Best Places in New Zealand to Visit

by | Jan 16, 2023 | Destinations, Travel Bucket Lists

New Zealand is a country of breathtaking landscapes and endless outdoor activities. From snow-capped mountains to rugged coastlines, no wonder that New Zealand is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Additionally, New Zealand is a large country with a lot to see and do. It is a good idea to plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time there. So, here are 10 must-see places in New Zealand that you should not miss on your next visit.

What are the must-visit places in New Zealand?

  1. Milford Sound
  2. Queenstown
  3. Rotorua
  4. Aoraki or Mount Cook National Park
  5. Tongariro National Park
  6. Abel Tasman National Park
  7. The Bay of Islands
  8. Waiheke Island
  9. Kaikoura
  10. Fiordland National Park

Milford Sound

places in new zealand milford sound
Copyright: Sébastien Goldberg

One of many must-visit places in New Zealand you must visit is Milford Sound. Milford Sound is an awe-inspiring fiord situated in the southwest region of New Zealand’s South Island. It is a must-visit place for any nature enthusiast, as the stunning cliffs and impressive waterfalls encircle the fiord creating a breathtakingly beautiful landscape. The fiord is also home to many penguins, dolphins, and fur seal colonies. 

To explore and enjoy this place, go on a cruise along the sound. You will be able to appreciate the stunning scenery fully. More importantly, with some luck, you may even catch a glimpse of dolphins and seals often seen in the area. Bring your camera and capture the stunning views for your memoir. Check out the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory to view the rare black coral and other marine life. 


places in new zealand queenstown
Copyright: Photoholgic

Known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown offers an array of thrilling activities that will leave your heart racing! From bungee jumping and skydiving to jet boating and mountain biking, there is something for everyone to experience. The best time to visit Queenstown in New Zealand is during winter, which is between June and August. In this season, you can enjoy skiing on the slopes of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. 

Surrounded by majestic mountains and situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is one of the ideal places in New Zealand for those looking for a balance of adventure and relaxation. Whether you are looking for a heart-pumping experience or a tranquil escape, you will find whatever you want here in Queenstown. Also, immerse yourself in the stunning natural landscape that envelops the city.


places in new zealand rotorua
Copyright: Sébastien Goldberg

Rotorua is a geothermal hot spot and one of the most popular places in New Zealand where people seek outdoor adventures. It is famous for its geysers, mud pools, and natural hot springs, which make it one of the most unique places in the world. For an extra special experience, you can learn about the Maori culture at the Tamaki Maori Village. Here, you can witness firsthand a traditional hangi feast and cultural performance.

To make your experience to be more wonderful and unforgettable, enjoy Rotorua’s lush nature! Rotorua is one of many places in New Zealand where you can find plenty of exciting natural attractions and beautiful landscapes to explore. You can go hiking or picnicking with your friends. For that reason, we put Rotorua at the top of great places to visit for those looking for a truly unique and memorable experience in New Zealand.

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

places in new zealand aoraki
Copyright: Richard Powazynski

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a place of incredible beauty, boasting New Zealand’s highest peak. Its stunning alpine scenery makes it the perfect place to take in the awe-inspiring sights of the mountain and glaciers. Therefore, this peak is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, especially for outdoor enthusiasts who love to climb mountains. If you love this activity, you can explore this national park by hiking on the many provided trails.

Alternatively, take a scenic flight and get a spectacular bird’s-eye view of the landscape. One more fact, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park has the longest glaciers in the country. Moreover, it is alpine in the purest sense, with skyscraping peaks, glaciers, and permanent snow fields. With all set under a star-studded sky, it will surely be a memorable and breathtaking experience for all who visit this wonderful place in New Zealand.

Tongariro National Park

places in new zealand tongariro national park
Copyright: Timo Volz

Tongariro National Park is a special place that offers a unique experience for those who visit. It is home to the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of New Zealand’s most popular hiking trails. Moreover, the park is one of the must-see places in New Zealand for anyone looking to explore the country’s scenic beauty. Specifically, the trail takes you through a volcanic landscape of steaming vents, crater lakes, and lava fields, providing an unforgettable journey through this incredible natural wonder.

Not only is the park a breathtakingly beautiful place to explore, but it is also a sacred site for the Maori people. The park is home to several important cultural sites and is an important place of spiritual significance for the Maori people. Therefore, experiencing the special environment of Tongariro National Park is an experience like no other. Also, it will surely leave a lasting impression on those who visit this magical place in New Zealand.

Abel Tasman National Park

places in new zealand abel tasman national park
Copyright: David Tip

Abel Tasman National Park, located on the north coast of the South Island, is a popular destination for those looking to explore the exceptional coastal beauty of New Zealand. Moreover, it is the perfect spot for avid adventurers and nature lovers. Why? In this national park, you can explore various activities like hiking, kayaking, and swimming. However, the Abel Tasman National Park is not just a playground for those seeking thrills.

Even more, the Abel Tasman National Park is also a haven for wildlife. The park’s diverse ecosystem is home to many birds and marine life species. Therefore, it is one of many ideal places in New Zealand for birdwatchers and animal enthusiasts. So, whether you want a peaceful escape or an exciting outdoor experience, you can go to Abel Tasman National Park. Spending time in this wonderful national park will be an unforgettable experience for everyone, including you!

The Bay of Islands

the bay of islands
Copyright: Simon Infanger

The Bay of Islands, located in the north of New Zealand’s North Island, is a group of 144 islands renowned for its stunning beauty. Moreover, there are glorious beaches with crystal-clear waters where you can enjoy and chill with your friends or alone. In addition to that, the marine life in the Bay of Islands is one of the most stunning places in New Zealand. If you are lucky, you may be able to take a boat tour and spot dolphins, whales, and other amazing animals in the ocean.

If you want to explore further, you can take plenty of scenic hikes leading up to stunning viewpoints. By following those hiking trails, you can have incredible views of the Bay of Islands. What a truly amazing experience, right? So, if you are looking for an exciting adventure or a relaxing retreat, you must go to the Bay of Islands. This chain of islands in New Zealand is the perfect place to explore and experience the beauty of New Zealand.

Waiheke Island

places in new zealand waiheke
Copyright: Jil Beckmann

Waiheke Island is located in the Hauraki Gulf, only a short ferry ride from Auckland. With its beautiful beaches, renowned wineries, and laid-back atmosphere, no wonder this island is a popular destination for many adventures. Relaxing on the beach and taking in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape can be a great way to enjoy the island. If you are looking for more activities, there are plenty of options to choose from, such as taking a wine tour or going on a hike.

The island is also home to several galleries and art studios, allowing you to admire some unique local art. In addition, if you are looking to explore the local culture further, you can participate in various cultural activities, such as guided walks, talks, and workshops. Moreover, with its abundant natural beauty and cultural attractions, it is very easy to see why Waiheke Island is one of the popular places in New Zealand for locals and visitors from around the world.


Copyright: Helen Stegney

The next place in New Zealand that you must visit next is Kaikoura. Kaikoura is a charming small town situated on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. This picturesque coastal town is renowned for its incredible whale-watching and dolphin-swimming experiences. Moreover, you can hop on a boat tour in this place and be surrounded by magnificent marine animals. For example, sperm whales, humpback whales, and many more.

In addition to that, take a plunge and swim alongside wild dolphins in their natural habitat. You will never forget this amazing experience that you will never forget in your life. With this beauty and charm, Kaikoura is a true nature lover’s paradise. It offers you some of the most incredible wildlife encounters. So, if you are looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, look no further than Kaikoura!

Fiordland National Park

fiordland national park
Copyright: Samuel Ferrara

Fiordland National Park is a stunning national park located southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. With some of the most spectacular fiords in the world, it is no surprise that many flocks here to take in the amazing views. In addition, do not miss out on the hiking experience in this one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand. If you are looking for something different, the scenic flights offer a chance to view the fiords from above where you can truly appreciate their beauty.

The park is also home to a wide variety of wildlife. You can find rare birds to endangered species in this place, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers. With its abundance of activities, wildlife, and natural beauty, you have a lot to explore and enjoy. For that reason, we put Fiordland National Park as one of the top places in New Zealand to visit, especially for those looking for an unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, many places in New Zealand offer an endless array of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether looking for breathtaking scenery, outdoor adventure, or cultural immersion, go on an adventure with JoinMyTrip to New Zealand and Oceania! We have a lot of upcoming trips where you can spend a memorable vacation time with our dedicated TripLeaders around the world. Book a trip to Oceania now!

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