Top 10 must see places

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If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand then we recommend these top 10 places you must visit. All these attractions include fantastic scenery, pristine atmosphere, extraordinary landscapes and fine climate.

10 Kaikoura


Kaikoura is situated in the middle between Christchurch and Picton on the East Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. This place is widely known as the whale watching capital of New Zealand. Kaikoura overlooks majestic mountains which are snow capped for many months of the year. Kaikoura offers ultimate marine adventure such as Whale watching, dolphin and seal swimming. Kaikoura is one of the few places in the world where whales can be seen all year round. There is plenty to choose from and lots of activities that cater for all abilities water or land based including Helicopter tours that can take you up for a scenic flight along with some whale watching. The local specialty is crayfish and you will find Kaikoura lined with cafes and restaurants that will certainly have crayfish on the menu. In fact Kaikoura can be broken into Kai meaning food and koura meaning crayfish. Read More

9 Coromandel


The Coromandel Peninsula is New Zealand’s favourite destination and is unique in so many ways. This area is blessed with wonderful climate and has some of New Zealand’s most amazing coastal views, golden and white sandy beaches and misty rainforest. Be sure to visit the “Hot water beach” a beautiful white sandy beach surrounded by native pohutukawa trees where you can dig your very own hot pool. All you have to do is dig a hole in the sand and wait for it to fill up with water, and there you have it, your very own spa pool. The forests have the tallest fern trees in the world, some reaching heights of 20 metres or more. The great quantity of fern species in the Coromandel gives the area a subtropical look and feel. You can even take one of the Glass bottom Boats and enjoy Cathedral Cove, Stunning coastal scenery, marine wildlife and even try your dab at snorkelling. These boats depart at 10.30am & 1.30pm from Whitianga wharf. Read More

8 Tongariro National Park


The Tongariro National Park is located in the Taupo region. It is a World Heritage Park and one of the oldest National Parks in the world. The park contains three superb volcanoes – Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe. The area gets regular snowfalls in the winter as it is positioned at high height above sea level. Mt Ruapehu is the largest volcano and home to most of the ski-fields in the North Island. See my photos of mt rupehu Hiking the volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park including Mt. Ngauruhoe, Red Crater, the Emerald Lakes, Blue Lake, and Mt. Tongariro summit is the best way to appreciate the unusual beauty of the Tongariro National Park. The walk is 19km long taking between seven and nine hours to complete however; it is worth doing as it you will experience some of the amazing things the park has to offer. Read More

7 Westland National Park


Westland National Park is located in the South of New Zealand West Coast, famous for its diverse landscape, glaciers, Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier, it spectacular scenery and pristine nature. These glaciers are only one of its kind because they are next to the coastline of any glacier in the world outside of the polar regions, which means that they are not only open but the weather is much warmer compared to other glacial sites in the world. The park is also covered in an abundant rainforest and is backed by steep cliffs and mountains. Read More

6 Mount Cook


Mount Cook is the highest Mountain in New Zealand and a popular tourist destination. It is located in the Canterbury region and is another National Park that you must see with spectacular views. Mt Cook and its neighboring area is an alpine park that is part of the South Westland World Heritage area. It has the world’s longest ski run, down the Tasman Glacier and Hooker Glacier. The park does not have a lot of trees or plants and is best portrayed as a snow covered rocky setting. You have to be a Mountaineer to really appreciate this place. There are many walks including the alpine walks starting from near the village. Each walk takes about 3 hours to complete. Helicopter tours are available that will take you to the top of Mt Cook and land on one of the Glaciers, giving you the opportunity to get out and enjoy the snow. Boat rides are also available that take you up to the Tasman Glacier. Read More

5 Bay of Islands

Kayaks on beach, Paihia, Bay of Islands, Northland, North Island, New Zealand

The Bay of Islands is a definite “must see” if you are visiting New Zealand. It’s one of the places renowned for having 144 islands, with many superb beaches and secluded bays and an abundance of marine life, including marlin, whales, penguins and dolphins. Go for a ‘Dolphin Cruise’ and swim through the dolphins, visit the amazing site at the ‘Hole in Rock’ or visit the historic Waitangi, where they signed the peace treaty. Bay of Islands is regarded as the birthplace of New Zealand. The scenery is breathtaking and can only be appreciated by cruising through the area. The Bay attracts thousands of tourists who just want to enjoy the subtropical climate and swim at some of the best beaches in New Zealand. Read More

4 Rotorua


Rotorua is the heartland of New Zealand’s Maori culture and a very popular destination spot in New Zealand. Rotorua is situated in the Bay of Plenty region. It is famous for its thermal activity which includes geysers, steaming hot pools, mud pools and lakes. From the moment you enter Rotorua you know you are some place like nowhere else in New Zealand. The unique smell of sulphur together with escaping steam into the air lets you know you are in Rotorua, New Zealand. Rotorua has many Geothermal Reserves such as Waimangu, Waiotapu and Whakarewarewa, all of which are located in gorgeous natural environment. At all these reserves you will be able to see geysers, boiling pools, hot springs, boiling mud and volcanic terraces and craters. Rotorua also has lots of stunning lakes and native bush for walking. Mt Tarawera, a volcano is also nearby and there are tours available that can take you to the top of this volcano to experience the stunning views and walk down into the crater. Read More

3 Queenstown


Queenstown is our third choice and has everything in fact; Queenstown is New Zealand’s most popular destination and regarded as New Zealand’s ADVENTURE capital. This place is renowned for it’s is beauty and breathtaking scenery. Queenstown is home of bungee jumping and Jet boating. Other activities include hang gliding, ballooning and rafting. Queenstown is also one of the Southern Hemispheres leading skiing destinations and has some of the great ski fields including the Coronet Peak and the Remarkables. To get the best view of this beautiful city, we recommend you ride a Skyline gondola to the top of the mountain, and then take a thrilling ride downhill on the Luge tracks. With the perfect mix of action and relaxation you can be confident to leave feeling inspired and refreshed from your trip here. Read More

2 Abel Tasman National Park


Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest National Park however, unlike Fiordland it has one of the sunniest climate and the top coastal scenery in New Zealand and can be visited at any time of the year. Abel Tasman National Park is famous for its white sandy beaches with views across the clear pristine waters of the Tasman Sea. In summer time pre-booking your accommodation and attractions in the park is strongly recommended. You can enjoy the park by sea or land. Guided travel and sea kayaks are available including transportation by water taxis. You can enjoy half or full day activities like swimming with the seals, walking, kayaking or sightseeing. The coastal track is a popular option year round and takes 3-5 days to complete. You can choose to walk it alone or take a Guided walk. Read more

1 Fiordland National Park


New Zealand is famous for its national parks and there are heaps to explore. We recommend the Fiordland National Park – a nominated World Heritage area on the south west corner of the South Island of New Zealand. Fiordland is New Zealand’s largest National Park as well as the largest National Park in the world. The scenery is breathtaking you won’t believe until you see for yourself. You will witness steep mountains, waterfalls and exotic rainforests. Within the Fiordland National Park you will experience New Zealand’s most beautiful landscape – Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound which attracts thousands of visitors every day. Read More

Author: nztravelguide

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