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Tourist Places To Visit In New Zealand
The island nation of New Zealand is one of the most exciting places on the planet. With its varied natural environment, glaciers and volcanoes, New Zealand is a place for everyone. There are the high peaks, the Southern Alps, the green pastures with lamb running around, the serene lakes and the magnificent beaches. New Zealand is a world of different landscapes packed into two islands in the Pacific region. There is no shortage for interesting tourist places to visit while in New Zealand, like Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington etc.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city located in the north island of the country. The Maori people called it the ‘Tamaki Makaurau’, translating to ‘a maiden desired by hundreds of lovers’. Auckland is truly deserving of such a title. It is one of the finest cities in the world. A modern city with rich lush green forests, hills that meet the sea, lovely beaches and harbours. The main city itself houses some of the best adventure activities like Sky Jump, bungy jumping and walking on the edge of the Sky Tower. There are also plenty of other adventure activities that one can indulge in. With its rich and fertile lands and harbours full of seafood, Auckland houses some of the best food and wine in the country. There are plenty of food and wine tastings that happen all across the region. There are also tours that one can take to explore the food culture in the city.
Auckland is blessed with some beautiful beaches too. While the west coast is known for its black sand beaches which meet the Tasman Sea, the east coast is known for its golden beaches. The waters around the city are teaming with marine life and one can explore the region either on a cruise or kayak. Dolphin, whales and seals are quite common and can be seen all around.
Christchurch is yet another important city in New Zealand. It is known for its street art, architecture, cafes and bars. Christchurch is also acts as a base for the many destinations in the Canterbury region. With double-decker buses, trams, botanical gardens and a beautiful coastline, Christchurch is one of the most vibrant cities in the country. Parts of Canterbury fall under the Dark Sky Reserve of New Zealand and showcase the southern lights, one of the most sought-after events here. One can also enjoy a ride on the transalpine express from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass. The train moves through the plain lands, around numerous hills and a series of tunnels to get to the pass. The journey is extremely scenic and serves as an important mode of transportation.
Queenstown is another major city of New Zealand. The city sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, situated in the south-western region. Queenstown is known for its many adventure activities. From trekking, bungy jumping, hiking, cycling to skiing in the winter, it packs a punch. The Queenstown route is one of the most famous cycling trails in the country, with both gentle amateur routes to backcountry trails. One of the major attractions in Queenstown is the Gondola ride. The ride taking passengers up to Bob’s Peak provides them with spectacular views of the town and the Southern Alps. There are also helicopter rides that allow visitors to get glimpses of this beautiful region from the air.
Located on the southern-most tip of the north island, Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. The city is surrounded by numerous mountains and thick forests that stretch into the sea. The city of Wellington is also steeped in culture and tradition. With museums that speak volumes about the culture, to art galleries and theatres that showcase this evolving city's fervour for the arts. Wellington is also quite famous for its many cafes, bars and restaurants. The food here is simply mouth-watering. Like all other destinations in New Zealand, Wellington too has its adventure activities including hikes, wine-tastings and ferry rides.
The Bay of Islands
Situated in the northern most part of the country, the Bay of Islands comprise over a 100 islands in New Zealand’s sub-tropical paradise. The Bay of Islands has numerous significant spots to visit and the scenic wonder that one can be sure to find in New Zealand. Cruising through the clear waters is a recommended way to explore the region while Kayaking can be the adventure of a lifetime. The marine life in the Bay is one of the major highlights of the region. Dolphins, whales, penguins and many other sea creatures inhabit the crystal clear waters of the region and snorkelling and swimming here with these wonderful creatures can be a completely different experience.
The region is also home to the most important historic site of this country, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. This is where the British Crown and the numerous Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British Colony. Visiting the treaty grounds is also an opportunity to understand the Maori culture and marvel at the many historic artefacts that remain. The Bay of Islands is also home to the largest and oldest Kauri tree in the world, the ‘Tane Mahuta’, roughly translating to ‘the Lord of the Forest’.
Matamata, a town located in Waikato in the north island of New Zealand is considered the Mecca for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans. About 2 hours away from Auckland, The Hobbiton movie set in the southern part of Matamata stands as one of the most visited places in the country. The tour through the movie set takes visitors through almost 40 different Hobbit holes. The famous Bilbo Baggins’ hole is one of the attractions. The tour guides visitors through many of the other attractions in the movie set, giving fans a glimpse into the Hobbit life. The Wairere falls, located at about 15 km from Matamata is yet another place to see in the region. With lush green farms en route to the falls, the plains of Waikato are a mesmerizing sight.
Rotorua, considered as the cultural hub of the Maori people is a must visit if in New Zealand. Rotorua is also famous for its hot springs and geysers that are an integral part of the lives of the local residents. Rotorua is rich in Maori culture and visitors can get a glimpse of their amazing culture and tradition from the many stories, performances and handicraft stores here. The locals use the hot springs and geysers for all sorts of things. Sometimes cooking in them and sometimes bathing. Rotorua is sometimes also known as the ‘Sulphur City,’ given the strong pungent smell around the region.
Hamilton of the Waikato area is a city that sits by the famous Waikato River. It is a big, populated city with its gardens and bars and restaurants. It dedicates a nod to the many cultures that have influenced it and the many eras of history that have touched it. From Japanese gardens to Maori parks, Italian Renaissance inspired art deco to buildings and zoos and waterfall The city is brimming with places to see.
Home to some of the most gorgeous shorelines, emerald landscapes and a vibrancy patent to south island, Nelson is New Zealand’s hub for history, nature, resort-island lifestyle and adventure. From kayaking to bike tours, Mediterranean seaside life to garden trips and shopping, there is so much you can indulge in here. Visit the great Tasman Bay, Heaphy Track, Golden Bay and Founders Heritage Park.
Wanaka is perfection for adventure seekers. The adrenaline thrill in here is not found at many places around New Zealand. There are azure coloured crystal clear lakes, tall imposing mountains, staggering landscapes and amid all these, activities like sky diving, hiking, canyoning, mountaineering, biking and climbing. What’s more is, the beautiful phenomena of Southern Lights is perfectly seen in the sky from this town.
Heritage and culture come together to create a beautiful marriage, and give Tauranga its charm. There are historical sites and monuments in this city, as well as a typical mix of ancient as well as modern culture to go with its lifestyle. The Bay of Plenty imparts beauty to the settlement, while places like Mission Cemetery, Monmouth Redoubt and Durham Redoubt create a stunning ancient effect due to their history. You can enjoy golfing, nightlife, walks down the streets and visits to Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park and McLaren Falls nearby.
Perched on the southern coast of South Island, Dunedin is a very beautiful city, famously known for its Scottish heritage that intermingle with the aboriginal Maori roots. The architecture is Edwardian in style, while nature’s bounty shines around in the form of forests, beaches and wildlife like yellow eyed penguin and sea lions. Probably that’s what attracted the Scots to this place back in the day — its similarity to their homeland. You can visit Aramoana, Bull Creek, Larnach Castle, Blackhead Beach and Port Chalmers.
A city known for its unique art and heritage, reflecting from its museums, fountains and galleries. Many call Napier the art deco capital of New Zealand for this reason, revelling in its classical styles of design. You can visit the Hawke Bay here, enjoy a tour of the wine-making belt, tour places like Deco Soundshell, Daily Telegraph Building, Marine Parade, Pania of the Reef and Tom Parker Fountain. The chic day-life and night-life consisting of bars, restaurants, cafes and shops make it perfect for a charming little holiday.
Contrary to its name, the island is not white in colour, however it does house a landscape made out of a volcanic eruption. As recent as 2019 saw another eruption here, creating more buzz to visit this place. It is a wonderland in the sense that it sits on one of the most active volcanic regions of New Zealand. A chopper tour of the island is coveted, as are explorations on foot over the craters and lakes and Lava lands. You will also be surprised to sea underwater vents and caves of the volcanoes that were dug by nature herself. Scuba diving is also undertaken here.
Tongariro National Park
Tongariro National Park is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is proudly the oldest national park of New Zealand. There are gorgeous unique landscapes, flora, fauna and even 3 volcanoes, all of them active. People visit here to get lost in the forests, picnic in meadows, walk up to hot springs and lakes and enjoy the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which takes you across a furious little stream.
A quaint charming town in the Canterbury region of north New Zealand, Kaikoura is all postcard beauty. The sea is brimming with joys of the wind, nature’s clear bounty and crayfish, while the land houses some pretty spectacular mountain ranges and the seascape that opens into the mouth of Pacific. Some very coveted activities in Kaikoura include sighting seabirds, sea whales, dolphins and seals, along with scuba diving, fishing, swimming and kayaking. Quad biking tours are also quite famous among the adventurous lot.
Fox And Franz Josef Glaciers
Fox And Franz Josef Glaciers, located in the South Island, make for a couple of most accessible glaciers. Not only in the country but the whole world. They are more than 12 miles distant from each other and cool your eyes with all their icy beauty. Fox And Franz Josef Glaciers are perched right in the middle of Westland Tai Poutini National Park, attracting tourists for walks up ice cliffs, helicopter tours, hot pool dips and sky diving from the top of the ice block! There are also hiking tours organised, as well as kayaking and quad biking. You can visit the Okarito Lagoon Mapourika Lake and Kiwi Sanctuaries.
About 30 km from South Island, Stewart Island is a land of glowing skies. Quite literally. The sky here is so clear that stars glow like big swollen bulbs, and during season, the Aurora Australis or Southern lights stream across the sky to create a stunning light show! The best part about Stuart Island is that almost the entire settlement is protected under the Reserved National Park space, putting you right in the middle of forests and trees and wild birds and animals on your holiday. Camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking are just some of the activities coveted here.