10 Best Places to Visit in New Zealand

Comprised of two main islands, North Island and South Island, New Zealand is an incredible destination to discover. Packed with unforgettable landscapes, breathtaking scenery, and an unparalleled combination of lakes, mountains, and lush greenery, the island nation has to be seen to be truly understood.

New Zealand pretty much needs to be on your list if you’re at all an adventure sports enthusiast – or even if you’re just interested in trying them out. Bungee jumping, mountaineering, skydiving, paragliding, mountain biking, kayaking, canyoning, parachuting, caving, zip lining… Let’s just say that the list is endless when it comes to what outdoor activities you can get up to in this far-flung destination.

You can get to grips with adventure sports in Queenstown, surrounded by mountain and lake scenery. Then there’s the dramatic Fiordland – part of the landscape that made up Peter Jackson’s movie interpretation of Middle Earth for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (you can even visit The Shire!). Get to know Maori culture at Rotorua, and if you’re missing city life, head to sunny Auckland – the largest city in New Zealand. Here’s a look a the best places to visit in New Zealand:

10. Stewart Island [SEE MAP]

Stewart Island

4nitsirk / Flickr

Stewart Island is the third-largest island of New Zealand, and it is found even further south than South Island. Most of the island is forested and undeveloped with over 80 per cent of the island is set aside as the Rakiura National Park, giving you the chance to explore the wild side of New Zealand.

Most of the pastimes on Stewart Island have to do with the outdoors, including hiking, camping and birdwatching. One of the most popular treks on Stewart Island is the Northwest Circuit, which can take several days to complete for even the fittest hikers. However, the trek offer spectacular views and access to amazing wildlife.

9. Nelson [SEE MAP]


mikecogh / Flickr

At the top of the South Island is Nelson, a spot known for having the greatest number of sunshine hours per year in all of New Zealand. This great climate and the fact that the city is surrounded by three national parks makes Nelson a fantastic spot for outdoor recreation.

There is also an emphasis on local agriculture and the area’s wineries. Founder’s Park is an amazing spot in the city where you can dine on local farm-to-table cuisine, and soak up the sunshine right in the heart of an urban area.

You can even do a day-trip to Abel Tasman National Park from Nelson using an early bus, which give you just enough time to enjoy the park.

8. Glacier Country [SEE MAP]

Glacier Country

lwtt93 / Flickr

Glacier Country is found on the Western Coast of South Island, and its jewel is the Westland National Park. In the park, you’ll have the chance to see the country’s two most spectacular glaciers: Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier.

Franz Josef Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers on the planet, meaning that you can actually walk up to the glacier and even through the glacier valley itself. Guided tours give you a closer look at the expanding glaciers, and you can relax after a day of hiking by soaking in the incredible glacier hot pools.

7. Napier [SEE MAP]


Bruce Tuten / Flickr

The seaside resort of Napier on North Island is known as the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand, thanks to a large amount of 1930s architecture built when the city suffered a large fire more than 80 years ago.

After touring the city on foot for a guided or self-guided architecture tour, the best way to enjoy Napier is by visiting the National Aquarium of New Zealand. This enormous aquarium is home to everything from turtles to crocodiles, and the modern exhibits are truly world-class.

6. Rotorua [SEE MAP]


Rotorua is known as the thermal wonderland of New Zealand. There are numerous geysers and hot springs in and around the city. Many of these are in parks and reserves.

Natural eruptions of steam, hot water and mud occasionally occur in new locations. Nearby Wai-O-Tapu is also a popular place to visit with many hot springs noted for their colorful appearance, in addition to the Lady Knox Geyser.

5. Paihia [SEE MAP]


Jennifer Whiting / Flickr

If you’re interested in exploring the Bay of Islands, then Paihia is a great place to visit in New Zealand. Paihia is all about the small-town feel, but it boasts an array of great hotels and recreational opportunities to appeal to travelers.

If you’re feeling adventurous and active, you can swim with dolphins or even go scuba diving to see the underwater shipwreck called the Rainbow Warrior. Back on dry land, make your way to Marsden Road for exceptional restaurants serving up an array of freshly caught seafood.

4. Auckland [SEE MAP]


Known as the City of Sails, Auckland is the largest and most populated city in New Zealand. It is located on the North Island, and it is known for its vibrant culture and foodie landscape. For amazing views of this beautiful metropolis, climb the Auckland Harbor Bridge.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and heritage of New Zealand, then be sure to check out the Auckland Domain, which is the city’s oldest part. In the Auckland Domain, you’ll find great exhibits of Maori and Pacific Island artifacts at the iconic Auckland Museum.

3. Queenstown [SEE MAP]


Tomas Sobek / Flickr

On New Zealand’s South Island is Queenstown, a destination known as the dream spot for those in search of adrenaline and adventure. Surrounded by the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, and right on the banks of deep-blue Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is also an incredibly beautiful spot.

One of the best ways to experience the scenery is on Lake Wakatipu itself. You can cycle around the lake’s perimeter or set off on a cruise of the lake’s magnificent waters. There is also a vibrant nightlife with the town’s small central area packed with bars and restaurants.

2. Tongariro National Park [SEE MAP]

Tongariro National Park

The first national park of New Zealand, Tongariro is known for its surprises and extremes. The park’s diverse range of ecosystems includes tranquil lakes, active volcanoes, herb fields, untamed forests and desert-like plateaus.

Start your trek at the Whakapapa Visitor Center, just a three hour hike from the stunning Taranaki Falls. The short hike will take you through scrubland and forest and across the lava line of volcanic eruptions from hundreds of years ago.

1. Fiordland [SEE MAP]

#1 of Best Places To Visit In New Zealand

Jocey K / Flickr

One of the most scenic spots in New Zealand is the Fiordland National Park. Here, you can set off on incredible hikes, fish for trout or cruise on the spectacular fjords (named sounds here) in the south-western corner of the South Island. Milford Sound is the biggest attraction in Fiordland, and it is a true fjord created by a glacier.

On a cruise through Milford Sound, you can spot waterfalls, admire the sheer rock faces towering over the water and even see wildlife like dolphins and penguins.

Map of New Zealand

Map of New Zealand

© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia

12 Best Cities to Visit in New Zealand

With stunning scenery greeting you almost everywhere you look, New Zealand’s coastal cities are set amidst some astounding natural sights and really are amazing to behold. Mountains and volcanoes surround them and lakes, rivers and islands border them; the best cities in New Zealand have a plethora of incredible outdoor activities for you to take part in.

Away from the adrenaline-inducing zip-lines and river-rafting, some fantastic festivals and cultural events take place in New Zealand and there are some great museums and galleries to explore.

With some top-notch wineries on offer and a bustling craft brewery scene, paired with delicious cuisine and fantastic restaurants, your taste buds are in for an absolute treat. The intoxicating mix of Pacific Island and United Kingdom cultures makes its cities captivating and enlightening to explore.

Map of cities in New Zealand

Map of cities in New Zealand

© OpenStreetMap © MapTiler © Touropia

12. New Plymouth [SEE MAP]

New Plymouth

© Nmint / Dreamstime

With stunning Mount Taranaki dominating the horizon, New Plymouth is a picturesque port town that is surrounded by sprawling farmland. It has a lively, cosmopolitan feel to it, and there is a thriving arts and culture scene – you can attend some brilliant concerts and festivals here during the year.

There are many great cafes and restaurants to be found and some delightful surf spots and beaches nearby. Don’t miss out on the nearby spectacular Mt Egmont National Park.

11. Tauranga [SEE MAP]


© vps / Dreamstime

Now the fifth-largest city in the country, Tauranga has steadily been growing over the years, as retirees and young families alike flock here in search of the cheaper housing options. While its busy port, petrol refineries and traffic-filled streets mean that it may not be the prettiest of cities, its lovely beaches and lively waterfront definitely make it a nice place to stop by.

With some fantastic restaurants and bars on offer, Tauranga’s distinctive Mount Maunganui is a stunning spot with a world-class beach. Visitors can also take a trip to nearby White Island – an awesome live volcano to explore.

10. Whangarei [SEE MAP]


© Hardyuno / Dreamstime

Set in a beautiful location, Whangarei is the only city in the northernmost reaches of New Zealand; it is a gateway to the amazing natural wonders all around it. With a laidback vibe in the town, things are slowly changing; a new art museum, shopping center and restaurant complex have opened up and there are some great bars and cafes around town.

While there are lots of fabulous beaches around Whangarei to relax on, most people head to the Poor Knights Islands for their fantastic scuba diving, or to the delightfully scenic Bay of Islands.

9. Hamilton [SEE MAP]


© Rafael Ben Ari / Dreamstime

Straddling the beautiful Waikato River, Hamilton is an inland city on the North Island that is a pleasant place to visit, although it lacks the stunning setting of many of New Zealand’s other cities. There are a few interesting attractions such as the excellent Waikato Museum and the tranquil Hamilton Gardens.

With a large university population, Hamilton has loads of great bars, restaurants and cafes for you to enjoy, and a number of fantastic festivals take place here throughout the year. Not far from Hamilton are many great sights that are worth visiting – Lord of the Rings lovers will want to head to Matamata, where they can visit the real-life Shire!

8. Napier [SEE MAP]


© Rafael Ben Ari / Dreamstime

Feeling somewhat like a wealthy seaside town in England, Napier is a charming place to kick back and relax, with a romantic air about it. With lovely 1930’s facades and some delightful streets to explore, its fantastic collection of art-deco buildings is interspersed with some brilliant restaurants and atmospheric cafes.

Napier has several gorgeous beaches nearby, as well as a fantastic aquarium to check out. The marvelous wineries just outside of the city are also well worth exploring.

7. Nelson [SEE MAP]


© Annaorl / Dreamstime

One of the best places to live in New Zealand, Nelson’s stunning setting on the coast, snuggled between two mountain ranges, also makes it a fantastic city to visit. With a hip art scene, brilliant craft breweries and a range of delightful restaurants, it is a lovely place to spend some time – Nelson’s delightful surroundings are enticingly nearby.

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Explore the multitude of wineries on offer and the stunning natural wonders of Abel Tasman National Park. Beautiful beaches, glittering lakes and mountains lie tantalizingly within reach.

6. Dunedin [SEE MAP]


© Adrian Gilfillan / Dreamstime

Known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin’s Scottish heritage is immediately apparent; a Victorian railway greets you, alongside numerous statues and monuments to famous Scots. With the oldest university in New Zealand, Dunedin is a youthful place with an energetic feel, and there are lots of great bars and a pumping nightlife scene.

Lovely Victorian buildings dot the city, which is quite picturesque given its prime location around the port. From here, you can easily explore the wilds of the nearby Otago Peninsula.

5. Wellington [SEE MAP]


© Hardyuno / Dreamstime

Delightfully located on a harbor with mountains surrounding it, Wellington is the scenic capital of the country and certainly lives up to its nickname as the ‘Windy City’. Lovely wooden buildings pour down the mountainsides to the waterfront, and there is a fantastic arts and culture scene for visitors to enjoy, with great museums, galleries and theaters on offer.

Set at the bottom of the North Island, there’s a thriving café and craft brewery scene. The quality restaurants and pumping nightlife make Wellington a great place to visit or live.

4. Rotorua [SEE MAP]


Lying on the shores of the lake after which it is named, Rotorua is renowned for its fabulous hot springs and geysers that are absolutely everywhere. Situated at the heart of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, the city is the North Island’s most popular tourist destination – steam and spray constantly cloud its streets and the scent of sulfur hangs heavy in the air.

While its parks and nature reserves are home to vents, fissures and lakes, a sizeable Maori population invigorates the town with their art, culture and history. Although the restaurants and bars aren’t anything to write home about, this volcanic landscape, with its fantastic natural wonders and plethora of outdoor activities, makes Rotorua a mesmerising city to visit.

3. Queenstown [SEE MAP]


© BiancoBlue / Dreamstime

In addition to its stunning location on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the spectacular mountains surrounding Queenstown make for one of the most beautiful scenes in the whole country. While it is certainly blessed in terms of scenic settings, the city also has a fantastic arts scene for visitors to enjoy, as well as some delicious dining, delightful bars and excellent vineyards.

Most people, however, visit Queensland because it is known as the ‘adventure capital of the world’ – there are over 220 hair-raising activities for you to try. Whether it’s skiing, bungee jumping or zip-lining, paragliding or mountaineering, Queenstown has it all. Its marvelous natural wonders are the perfect place to experience that rush of adrenaline.

2. Christchurch [SEE MAP]


© Christian Mueringer / Dreamstime

A delightful city that is the largest in the South Island, Christchurch is currently being rebuilt after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes that devastatingly struck, destroying so many of its buildings. New buildings and businesses are opening up all the time, and the buzz about the place makes it a vibrant city on the move.

Known as the ‘Garden City’, it is a pleasant, leafy place – there are lots of parks, museums and galleries for you to visit. With a very English feel about it, Christchurch’s beaches on the Pacific Ocean and sizeable Pacific Islander population give a different flavor to it. From here you can go ballooning, river-rafting or trekking in the nearby countryside.

1. Auckland [SEE MAP]


© Rafael Ben Ari / Dreamstime

One of the best places to live in the world in terms of quality of life, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and the first point of entry for most people. First impressions immediately ‘wow’ you, as its two lovely harbors glitter in the sun and numerous volcanic cones reach towards the heavens.

On the outskirts of the city, lush farmlands stretch towards the horizon. Known as the ‘City of Sails’ its surrounding waters are full of yachts and sailboats, while skyscrapers impressively rise up just beyond the waterfront and lots of little islands lie not far from the city. A laidback place with a provincial feel to it, Auckland is actually the biggest Polynesian city in the world.

With trendy shops, fantastic beaches and a wealth of great restaurants and bars, the city has loads for you to do. There are breathtaking views to be had from any one of its volcanic summits. With hot springs, rainforest reserves and gorgeous wineries just outside the city, Auckland has it all.

24 Famous New Zealand Tourist Attractions That One Should Visit In 2022

Skyline of Auckland is a popular one among top tourist places in New Zealand

Backdrop for the legendary “Lord of the Rings” movies, New Zealand is a place with heavenly middle Earth beauty. Cascading waterfalls, deep fjords, hot water spring, steaming geysers, untamed wilds, clear beaches and dazzling glaciers; it’s just the beginning of its beautiful story. There are so many wonderful places to visit in New Zealand that it’s hard for people to decide which one to keep on the bucket list and which one to miss. Here is an attempt to sort this out with our list of most beautiful and famous New Zealand tourist attractions.

Top 24 Places To Visit In New Zealand

New Zealand is a country that is filled with a number of beautiful places. The list is actually very long and if you have to cover it all, it will at least take you more than one visit. However, out of all the places, there are certain destinations that obviously have more significance than the others. These are the places that you simply cannot count out of your list. These places reflect the true beauty of the country. Make sure that you include all these places to visit in New Zealand while planning your next trip. Here is the list of the top New Zealand tourist attractions:

1. Bay Of Islands

The beauty of island strands in Bay of Islands – the top New Zealand tourist attraction

One of the most popular New Zealand tourist attractions, Bay of Islands is a haven for yachts and sailing boats. Pearls of 144 islands adorn the necklace of Bay of Islands. Kayak along the coast, hike the island trails, enjoy in secluded coves, and explore undisturbed forests. Abundant marine life including dolphins, whales, big marlin, and penguins make for a popular fishing spot. All of these together makes the spot an ideal tourist destination in New Zealand.

Ritz Factor: Yachting and sailing spot.
Don’t Miss: Hole in the Rock, the famous rock formation.

How to reach:

  • By air: Auckland Airport is well connected with major international cities. Air New Zealand flight operate in tandem from Auckland to Bay of Island Airport, which is also known as Kerikeri Airport.
  • By road: Bay of Islands is well connected with Auckland by road. Intercity buses and taxis operate from Auckland to Bay of Islands. The 193 km distance takes 3 hours to cover by state highways.

Best time to visit: February – March
Stay options near Bay of Islands: Paradise on the Strand, Sea Spray Suites, Veronica House, and Arcadia Lodge
Location: Northland

2. Tongariro National Park

Tongariro-National-Park_22nd oct

Towering volcanoes, untamed forests, arid plateaus, hot springs, herb fields, turquoise lakes and lush meadows pitch for a melodramatic scenery. One of the oldest national parks in the world and best places to visit in New Zealand, Tongariro is a land of stunning beauty and natural wonders. Add in a visit to the Lake Taupo, and you are set for a surprisingly delightful day.

Ritz Factor: Mineral rich turquoise water lakes and melodramatic sceneries
Don’t Miss: Taranaki Falls and lava line of volcanic eruptions

How to reach:

  • By air: Auckland (345 km) & Wellington (288 km) Airports are the closest you can get to Tongariro National Park by air from major cities across the world. Book a cab or take a transport bus from the airport to reach Whakapapa Village- the gateway to Tongariro National Park.
  • By road: Regular buses operate from Auckland to Tongariro National Park daily. By road it takes almost 7 hours to reach the national park.

Best time to visit: December – February

Stay options: Adventure Lodge and Motel, Chateau Tongariro Hotel, Pipers Lodge, and National Park Tavern

Location: Manawatu-Wanganui 4691, New Zealand

3. Rotorua

The dramatic beauty of Rotorua with lava lines and steaming water

Rotorua is one such geothermal region in the world which has a bit of dramatic topography. It is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Dramatic, isn’t it? Steaming geysers, boiling mud pools, hissing thermal springs and volcanic craters add to its already startling topography. Stroll around these geothermal wonders and soak in the minerals-rich water. Options like sky diving, luging, trekking, and mountain biking make it a must visit place in New Zealand for adventurous souls.

Ritz Factor: Geothermal wonders and red lava lines are dominant features of this tourist attraction in New Zealand.
Don’t Miss: Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Pool, and Trout Fishing.

How to reach:

  • By air: Wellington Airport (450 km) is well connected with major cities across the world. Intercity bus services and cabs are available from airport to Rotorua.
  • By road: Coaches, shuttles and taxis run in tandem from Auckland to Rotorua. The ride via road takes a good 2.5 hours to reach Rotorua.

Best time to visit: November – April

Stay options: Millenium Hotel, Arista of Rotorua, Rydges Hotel, and Quest Hotel

Location: North Island

4. Napier In Hawke’s Bay

The picturesque town of Napier in Hawke

Gourmet food and Art Deco – These two things define the Napier region, one of the best places to visit in New Zealand to take a peek in the Maori World. Spanish Mission style architecture and Art Deco design buildings line this city. Some of them are even adorned with Maori motifs. Also, gourmet restaurants in this place are to die for. Unique procedures and equally unique recipes, make even the regular dishes worthwhile.

Ritz Factor: Gourmet dining scenes and Art Deco architecture.
Don’t Miss: Yearly Art Deco weekend in February. Also, the Gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers is a must visit among the famous New Zealand tourist attractions.

How to reach:

  • By air: Napier’s Hawkes Bay Airport is almost 450 km from Auckland Airport, the international airport well connected with major airports across the world. Napier’s Hawkes Bay can be reached by local flights from Air New Zealand. By road it’s 5-hour drive.
  • By road: Overnight inter city buses operate from Auckland to Napier and take 6 to 8 hours usually.

Best time to visit: July – August

Stay options: The Country Hotel Napier, The Crown Hotel Napier, Art Deco Masonic Hotel, and Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Location: Hawke’s Bay

5. Auckland

Skyline of Auckland is a popular one among top tourist places in New Zealand

Two shimmering harbors, the Manukau Harbor and the Waitemata Harbor, are the main jewels of the Auckland crown. Rainforests, wild hike trails, hidden coves, picturesque islands, and mysterious volcanoes make this city a perfect base for adventure lovers. Unusual black and gold beaches set the backdrop for amazing pictures and memories. It is quite popular among top New Zealand tourist places.

Ritz Factor: Black sand beaches, gold sand beaches, and two sparkling harbors.
Don’t Miss: Sky Tower – the 328 meters high tower to zoom in on the stunning expanse. Also, don’t even think about missing the Orbit revolving restaurant.

How to reach:

  • By air: One of the major cities in the North Island, Auckland is well connected with major international cities. Auckland is well-connected with most of the cities of New Zealand by road

Best time to visit: June – September

Stay options: Skycity Grand, Off Broadway Motel, Warkworth Lodge, and Parklane Motor Lodge

Location: Auckland

6. Coromandel Peninsula

The expanse of Coromandel Peninsula is one of the must see places to see in New Zealand if you love the calm

Coromandel Peninsula is one of the best places to visit in Northern New Zealand. A sublime world, away from the city’s hustle-bustle, Coromandel Peninsula is a paradise for complacent people who look for peace around them. The beaches here are famous for their golden sand. Indulge in hiking, kayaking, and skydiving at this New Zealand tourist attraction.

Ritz Factor: A surreal world away from the hustle.
Don’t Miss: Thames – a small city famous for its gold mining history; and the Hot Water Beach – dig your own hot water pool here.

How to reach:

  • By air: Auckland Airport is the closest you can get to Coromandel Peninsula by air. Local flights take 30 minutes to reach Whitianga (Coromandel Peninsula) from Auckland. The peninsula is 1.5 hour drive from Auckland by road.
  • By road: The scenic drive from Auckland, Hamilton or Rotorua Airport is very well connected by intercity buses and cars. The drive from Auckland takes almost 1.5 hour.
  • By ferry: Regular ferries operate from Auckland to Coromandel town. The 2-hour ride is one of the most exciting things to do in the North Island region.
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Best time to visit: September – November

Stay options: Anchor Lodge Coromandel, Aotearoa Lodge, Beachfront Resort, and Beachside Resort Whitianga

Location: Kaimarama 3591, New Zealand

7. Queenstown

The picture perfect view of Queenstown – adventure capital of New Zealand

Country’s adventure capital, Queenstown is one of the top tourist destinations of New Zealand. Bungee jumping, white-water rafting, jet boating, rock climbing, paragliding, hiking, downhill skiing, mountain biking; the list of adrenaline-fueled sports is endless at this top tourist attraction in New Zealand.

Ritz Factor: Loads and loads of adventure sports.
Don’t Miss: Explore gold mining towns and landscapes of snow-clad peaks of Remarkables Range.

How to reach:

  • By air: Queenstown International Airport on the South Island is well connected with other major cities across the globe.
  • By road: Intercity buses from Christchurch (354 km) and Auckland (1028 km) commute to Queenstown at regular intervals. Drive down to the city to enjoy one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand.

Best time to visit: June – August

Stay options: The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments, Heritage Queenstown, Coronation Lodge, and Adventure Queenstown Hostel

Location: South Island, New Zealand

8. Fiordland National Park

Fiordland-National-Park_23rd oct

Home to some of the best walking trails, Fiordland National Park boasts of spectacular beauty. Whispering waterfalls, offshore islands, stretched lakes, undisturbed forests, high mountain peaks and gushing cascades make sure that you don’t have a dull moment in here. The popular ways to explore the fjords are sea kayaking or flights for bird’s eye views to enjoy this must see place in New Zealand.

Ritz Factor: Home base to famous fjords and striking beauty.
Don’t Miss: Famous fjords of Milford Sound, Dusky Sound, and Doubtful Sound.

How to reach:

  • By air: Queenstown airport is the closest you can get to Fiordland National Park by air. Located at a distance of 235 km from Queenstown the national park can be reached by taking a bus or driving in to Te Anau – also known as the gateway to the park
  • By road: State highway buses ply from Invercargill or Queenstown. The 156 km distance from Invercargill to Fiordland National Park takes around 3 hours by road.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Stay options: Fiordland National Park Lodge, Aden Motel, Distinction Luxmore Hotel Te Anau, and Mintaro Hut

Location: 116 Little Park Lane, Te Anau 9600, New Zealand

9. Fox And Franz Josef Glaciers

The stunning landscape of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier – the best place to visit in New Zealand

The Franz Josef and Fox glaciers are one the most accessible glacial rivers in the world, and thus make it to list of best tourist attractions in New Zealand. The frozen landscapes of ice caves and mountain peaks at the foot of the glacier are a norm here. Walk over or ride a helicopter, do whatever you want to do but do not miss these amazing natural wonders.

Ritz Factor: World’s most accessible glaciers and best frozen sceneries
Don’t Miss: Guided hikes to these glaciers are an experience which you shouldn’t miss.

How to reach:

  • By air: Christchurch (5.5 hour drive) and Queenstown (5 hour drive) are the nearest and most accessible international airport from Franz Josef Glacier.
  • By road: Buses and cabs are available from Christchurch, Wanaka, and Queenstown to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Drive down to the place to experience a surreal driving experience

Best time to visit: June – August

Stay options: Aspen Court Franz Josef, YHA Franz Josef Glacier, Alpine Glacier Motel, and Franz Josef Oasis

Location: West Coast 7886, New Zealand

10. Abel Tasman National Park

Franz-Josef-Glacier_24th oct

The vast expanse of Abel Tasman National Park is a hiker’s dream come true. Wilderness with weathered rock formations set the background of this national park. The Tasman Coast Trek is the icing on the cake. Clear beaches and sparkling water lure tourists to themselves. Snorkel, hike, trek, camp or relax; the options are numerous here. And the sightings of rare birds like blue penguins, wekas, wood pigeons, and oystercatchers can make a photographer’s day.

Ritz Factor: Exotic bird sightings and weathered rock formations.
Don’t Miss: Split Apple Rock – a gigantic granite boulder spliced in two.

How to reach:

  • By air: Nelson Airport is the nearest airstrip to Abel Tasman, which is pretty accessible from major cities across the world. The 60 km distance from Nelson to the national park can be covered in 1-hour via State Highway 60.
  • By road: Regular buses and cabs ply from Marahau (5-minute), Motueka (30-minute), Nelson (1-hour drive) to Abel Tasman National Park.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Stay options: Kimi Ora Eco Resort, Kaiteri Lodge, Abel Tasman Lodge, and Riwaka Retreat

Location: South Island 7183, New Zealand

11. Mount Cook National Park

The breathtakingly beautiful Mount Cook National Park is one of the stunning tourist places in New Zealand

Well, Mount Cook National Park, also known as Aoraki National Park, is the base of tallest mountain peak – Mount Cook and longest glacier – Tasman Glacier. This is the place where the legendary Edmund Hillary trained to ascend the heights of ginormos Mount Everest. A top destination for mountaineers, its pristine glaciers and serene beauty will catch your breathe. Surely justified for being among the top rated best places to visit in New Zealand!

Ritz Factor: A top mountaineering destination.
Don’t Miss: Mount Cook Village to satisfy you’re your inner adventurer with the offerings such as ski-touring, heli-skiing, hiking, stargazing and hunting.

How to reach:

  • By air: Christchurch and Queenstown airports are 2.5 hour drive from Mackenzie region (Mount Cook National Park). The international airports in Christchurch and Queenstown are well connected with other major cities around the world. Chartered flights are also available from these international airports to Mount Cook Airport.
  • By road: Intercity buses are available from Christchurch, Queenstown, and Wellington. Take a bus or book a cab to reach Mount Cook Village. The national park is a 15-minute drive from the village.

Best time to visit: July – Sptember

Stay options: The Westhaven, The Hermitage Hotel, Bella Vista Motel Fox Glacier, and YHA Aoraki Mt Cook

Location: Canterbury 7999, New Zealand

12. Kaikoura

A whale diving in the sea at Kaikoura is among the top places to visit in New Zealand

Seafood connoisseur, wildlife fanatics, bird watchers and natural beauty devotees find this place hard to resist. The taste of fresh crawfish, blue cod and mussels will tantalize your taste buds. Spotting of humpbacks, sperm whales, fur seals, dolphins and albatross, among the extensive wildlife here, against the stunning landscapes of Kaikoura, one of the top places to visit in New Zealand, will lift your spirits to a whole new level.

Ritz Factor: Tropical wildlife and best seafood.
Don’t Miss: At this New Zealand tourist attraction, whale watching tours and coastal hikes should not be missed.

How to reach:

  • By air: Christchurch International Airport is the nearest airstrip to Kaikoura, which is well connected with other major cities around the world. At a distance of 180 km from Christchurch, it takes 2.5 hours to reach Kaikoura by road.
  • By road: Intercity buses and cabs run in tandem from Christchurch to Kaikoura. Travel time is 2.5 hours.

Best time to visit: April, June, and October

Stay options: Alpine View Motel, Heritage Court Motor Lodge, Anchor Inn Motel, and Aspen Court Motel

Location: South Island

13. Milford Sound

milford sound cruise

Image Source
Termed as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Milford Sound is one of those unmissable places to visit in New Zealand. Surrounded by glaciers, the landscapes of Milford Sound is amazingly beautiful. The best way to explore the place is by boat. Explore the waterfalls and wildlife around the area on a cruise. You can even go for kayaking tour if you want. If you are already pleased by exploring the surface of the water, then you can go underneath the surface with a visit to the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory. This is the only underwater observatory in New Zealand. You can go 30 feet deep into the water and experience a 360 degrees underwater view.

Ritz Factor: Beautiful waterfalls and amazing wildlife.
Don’t Miss: The underwater experience at the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory.
How To Reach:

  • By air: It is only 40 minutes away from Queenstown if you are to take a flight.
  • By road: It is a 2 hour 30-minute drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound. You can easily take a car ride to your destination while enjoying the scenic views on the road.

Best time to visit: November to March
Stay options: Matakauri Lodge, Kamana Lakehouse, Mercure Resort, Reavers Lodge and Browns Boutique Hotel.

Location: N/A

14. Waiheke Island

 Waiheke Island New Zealand

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Located just half n’ hour away from Downtown Auckland, Waiheke Island can be reached by boat and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in New Zealand. This is the ideal place for all the wine lovers out there. The place is home to a number of vineyards. While visiting this place you simply cannot miss out on going to the wine tours. You can relish the samples of 14 different wines on the wine tours. Expert guides will guide you to the three vineyards where you can taste some of the finest quality wines. Well, there is other stuff as well that you can do at the Waiheke island other than just enjoying wine. The island is also very popular for its beaches, the art community, olive groves, and forests. It is advised that you opt for a hiking trip or a culture tour while you are here.

Ritz Factor: The land for all wine lovers.
Don’t Miss: The delicious wine tours.
How To Reach:

  • By air: You can reach the island by a Sea Plane.
  • By road: It is a 35-minute ferry ride from Downtown Auckland. You can take your vehicle along with you on the car ferry. Once you reach the island, you can avail plenty of taxis and buses. You can also hire a motorcycle or bike or car to explore the place.

Best time to visit: April
Stay options: The Boatshed, Enclosure Bay, Waiheke Island Resort and Tawa Lodge Waiheke Island.

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

15. Christchurch

christchurch new zealand

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Christchurch is one of the main tourist attractions in New Zealand. Despite the fact that four massive earthquakes between the period 2010 and 2011 had completely left the city in ruins, it has still managed to spring back to life. You can witness the rebirth of the city everywhere. Starting from new buildings to shopping malls everything has been reconstructed again. The main attractions of the city include the beautiful Botanic Gardens where you can enjoy the lovely walking tracks, conservatories, and horticulture displays. The garden is also home to some of the oldest, tallest, and largest trees in New Zealand. Explore both the new and old Christchurch on the gondola. You can enjoy a scenic ride of the Mt. Cavendish on the cable car.

Ritz Factor: The beautiful city that came back to life.
Don’t Miss: The ride on the Christchurch Gondola over the top of the Mt. Cavendish.
How To Reach:

  • By air: The nearest airport is the Christchurch International Airport which is located 12 km away from the city center.
  • By road: You can opt for the daily passenger service that connects Christchurch and Dunedin via the state highway 1.

Best time to visit: March To May
Stay options: Accra Beach hotel and spa, Sunday hotel, Blue orchids beach hotel, Blue horizon hotel, and Dover beach hotel.

Location: East Coast

16. White Island

White island NZ

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If you want to try something more thrilling on your trip then White Island is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand. It is the most active volcano in the country. This place is ideal for all the adventurous travelers who would like to make their trip a memorable one. You can take a helicopter ride over the White Island while enjoying the stunning view of the volcanic landscape. Since this is an area of active volcanoes, you are required to wear gas masks and hard hats. If you are lucky enough then you can even watch volcanologists monitoring the volcanoes. You can even take on the island by a boat. For the travelers who are fearless, they can even go for scuba diving around the White Island and explore the underwater vents of the volcanoes.

Ritz Factor: Scenic beauty of the active volcanoes.
Don’t Miss: Scuba diving around the White Island.
How To Reach:

  • By air: You can take a flight from Tauranga Airport and reach White Island within 30 minutes. The nearest airport is Whakatane Airport from where you can get daily flights to White Islands as well.
  • By road: You can take a car ride from any of the cities from the North Island like Auckland, Tauranga, and Hamilton. You can also avail bus services like the Intercity and Naked bus which runs to and from Rotorua.
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Best time to visit: September to April.
Stay options: Medano island resort, Balai sa Baibai, Kurma eco beach lodge, and Paras beach resort.

Location: Bay of Plenty 3120, New Zealand

17. Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley

Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley

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The list of best places to visit in New Zealand is just incomplete without the mention of the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. Here you can witness the Maori arts at the Maori arts and crafts institute which is located in Rotorua’s Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. At the Maori heritage center, you can enjoy the most popular ‘steam box’ meal which is prepared using ancient geothermal cooking techniques. Travelers can also experience a special Maori welcome ceremony that includes traditional songs and dance performances. One of the main attractions of the place is the largest active geyser, Pohutu which is located in the southern hemisphere. Other than that you can also enjoy the mud pools which is yet another highlight of the area.

Ritz Factor: The land of the Maori culture and heritage.
Don’t Miss: Exploring the largest active geyser Pohutu.
How To Reach:

  • By air: The nearest airport is the Rotorua’s Regional airport. You can get flights to and from Wellington, Queenstown, and Auckland.
  • By road: You can avail bus services in order to reach the geothermal valley. You can catch a bus from Auckland which will take you around 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Best time to visit: March to May
Stay options: Novotel Rotorua Lakeside, ibis Rotorua, Milleniuk hotel Rotorua and Holiday Inn Rotorua.

Location: 3040 Hemo Road, Tihiotonga, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

18. Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Waitomo Caves

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If you wish to experience something really beautiful and unique then this could be the idle place for you. The cave is naturally illuminated by thousands of glowworms. This is a site which you have never seen in your life before. This is actually one of the most unique places to visit in New Zealand. To explore the caves, you can take a boat ride through it and learn about the science and history behind the entire phenomenon. By visiting this place you can have a completely different experience which is hard to duplicate anywhere else. Thousands of tourists are attracted to the caves because they want to witness this beautiful phenomenon with their own eyes.

Ritz Factor: The unique site of thousands of glowworms.
Don’t Miss: The boat ride through the cave.
How To Reach:

  • By air: You can take a flight from Auckland in order to reach the Waitomo Caves.
  • By road: By road, it is going to take you around 2 hours in order to reach Waitomo Caves from Auckland. There are a number of bus services that you can avail to reach your destination.

Best time to visit: November to April.
Stay options: Waitomo Caves hotel, Waitomo caves guest lodge, Hotel kiwi paka Waitomo and Abseil Inn.

Location: 39 Waitomo Village Road, Waitomo 3977, New Zealand

19. Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

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If you are into hiking, then this could be the ideal destination for you. This place is suitable for an actual glacier hiking in New Zealand. Other than hiking tours, you can also opt for an aerial view from a chopper. Tours around here provide you with everything. From hiking to mountain climbing, you can enjoy it all around here. This place is ideal for all the adventure and sports lover as you can get plenty of activities to get involved. You can also enjoy soaking in the glacier hot pools and relax. These pools are fed from the Franz Josef Glacier. If you want a more luxurious enjoyment, then you can even opt for a private pool as well.

Ritz Factor: a Best spot for hiking and mountain climbing.
Don’t Miss: Soaking yourself in the glacier hot pools after a long day of exploration.
How To Reach:

  • By air: You can take a flight from the Christchurch International Airport in order to reach your destination.
  • By road: You can take a car ride from Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier. It is a five-hour long route. You can enjoy the scenic view of the road while traveling.

Best time to visit: November to February.
Stay options: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier, Aspen Court Motel Franz Josef, rainforest Retreat Franz Josef, The Terrace Motel Franz Josef, and Franz Josef Oasis.

Location: West Coast 7886, New Zealand

20. Muriwai Beach

waves crashing at Muriwai beach

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Another great destination that is worth visiting in New Zealand is the Muriwai beach. Located just 40 minutes away from the Auckland city, the beach offers you with great scenic views. The killer sunsets, the massive sand dunes, and amazing surf, all of these together contributes to the beauty of the place. It can be said that this is one of the best holiday spots in the whole of New Zealand. During your visit to this stunning beach, you simply cannot afford to miss visiting the Gannet Colony that overlooks two beautiful bays. This is where you will find thousands of birds flying just over your head. It is a beautiful site that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Ritz Factor: Stunning scenic beauty
Don’t Miss: Visiting the Gannet colony
How To Reach:

  • By air: You can take a flight from Auckland airport in order to reach your destination.
  • By road: You can get plenty of bus services from Auckland to reach Muriwai Beach.

Best time to visit: August To April
Stay options: Muriwai Beach B&B, 216 Luxury Accommodation Auckland, Bush Sand, and Sea and Coast Retreat Muriwai.

Location: North Island

21. Milford Sound

Milford Sound New Zealand

New Zealand is a place full of adventures and another interesting place to visit here is Milford Sound. Situated towards the southwest of South Island, this is a fiord in New Zealand. It is famous with locals and foreigners for its beauty as it encompasses the magnificent Mitre Peak, lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls. The fiord also house the gorgeous fur seals, dolphins and penguins. Take a boat tour on your visit to Milford Sound in New Zealand.

Ritz Factor: cascading Stirling and Bowen waterfalls
Don’t Miss: Watching rare black coral at Underwater Observatory

How to reach:

  • By air: Queenstown Airport offers flights to Milford Sound. There are air tours too that one can choose to enjoy from Queenstown.
  • By road: One can get to Milford Sound via road. It is a 5 hours drive to this place from Queenstown and 2 and a half hour drive from Te Anau. One can either hire a cab or take a bus.

Best time to visit: June to August
Stay options nearMilford Sound: Milford Sound Lodge, Ultimate Hikes
Location: Southland 9679, New Zealand

22. Matapouri


Located just 35 km north-east of Whangarei, Matapouri is one of the offbeat tourist destinations in New Zealand. It is a beautiful coastal destination with shimmering white sand. With quite a few holiday homes, it is a beautiful area in Northland to spend a day or two. Whale Bay is just 40 minutes away and the two are connected via a walkway.

Ritz Factor: Mermaid Pools
Don’t Miss: Diving into the emerald Mermaid Pools

How to reach:

  • By air: Whangarei Airport is the closest airport to Matapouri, at a distance of 42 km. One can further hire a car or self drive.
  • By road: Matapouri is connected to the nearby towns via roads, and one can self drive. It is a mere half hour drive from Tutukaka.

Best time to visit: January to June
Stay options near Matapouri: 36 Steps to the Beach, The Riverbank Homestay and B&B,
Location: Northland

23. Piha

One of the best beaches in New Zealand- The black sand beach Piha

A serene seaside village to the west of Auckland, Piha is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand. With a rugged rough coast, it is a breathtaking black sand surf beach. New Zealand is a beautiful country with so many unique experiences to offer through such places like Piha. if you are looking for adventure, then the hills surrounding Piha are amazing locations for nature walks.

Ritz Factor: Black sand Piha beach
Don’t Miss: Surfing and abseiling to the gorgeous Piha Canyon

How to reach:

  • By air: Auckland airport is the nearest airport to Piha at a distance of around 48 km.
  • By road: Auckland is the nearest major city and shuttle buses are available to piha. One can even drive down from the city which is 40 km away.

Best time to visit: November and April
Stay options near Piha: Hotel Romantic Piha, Karekare Beach Lodge
Location: New Zealand’s North Island

24. Wanaka

Lake Wanaka

Offering breathtaking views of the snow capped mountains, Wanaka is a resort town in New Zealand. It is famous for all the adventure activities that one can indulge in around Wanaka. The Snow Farm near Wanaka is the best places to enjoy cross country skiing. If one is game for hiking and trekking then Roy’s Peak is an uphill hike that would take one around 3 hours. Head to this resort town, and spend a good 2-3 days here.

Ritz Factor: Roy’s Peak and snow capped mountains
Don’t Miss: Adventure activities like skydiving, canyoning, and mountaineering

How to reach:

  • By air: Queenstown airport is an hour away from Wanaka, and one can take a shuttle bus or rental cars here.
  • By road: One can self drive to Wanaka too, from any nearby city. Cars are easily available on rent.

Best time to visit: June
Stay options near Wanaka: Bo’s Bach, The Moorings Wanaka
Location: New Zealand’s South Island

So these are some of the best places to visit in New Zealand. Your trip to this amamzing country remains incomplete without visiting these mentioned attractions. You can have a lovely experience and make your trip a memorable one by paying a visit to all these mentioned places. Now, we’ve given you enough fodder to start planning. Get the tickets done and set your itinerary now for your trip to New Zealand!

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Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Zealand Tourist Attractions

What is famous in New Zealand?

New Zealand is known for the Manuka honey, Sheep, wine, Lord of the Rings, kiwifruit and rugby.

What is the most beautiful place in New Zealand?

Tongariro National Park, Waitakere beaches, Golden Bay, Abel Tasman Coast track, The Waikato river are some of the best New Zealand attractions which one must visit.

What is the must do things in New Zealand?

When you’re in New Zealand, make sure to experience the Boogie Board Down Sand Dunes at the 90-Mile beach or go and sail in the Bay of Islands. Apart from that one can also go and Kayak around the Cathedral cove or walk inside the Glowworm caves in Waitomo.

What to see in New Zealand for 2 weeks?

When you’re traveling to New Zealand for 2 weeks make sure to visit Auckland, Waiheke Island, Waitomo caves, Rotorua, Taupo and Wellington.

Is New Zealand expensive?

While in New Zealand the major cities which one covers is Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. And among this the most expensive city is Auckland.

Which New Zealand island is the most beautiful?

The North Island of New Zealand has traditional white-sand beaches which are ideal for swimming. While in the island’s south there are volcanoes around Tongariro National Park.

Is New Zealand worth visiting?

New Zealand is a country which is known for natural reserves and marine reserves which must be visited at least once in a lifetime. And apart from that New Zealand is also the place which has adventure activities.

Which is the best island to visit in New Zealand?

The South Island is the best island to visit in New Zealand which is known for the Routeburn track, the Milford track and the Abel Tasman coast track which are unique in their own way.

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