climbers

Image credits: RobDickinson

#10 The Hobbiton Movie Set

Middle-earth comes to life at the Hobbiton movie set. A one-hour drive from Auckland will enable you to see the original hobbit holes and several film sites from up close - it’ll almost feel like you’ve stepped into a Tolkien-esque world of your own.

Image credits: commonvanilla

#11 The Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula is a summer holiday favorite among New Zealanders. A collection of picturesque coastal towns, campsites, surf spots and fishing locations are some of its assets. Beautiful gems such as Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach are additional bonuses.

Image credits: rowannicholson

#12 Hawke's Bay

Hawke's Bay Region is a region of New Zealand on the east coast of the North Island.

The Hawke's Bay Region includes the hilly coastal land around the northern and central bay, the floodplains of the Wairoa River in the north, the wide fertile Heretaunga Plains around Hastings in the south, and a hilly interior stretching up into the Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges.

The region has a hill with the longest place name in New Zealand, and the longest in the world according to the 2009 Guinness Book of Records. Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukakapiki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­kitanatahu is an otherwise unremarkable hill in southern Hawke's Bay, not far from Waipukurau.

Image credits: rachstewartnz

#13 Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland is located just outside of Rotorua – a place that, throughout history, has impressed visitors with its geysers and hot pools. The geothermal park is notable for its showcase of colorful springs, including the vibrant Champagne Pools and the fluorescent-green Devil’s Bath; as well as the spouting Lady Knox Geyser and the bubbling mud pools that aptly showcase the area’s remarkable volcanic activity.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#14 White Island

White Island is the country’s most active volcano, which makes it one of the best places to go in New Zealand for adventurous travelers. Get up close and personal with White Island by taking a scenic helicopter ride with Volcanic Air Safaris. Your White Island tour won’t be a leisurely stroll: Because this is a very active volcano, you’ll have to wear a hard hat and gas mask. You may even see volcanologists monitoring the volcano.

If a helicopter tour of White Island is not your thing, there are a number of other ways to explore the volcano. You can take a boat to White Island or get a bird’s-eye view of it on a scenic flight. You can even go scuba diving around White Island for a look at the volcano’s underwater vents.

Image credits: benalex_pictures

#15 Matapouri

Matapouri is a place where mermaids would definitely hang out if they existed. Named “The Mermaid Pools” these huge hidden emerald rock pools are so deep you can dive right on in. Top tip: avoid visiting at high tide as the waves can crash over the rocks at an alarming speed and sweep you off your little sunbathing perch!

Image credits: chrisjglaze

#16 Egmont National Park

Egmont National Park is located south of New Plymouth, close to the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

The park, established in 1900, is dominated by the dormant volcano of Mount Taranaki. Since the area has high annual rainfall and a mild coastal climate there is a lush rain-forest covering the foothills, a forest which is nationally significant for the total absence of beech trees.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#17 Moeraki Boulders

The Moeraki Boulders are unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the wave-cut Otago coast of New Zealand between Moeraki and Hampden. These boulders are grey-colored septarian concretions, which have been exhumed from the mudstone enclosing them and concentrated on the beach by coastal erosion.

Image credits: sam_markham_

#18 Hokitika Gorge

Located on the West Coast region of the South Island, the Hokitika Gorge is one of those amazing places that look as good as – if not better than – its pictures. A walking track 33 kilometres (20.5 miles) outside of the town of Hokitika will bring you up close and personal to the gorge’s shimmering turquoise waters and dense forested surrounds. As you reach the viewing platform, a stunning swing bridge comes into view: this is the ultimate spot for a photo opportunity.

Image credits: maxywax

#19 Milford Sound

Milford Sound is a beautiful sight: Forged thousands of years ago by glaciers, its waterfalls and flowing waters are framed by sky scraping mountains, which reach up with their rocky fingers into the air. Boat cruises of the sound, which are offered both during the day and overnight, are an excellent way to interact with this piece of nature. There is also ample opportunity at Milford Sound to see the fiord from a sea kayak, from the air, or from beneath on a scuba dive. Along the edges of the fiord, hikers can traverse the Milford Track, which winds its way through the vivid wilderness and takes approximately 4 days to complete.

Image credits: CollideStorm

#20 Hot Water Beach Around The Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula’s movie-worthy Cathedral Cove gets plenty of love, but Hot Water Beach is a local treasure worth cherishing too. With its golden sands and bubbling hot waters, this deserted piece of coastline is sure to enthral all travellers who spending some time familiarising themselves with the North Island’s natural beauty. Don’t forget to bring a shovel so you can scoop out your own thermal mineral water spring to dip into.

Image credits: justinejehanno

#21 Huka Falls

The Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drains Lake Taupo in New Zealand. A few hundred meters upstream from the Huka Falls, the Waikato River narrows from approximately 100 meters across into a canyon only 15 meters across.

Image credits: 17reasons

#22 Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach is on the western coast of the far north of the North Island of New Zealand. It stretches from just west of Kaitaia towards Cape Reinga along the Aupouri Peninsula. Despite the name, the beach is actually just 88 kilometres (55 miles) long.

The beach and its northern dunes at Te Paki are a tourist destination. The dunes, looking much like a desert landscape, are often used for bodyboarding.

Image credits: robert_nairn

#23 Te Urewera

Te Urewera is a protected area and former national park in the area of Te Urewera, near the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. It was established as a national park in 1954 and disestablished as such in 2014.

SH38 is the only road that leads through the park. The road is unsealed over 74 km.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#24 Franz Joseph Glacier

Glacier hiking is on top of many New Zealand visitors’ bucket lists. One of the country’s best-known glaciers, Franz Josef is highly desired by those wanting to get on the ice. While you’re in the region, definitely consider taking the time to visit its other famous neighbour, Fox Glacier. While Franz Josef is the steepest of the two, Fox Glacier is noteworthy for being the longest and fastest moving.

Image credits: nikonista

#25 Korako Glacier

The Korako Glacier in the Milford Sound with terminal lake. A challenging hike for the robust otherwise a comfortable helicopter will reward you this awesome view

Image credits: sfotyler

#26 Redwood Walks In Rotorua

Rotorua is a city on the southern shores of Lake Rotorua from which the city takes its name, located in the Bay of Plenty Region of New Zealand's North Island.

Rotorua is known for its geothermal activity, and features geysers – notably the Pohutu Geyser at Whakarewarewa – and hot mud pools. This thermal activity is sourced to the Rotorua caldera, in which the town lies.

Rotorua is also home to botanical gardens and historic architecture. Known as a spa town and major tourist resort since the 1800s, many of its buildings hint at this history. Government Gardens, close to the lake-shore at the eastern edge of the town, are a particular point of pride

Image credits: GuyNamedJack

#27 Paihia

Paihia is all about the small-town feel, but it boasts an array of great hotels and recreational opportunities to appeal to travelers. If you’re feeling adventurous and active, you can swim with dolphins or even go scuba diving to see the underwater shipwreck called the Rainbow Warrior. Back on dry land, make your way to Marsden Road for exceptional restaurants serving up an array of freshly caught seafood.

Image credits: HellsJuggernaut

#28 Mount Taranaki

Also known as Mount Egmont, Mount Taranaki is a quiescent stratovolcano on the western coast of the North Island. Its symmetrical shape gives it a strong resemblance to Japan’s Mount Fuji - so much so, that Mt Taranaki served as the backdrop for the iconic mountain in the Tom Cruise film The Last Samurai. Hiking tracks around Egmont National Park provide access to this magnificent summit.

Image credits: tan_iel

#29 Punakaiki Coast

Punakaiki is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. The community lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park.

The Pancake Rocks are a very popular tourist destination at Dolomite Point south of the main village. The Pancake Rocks are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts through several vertical blowholes during high tides. Together with the 'pancake' layering of the limestone (created by immense pressure on alternating hard and soft layers of marine creatures and plant sediments), these form the main attraction of the area.

Image credits: jakubsnajberg

#30 Tunnel Beach

Tucked away just south of Dunedin, Tunnel Beach is famed for its secluded coastlines, incredible rock formations, and compelling excavated tunnels. A short walk along a fenced, downhill track is all it takes to reach this hidden treasure.

Image credits: walkingdi

#31 Southern Alps

Extending to almost the entire length of the South Island, the Southern Alps mountain range is the highest in Australasia. It is home to Aoraki / Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring, Mount Tutoko, along with various other mountains, glacial lakes and forested wonders.

Image credits: rachstewartnz

#32 Roys Peak

Roys Peak is a mountain in New Zealand, standing between Wanaka and Glendhu Bay. It offers a full-day walk, with views across Lake Wanaka and up to the peak of Mount Aspiring/Tititea. The track zigzags steeply up the side of Mount Roy, through thick grass until the ridge to the summit.

Be prepared for rapid weather changes here – take appropriate shoes and warm windproof clothing. You can get sun, rain, wind, sleet and snow in the space of just a few minutes!

Image credits: weewaaah

#33 Nelson Lakes National Park

Set on the upper end of the South Island, Nelson Lakes National Park marks the beginning of the Southern Alps. At the heart of the park you’ll encounter two breathtaking alpine lakes surrounded by soaring forested valleys: Rotoiti and Rotoroa. The lakes and the surrounding parkland are highly desirable spots for camping, fishing, hiking and swimming.

Image credits: theartofnight

#34 Lindis Pass

Lindis Pass (elevation 971 m) is located in the South Island of New Zealand. The pass lies between the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers. The pass is the highest point on the South Island's state highway network, and the second highest point on the New Zealand state highway network, after the Desert Road (SH 1) in the Central North Island. Despite this, it is not considered one of the alpine passes as it located in the dry interior of the South Island

Image credits: brenton_captures

#35 Arthur's Pass In West Coast

Arthur's Pass is a township in the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand, located in the Selwyn district. It is a popular base for exploring Arthur's Pass National Park.

There are several good walks from here, including the Devil's Punchbowl Falls, Bealey Valley and Avalanche Peak. The mischievous kea (New Zealand mountain parrot) can be found here.

Image credits: chrisjglaze

#36 Te Arai Point

Te Arai lies at the furthest north east point in the Wellsford region. It offers pristine white sandy beaches at the end of picturesque rural roads and a glorious campground within the regional park.

It's an area well known by surfers for consistent and safe conditions and it's an utterly gorgeous spot for a day at the beach.

Image credits: TheLaughingChestnut

#37 Cathedral Cove

Another one of New Zealand's popular beaches, Cathedral Cove is a marine reserve located on The Coromandel peninsula. The beach is only accessible by a 30 minute track from the nearest car-park, winding your way through native bush and past stunning cliff faces you will eventually end up on this gorgeous stretch of sand. You will no doubt be roasting by the time you get here so it's the perfect place to take a dip in the cool water and relax on the beach.

Image credits: the_wanderer_photographer

#38 Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga is located right at the top of the North Island - though it’s not quite the northernmost point in New Zealand. Māori legend tells us this is the place where the spirits depart from the Earth and into the ancestral homeland of Hawaiki. The walk to Cape Reinga’s iconic lighthouse provides some spectacular views of the coastlines and its surrounding greenery.

Image credits: ichigo___ichie

#39 Wharariki Beach

Wharariki Beach is a beach west of Cape Farewell, the northernmost point of the South Island of New Zealand.

The north-facing sandy beach is accessible only via a 20-minute walking track from the end of Wharariki Road. The road end is approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) from the nearest settlement, the small village of Puponga. A camping ground is located along Wharariki Road, but the area surrounding the beach is devoid of any development.

Wharariki Beach is perhaps best known for the Archway Islands, featured frequently in photos in New Zealand landscape calendars.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#40 Tongariro National Park Alpine Crossing

The first national park of New Zealand, Tongariro is known for its surprises and extremes. The park’s diverse range of ecosystems includes tranquil lakes, active volcanoes, herb fields, untamed forests and desert-like plateaus. Start your trek at the Whakapapa Visitor Center, just a three hour hike from the stunning Taranaki Falls. The short hike will take you through scrubland and forest and across the lava line of volcanic eruptions from hundreds of years ago.

Image credits: rowannicholson

#41 Owharoa Falls

Owharoa Falls is a staircase waterfall in New Zealand, located off Waitawheta Road, near State Highway 2, between Paeroa and Waihi.

Image credits: ashtoth

#42 Te Anau

Te Anau is a town in the Southland region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is on the eastern shore of Lake Te Anau in Fiordland.

Many tourists come to Te Anau to visit the famous nearby fiords Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. The town is also used as a base for those undertaking the Milford Track and the Kepler Track, the latter being a 4-day loop from Te Anau. Visitors to the area also partake in activities such as kayaking, cycling, jet boat riding, fishing and hunting, farm tours and seaplane/helicopter sightseeing.

Image credits: williampatino_photography

#43 Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough includes its delicious fresh seafood from the coastal waters and, like most of New Zealand, its gorgeous landscapes. Along the coast of the region are a mass of tiny coastal islands and waterways, with dramatically shaped pieces of green land rising up out of the blue water, which is very popular for boating.

Image credits: rachstewartnz

#44 Burkes Pass

Burkes Pass is a mountain pass and at its base, a small town on State Highway 8 at the entrance to the Mackenzie Country in South Canterbury, New Zealand.

The Burkes Pass Scenic Reserve, administered by the Department of Conservation, is a former stock droving reserve one kilometer to the west of the pass. The ecological values are threatened by introduced rabbits, lupin, broom and wilding conifers.

Image credits: shelklas

#45 Blue Springs In Putaruru District

Putaruru is a small town in New Zealand's North Island. It lies on the western side of the Mamaku Ranges, on the upper basin of the Waihou River. It is on the Oraka Stream 65 kilometers south-east of Hamilton.

The nearby Blue Spring is the current source of about 70% of New Zealand's bottled water. Much of the town's water comes from the spring, which is on the Waihou River to the north east.

Image credits: chrisgin

#46 Great Barrier Island

Image credits: solarosamusic

#47 Cable Bay

Rotokura / Cable Bay is a bay and small settlement 18 kilometers (11 mi) north-east of Nelson in New Zealand. The settlement at the head of the bay is at the southern end of a thin strip of land or causeway connecting Pepin Island with the South Island.

The bay itself is a 600 meters (2,000 ft) wide, northwest-facing bay in the Tasman Bay. It provides a natural boulder barrier from the sea for the Wakapuaka estuary.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#48 Aniwaniwa Falls At Waikaremoana

The Aniwaniwa Falls (aniwaniwa meaning “rainbow” in Maori) - a set of three waterfalls along the Aniwaniwa River deep in Te Urewera National Park. The falls sit near the eastern shores of the remote Lake Waikaremoana.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#49 Bay Of Islands

Within a three-hour drive from Auckland lies the beautiful Bay of Islands region. Island trails, secluded coves, an abundance of marine life, and exquisite rock formations are some of the key highlights its visitors can look forward to. Some of the area’s most popular destinations include Cape Brett, the Poor Knights Islands, as well as the towns of Paihia and Russell.

Image credits: lonelyplanet_it

#50 Mou Waho Island

Mou Waho is an island in Lake Wanaka, New Zealand. It is around the same size as the nearby Mou Tapu, these two islands being the largest in the lake.

It is sometimes humorously described as a lake in an island in a lake in an island in a lake in an island in the ocean.

Image credits: PlayerGotGameMKE

#51 Nugget Point Lighthouse

Nugget Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse at Nugget Point in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is owned and operated by Maritime New Zealand.

The lighthouse was built from 1869 to 1870 and first lit on 4 July 1870. The tower was constructed from locally quarried stone. Originally, the lighthouse was powered by an oil burner.

An easy 20-minute return walking track leads from the car park at the end of The Nuggets Road to a viewing platform right next to the lighthouse overlooking "The Nuggets". The lighthouse itself is fenced off.

Image credits: golden_an

#52 Golden Bay

Golden Bay (Mohua) is a shallow, paraboloid-shaped bay in New Zealand, near the northern tip of the South Island. An arm of the Tasman Sea, the bay lies northwest of Tasman Bay and Cook Strait. It is protected in the north by Farewell Spit, a 26-km-long arm of fine golden sand which is the country's longest sandpit. The Aorere and Takaka Rivers flow into the bay from the south.

The bay was once a resting area for migrating whales and dolphins such as southern right whales and humpback whales, and pygmy blue whales may be observed off the bay as well.

It is known for being a popular tourist destination, because of its good weather and relaxed, friendly lifestyle. Its beaches like Tata Beach are popular locations for retirees and holiday homes.

Image credits: yoannvitel

#53 Queenstown

On New Zealand’s South Island is Queenstown, a destination known as the dream spot for those in search of adrenaline and adventure. Surrounded by the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, and right on the banks of deep-blue Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is also an incredibly beautiful spot. There is also a vibrant nightlife with the town’s small central area packed with bars and restaurants.

Image credits: treyratcliff

#54 Hunua Falls

The Hunua Falls are on the Wairoa River in the Auckland Region of New Zealand, near Hunua. The Wairoa River falls over a basalt lava plug. Volcanic tuff rings and lava bombs are visible in the east wall of the waterfall.

Image credits: CharlesBrooks

#55 The Hopkins Valley

The Hopkins River is in the central South Island of New Zealand. It flows south for 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Southern Alps into the northern end of Lake Ohau in the Mackenzie Country.

Its headwaters, on the southern slopes of Mount Hopkins, form the northernmost point of Otago, and the river's braided valley is part of the border between Otago and Canterbury. The river's main tributary is the Dobson River.

Image credits: paul_wilson_images

#56 Split Apple Rock In Tasman Bay

Split Apple Rock is a geological rock formation in Tasman Bay off the northern coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Made of granite from the cretaceous, it is in the shape of an apple which has been cut in half.

It is a popular tourist attraction in the waters of the Tasman Sea approximately 50 meters off the coast between Kaiteriteri and Marahau. The rock sits in shallow water at low tide and is accessible by wading. It is also a point of interest for the many tourist boats and pleasure craft which operate along the shores of the Abel Tasman National Park.

Image credits: nomadicmacs

#57 The Mackenzie Basin

The Mackenzie Basin (popularly and traditionally known as the Mackenzie Country) is an elliptical intermontane basin located in the Mackenzie and Waitaki Districts, near the centre of the South Island of New Zealand. It is the largest such basin in New Zealand. Historically famous mainly for sheep farming, the sparsely populated area is now also a popular tourism destination.

Image credits: out_and_about__travel

#58 Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley

Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley is a home to a number of active geysers, including Pohutu, the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere. Mud pools are another natural attraction in the geothermal valley: These boiling pools reach temperatures of more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Image credits: FortuitousAdroit

#59 That Wanaka Tree

One of the most famous spots on Instagram in New Zealand is a picture of a lonely tree in a lake, otherwise known as “That Wanaka Tree”. In fact, this tree has become somewhat of a symbol of New Zealand tourism and is a place that photographers gather regularly to try and capture their own unique shot to share.

That Wanaka Tree is located right in the town of Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island. Wanaka is a small town only about a 1-hour drive from the tourist hub of Queenstown.

Besides the tree, Wanaka is also famous for nearby hikes such as Roy’s Peak, Diamond Lake Walk, the beautiful Wanaka Lake, and surrounding mountains, as well as amazing restaurants.

Image credits: Mitchell-Perfect

#60 Wanaka Lake

Lake Wanaka, the fourth-largest lake in New Zealand, is located inland on the South Island in the Otago Region. The crystal-clear waters of this gorgeous lake make for some beautiful photos, and the sunny inland weather makes for even more beautiful days spent out on the water. During the summer, Lake Wanaka is perfect for sailing, fishing, and kayaking, and the nearby mountains provide a great setting for hiking, climbing, and even skydiving. During the winter months, the peaks surrounding Lake Wanaka are busy with skiers racing down the slopes.

Image credits: alliemtaylor

#61 Chatham Islands

The Chatham Islands are an archipelago of about ten islands located about 500 miles east of New Zealand's South Island. The Chatham Islands, with their sheer rocky coastlines and rugged green wilderness, were the ancestral home of the Moriori people, a Polynesian tribe very similar to the Maori of New Zealand's main islands. The islands are famous for delicious, fresh seafood, which can be sampled at any of the restaurants on the Chatham Islands. There are also lots of opportunities to view wildlife, from the abundant birds and animals to the flowering plants in the archipelago.

Image credits: ben.holyoake35

#62 Central Otago

Central Otago refers to the central region of the South Island, in the Otago Region. In sunny Central Otago, visitors will find dry, hilly landscapes and some beautiful heritage towns. Otago was the center of the gold rush in New Zealand, and some of the small towns there, like Bannockburn, Naseby, and Ophir, still reflect this history with their old-school charm. The region is also perfect for wine growing and is home to a number of excellent vineyards, which are especially famous for pinot noir. A tour of the local fare in Central Otago is sure to include some fantastic wines alongside local cheeses, meats, and produce grown in the region.

Image credits: katemcd0nald

#63 Routeburn Track

The Routeburn Track is a world-renowned, 32 km tramping (hiking) track found in the South Island of New Zealand. The track is usually completed by starting on the Queenstown side of the Southern Alps, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, and finishing on the Te Anau side, at the Divide, several kilometers from the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound.

Image credits: bmarreirorj

#64 Lake Hawea

Lake Hāwea is located in the Otago Region of New Zealand. At its greatest extent, which is roughly along a north-south axis, Lake Hāwea is 35 kilometers long. It lies in a glacial valley formed during the last ice age, and is fed by the Hunter River. Nearby Lake Wanaka lies in a parallel glacial valley eight kilometers to the west. At their closest point (a rocky ridge called The Neck), the lakes are only 1000 meters apart.

The lake is a popular resort, and is well used in the summer for fishing, boating and swimming. The nearby mountains and fast-flowing rivers allow for adventure tourism year-round, with jet-boating and skiing nearby.

Image credits: williampatino_photography

#65 Whangarei Falls

Many visit this picturesque spot to take their Instagram pics and just leave. But a lesser known secret is that you can actually climb in behind these falls! Head there nice and early to miss the crowds and if you’re lucky the rising sun will hit the water in just the right spot and you’ll be covered in rainbows! Take care climbing over the slippery rocks while getting in behind the falls!

Image credits: _robinberg_

#66 Muriwai Beach

Just a 40-minute drive from Auckland’s City Center and you can find yourself on the West Coast. Massive black sand dunes, amazing surf and killer sunsets make this one of the best spots you can visit in New Zealand’s biggest “city”. Visit on a stormy day and see why it’s earned its nickname of the Wild West Coast. Don’t forget to check out the Gannet Colony that overlooks two stunning bays and has hundreds of huge birds flying right over your head

Image credits: jannikobenhoff

#67 Purakaunui Falls

The Purakaunui Falls are a cascading three-tiered waterfall on the Purakaunui River, in The Catlins of the southern South Island of New Zealand. As one of very few South Island waterfalls away from the alpine region, it has long been a popular destination and photographic subject.

Image credits: reneeroaming

#68 The Remarkables

Ideal for tenderfoots, youth, and families, the north-bound inclines of The Remarkables are home to flexible landscape, phenomenal learning offices and a good time for all ages. Regardless of whether for family fun, various off-piste runs or devoted free-form zones, The Remarkables has something for everybody. The Remarkables is known for its agreeable environment, high height and north-bound sunny inclines. 

Image credits: seratori

#69 Piha

Piha is a coastal settlement on the western coast of the Auckland Region in New Zealand with a population of 600. It is one of the most popular beaches in the area and a major day-trip destination for Aucklanders throughout the year, and especially in summer.

Immediately to the north of Piha is Whites Beach, and immediately to the south is Mercer Bay; land access to both is only by foot.

Image credits: chrisjglaze

#70 Mahurangi West

Just north of Puhoi on State Highway One you can turn off to the Mahurangi Peninsula. 

Mahurangi West Regional Park was the ancestral domain of Ngäti Rongo. Some of the beaches are accessible only by water, so you can really get away from it all. Mahurangi East can be seen across the harbor, which is accessible via Snell's beach on Ridge Road.

Image credits: lola.photography

#71 The Puhi Puhi Scenic Reserve In Kaikoura

The Puhi Puhi River is a river of the Marlborough Region of New Zealand's South Island. It flows southwest, roughly paralleling the Pacific Ocean coast

Image credits: levibshearer

#72 Castle Hill

Castle Hill is a location and a high country station in New Zealand's South Island. It is private property and located within the Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area. The hill was so named because of the imposing array of limestone boulders in the area reminiscent of an old, run-down stone castle.

It is widely considered to be the epitome of New Zealand's South Island climbing scene, where on any given day one can find rock climbers bouldering the unique limestone outcroppings. This area has recently seen more visitors, as nearby Flock Hill station was used for the filming of the climactic battle scenes of the 2005 movie, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Image credits: paul_wilson_images

#73 Coronet Peak

Coronet Peak is a commercial skifield in Queenstown, New Zealand located seven kilometres west of Arrowtown, on the southern slopes of the 1,649-meter peak which shares its name. A popular ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere, Coronet Peak offers a long snow season, well received skiing and snowboarding terrain and lift systems.

Image credits: commander-crook

#74 O' Neill Bay

O’Neill Beach is a popular West Coast surfing and fishing spot, despite the fact that it can only be reached on foot from Bethells Beach and has no facilities.

Image credits: zreofiregs

#75 Raglan

Raglan is a small beach-side town located 48 km west of Hamilton, New Zealand on State Highway 23. It is known for its surfing, and volcanic black sand beaches.

Image credits: bachcarenz

#76 Kepler Track

The Kepler Track is a 60 km (37 mi) circular tramping track which travels through the landscape of the South Island of New Zealand and is situated near the town of Te Anau. The track passes through many landscapes of the Fiordland National Park such as rocky mountain ridges, tall mossy forests, lake shores, deep gorges, rare wetlands and rivers. Like the mountains it traverses, the track is named after Johannes Kepler. The track is one of the New Zealand Great Walks and is administered by New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC).

Compared with other tracks in New Zealand, this walking track is constructed to a very high standard. Most streams are bridged, boardwalks cover boggy areas and the very steep sections have steps. It is a moderate walking track that takes three to four days to complete.

The Kepler Track is also home to the Kepler Challenge, an annual running race that traverses the whole 60 kilometers, which the winners complete in less than five hours.

Image credits: yoannlaheurte

#77 Waiheke Island

A ferry ride from downtown Auckland is all it takes to reach this incredibly popular island destination. Stunning beaches, remarkable vineyards, and plenty of lush forestry adorn Waiheke’s picturesque shores. The island is bigger than it seems, but there are plenty of activities to try out on a single day trip.

Image credits: globalwanderersoz

#78 Waitakere Ranges

The Waitakere Ranges are a chain of hills in the Auckland Region, generally running approximately 25 km (15.5 mi) from north to south.

Some of the ranges' main attractions are: the four popular surf beaches, Piha, Muriwai, Te Henga (Bethells Beach), Karekare; an extensive network of bush walks and tracks; and panoramic views of the east and west coasts and the city. A road, aptly named Scenic Drive, runs a good portion of the length of the ranges from Titirangi to Swanson.

The beaches are typical of west coast beaches north of Taranaki in that they are all black sand beaches. They have a reputation of being dangerous for swimmers due to rips and large swells.

Image credits: cheism

#79 Moke Lake

Moke Lake is a small lake near the suburb of Closeburn in Queenstown, in the South Island of New Zealand. The lake is a popular recreation spot, especially during summer. Popular activities there include boating, camping, horseback riding, and swimming. The boat speed on the lake is limited to 5 km/hr.

Image credits: TheEqualizer37

#80 Cherry Blossoms In Waikato

Waikato is a local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand. The region stretches from Coromandel Peninsula in the north, to the north-eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu in the south. Broadly, the extent of the region is the Waikato River catchment. Waikato Region is the fourth largest region in the country in area and population.

Image credits: commonvanilla

#81 Pelorus River

Pelorus River is a river at the northern end of South Island of New Zealand in the region of Marlborough. It flows from the Richmond Range into Pelorus Sound. This area is fantastic for camping and is renowned for its magnificent river swimming where the Pelorus River runs through a gorge at Pelorus Bridge.

At Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve, the river was used as a film location for the barrel rider scene in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which increased the area's popularity for river rafting.

Image credits: gltch__

#82 Rangiputa

Rangiputa on the west coast of the Karikari Peninsula is a popular tourist destination.

Image credits: chrisjglaze

#83 Takapuna Beach

Nestled right in Auckland’s urban area of the North Shore you can find this stunning stretch of beach loved by all the locals. With frequent dolphin and orca sightings in the springtime and so many incredible restaurants right on its doorstep, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Bonus adventure: the island you can see from the beach is a dormant volcano called Rangitoto Island – which you can actually climb to its summit! Well worth the hike with insane views of the entire Auckland Harbour!

Image credits: davidmeng_akl

#84 Lake Wakatipu

A sparkling blue glacial lake that practically envelops New Zealand’s most popular tourist town. Queenstown is filled with wonderful sights and activities, and Lake Wakatipu seems to be right at the forefront of many of these - it’s a popular place for walking, cycling and even picnicking.

Image credits: flyfirstdinelater

#85 Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park is in the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand, north of Fiordland National Park, situated in Otago and Westland regions. The park forms part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.

Image credits: xplorecapturerepeat

#86 Stewart Island

Stewart Island is the third-largest island of New Zealand, and it is found even further south than South Island. Most of the island is forested and undeveloped with over 80 per cent of the island is set aside as Rakiura National Park, giving you the chance to explore the wild side of New Zealand. Most of the pastimes on Stewart Island have to do with the outdoors, including hiking, camping and birdwatching. One of the most popular treks on Stewart Island is the Northwest Circuit, which can take several days to complete for even the fittest hikers. However, the trek offers spectacular views and access to amazing wildlife.

Image credits: fla.gallery

#87 Abel Tasman National Park

Located on the South Island, Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its gorgeous sandy beaches and the granite cliffs that rise up above them. The perfect spot for a day trip to the beach, where visitors can kayak, canoe, and sunbathe on a secluded stretch of sand, Abel Tasman National Park is also well known for its hiking trails. The most famous of these, the Abel Tasman Coast Track, is nearly 40 miles long and takes an average of 3 to 5 days to complete, but there are plenty of other shorter trails for amateur hikers or those looking for a simple day trip.

Image credits: louise_louise

#88 Castlepoint

Castlepoint is a small seaside town on the Wairarapa coast, just north of the capital city Wellington. Its lighthouse is the tallest in New Zealand – a walk to this 23-meter-high (75.5-foot) beauty will expose you to some of the North Island’s most dramatic seaside views. A compelling collection of fossil shells are found amid the lighthouse route; if you’re lucky you might spot some native fur seals and birds hiding in full view. The sheltered lagoon at the base is another highlight to check out during your visit.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#89 Cape Palliser

Head two hours outside of Wellington to soak up this coastal gem. Wildlife lovers should keep an eye out for the seals that lounge around Cape Palliser’s rocky beaches. If you want to get your heart racing, hike up the stone steps that lead to the lighthouse - the breathtaking views are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#90 Mahia Peninsula

Mahia Peninsula is located on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, in the Hawke's Bay region, between the cities of Napier and Gisborne.

The peninsula is 21.7 kilometers (13.5 mi) long and 11.3 km (7 mi) wide. Its highest point is Rahuimokairoa (397 m (1,302 ft) above sea level). The peninsula was once an island, but now a tombolo joins it to the North Island.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#91 Mount Ruapehu

Mount Ruapehu is an active stratovolcano at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone in New Zealand. It is 23 kilometers (14 mi) northeast of Ohakune and 23 km (14 mi) southwest of the southern shore of Lake Taupo, within Tongariro National Park. The North Island's major ski resorts and only glaciers are on its slopes.

Ruapehu, the largest active volcano in New Zealand, is the highest point on the North Island and has three major peaks. The deep, active crater is between the peaks and fills with water between major eruptions.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#92 Tiritiri Matangi Island

Located on New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf, Tiritiri Matangi Island is an incredible wildlife sanctuary that’s home to various native and coastal birds. It is a predator-free island, where a number of threatened and endangered species have been introduced and protected from extinction.

Image credits: tiritirimatangiisland

#93 North Head

Another sneaky spot in Auckland that you can hit to escape the busy city. Located in the suburb of Devonport lays home to an underground system of old war tunnels built for WWII. Grab a torch and explore underground or frolic above on the grassy hills. On top of these hills you can see 360-degree views of Auckland. Be sure to take some flattened cardboard and have a go at grass surfing down the banks!

Image credits: jarredwalker_

#94 Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui – a residential suburb and a heart of Tauranga, a city on New Zealand’s North Island. Known for its breathtaking views, sandy beaches and beautiful summers. 

Image credits: chrisjglaze

#95 Auckland

Known as the City of Sails, Auckland is the largest and most populated city in New Zealand. It is located on the North Island, and it is known for its vibrant culture and foodie landscape. For amazing views of this beautiful metropolis, climb the Auckland Harbor Bridge.

Image credits: __rithvik__

#96 Taylors Mistake

Taylors Mistake (Te Onepoto) is a locality in New Zealand's South Island, at the southeastern extremity of the city of Christchurch.

The beach is popular with swimmers and surfers, and a livecam operated by some of the beach-holders allows conditions to be checked in advance.

Image credits: RobDickinson

#97 Makara Coastline

Makara Walkway begins and ends at Makara Beach, 16 km north of Wellington. The beach is at the end of Makara Road which runs from the south end of Karori Road.

The track climbs to vantage points with spectacular views, and returning along the beach.

Image credits: ryan_domenico

#98 Hamilton Gardens

The Hamilton Gardens is unique from any other you’ll find in New Zealand: unlike the ones in Queenstown, Wellington or Auckland, it is not a botanical garden in the strictest of terms. Rather, the 54-hectare (133.4-acre) park is a showcase of 21 gardens that symbolise the art and traditions of different civilisations, from Maori to European and Southeast Asian too.

Image credits: lumatravel_

#99 Sky Tower

The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located in New Zealand’s largest city. At a height of 328 meters (1,076 ft) it is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere and the Sky Tower has become an iconic structure in Auckland’s skyline. The tower offers views of up to 80 km away and fine dining in the Orbit revolving restaurant.

Image credits: skytower_nz

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