Best Places To Visit in New Zealand

Best Places To Visit in New Zealand

Top 10 Best Places to Visit in New Zealand

Kevin Andrew Ordoñez
PUBLISHED ONDecember 13, 2023

There's no better way to enjoy a day trip or even a whole week in New Zealand than by driving through its breathtaking views and beautiful beaches. As you navigate the roads, you can't miss out on the popular activities that offer spectacular views of the landscapes. Driving in New Zealand brings you closer to many popular attractions that will keep you busy and thrilled.

New Zealand is not just for the eyes, it's also a treat for your taste buds. From traditional dishes to modern cuisine, every meal is a unique experience.

Stay with us as we take you through the best places to visit in New Zealand.


Located on the South Island, Queenstown is known as the "Adventure Capital of New Zealand". With its stunning mountainous backdrop and crystal clear lakes, it's no wonder it's a popular destination for adrenaline junkies.

You can go bungee jumping off Kawarau Bridge, jet boating on the Shotover River, or paragliding over Lake Wakatipu. But if extreme sports are not your thing, don't worry, there's still plenty to do in this charming town. Take a scenic gondola ride up Bob's Peak for breathtaking views and indulge in some delicious Fergburger - a must-try when in Queenstown.


Auckland, also known as the "City of Sails", is New Zealand's largest city and is a must-visit for any traveller. It's not just a sprawling city, it's a kaleidoscope of culture, adventure, and natural beauty. The heart of Auckland city is downtown Auckland, a bustling hub filled with shops, restaurants, and beautiful sights. From the Auckland airport, a quick trip to downtown Auckland will start your adventure.

One of the best ways to see Auckland is by a boat ride or boat tour. You can explore the stunning coastlines, take in the sights of downtown Auckland from the water, or visit the beautiful Waiheke Island. Downtown Auckland, Waiheke Island is an easy boat ride away and is known for its stunning beaches, olive groves, and vineyards.

Whether you're exploring the city streets, taking a boat tour, or hopping on a plane at Auckland airport, Auckland is a city that's sure to amaze you with its beauty and charm.

Fiordland National Park

Located in the Southwest of the South Island, Fiordland National Park is one of the most majestic places you can visit in New Zealand. It's like stepping into a magical world. The park is known for its breathtaking fjords, including Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. These are nature's masterpieces with towering cliffs, thundering waterfalls, and snowy peaks.

The views are a feast for the eyes, with every turn revealing a new, awe-inspiring landscape. Fiordland National Park also offers a variety of outdoor activities, which can range from cruising on the fjords, kayaking, hiking, or simply capturing the beauty around you with your camera.

This place is a haven for those who appreciate the great outdoors and beautiful scenery. If you're looking for unforgettable eye views, Fiordland National Park is a place you can't miss when in New Zealand.


For a unique and unforgettable experience, head to Rotorua on the North Island. This city is known for its geothermal wonders, making it a must-visit destination in New Zealand. You can witness bubbling mud pools, hot springs, and even walk through active volcanic landscapes.

But Rotorua is not just about nature's wonders, it's also rich in Maori culture and traditions. You can visit the Tamaki Maori Village for an authentic cultural experience, watch traditional performances, and indulge in a delicious hangi feast cooked using geothermal steam.

Bay of Islands

Located on the North Island, the Bay of Islands is a stunning region filled with beautiful sandy beaches, secluded coves, and crystal clear waters. It's a popular destination for those who want to relax and take in the natural beauty of New Zealand.

The seaside town of Paihia is a great place to base yourself while exploring the Bay of Islands. From there, you can take boat trips to the famous "Hole in the Rock" on Piercy Island, go dolphin watching, or explore the small island villages. The calm waters of the Bay of Islands also make it a perfect spot for water activities such as kayaking and swimming.

With its pristine beaches and picturesque views, the Bay of Islands is a must-visit destination for those seeking a peaceful and scenic experience in New Zealand.

Abel Tasman National Park

If you're looking for picture-perfect beaches and stunning coastal walks, then Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island is the place to be. This park is home to some of the country's most beautiful golden beaches, with clear turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and kayaking.

You can take a scenic cruise or walk along the coastal tracks to explore the beauty of this park. And if you're lucky, you may even spot some of New Zealand's unique wildlife, such as seals and dolphins.

After a day of exploring, head to Golden Bay, a small coastal town near the park. Here, you can relax on the beach, go fishing, or indulge in some wine tasting at one of the local wineries.

The region is an International Dark Sky Reserve with minimal light pollution, so be sure to keep an eye on the forecast.

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

Another must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers is Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Located in the heart of the South Island, this park is home to New Zealand's highest peak, Mount Cook, standing at 3,724 meters.

The park boasts breathtaking scenery, with snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and turquoise lakes. It's a paradise for hikers and mountaineers, with various trails ranging from easy walks to challenging climbs. You can also take a scenic flight or helicopter tour to get a bird's eye view of the stunning landscapes.

While visiting, don't miss out on the nearby Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, known as Glacier Country. Here, you can take guided glacier walks or scenic helicopter flights to witness these natural wonders up close. And after a day of exploring, relax in the Glacier Hot Pools for a rejuvenating experience surrounded by nature.

Stewart Island

Located at the very bottom of New Zealand, Stewart Island is a hidden gem that's waiting to be discovered. This island is a paradise for those who love nature and adventure. One of the best things to do here is exploring the Rakiura National Park, where you'll find stunning forests, beautiful beaches, and a variety of wildlife.

Don't miss the chance to do some birdwatching, as the island is home to many unique bird species. If you're into adventure activities, you can go hiking, camping, or even try your luck at fishing.

Stewart Island is also known for its seafood, especially oysters, which are a real treat for food lovers. After a day of exploring, you can relax in one of the coastal cities and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the island.

Lake Tekapo

Don't forget to add Lake Tekapo to your New Zealand itinerary. This beautiful lake, known for its bright turquoise color, is simply mesmerizing. The surrounding landscapes are just as beautiful, with wildflowers in summer and snow-capped mountains in winter making it a scenic paradise. You can go kayaking, stargazing, or just enjoy a leisurely walk along the lake.

Lastly, make sure to visit the Hot Water Beach, one of New Zealand's most unique attractions. Here, you can dig your own hot pool in the sand and enjoy a natural spa experience right on the beach! Just remember to check the tide times before you go. With its pristine beaches, thrilling adventure activities, and incredible natural beauty, New Zealand truly has something for everyone.

Other Must-Visit Locations

Here are some other fantastic spots you might want to visit on your trip to New Zealand:

  • Tongariro National Park: This beautiful park is home to active volcanoes, tranquil forests, and unique alpine meadows. It's a great place for hiking and offers fantastic photo opportunities.
  • Waimangu Volcanic Valley: This is the world's youngest geothermal system! You can walk through the valley, see the steaming landscapes, and even ride a boat on the lake.
  • Hawke's Bay: Known for its delicious food and fine wine, Hawke's Bay is a food lover's paradise. It has a sunny, warm climate perfect for growing grapes and other fruits.
  • Mount Maunganui: This extinct volcanic cone offers a rewarding hike to the summit where you can see stunning panoramic views of the ocean and city. The sandy beach at the base is perfect for a relaxing beach day.
  • Rangitoto Island: Just a short ferry ride from Auckland, this island is home to the youngest volcano in New Zealand. A walk to the top offers incredible views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf.
  • White Island: If you're interested in volcanoes, then this is a must-visit. It's New Zealand's most active cone volcano. You can even take a helicopter tour to see it from above!

Closing Thoughts

From accessible glaciers to enchanting movie sets, and everything in between, New Zealand is a country that will leave you speechless. With its stunning landscapes, unique wildlife, and diverse culture, it's an ideal destination for anyone seeking adventure and natural beauty.

If you are planning on renting a car in New Zealand, make sure to bring your valid driver's license from your home country as well as your international driving permit to avoid unnecessary hassles.

Ask for a driving guide from your car rental company to familiarize yourself with the road rules and signs as they may differ from your home country. Always wear your seatbelt, avoid driving under the influence of alcohol, and drive safely.

Have a safe and enjoyable trip to New Zealand, and don't forget to take lots of photos and create unforgettable memories!

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