Whilst New Zealand has hundreds of wonderful things to see and do, it’s always good to start with the places that are arguably the most beautiful places to explore. Here are our top five recommendations.
- Rotorua – To discover more about the Maori culture head to the North Island and see the geothermal hot springs of Rotorua in all their glory. There are plenty of hands-on Maori experiences to try, including the Arts and Crafts Institute at Te Puia. Te Puia is also home to the incredible Pohutu Geyser. For more information visit here. Nearby Wai-O-Tapu offers New Zealand’s most amazing area of volcanic activity.
- The Franz Josef Glacier – You can hike right to the bottom of it or take a helicopter right up to it, but the Franz Josef Glacier is said to be one of the most accessible in the world. Situated on the South Island, the glacier is 12 km long and was named after an Austrian Emperor by a German explorer. Regular tours run to the Glacier and can suit most abilities. Details can be found here.
- Milford Sound – Rudyard Kipling described Milford Sound as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ and after a trip to Fiordland National Park on the South Island you’ll be able to see why. Beautiful waterfalls, high mountain peaks, black coral and an abundance of marine life make it an unforgettable experience. Hike the famous Milford trail or take one of the many boat trips, which offer tours day and night.
- Tongariro National Park – A World Heritage Site and New Zealand’s first National Park, it is home to the three mountains of Ruapehu and the Alpine Crossing. The 19 km hike is world famous for its volcanic landscapes and tranquil lakes and tourists come to walk to Mount Tongariro. Head to the North Island if you want to explore further. Details of trips can be found here.
- Bay of Islands – A true haven for marine life, this trip to the Bay of Islands will afford you glimpses of dolphins, penguins and whales (to name just a few). Located in Northland, at the top of the North Island, there are 144 islands and numerous beaches to explore stretching out between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula. You can kayak into some areas and hike into others, for more information visit here.