Sitting within Fiordland National Park is Milford Sound — a scenic attraction in a country of almost unrivalled beauty. Rainforests and waterfalls, seals and dolphins, all of them can be found here, in a part of the world which truly has to be seen to be believed.
Abel Tasman National Park
Located in the northern part of the South Island, Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest national park. Perhaps best known for the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, this stunning part of the world is home to endless postcard views, plenty of wildlife and a whole lot of serenity.
This is a fantastic experience in the country for fans of Lord of the Rings, but even if fantasy films aren’t your thing, Hobbiton is well worth checking out. Located a couple of hours south of Auckland, a walking tour through this giant movie set lets you harness your inner Bilbo Baggins and step into the land of the hobbits for a couple of magical hours.
Queenstown isn’t known as The Adventure Capital of the World for no reason. The picturesque town on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is home to all the high-octane activities you can imagine and more — from bungee jumping and jet boating to skiing and mountain biking, it’s all at your fingertips in Queenstown.
Though it’s not quite the northernmost point of New Zealand, Cape Reinga is as close to the equator as you can get. The point at which the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide, this historic tip of the Aupouri Peninsula is also an important site in Maori culture, and as far as bucket list ideas in New Zealand go, it should be on there!
What Wellington lacks in size it more than makes up for in quality. Sitting on the southern coast of the North Island, there’s plenty to explore in the city itself and it also provides an ideal jump-off point for many surrounding attractions — acting as the departure point for the stunning ferry between New Zealand’s two islands.
Lover of wine? Make sure you tick a trip to Waiheke Island, home of numerous world-class wineries, off your bucket list during your time in New Zealand. The remote feel of the island is belied by the views of Auckland’s skyline just 50 kilometres away, and the 40-minute ferry ride from the nation’s biggest city makes it easy to jump across in the morning, enjoy the food, wine and views the island has to offer, and be back in Auckland the same day.
The Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is exactly what it sounds like. Nestled in the northern regions of the North Island, this beautiful bay is dotted with a huge number of uninhabited islands and is home to a seemingly endless amount of barely touched beauty.
A trip to Rotorua is an experience like few others in the world. The town of nearly 80,000 residents is home to a significant amount of geothermal activity, meaning there are plenty of bubbling mud pools to visit — and a suitably potent odour following you wherever you go.
Wildlife is at the heart of many of the most sought-after activities in New Zealand, and nowhere is that epitomised more than in Kaikoura. Located in a picturesque pocket on the north-east coast of the South Island in between the Pacific Ocean and the Southern Alps, the animals you might spot in Kaikoura include whales, orcas and seals, to name just a few.
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