New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in Oceania with around 30% of the country being protected areas, three World Heritage Sites, 14 national parks, three marine parks and hundreds of nature reserves and eco-regions, one of which is a dual heritage site. This is 10 must visit attractions in New Zealand, don’t miss!
Bay of Islands
The most beautiful part of New Zealand is the Bay of Islands, where the main cities are: Pythia, Russell and Waitangi. Russell was once the first capital of New Zealand and Pythia is in the middle of the Bay of Islands and has more hotels. Waitangi is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 by Maori and Europeans at Treaty House. The house still stands in open, peaceful parkland today.
Other important attractions here are the carved Maori Meeting House, the largest Maori war boat, the tourist centre and the art gallery. Waitangi has a very important place in the hearts of New Zealanders and is a ‘must visit’ for visitors interested in New Zealand history and culture.
The Sky Tower is located in the heart of Auckland, on the corner of HobsonSt. and VictoliaSt. At 328 metres high, it is a standard building in Auckland and the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. It is integrated with other buildings to form the huge Sky City, which houses New Zealand’s largest casino, ten restaurants and bars, 4 Star Plus hotels, theatres and many unique tourist adventures. It also has a huge underground car park and an intercity bus terminal.
Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world and there is a whole host of new and exciting things to do here: the thrill of swooping down a world-class ski slope, plucking up the courage to experience the thrill of bungee jumping and jet skiing, or simply leaping 3000 metres into the air are all options you need to put on your agenda when you get here. Queenstown also has a romantic and welcoming side, surrounded by the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu, making the most of New Zealand’s pristine natural beauty.
Christchurch – the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island exudes a strong British influence throughout the city’s architecture. Although the main attractions of the city centre were completely destroyed after the devastating earthquake in 2011, the strong and optimistic citizens of Christchurch have used their resilient hands to rebuild their own playground from the rubble, and now Christchurch retains a traditional British flavour with a lot of new energy, and with the beautiful natural landscape around it, it is waiting to be discovered by visitors from all over the world.
It is a city of leisure, with the sea within easy reach, sailboats and yachts moored in the harbour and delicious wines in the wineries as a reminder to slow down the pace of life. But our first introduction to the city began with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, where the picturesque nature and idyllic life of the movies made fans want to visit. This is the largest city on New Zealand’s North Island, also known as the City of a Thousand Sails, and it is Auckland.
Located in the eastern foothills of the Southern Alps on New Zealand’s South Island, Tikapu is a famous tourist destination. The town’s Lake Tikapu is the largest freshwater lake in Oceania and produces excellent salmon, making it a great place for fishing and water sports. The snow-capped foothills attract skiers from all over the world every year from autumn onwards.
The night sky at Tikapu is quiet and dazzling, with the Milky Way and large clusters of constellations visible as you look up into the night sky, where visitors can see the Southern Cross, which can only be observed in the Southern Hemisphere, and enjoy some of the most beautiful night skies in the world.
The South Island is one of the two main islands that make up New Zealand and is separated from the North Island by the Cook Strait. With an area of 58,093.7 square kilometres, it is ranked as the twelfth largest island in the world. It is separated from the North Island by Cook Strait to the north; Stewart Island to the south across the Fowler Channel, 1600 km from Australia to the west and Tonga and Fiji to the east.
The Southern Alps, south of the west coast of the South Island, are the largest mountainous region in New Zealand; Mount Cook is the highest peak in the country. The eastern coast has narrow plains, with the Canterbury Plains being the most important.
Located in the south-west of the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island, Waitomo is famous for its numerous Karst caves, which are about two million years old. The main caves are the Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Ruakuli Cave, Alanui Cave and Gardiner’s Tunnel. The Whitmore Glowworm Caves are underground caves inhabited by glowworms and are the most famous tourist attraction in the area.
Here you can take a boat ride into the caves and watch the glowing fireflies as if you were in a vast starry sky. Alternatively, you can rope down to the caves some 30 metres below, float along with the water or even zip-line through the caves for a thrilling ‘starlight romance’ in the dark, deep cave world.
Te Anau is The second largest lake in New Zealand, located in the south-western mountains of the South Island, 120 km north-west of Invercargill. The lake is 61 km long and 9.7 km wide at its widest point, covering an area of 344 km². The lake is 276 metres deep. The river Waio originates here. The lake is surrounded by small harbours and branches.
The eastern side of the lake is characterised by rolling hilly mountain villages; the western side is a magnificent wilderness of forests and mountains – the Kepler and Murchison Ranges at about 1700m above sea level. Much of Lake Te Anau is within the Fjord National Park and the Tiwasipnama World Heritage Site. Of the two settlements on either side of the lake, Te Anau is the largest town. Here you can visit the glowworm caves of Te Anau, which are still undergoing geological exploration. See the endangered bird species that live in the fjord and visit the local wildlife conservation centre.
Located northeast of Dunedin, Oamaru is a town and port in the southeast of New Zealand’s South Island. Oamaru is home to New Zealand’s famous blue penguins, the distinctive Victorian architecture of New Zealand, the famous Moraki Driftstone and the Oamaru Historic District.
A stroll through the streets of Oamaru will give you the feeling that you have stepped into a fairy tale dream, with some of New Zealand’s most distinctive historic buildings, ancient Roman columns, old shop signs with signs of age, old brick walls that look like they were built in a different world, cafes with glowing lights in the old buildings on the street and an old post office built in 1864.