10 Best Attractions In New Zealand

Best Attractions In New Zealand

New Zealand is absolutely the place for nature lovers. The remote country is composed of two islands – the North Island and the South Island. The North Island is the smaller but more populous island. It is home to Auckland, the country’s largest city, and Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. The South Island is larger but much less populated than the North Island, and has more to offer when it comes to dramatic nature scenes. The largest city in the South Island is Christchurch.

Perhaps the most popular way to explore New Zealand is through a road trip starting from Auckland and the North Island, and then crossing the Cook Strait to the South Island using a Ferry from Wellington to Picton. You can easily spend several weeks and even months exploring the magnificent country

The Great Walks is a formal list of the best tracks in the country. These tracks are the most popular, most beautiful and best maintained in the country, and are usually several days long. The list we composed includes both entries from the Great Walks, as well as other, more relaxed activities.


1. Abel Tasman National Park, South Island

This epic national park is located at the at north end of the South island. The most popular track in the park is the 51 km (32 miles) walk called Abel Tasman Coast Track, which is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. The entire walk can take several days to complete, but shorter one day tracks are also very popular. People often combine tracking and sea kayaking when doing this track, allowing them to enjoy the scenery from both the land and the sea (also possible in a single day track). From the kayak you can see many caves, coves, white sand beaches, and encounter many marine mammals

Best Attractions In New Zealand

Best Attractions In New Zealand: Abel Tasman National Park


2. Tongariro National Park, North Island 

Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in the country, and is also a UNESCO heritage site. The park includes three active volcanoes: Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu – which is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The Tongariro Northern Circuit is one of the New Zealand Great Walks. The 50 km (31 miles) loop inside the national park usually takes around 3-4 days to complete, and it includes the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – a very popular track by itself. Most people prefer doing only the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which takes about 7 hours and is just under 20 km (12 mi) long

Best Attractions In New Zealand

Best Attractions In New Zealand: Tongariro National Park


3. Milford Sound, South Island 

The Milford Sound is a beautiful fiord often mentioned as one of the world’s best travel destination. It is claimed to be New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. Milford Sound is actually a 15 km inland from the Tasman Sea, surrounded by tall cliffs, some over 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) tall, beautiful waterfalls caves and more. You can experience Milford Sound from the sea with a cruise, or from the land, walking the Milford Track – a 53.5 km (33 mi) long track

Best Attractions In New Zealand

Best Attractions In New Zealand: Milford Sound


4. Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, South Island 

The Franz Josef is a 12 km (7.5 mi) long glacier and the Fox Glacier is a 13 km (8.1) long glacier, both located on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. These glaciers are unique due to the fact that they descend from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level, to a greenery temperate rainforest. Visiting these glaciers and doing a glacier walk are one of New Zealand’s best experiences

Best Attractions In New Zealand

Best Attractions In New Zealand: Franz Josef Glacier (source: edwin.11)


5. Kaikoura, South Island

Kaikoura is one of the world’s best whale watching locations. Many tourists arrive to the city with this sole purpose in mind. Here you can see Humpback whales, Sperm whales, Killer whales (Orcas), as well as many dolphins and seals

Best Attractions In New Zealand

The fluke of a Humpback, Kaikoura, South Island

6. Queen Charlotte Drive, New Zealand 

Queen Charlotte Drive is New Zealand’s most beautiful drive and one of the world’s most beautiful drives. The blue and green landscape is breathtaking. The route of the drive is between Picton and Nelson in the country’s South island. When you arrive to Nelson, be sure to also visit the nearby Nelson Lakes

Best Attractions In New Zealand

Best Attractions In New Zealand: Queen Charlotte Drive

7. Waitomo Glowworm Caves, North Island 

The Waitomo Caves are a set of remarkable caves known for the glowworms species, or Arachnocampa luminosa, that only exists in New Zealand’s North Island. These glowworms spin a nest out of silk on the ceiling of the cave and then hang down. Then, the larva glows to attract prey into its threads, so that the roof of a cave is covered with larva can look remarkably like the sky night. This unique phenomena attracts many tourist

Best Attractions In New Zealand

Best Attractions In New Zealand: Waitomo Glowworm Caves – the worms glow in the dark


8. Wellington, North Island 

Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. It is located at the south western tip of the North Island and nicknamed “Windy Wellington” because it’s exposed to the strong winds that blow through Cook Strait. Wellington is also the main crossing point from the North Island to the South Island. When visiting the city, you might want to visit the Te Papa Museum, the national museum of New Zealand (which we mentioned as one of the world’s best science museums), the Wellington Zoo, the Wellington Botanical Gardens and the New Zealand unique parliament building called the Beehive

Best Attractions In New Zealand

The Beehive – The New Zealand parliament building, Wellington


9. Queenstown, South Island 

Queenstown is a beautiful resort town in the south-west of the South Island. The town is built around the Queenstown Bay, on a lake formed by glacial meltwater. The town offers incredible views on the mountains and the lake. One of the best attractions in Queenstown is the Queenstown Hill Time Walk, on Queenstown Hill. The short walk will take you to the best spot for a wonderful panoramic view of the area

Best Attractions In New Zealand

Best Attractions In New Zealand: Queenstown


10. Mount Cook, South Island 

Mount Cook or Aoraki is the is the highest mountain in New Zealand, reaching a height of 3,724 metres (12,218 ft). The mountain consists of three summits (with the middle peak the highest) and two glaciers: Tasman Glacier and Hooker Glacier. The mountain range is a popular tourist destination, especially among mountain climbers. The base to all activities in the area is the Mount Cook Village, located within the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, and just 12 (7 mi) from the mountain summit. The entire area of Mount Cook and surrounding National Parks are an UNESCO World Heritage site

Best Attractions In New Zealand

Best Attractions In New Zealand: Aoraki / Mount Cook


Here are a few other places you should also try to visit while traveling to New Zealand: Auckland – the largest city in the country, Christchurch – the largest city in the South Island – and Banks Peninsula, Taupo and the wonderful Lake Taupo, the 60 km (37 mi) Kepler Track, Dunedin and the world’s steepest street, and more

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