For a lot of vacationers, New Zealand is each a dream vacation spot and a once-in-a-lifetime place to go to. For those who’re planning your first journey to New Zealand, or in the event you’re planning a return journey to see extra of this lovely and wild nation, chances are you’ll need to know which locations in New Zealand are on the prime of the must-see record. Listed here are our picks for the 10 greatest locations to go in New Zealand.
- 1 Bay of Islands
- 2 Milford Sound, New Zealand
- 3 Auckland, New Zealand
- 4 Waiheke Island, New Zealand
- 5 Christchurch, New Zealand
- 6 White Island, New Zealand
- 7 Queenstown, New Zealand
- 8 Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, New Zealand
- 9 Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
- 10 Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
- 11 Extra from SmarterTravel:
Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is among the greatest locations to go in New Zealand for fishing, crusing, and different watersports. The Bay of Islands is about three hours by automotive from Auckland. This beautiful area is made up of 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula.
What’s there to do within the Bay of Islands? Get on or within the water! Attempt scuba diving with Paihia Dive‘s intro-to-diving course. You’ll be ferried far out into the bay to discover an entire new underwater world.
Or rise up shut and private with the marine life within the Bay of Islands on a Fullers GreatSights Dolphin Eco Expertise. You’ll get to view dolphins and whales from the boat and, if circumstances permit, swim with wild dolphins.
Don’t depart the Bay of Islands with out seeing the Gap within the Rock, a gap in a rock formation that you would be able to sail by means of when the tide is true.
The place To Keep: Spend an evening on the historic Duke of Marlborough lodge, which has the excellence of holding the oldest pub license in New Zealand and is situated on a peninsula that sticks straight out into the center of the bay.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Rudyard Kipling referred to as Milford Sound the “eighth marvel of the world,” and when you go to this area of New Zealand, you’ll see why. Shaped by glaciers through the Ice Age, the panorama round Milford Sound nonetheless bears proof of its creation within the type of epic surroundings: Cliffs rise from fjords topped by mountains and waterfalls.
The easiest way to see Milford Sound is by way of boat. Take a sightseeing cruise on the fjord to see waterfalls and wildlife akin to dolphins and penguins. Or navigate the waters underneath your personal steam on a kayaking tour.
When you’ve skilled the water from the floor, go beneath with a go to to the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory. That is the one floating, underwater observatory in New Zealand, and guests can go greater than 30 ft deep (whereas staying dry) and get 360 levels of the underwater setting.
The place To Keep: There aren’t a number of locations to remain near the Sound, however when you’d relatively not drive the three and a half hours from Queenstown, contemplate The Milford Sound Lodge. The lodge presents a number of packages for climbing and boat excursions of the sound, and there actually is not any beating this spot when it comes to entry to the Sound.
Auckland, New Zealand
As each the most important metropolis in New Zealand and its worldwide air-travel hub, Auckland is among the greatest locations to go in New Zealand. Many worldwide flights arrive in New Zealand by way of Auckland Airport, which makes it a really perfect metropolis from which to start out your exploration of New Zealand.
Spend a minimum of a day or two in Auckland—named one of many prime 10 cities on the earth by Lonely Planet—earlier than venturing additional afield in New Zealand. Listed here are our strategies for what to see and do in Auckland:
- Get some tradition by visiting one of many many museums in Auckland, such because the Auckland Artwork Gallery. The Auckland Artwork Gallery is the most important artwork establishment in New Zealand, that includes greater than 15,000 works of historic, trendy, and modern artwork.
- If the climate is good, take a stroll by way of the 185-acre Auckland Area park. When you’re visiting on a Saturday, embrace a cease on the close by Parnell Farmers’ Market, which sells recent produce within the morning.
- Auckland can also be house to a number of multicultural bars and eating places serving up all forms of delicacies, so make sure to dine in downtown Auckland (and exit for a cocktail or two to take a look at the nightlife).
- In the event you’re on the lookout for journey actions in Auckland, think about the Auckland Bridge Climb. And when you’re actually courageous, attempt the Auckland Bridge bungee leap.
- When you’re in search of guided journeys in Auckland, e-book an Auckland Metropolis Tour or an America’s Cup crusing expertise on Waitemata Harbour.
The place To Keep: Regardless of the place you keep in Auckland you’ll be near one thing fascinating. Attempt the lodging at CityLife Auckland, which is inside strolling distance of a number of Auckland highlights just like the harbor, each North and Princes Wharf, and the SkyTower.
Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Just a bit greater than 30 minutes by boat from downtown Auckland is Waiheke Island, the most effective locations to go in New Zealand for wine lovers. For a small island in the midst of Hauraki Gulf, Waiheke Island positive is house to a number of vineyards. To pattern as lots of them as you possibly can in your go to to Waiheke Island, you’ll need to discover another person to drive. Our decide is Waiheke Island Wine Excursions, whose skilled native guides will shuttle you round to 3 vineyards to pattern 14 totally different wines.
All that wine from the vineyards of Waiheke Island will make you hungry. When it’s time to eat, ebook your lunch or dinner on the Mudbrick Winery Restaurant, a stunning eatery with sprawling views of the winery and the ocean. For a very particular meal, ebook the Mudbrick Winery Restaurant’s tasting menu, a seven-course occasion with wine pairings.
In fact, there’s extra to do on Waiheke Island than simply drink wine! Waiheke Island can also be well-known for its vibrant artwork group, seashores, forests, and olive groves. We advocate reserving a tradition tour, scenic flight, or mountaineering journey when you’re there to actually see why Waiheke Island is likely one of the greatest locations to go in New Zealand.
The place To Keep: It’s undoubtedly value staying in a single day on Waiheke Island, too. Select the Delamore Lodge, one of many best-reviewed Waiheke Island inns on TripAdvisor. The lodge additionally presents some nice packages starting from wine and meals to couples spa remedies.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Regardless of being rocked by 4 giant earthquakes between September 2010 and December 2011, Christchurch has made a real comeback. Guests to Christchurch will see proof of the town’s rebirth all over the place, together with new buildings made out of previous delivery containers, such because the Re:START mall.
In fact, lots of Christchurch’s unique points of interest are nonetheless standing. The most effective locations to go to is the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, a sprawling community of conservatories, strolling tracks, and horticultural shows. The gardens additionally function a few of the largest, tallest, and oldest timber in New Zealand.
Take within the new and the previous of Christchurch from above with a journey on the Christchurch Gondola. This cable automotive lifts you on a scenic journey to the highest of Mt. Cavendish.
The place to Keep: Decide Heritage Christchurch for its central location and standing as a World Luxurious Lodge. It may cost a bit additional, however it is going to be value it.
White Island, New Zealand
White Island is the nation’s most lively volcano, which makes it probably the greatest locations to go in New Zealand for adventurous vacationers. Rise up shut and private with White Island by taking a scenic helicopter experience with Volcanic Air Safaris. Your White Island tour gained’t be a leisurely stroll: As a result of this can be a very lively volcano, you’ll should put on a tough hat and fuel masks. Chances are you’ll even see volcanologists monitoring the volcano.
Though the volcano is usually often known as White Island, its full identify is Te Puia o Whakaari, a Maori identify that interprets to “The Dramatic Volcano.” The island was first referred to as White Island by Captain Prepare dinner in 1769 as a result of each time he sailed close to it, it seemed to be coated in a cloud of white steam. (Prepare dinner by no means realized it was a volcano.)
If a helicopter tour of White Island is just not your factor, there are a selection of different methods to discover the volcano. You’ll be able to take a ship to White Island or get a fowl’s-eye view of it on a scenic flight. You possibly can even go scuba diving round White Island for a take a look at the volcano’s underwater vents.
The place to Keep: If a tour of White Island is in your guidelines, e-book an evening at White Island Rendezvous in Whakatane. You possibly can e-book a tour alongside together with your room and keep away from the effort of getting to drive into city the day of the tour.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Situated on the southwest aspect of the South Island, Queenstown has a well-deserved fame as the journey capital of New Zealand. In the course of the winter and spring months (June to October), Queenstown is understood for world-class snowboarding. In fact, there’s a lot to do in Queenstown year-round. Journey actions similar to bungee leaping, skydiving, jet boating, and river rafting will allow you to expertise the area from dizzying heights and at breathtaking speeds.
Queenstown can also be house to the world’s highest cliff leap, the Shotover Canyon Swing, the place you possibly can hurl your self off a cliff in a lot of alternative ways—together with backward or tied to a chair.
In the event you haven’t misplaced your urge for food (or your lunch) on these adrenaline-pumping actions, benefit from the eating scene in Queenstown—it’s top-of-the-line in New Zealand. As locals and tour guides alike will inform you, among the best locations to eat in Queenstown is Fergburger, which CNN says “could also be the most effective burger joint on the planet.”
The place to Keep: Queenstown Park Boutique Lodge is situated on the sting of city, giving quick access to the eating places and different outlets but in addition letting you sleep in relative peace away from the hub of exercise.
Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, New Zealand
No listing of the most effective locations to go in New Zealand can be full with out mentioning Te Puia, the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute situated in Rotorua’s Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. At this Maori heritage middle, you will get an genuine “steambox” meal ready utilizing historic geothermal cooking methods. You’ll additionally expertise a Maori welcome ceremony and conventional music and dance efficiency.
The Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley can also be residence to numerous lively geysers, together with Pohutu, the most important lively geyser within the southern hemisphere. Mud swimming pools are one other pure attraction within the geothermal valley: These boiling swimming pools attain temperatures of greater than 200 levels Fahrenheit.
The place to Keep: The Aura Lodging in close by Rotorua is situated on the coast of Lake Rotorua. The whole facility is powered by geothermal warmth to provide you a greater appreciation for the valley.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves, naturally illuminated by hundreds of glowworms, are among the many most original locations to go in New Zealand—and a go to to the caves is one expertise you’ll be hard-pressed to duplicate anyplace else. You possibly can take a ship journey via the caves to study concerning the historical past and science behind the phenomenon.
Or, should you actually need a distinctive journey, attempt black-water rafting with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Firm, which can float you on an internal tube down a subterranean stream. It is going to be pitch-dark (apart from the glowworms), and also you’ll get to do every part from leaping off waterfalls to rappelling down cave partitions. Select your personal journey once you ebook the tour.
There are different (non-glowworm) caves in Waitomo, too. Aranui Cave options historic cave decorations; Ruakuri Cave has an superior spiral entrance and distinctive limestone formations—and, okay, extra glowworms, however on this cave, you are able to do a strolling tour moderately than a water-based tour.
The place to Keep: The Waitomo Caves Lodge is minutes from the well-known glowworm caves. It gives a spa in addition to cave tour reservations by way of its web site.
Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
You possibly can hike an precise glacier in New Zealand. The Franz Josef Glacier performs host to each guided walks and jaw-dropping helicopter excursions. Excursions supply all the things from mountaineering to a extra relaxed hike on the 6.Eight-mile-long glacier.
Gained’t you be freezing on prime of an enormous glacier? Nope! The Franz Josef Glacier receives numerous daylight, and temperatures on the ice are often just a few levels colder than within the close by city.
Cap off a day touring the Franz Josef Glacier with a soak within the Glacier Scorching Swimming pools. The swimming pools are fed by the waters from the Franz Josef Glacier, and you need to use one of many three heat swimming pools or get a personal pool.
The place to Keep: Franz Josef is a sufficiently small city that exact location gained’t make an excessive amount of of a distinction (you’ll be near every little thing regardless of the place you’re). Contemplate the Aspen Courtroom Franz Josef, which has acquired a few of the greatest scores within the space.
Extra from SmarterTravel:
Editor’s notice: This story was initially revealed in 2014. It has been up to date to mirror probably the most present info.
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