Visiting New Zealand? As the Kiwis would say, ‘Kia Ora’ or welcome!
A holiday that combines culture, history, adventure, arts and more. Think it’s impossible? Not really, we recommend New Zealand. We show you ten places that will take your breath away with their beauty! Ask our unique travel planner – the ‘been-there-done-that’ guy when it comes to New Zealand! PickYourTrail has helped reach many a traveller to New Zealand, all under 10 minutes! Curious? Try it out now.
Auckland may be a large city, but it is a city that has a huge personality. The lively city is centred around 2 large harbours, with the majestic Sky Tower overlooking harbours. Right in the centre of the city is the Auckland Domain, the oldest park that is based around an extinct volcano. Explore New Zealand’s mixed Maori and Polynesian heritage at not just the Auckland museum but also at the Otara Polynesian market in the South of the city. There’s a bit of adventure at Auckland too – care to swim with the sharks?
2. Bay of Islands
Located three hours from Auckland, the Bay of Islands has 144 islands to explore. The region is spread between Cape Brett and Purerua Peninsula. Plenty to do and see here, starting with water of course. Bay of Islands is a great place to spot dolphins and whales, maybe even swim with them. Get a diver training course here and explore the bay underwater.
3. Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo has been named a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, which means it is the best spot in the world to stargaze. So get your camping gear ready for this trip! Lake Tekapo’s turquoise waters show a depth beyond any other water body as it gets its water from the rock-flour of the glaciers. Great for a road trip. Talking about road trips, here are some ideas for you.
4. Milford Sound
Milford Sound is said to be as ancient as New Zealand itself is. This beautiful fjord with cliffs rising tall and interspersed with gushing waterfalls was called the eighth wonder of the world by Rudyard Kipling. Take a boat to capture the scenic beauty of the place, while dolphins splash about your boat and penguins waddle around.
5. Waiheke Island
Take a boat from Auckland and a half hour away is Waiheke Island. Waiheke lies in the Hauraki Gulf and is known for its many lush vineyards. Each vineyard has its own characteristic wines and you could stop by to check out the different types. But there’s more than just wine at Waiheke, there are also olive groves and brilliant beaches to relax in.
Queenstown is where you go if you are an adrenalin junkie and rest assured you will never be bored. If you are going in winter, check out the skiing options. Not a skier? There’s bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating and river rafting to choose from. Dizzying heights and speeds are what you should expect from Queenstown.
7. Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley
A visit to New Zealand will be incomplete if you don’t include Te Puia in your itinerary. Te Puia is located in Rotorua’s Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. This is where the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts is located and where you will get an authentic glimpse of Maori heritage. The region is known for active geysers and mud pools with high temperatures. The Maoris use the steam from the ground to cook their food, and this is something you should try as you watch the Maori dance and song performance. Here’s something you should read up before you go here.
New Zealand’s tallest mountain is called Aoraki Mount Cook and stands proudly at 3,754 metres. A gloriously beautiful place to visit, with many walks along alpine slopes and tours to the Tasman Glacier, makes this a must-do. Stay at Mount Cook village at the feet of the mountain and trek up to do a stargazing night. This is where you can see the brilliant Southern lights!
9. Franz Josef Glacier
The Ka Roimata O Hine Hukatere, as the locals call the Franz Josef Glacier, is one the most impressive and accessible glacier environments available to the public. Ride a helicopter into the pinnacles of the glacier and explore the magically white landscape. The Franz Josef and the Fox glaciers together form the Te Wahipounamu, a World Heritage Site. A once in a lifetime experience, if you go to New Zealand!
10. Hobbiton Movie Sets
New Zealand is where the Lord Of The Rings movie series was shot. More than 150 locations across the country were part of the movie series. In fact, only one scene was shot outside! The Hobbiton Movie Set gives you the real Middle-earth experience with hobbit holes and Inn’s and more. The tour takes you through a picturesque 1250 acre sheep farm with views of the Kaimai Ranges. The Bag End, where Frodo’s adventure starts, the Green Dragon Inn and the Party Tree are just some of the sights that will bring back some of the nostalgia. Here are seven places you could visit if you are a LOTR fan!