A Land Of Mystery
New Zealand is known as heaven-on-earth for explorers, and undoubtedly so –– its natural beauty is comparable with that of a movie set! New Zealand holds one of the most beautiful sceneries in the world –– from stargazing, steamy geysers, cascading waterfalls, snow-capped peaks, clear rivers, sparkling coves, there’s just so much to explore. Plus, did you know that New Zealand is also home to several adrenaline-fueled sports? Home to one of the highest bungee jumps in the world, tourists come from all over the world to experience white water rafting, skydiving, hiking, jet boating, mountain biking as well. If you’re looking for great reviews on water, land, and snow sports tips and products, check out Globo Surf.
There’s so much to unpack, and too little space to write it down. If you’re planning a first-time trip, or simply a return trip to New Zealand, read on so that you don’t miss out on any of New Zealand’s top attractions! Guides to travelling around New Zealand are available.
Best Mode of Transportation
Whilst embarking on a tour would cover most of New Zealand’s top attractions, we recommend self-driving for a more laid-back and authentic experience. You can either choose to hire a car or a campervan! We prefer the latter, as campervanning not only can help to save money and hassle on accommodation but also can provide you with a lot more flexibility in your schedule.
Top 10 Attractions in New Zealand
We’ve broken down the best highlights in both the North and South Islands. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, do keep in mind that there would be the respective safe distancing measures and COVID-19 restrictions.
North New Zealand
Most of the attractions are located at the top half of New Zealand’s diamond-shaped island. Hence, you should follow the path down and drive in a circular route instead.
Sailing in the Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is a magical sailing destination for all sailors alike. Offering over 140 natural islands within a day’s sailing distance, this slice of paradise boasts of crystal-clear waters and beautiful wildlife. Whether you’re a new sailor or seasoned professional, Bay of Islands is the place for you!
Create Your Adventure at Hobbiton
Experience your own Middle-earth adventure with a visit to Hobbiton, a real-life movie set featured in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Explore Bag End and embark on an adventure with Frodo and Bilbo, get lost amongst the hobbit holes, and visit the Green Dragon Inn, Party Tree, and the mill. Take time to revel in the magic and wonder of this fairytale land –– it’s certainly an experience like no other.
Coromandel Peninsula Attractions
Hot Water Beach contains several underground hot springs that spring up through the sand during the high and low water tidal reaches, allowing visitors the opportunity to build their spa bath by digging a large enough hole in the sand. Visitors are recommended to come within two hours of low tide and carry their shovel to build their bath. With temperatures as high as 64°C, relaxing into the warm embrace of these thermal waters can be surprisingly therapeutic.
Named after its limestone cliff archways, the Cathedral Cove (otherwise known as the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve) is one of the best scenic kayaking spots in New Zealand. The contrast between the sharp limestone cliffs with the deep shades of greens and blues of the forest and ocean is truly a sight to behold. The best way to enjoy Cathedral Cove is to either rent a water taxi, join a boat tour or rent a kayak.
Visit Waitomo’s Glowing Caves
Discover the beauty of the Arachnocampa Luminosa at Waitomo’s Glowing Caves, known as one of New Zealand’s best natural attractions. Experience the tranquillity and otherworldliness as you ride down the starry wonderland of Glowworm Grotto –– it’s sure to take your breath away! If you’re up to it, you can even dive into this luminescent spectacle through zip-lining into the caves, or climbing underground waterfalls in the dark. If not, you can opt to enjoy a laid-back experience by simply renting a guided boat ride.
South New Zealand
If you love the outdoors and you’re craving to hike, South Island is the place for you! With gorgeous lakes of sapphire and baby blue, rugged coastlines, and friendly people, South Island has it all.
Take Your Breath Away With Mount Cook
Otherwise known as Aoraki in Māori, Mount Cook is New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3,724 meters above sea level. The alpine village resides amongst towering peaks, magnificent glaciers, and rests under a star-studded sky. This dazzling peak is truly a sight to behold and bound to take your breath away. As a hiker, you can opt for several short hikes to take in the natural beauty of Mount Cook, or challenge yourself to the Mueller Hut Route for a more strenuous hike.
Walk Along the Milford Track
Take the hike of your life along the most famous track of New Zealand: the Milford Track! Once coined as the ‘finest walk of the world’ by poet Blanche Baughan, the Milford Track boasts a reputation of having the most spectacular landscapes –– such as Lake Te Anau, Fiordland National Park, and Sandfly Point –– along the way. This walk is no easy feat! Spanning across 53.3km, hikers must be ready to embark on a four-day hike. Do bear in mind that walker numbers may be restricted due to COVID-19 restrictions and environmental conservation practices.
Test Your Limits With The Nevis Bungy Jump
Take the leap of your life (literally!) with New Zealand’s most terrifying bungy jump, the 134 meter Nevis Bungy Jump. Freefall for a total of 8.5 seconds and revel in a blitz of pure adrenaline and fear –– it’s the ultimate activity for all thrill-seekers alike! You can’t access the Nevis Bungy Jump directly via car, but it’s way more thrilling to take the 4WD bus and a cable car ride to the site instead. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted, but it’s bound to be a tale to tell for years to come.
Stargaze at the Southern Cross
Have you ever seen the Southern Cross or the Milky Way? Have you ever seen a sky so dark, you can watch satellite movies amongst the stars? The sky above Tekapo is known as an International Dark Sky Reserve, defined as a public or private land possessing an exceptional quality of starry nights, making it the perfect spot to stargaze at. Dance in the ambience of the stars as you soak in a hot tub, and learn how to take astrophotography… what could be better than that?
White River Rafting at the Waiau Uwha River
Experience the magnificent scenery of the Waiau Uwha River whilst embarking on Queenstown’s iconic adventures: white water rafting and jet boating. Navigate through white water rapids, narrow gorges, and 360-degree Hamilton spins on the exhilarating jet boat rides –– a perfect spot for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies. Enjoy over 24 meters of jet boating and idyllic scenery; the Waiau Uwha River is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing trip or an adrenaline-packed adventure, New Zealand has got it all, without a doubt. Fall in love with New Zealand’s mysteries and experience the magic of this quaint country –– you’re bound to leave starstruck!