The best place to visit is Hobbiton, as you get to go on a tour around the shire, plus you get a free beer in the tavern at the end.
There are also several related tours you can do around the country if Hobbiton doesn’t satisfy your Middle Earth lust!
Wanaka is somewhat overshadowed by neighbouring Queenstown, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit! I think Wanaka is more beautiful than Queenstown.
The view of the lake is incredible, and the laid-back vibe in the town is great compared to Queenstown’s more vibrant nature!
There’s no getting away from it, New Zealand is the adrenaline capital of the world! Queenstown in particular, is the place for this, with everything from bungee-jumping to jet-boating available.
This is not just confined to Queenstown, you can skydive or bungee jump just about anywhere in New Zealand!
So, if you love adrenaline, travelling to New Zealand is a must!
Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand and is probably somewhere that you will visit during your time. I wasn’t too fond of Auckland while I was here.
I just didn’t get a feel for the place, but there a lot of things to do in Auckland. The sky tower and the marina are great places to visit and the parks here are great to relax during a hot summer’s day.
Seeing the earthquake damage and the rebuilding process is an interesting experience and there are plenty of great places like Lyttleton and Godley Head to visit outside of the city.
Kaikoura is a small town, about 2 hours north of Christchurch. Despite its small size, there are a lot of things to do in Kaikoura.
There are some great hikes, especially around the coastline, and you also have the chance to go to a seal colony, if you go at the right time of the year.
This is a great experience and something I highly recommend. The nightlife here is also quite lively, which is always a bonus!
10. Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach, is as the name suggests, a beach that has hot water.
The hot water does not come from the ocean, but from digging a hole in the sand until water seeps in and fills the hole.
I’m not 100% sure why this happens, but I do know that is an interesting experience and a great thing to do on the Coromandel Peninsula.
11. Milford Sound
Milford Sound is probably the number one tourist attraction in New Zealand. It is an incredible sight, and I’m saying this as someone who visited when it was grey and raining non-stop.
If you are lucky enough to visit when it is sunny, then you will be blessed with some incredible views.
You have to do a boat tour to get the scale of the sound, but it is worth it!
Milford Sound is located in Fiordland, and as the name suggests, the area is full of fiords. As well as Milford Sound, you have Doubtful Sound, which is less busy and considered more spectacular than Milford by some people.
The views of Fiordland are incredible! Driving to Milford Sound was a pleasure, even if the weather was terrible, as the views were out of this world.
Fiordland is a must-visit in New Zealand!
The capital of New Zealand, Wellington is an interesting city.
We arrived there on Christmas Day, so it was hard to get a feel for the city, as it was deserted, but it’s beautiful nonetheless!
The Te Papa museum is a must-see, with some interesting exhibits.
Wellington has a reputation as a city with changeable weather, so be on your guard and watch out for some strong winds!
14. Tongariro crossing
The Tongariro Crossing is arguably the best single-day hike in New Zealand. The crossing in the North Island takes you across and active volcanic area with some great views.
If you are lucky enough to be from a country that is part of the scheme, then I highly recommend taking advantage of this.
Not only do you get to visit one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but you can stay here for a year!
What are you waiting for!?
New Zealand is a country made for hiking. The landscape and scenery in the country lend itself perfectly to hiking.
There are many great hikes to be done throughout the country, like the aforementioned Tongariro Crossing.
As the outdoors is one of the main selling points of the country, it makes sense to take advantage of this!
26. Southern Alps
The Southern Alps are a mountain range located in the South Island, and chances are if you fly to Christchurch you will pass over them!
They are visible from Christchurch on a clear day and are a spectacular backdrop to the city. If you’re driving from Christchurch to Queenstown, you will be able to stop at various points and admire their beauty!
During the winter, you can go skiing in the ski fields here, which I recommend so you can get a better appreciation of these incredible mountains!
27. Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo is one of the most incredible sights in New Zealand! Even if you are only driving past, the view is spectacular!
The backdrop is also not bad either, with Mt Cook visible in the background on a clear day!
Lake Tekapo is a great place to visit for a weekend away, and the views definitely will not disappoint!
28. Mt Cook
The highest mountain in New Zealand, Mt Cook, also known as Aoraki, is one of the principal tourist destinations in New Zealand. If you are a climbing enthusiast, then this is the place for you!
The climb is quite a challenge and there are three routes to choose from. For the non-climbers among you, simply admiring the views should be more than enough reason to visit!
29. Coromandel Peninsula
The Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island is another area of incredible beauty in New Zealand!
The peninsula extends north from the Bay of Plenty and is home to great places such as Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove!
Driving around Coromandel is almost as much of a pleasure as visiting the places here, due to the sheer beauty of the place!
Taupo was a place that I wasn’t expecting much from when I visited. However, I was quickly proven wrong, as this is a beautiful location, with much to see and do.
The views here are incredible, especially overlooking Lake Taupo!
There are also some great activities to do such as skydiving, and Action World, which I highly recommend, as it is great fun!
31. Franz Josef
As well as the glacier of the same name, Franz Josef is a small town in the South Island.
The glacier is the main attraction and most people that stop there will visit or go on one of the numerous tours available.
You can also do skydiving here if you want another adrenaline rush. Alternatively, you can simply relax in one of the bars and enjoy the views!
It is an ideal place to go on a road trip, due to the range of scenery and many different activities to do.
You can do everything from ziplining, whitewater-rafting and hiking a glacier! There aren’t many places in the world that can offer that amount of things to do!
41. Pancake Rocks
The Pancake Rocks are one of the many unique places in New Zealand.
These rocks were formed after millions of years of geographical activity and have the appearance of pancakes, hence the name.
The rocks have a surreal look to them and look like they belong in another world!
This is one of the best places to visit on the West Coast, as it is one of many strange and interesting places in New Zealand!
42. Doubtful Sound
While Milford Sound gets all the recognition as one of the main reasons to visit New Zealand, Doubtful Sound sneaks under the radar.
However, it is arguable whether Doubtful Sound is better than Milford.
For one, there are fewer tourists there than Milford and the views are equally impressive if not better. Instead of deciding which one to visit, why not visit both?
43. Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is one of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand.
Located in the North Island, it is as the name suggests, a bay that contains a lot of islands!
There are plenty of activities for backpackers do to here, from snorkelling, kayaking and fishing, you will not be short of things to do in the Bay of Islands!
44. Te Anau
If you’re going to New Zealand, Te Anau is one of the places yo have to visit!
It’s the gateway to Fiordland in the South Island. The Lake of the same name is the second largest in New Zealand after Lake Taupo.
Most people will visit here as a starting point for visiting Milford and Doubtful Sound.
Te Anau itself is a beautiful little town, which has caves that house glow worms similar to the Waitomo Caves!
Akaroa is an oddity in regards to New Zealand, as it is a town that has a French influence! This is due to the French establishing a settlement here in the 1800s.
Located close to Christchurch in the South Island, there are plenty of things to do in Akaroa, such as kayaking and swimming with dolphins.
As always in New Zealand, the scenery is fantastic and Akaroa is no different, with great views from virtually everywhere!
46. Moeraki Boulders
The Moeraki Boulders are almost perfectly spherical boulders that are located on a beach in between Oamaru and Dunedin.
They look otherworldly and not the result of millions of years of erosion!
This is an interesting and quirky place to visit, and it is the perfect place for a unique photo opportunity as you can see below!
47. North Island
The most populated of the two main islands, the North Island is an interesting destination.
There are some cool cities from Auckland to the capital Wellington and some amazing areas of natural beauty such as the Coromandel Peninsula.
The weather is hotter than in the South Island, due to the sub-tropical climate, so be sure to make the most of the amazing beaches that are here! The North Island is a demonstration of why New Zealand is the best place to visit!
48. Cape Reinga
Cape Reinga is the northernmost point of New Zealand. It is a fair drive from the nearest town of Kaitaia, which is (62 miles) 100km further south!
The Cape is the meeting point of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean and offers some fantastic views. The lighthouse here is also worth checking out!
49. Bay of Plenty
The Bay of Plenty is one of the best reasons to visit New Zealand and a must-see in the North Island!
There are plenty of great places to visit such as the Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua and Tauranga!
There is a great range of geographical diversity in the Bay of Plenty, and you have everything from great harbours, geothermal pools and of course fantastic scenery!
50. Marlborough Sounds
Marlborough Sounds are one of the most beautiful places to visit in New Zealand!
They are a collection of sea-drowned valleys that are located in the north of the South Island.
Similar to Milford and Doubtful Sound, but with less rainfall, they are spectacular and offer another example of New Zealand’s boundless beauty!
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