100 Great Reasons to Visit New Zealand now!
Whatever your reason, travelling to New Zealand is something that you should definitely do during your lifetime.
There are lots of things to do in New Zealand and most of these double up as excellent reasons to visit the country!
If you are thinking should I visit New Zealand, then you have come to the right place, I’m going to detail a number of reasons as to why you should make visiting New Zealand a high priority!
Reasons to visit New Zealand
There are plenty of things that make New Zealand special, but perhaps the main thing is the incredible scenery! It doesn’t matter whether you are in the middle of a city, or what road you go down, there is amazing scenery everywhere!
This is perhaps one of the best things about travelling in New Zealand, as no matter where you go, you are guaranteed to see some incredible sights!
2. The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings
New Zealand is the home of the The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. So, if you are a big fan of the films, then you absolutely have to visit New Zealand! The best place to visit is definitely 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 a number of 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 actually 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 at during a hot summer’s day.
6. Road trips
Road trips in New Zealand are perhaps the best way to see the country! Virtually every road has incredible scenery and long trips are not a chore, due to the sheer beauty everywhere.
There are many routes you can take, from the East and West Coast on the South Island to a trip from Wellington to Auckland in the North Island. If only for the views, road trips are an absolute must in New Zealand!
Despite its neighbour, Australia getting all the attention regarding beaches, the beaches in New Zealand are good in their own right! They’re much less populated than those in Australia, which is great if you don’t like crowded beaches like me!
If you like surfing, then there are some great places to go, such as Taylor’s Mistake in Christchurch.
Christchurch has experienced a rough time recently, with the city rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes in 2011. Despite this, travelling to Christchurch should be high on your list, as the city is an extremely interesting place to visit.
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.
No, I don’t mean the animal, although they are interesting as well. I’m talking about the people of New Zealand, affectionately known as kiwis. New Zealanders have a reputation for being friendly and up for a laugh, and it was definitely true.
They are a great bunch, and very hospitable, even if you’re English! The Kiwis certainly make travelling around New Zealand much easier and fun!
12. 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 really get the scale of the sound, but it is definitely 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 in Fiordland are absolutely 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!
15. 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.
Part of the Lord of the Rings films were shot here, primarily those set in Mordor. The hike is tough and can get very busy, but it is definitely worth it!
Dunedin is the second biggest city in the South Island and is modelled after Edinburgh. So much so, that the name Dunedin is derived from the Gaelic Scots name for Edinburgh!
Dunedin is an interesting city with some fantastic architecture and as a student town, it has great nightlife. It is also home to the world’s steepest street, Baldwin Street, which is worth checking out!
17. Golden Bay
Located at the Western tip of the South Island, Golden Bay is a lesser known destination, but it is great nonetheless. The scenery here is incredible, especially once you get to the beaches, which are just incredible.
A trip to Farewell Spit, the northernmost point of the South Island, is a must!
Nelson is an underrated city on the West Coast of the South Island near Golden Bay. Despite its small size, the city has a lot of interesting architecture and a great nightlife scene, which I highly recommend checking out! Abel Tasman National Park and Golden Bay are located within a short distance, making Nelson the ideal base to explore both from!
19. Hanmer Springs
Hanmer Springs is a great little town not far from Christchurch. The primary attraction is the springs that give the town its name. These are located in a water park, which is great fun.
Hanmer is a great place to visit for a weekend away, especially if you are working hard on the rebuild in Christchurch!
20. Bungee jumping
If you want to do a bungee jump, then New Zealand is the place. The most famous jump is the Nevis bungee in Queenstown, at 134m, it’s a fairly big drop!
It’s not cheap either, so you should be certain that you want to go through with it before you pay. There are plenty of other jumps throughout the country, as well, if you don’t fancy the Nevis jump.
New Zealand has some of the best mountain ranges in the world, and during the winter these are home to some great ski fields. I had never gone skiing or snowboarding before I visited New Zealand, but I was hooked by the time I left.
The slopes here are great, and it’s a great activity to do during the winter months. It can be costly, but it is definitely worth it!
Queenstown is known as the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, and is a place you absolutely have to visit in New Zealand! As well as, the many things to do in Queenstown, the views here are stunning. From the picturesque lake, to the Remarkables, there are great views everywhere.
Any trip to Queenstown would not be complete without a night out and a Fergburger, be sure to do both!
23. Slope point
Slope Point is the southernmost point in New Zealand, and is somewhere I was gutted not to visit. It is a bit out of the way, but it is an interesting place nonetheless. The wind here is so strong, that the trees are bent over!
I love visiting quirky places such as this, so it was a shame not to visit. If you get the chance to go here, I would take it!
24. Night sky
The night sky in New Zealand is just incredible! As the country is located well away from the rest of the world, there is considerably less pollution.
This means that you get incredibly clear skies at night, even in the big cities. However, if you really want to see the night sky at its best, heading out of the cities and into the rural areas is a must!
The New Zealand working holiday visa is a great way to see the country. 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 lends itself perfectly to hiking.
There are a number of 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!
27. 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. During the winter, you can go skiing in the ski fields here, which I recommend to get a better appreciation of these incredible mountains!
28. Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo is one of the most incredible sights in New Zealand! Even if you are only driving past, the view is absolutely 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!
29. 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!
30. 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 as a pleasure as visiting the places here, due to the sheer beauty of the place! A must visit in New Zealand!
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 a number of great activities to do such as skydiving, and Action World, which I highly recommend, as it is great fun!
As well as every other geographical feature, New Zealand is also home to a few glaciers! Located in the South Island, Franz Josef and the Fox glaciers are an impressive sight, even if the weather isn’t that great!
If you’ve never seen a glacier before, I recommend you visit either of these, as they are an incredible sight and a testament to the power of nature!
33. 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. Or alternatively, you can simply relax in one of the bars and enjoy the views!
The weather may not be as good as in Australia, but I don’t feel there’s a best time of the year to visit New Zealand! The views are just as good in bad weather as they are when it’s sunny.
In some ways, the bad weather gives the country a more moody look which is amazing! New Zealand does get its fair share of hot days, especially in the North Island and you’ll have ample opportunity to visit the beach in the summer!
35. Arthur’s Pass
Arthur’s Pass is a small town and national park located in the South Island. Despite its small size, there are a number of great walks to do here, such as Bealey Valley and Avalanche Peak.
There are some incredible views throughout Arthur’s Pass and if you are driving through it is definitely worth stopping to soak them in!
Rotorua is one of the best places to visit on the North Island of New Zealand. You certainly won’t forget your visit here, as due to the geothermal activity in the area, there is a distinct smell of rotten eggs in the air.
However, despite the smell, Rotorua is a great location. There are so many things to do here, a lot of them adrenaline based, so you’ll soon ignore the pungent odour!
New Zealand is rugby mad! Rugby is everywhere in the country and everyone loves it! If you are a rugby fan yourself, then this is the perfect place to visit. The national team, known as the All Blacks, are the best team on the planet and watching them perform the haka before games is an incredible spectacle!
Watching a Super Rugby match is quite cheap in New Zealand and something I recommend doing!
The hostels in Australia are good, but the hostels in New Zealand may be better! There are some absolutely fantastic hostels located throughout the country. Many of which are located in some amazing buildings.
Added to the fact that they are reasonably priced, you should enjoy your stay in these hostels. It felt like you were staying in someone’s house at times, they were that good!
39. Stewart Island
Stewart Island is often the forgotten island of New Zealand. Overshadowed by its bigger neighbours, Stewart Island is often left of a New Zealand backpacking itinerary.
In fact, I didn’t know it existed until I arrived in the country! However, that shouldn’t stop you visiting. There are great views here, like the rest of the country, and it offers an alternative to the two bigger islands!
40. South Island
I spent most of my time working and travelling around the South Island during my year in New Zealand. So, I am a little biased towards my preference for it over the North Island.
There are so many things to do in the South Island, that you could easily spend a month, maybe more, travelling around and doing everything. As the bigger of the two main islands, it makes sense to spend more time here!
The nightlife in New Zealand is great, this is even true for some of the smaller towns and cities. Nelson, for example, has a lively nightlife scene which I was not expecting.
Queenstown is perhaps the best place in the country for a good night out. However, nearly every city has a few places that are worth checking out!
42. Waitomo Caves
Visiting the Waitomo Caves was something that I didn’t do while I was in New Zealand. By all accounts, it is amazing going into the caves and being greeted by glow worms that live on the ceiling of the cave.
This is one of the things that is hugely popular and marketed in New Zealand, but I regret not visiting, as I think it would have been a great experience!
New Zealand is famous for its wine and there are numerous wineries to visit throughout the country. The majority of these are located in the South Island. If you are a wine aficionado then you are going to want to visit a winery in New Zealand. The problem is you have so many to choose from, but I guess that is not too bad a thing!
44. Baldwin Street – the world’s steepest street
If you didn’t already know, then you do now! New Zealand is home to the steepest street in the world, Baldwin Street. Located in Dunedin, Baldwin Street has an eye-popping average gradient of 35%!
It’s worth visiting just for the novelty of saying you have been to the world’s steepest street. It also makes for a great photo opportunity.
45. Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman Park is just beautiful and at times it can feel like you are in a tropical paradise and not New Zealand! There are plenty of hikes to do in the park and I highly recommend doing these to see more of this beautiful place.
Kayaking is another good way to explore the area, with lots of routes available and secret places to explore!
46. West Coast
The West Coast of the South Island is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand. It is an ideal place to go for a road trip, due to the range of scenery and many different activities to do.
You can do everything from ziplining, white water-rafting and hiking a glacier! There aren’t many places in the world that can offer that amount of things to do!
47. Maori culture
Opposed to Australia, Maori culture is an integral part of New Zealand life. The culture is very much integrated into society and both Maoris and Kiwis alike are immensely proud of it.
Maori people are some of the nicest that I have ever met, and are always happy and up for some fun. A trip to a Maori village is must, to get a better insight into the culture!
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. Cook Strait
The Cook Strait separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand. At its narrowest point, the gap between the two islands is 14 miles (22 km)! Despite this, the Cook Strait is considered to be one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world.
For me, this is reason alone to check it out and experience a trip across the strait, to see if the water is as unpredictable as they say!
50. 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!
51. 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?
If you are a fan of Lord of the Rings like me, then you absolutely have to visit Hobbiton in the North Island!
This is the set of the shire that was used for both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. The tour is fantastic, as the guides let you in on little secrets about the set and the films.
As an added bonus, you also get a free beer at the end of the tour!
53. 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!
54. Te Anau
Te Anau is 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!
If you want to visit the southern and westernmost point of New Zealand, then a trip to Invercargill is something you need to do. It is a quaint little city, however, there are not an awful lot of things to do in Invercargill. A few interesting things to do include horse riding on the beach, or a spot of fishing, which is popular in the city!
Located in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is a beautiful city in the North Island of New Zealand. The scenery in Tauranga is fantastic and you must visit Mount Maunganui while you are here. The view from the top of the Mount is incredible and the beach isn’t too bad either. There is a range of great outdoor activities to do in Tauranga, so it is an ideal place for any backpacker!
58. Ninety Mile Beach
Despite the name, Ninety Mile Beach is only 55 miles long (88 km). The beach stretches from Kaitaia all the way to Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island.
There are some spectacular views here and plenty of space to relax and enjoy the beach. The sand dunes that accompany the beach are often used by people for bodyboarding.
59. 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!
The landscapes in New Zealand are simply out of this world! There is no getting away with it! If you want to be constantly amazed as you look out of your car window, then a trip to New Zealand is an absolute must!
The range of landscapes is incredible, you have everything from snow-capped mountains to misty sounds and semi-tropical beaches further north. Whether you go in New Zealand you are guaranteed great landscapes!
61. 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!
If you want to head across the Cook Strait to the North Island, then Picton is the place to go! This is where the ferries leave to cross the water to Wellington. Picton is a great base to see the Marlborough Sounds, especially the Queen Charlotte Sound.
There are also a number of walking tracks around the city. Diving is also popular, with the shipwreck of the former cruise liner MS Mikhail Lermontov located off the coast!
63. 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!
If you are a massive fan of sheep, then New Zealand is definitely the place for you! The sheep population in New Zealand outweighs the human population by about 4 to 1!
They are everywhere and driving around the country, you will see a lot strolling around the many hills and fields. Watching the cult film Black Sheep is also a must for a funny look at New Zealand’s love affair with the fluffy white animals!
65. Tunnel Beach
Tunnel Beach is a unique place in New Zealand, because as the name suggests, you go down a tunnel to reach the beach! The tunnel was commissioned by a local politician so that his family could walk down to the beach. It is located a few miles from Dunedin and is one of the quirkier reasons to visit New Zealand. However, how many times have you walked down a tunnel to get to a beach?
66. Te Waikoropupu Springs
The Te Waikoropupu Springs are located in Golden Bay in the South Island. They are an interesting destination, mainly because of the clarity of the water. It is so clear that you can easily see to the bottom and see all that is below. The walk around the springs is nice and relaxing and it is an interesting place to visit in New Zealand!
67. Cardrona Bra Fence
The Cardrona Bra Fence is another of the quirkier reasons to visit New Zealand. It is located in Central Otago, and it is a fence along the roadside that has a large number of bras attached to it. The reason why bras were attached to the fence in the first place is unclear, however it is now a popular stop for backpackers passing through. Despite numerous attempts to remove the bras, it remains standing and is definitely worth stopping at!
68. Longest place name in the world!
Growing up next to Wales, I always that a town in North Wales held the honour of the longest place name in the world.
Well, it turns out I was wrong!
That honour actually belongs to Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu in Hawkes Bay! This place is definitely worth a visit for a unique photo opportunity, just don’t try to pronounce the name!
69. Unique wildlife
As an island that is extremely isolated from the majority of the world, New Zealand has a lot of unique wildlife. From the kiwi to some weird and wonderful fauna, the country has a range of wildlife. The high rainfall in New Zealand means there is lush plants across the country. If you love wildlife, then you are going to want to visit New Zealand!
New Zealand is a country that should hold no fear for travellers of any age or gender. The country is very safe and you are extremely unlikely to come into trouble, despite a lot of the country being sparsely populated. Neither
Neither is there the abundance of dangerous animals that neighbours Australia has. In fact, New Zealand is one of only two countries, along with Ireland, that don’t have any snakes!
71. 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!
72. Sparsely populated
Despite the South Island alone being bigger than all of Great Britain, New Zealand is underpopulated for its size.
Only 4 million people live in the country, which contrasts greatly with the roughly 60 million that live in the UK!
This is all the better for travellers though, as you get to explore untouched landscapes and you generally have an easier time getting around the country!
73. Huka Falls
The Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River in the North Island. They are an incredible sight, with the fast paced water roaring past!
This is a popular tourist spot, so it can get quite busy. However, it’s definitely worth visiting. 220, 000 litres of water per second flow down the falls and you can experience this close up, by jet-boating at the base of the falls!
74. Te Papa
The Te Papa museum in Wellington is a fantastic museum with lots of interesting exhibits. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we went there, but I was surprised by the range of exhibits that were on show. There’s everything from dinosaur skeletons, to preserved colossal squid.
It’s also a great place to learn more about the natural history of New Zealand, and it explains a lot about the diversity of nature in the country!
75. Lemon and Paeroa
Lemon and Paeroa is the national drink of New Zealand, and although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the drink, it is definitely worth trying it while you are here.
Perhaps better than the drink itself is visiting the town of Paeroa where the drink originated. There stands a giant Lemon and Paeroa bottle which is perfect for a photo opportunity!
76. Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is located in the North Island close to Auckland. It’s is a great spot to go on a day trip from Auckland, especially as it has recently been ranked as one of the best destinations to visit in the world by Lonely Planet!
Seeing as it is only a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland, it would be a crime to miss out on the amazing scenery Waiheke has to offer!
Hamilton is one of the biggest cities in the North Island. It is a good base for seeing a number of great places in the North Island, such as the Coromandel Peninsula, Hobitton and Taupo. The city itself is an interesting and lively place, such as the Hamilton Gardens. There are also a number of events held here throughout the year, that make visiting Hamilton a must during your trip!
Arrowtown is an old gold mining town located in Otago. The main attraction point of Arrowtown is the architecture of the buildings, which are a mix of Wild West and Victorian architecture! There are plenty of things to do in Arrowtown, such as gold panning if you want to try your luck and find some gold! As it is quite close to Queenstown, it’s a great place for the day from there!
79. Hawke’s Bay
Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s most famous wine-making regions. So, it would make sense if you are in the area to visit one of the numerous wineries! Apart from wine, Hawke’s Bay has beautiful scenery and some interesting places such as the National Aquarium of New Zealand, and Splash Planet, a water park!
80. All Blacks
The All Blacks are New Zealand’s national rugby team, and arguably the best sporting team on the planet. Rugby is like a religion in New Zealand, and the All Blacks are worshipped fervently! The country almost grinds to a halt when they are playing. If you get the chance to go to an All Blacks match, you should grab it! If not, then simply watching them in a pub is a great way to sample kiwi culture!
Southland is one of the more underrated reasons to visit New Zealand. It is a somewhat neglected part of New Zealand, which apart from Fiordland, does not receive much attention. However, Bluff and Invercargill are interesting places, and Slope Point is one the more unusual places you can visit in New Zealand! Neglecting Southland during your New Zealand trip would be a shame, as it’s an interesting place!
Otago is one of the most spectacular, if not the most, regions of New Zealand. Home to Queenstown and Wanaka, chances are that you’ll be visiting Otago during your New Zealand trip! The scenery here is just incredible, from picturesque lakes to imposing mountain tops, it’s just glorious scenery everywhere! Queenstown and Wanaka are great towns with lots to do, so make Otago a top priority when backpacking New Zealand!
If you love kayaking, then this is one of many great reasons to visit New Zealand. The country is perfect for kayaking and you can do it in virtually all parts of the country, that have access to water! What better way to experience the beauty of New Zealand by kayaking around the many incredible lakes and rivers in the country!
84. Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand. Located in the Coromandel Peninsula, its name comes from the Cove having the appearance of a cathedral! It’s a fair walk down to the cove, but it is definitely worth it, as the view of the cove and out over the water is spectacular!
85. White water rafting
White water rafting is very popular in New Zealand and owing to the country’s geography, there are a number of places to do it! I went white water rafting in the South Island, and it was a great experience, which I highly recommend. Its’ adrenaline filled and a lot of fun, even as you get soaked making your way down the river!
Greymouth is the biggest town on the West Coast of the South Island. The town is mainly a fishing and mining town, which is emphasised by a fisherman statue that is on the town’s seawall. The TranzAlpine train terminates here and Greymouth is a great location to explore nearby Lake Matheson and Paparoa National Park. If you are travelling down the West Coast, Greymouth is a must-stop location!
Located on the West Coast of the South Island, Westport is an interesting little town. Driving into the town you are greeted by a lengthy boulevard, which when lit up looks quite magical. The area around Westport is quite quiet, but if you want to do rafting or jetboating, then there are multiple options in the surrounding area. There is also a large fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind, which is worth a visit!
88. Buller Gorge
Buller Gorge is another of the underrated reasons to visit New Zealand. I didn’t know anything about it before we visited, but it is a fantastic location. The gorge flows through a canyon between Murchison and Westport, which is spanned by New Zealand’s longest swingbridge. You can do a zip line across the gorge, which is great fun and there are a number of great bush walks in the area as well!
89. Re:Start Mall
The Re:Start Mall is one of the more interesting places in New Zealand. It occupies the space of the old Cashel Mall in Christchurch, which was destroyed by the earthquakes in 2011. It is a mall that consists of shops in shipping containers, and is a sign of kiwi resilience. The multi-coloured shops are a great sight and definitely one of the more unique reasons to visit New Zealand.
If you love bridges as much as I do, then you are definitely going to want to visit New Zealand! There are many architecturally stunning bridges and viaducts, none more so than the Balclutha Road Bridge in the South Island. A feature of New Zealand is one way bridges, which were a novelty for me, just be sure to keep your eyes on the road and not the great scenery!
If you like solitude, then New Zealand is the place to go. Due to the sparse population in the country, a lot of the country is empty. So, on a road trip or camping trip you could be the only person in the area for miles. This means that you are able to soak up all the scenery and beauty of New Zealand without the hassle of mass tourism. This is one of the best reasons to go to New Zealand, as you can enjoy the country at your own leisure!
92. Puzzling World
Puzzling World is one of the quirkier reasons to visit New Zealand. Located in Wanaka, Puzzling World is an interactive experience based around illusions. This is an interesting place to visit for a few hours, especially if you like puzzles and having your mind challenged. There is also a fiendishly difficult maze, which took me an age to complete! If you’re in Wanaka, then be sure to visit!
If you love festivals, then you are definitely going to want to visit New Zealand! The country has a number of festivals year round that cater to everyone’s tastes. Everything from arts to food are represented, and there are many small local festivals as well. It’s worth checking this page out, just to see the amount of festivals that are held during the year!
The northernmost city in New Zealand, Whangerai is an interesting city that has a lot to offer. One of the main attractions is Mt Parahika, which is an ancient volcano and overlooks the city. The Hātea River flows through the city and there is an amazing waterfall in Tikipunga, which is just north of the city. Whangerai Harbour is also worth a look in this picturesque city!
Twizel is an interesting town in the South Island. It was built in 1968 to house workers from the nearby Hydroelectric plant. Nearby Lake Ruataniwha is a great spot for kayaking, fishing and swimming. If you like stargazing, then Twizel is the place to go! It is renowned for its clear skies and is a popular spot for stargazers and anyone that loves the night sky!
New Zealand may not be world-renowned for its food, but there are plenty of great restaurants and cafes in the country. The food culture in New Zealand is very diverse due to the range of different nationalities in the country. So, you can enjoy food from virtually all corners of the globe! Kiwis also do a mean fish and chips, though not as good as in England!
97. Close to Pacific Islands
One of the underrated reasons to visit New Zealand, is that it is close to Pacific Islands such as Fiji and Tonga. Flights from Auckland and Christchurch are not too expensive, and seeing as you are in this part of the world, you might as well check one of them out! If you have a few weeks off from work, then they are an ideal place to visit for a week!
Waitangi is one of the more culturally significant reasons to visit New Zealand. It was here in the North Island, that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. The treaty meant New Zealand would be ceded to British rule, but that the Maoris would retain ownership of their lands and receive the same rights as British people.
If you want to learn more about New Zealand’s early history, then a visit to Waitangi is a must!
The haka is one of the things that probably springs to mind for most people when they think of New Zealand. If you have ever watched a rugby match and been in awe of the haka at the start of the match, then visiting New Zealand to experience the culture is a must.
If you are lucky you may even get to see the haka on the street, during a holiday or by watching the All Blacks play!
Last, but certainly not least, Raglan is one of the best reasons to travel to New Zealand. It is a small beachside town located near Hamilton in the North Island.
Raglan is on the best spots in New Zealand to go surfing, it is renowned for having some of the best conditions in the country for surfing! There are also numerous walks around the town, which make Raglan a great location for outdoors lovers!
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