When a country is as beautiful as New Zealand, it’s hard to decide what to see here because everything is just so stunning. Lakes, mountains, beaches, snow-clad ranges, glaciers, rivers – all sorts of natural topographical features grace this island country and that’s without even including the amazing Maori culture or the cosmopolitan cities. The number of places to visit in New Zealand are simply too many to count.
While there are plenty of New Zealand tourist places, you have to ideally decide what you want to see so it becomes easier for you to choose. Below are some of the must visit places in NZ and if you’re eager to plan your trip, then do remember to check the SOTC website for offers and deals on New Zealand packages which will make your holiday hassle-free and fun.
Here’s a list of must visit places in New Zealand, based on the sort of activity or sightseeing you want to do.
If hair-raising activities that lead to emptying your lungs as you scream in delight is your idea of fun, then definitely one of the must visit places in New Zealand is Wanaka if you want to experience the thrill of sky diving. The home of bungy jumping is the Kawarau Bungy site and you won’t be disappointed as you leap off the bridge into the unknown although you’ll be reeled back in safely.
One of the places to visit in New Zealand to experience the unique thrill of rafting through rapids is in Rotorua or Tongariro river in Lake Taupo. Other adventure activities that regularly draw tourists to New Zealand are zip lining, canyoning or heli-skiing.
The great outdoors is simply splendid in New Zealand. While the people here love sports of all kinds, you might find yourself getting interested in a few of these as well. Or well, you could just enjoy them as a spectator. One of the places to go in New Zealand is Hawke’s Bay, especially if you want to see the vineyards and orchards and beaches. But there’s a marathon here as well, which will test your limits.
If mountain biking makes you happy, then do try and go in time for The Pioneer, a six-day mountain bike stage race that starts and ends in Queenstown. Golfing and cycling are some of the other events that bring people to New Zealand.
If you’re headed to New Zealand for a skiing holiday during winter, you can’t go wrong. White vistas as far as the eyes can see are laid before you. The Christchurch-Canterbury region is one of the must visit places in New Zealand if you want to explore the gorgeous slopes and the spectacular terrain. Some of the famous ski resorts here are Mt Hutt, Porters and Craigieburn Valley.
If you’re in the North Island though, why don’t you try skiing on Mt Ruapehu, the only skiable volcano in New Zealand? Old lava flows add to the exciting terrain for skiers, even the intermediate and experienced ones. Other famous ski spots are Queenstown and Wanaka.
For water babies, there’s simply way too much to do here in New Zealand thanks to the seemingly unending coastline. Whether it’s kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds or freshwater kayaking in the Whanganui river, or sailing in the Hauraki Gulf, you’ll be thrilled to indulge in your love for water sports. Some of the must visit places in NZ for diving and snorkelling are the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve off the Tutukaka Coast.
Divers can experience the singular thrill of diving off wrecks and sub-tropical reefs and the waters are clean and clear. Other water activities that will get your heart racing are surfing in Shipwreck Bay, rafting in Lake Taupo's Tongariro River and paddle boarding in Bay of Islands.
The best way to see a country is on foot and if the country is like New Zealand offering verdant paths and thousands of kilometres of walking tracks, what’s keeping you from checking it out? One of the places to go in New Zealand for the magnificent walking trails is North Island. Whether it’s the Lake Waikaremoana Track that takes you through a prehistoric forest in Hawke’s Bay or the Tongariro Northern Circuit that brings you to glinting emerald lakes and even an active volcano, you’ll realise how marvellous it all is.
Some of the places to go to in New Zealand for walking in South Island are the Abel Tasman Coast Track which takes you across white sand beaches and startlingly clear bays. The Routeburn Track is where you need to go if you want to gaze at the awe-inspiring mountain peaks in Fiordland.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a gourmand or a wine connoisseur, you will surely love the food and wine experiences in New Zealand. In fact, if you’re keen on exploring the best wine regions, then go on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail where you can check out the quietly beautiful vineyard restaurants and sip on Bordeaux and Chardonnay. Also, one of the best places to go in New Zealand for wine is Waiheke Island, also known as the Island of Wine, and it’s only a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland.
Some of the places to visit in New Zealand for fresh and tasty seafood are Kaikoura for crayfish, Marlborough for greenshell mussels and the West Coast for whitebait patties. While these may not be typical New Zealand tourist places, do check out Bay of Islands Honey Shop for the famed Manuka honey and don’t forget to try some of the local cheese brands such as Puhoi and Whitestone.