You can’t keep your eyes off the “God’s Own Country” – New Zealand for long. New Zealand certainly is the country of wonders and exoticas. It is the land of glacial mountains, ravishing rivers, luscious lakes, hissing geysers, and boiling mud. Often dubbed as “Kiwiland,” New Zealand is widely known for its plenty of rare native flora and fauna.
Located in the south-western Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is the country known for numerous outdoor activities, such as tramping (hiking), skiing, rafting, and bungee jumping. You can swim with dolphins, play with lambs, watch whales, or go for fishing in pristine streams and rivers. Certainly, you can see & do a lot of things in New Zealand, but here are 10 things that you just can’t ignore.
1. Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, on the southern tip of the North Island, is the place to enjoy arts, culture, entertainment, and fine foods of New Zealand. You can find numerous music/dance/fine arts venues, theatres, galleries & museums, shopping centers, trendy cafes, and restaurants in Wellington. Just a few hours away, you can access network of walking and biking trails along beautiful wineries and vineyards. Some of attractions of Wellington are – Mount Victoria, Brooklyn Windmill, Frank Kitts Park, Karori Cemetery, Elmscourt, Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, Parliament Buildings, and National Library of New Zealand
2. Auckland, the largest city located in the northern half of the North Island, offers you a number of things to see & do. You can enjoy sailing or yachting in the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east of the city. You can enjoy stunning waterfalls, breath taking views, and beautiful beaches at foothills of Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west of Auckland. You can enjoy picnicking and walking in this part of New Zealand. Some of attractions of Auckland are – Auckland War Memorial Museum, New Zealand National Maritime Museum, Sky Tower, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Zoo, The StarDome Observatory, Kelly Tarlton's, and Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens.
3. Rotorua, known as the thermal wonderland of New Zealand, is one of major attractions of New Zealand. It is a town on the southern shore of Lake Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island. The town’s springs and geysers have been attracting tourists for over a hundred years. Famous for geothermal activity, Rotorua is known for its geysers, hot mud pools, steaming craters, and Maoris culture and traditions. Some of attractions of Rotorua are – Government Gardens, The Lakes, Okere Falls, Whakarewarewa Forest, Te Puia, Wkakarewarewa Thermal Village, Skyline Skyrides, Rainbow and Fairy Springs, The Agrodome, and The Buried Village.
4. Bay of Islands, an area in the Northland region of the North Island, is great place for fishing, diving and sailing. Located 60 km north-west of Whangarei, close to the northern tip of the country, the Bay of Islands is one of the most popular tourist destinations. You can have a boating trip thru the Hole in the Rock, off Cape Brett, see dolphins, and down to the Rainbow Warrior wreck. You can see Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Haruru Falls, Stone Store, Puketi forest, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Kemp House, and the oldest church.
5. Waitomo Caves, located to the south of Hamilton on the west side of North Island, are one of most fantastic tourist attractions. Waitomo is a small village, but its underground rivers through 25 miles of caves take you on a trip that you’ll never forget. These pitch black caves, illuminated by the pale green light of glow worms, just appear fantastic, and you just feel like, you are out in open in a starry night.
6. Wanganui City, on the west coast of the North Island, on the Whanganui River flowing from Mount Tongariro via the stunning Whanganui National Park, is lovely city. The city features Wanganui in Bloom, Whanganui Regional Museum, Sarjeant Gallery, Bason Botanic Gardens, Whanganui Riverboat Centre Museum, Wanganui Collegiate School, Royal Wanganui Opera House, and Cook's Gardens. You can also visit Whanganui National Park. Wanganui is two and a half hour drive from Wellington, and a six hour drive from Auckland.
7. Napier, an important port city in Hawke's Bay, was rebuilt in Art Deco style after a massive earthquake in 1931. The city lies 10 kilometers to the south of its twin city, Hastings; Napier & Hastings are sometimes called "The Twin Cities". You can take guided walks, shop Art Deco and eat Art Deco, or go to the beach. You can see Marineland, Aquarium, and Soundshell, the major attractions of the city.
8. Tongariro National Park, the oldest national park in New Zealand, is one of the major attractions of New Zealand. Located in the central North Island, the Park has been acknowledged as one of the 24 mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. It looks fantastic during snows. It is home to three main ski areas – Whakapapa, Tukino, and Turoa. It’s popular destination in summer when it is considerably cooler than the rest of North Island.
9. Lake Taupo, in the centre of North Island, is one of the top tourist attractions of New Zealand. The lake is famous for its trout fishing and boating. It is a great base from which to explore the surrounding countryside. Huka Falls, New Zealand's most visited natural attraction is a short drive away in Taupo, a town at the northern end of Lake Taupo. Some of the major attractions include – Aratiatia Dam, Huka Falls, Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery, Lions Walk, Waipahihi Botanical Reserve, Wairakei Tourist Park, and Volcanic Activity Centre.
10. South Island, one of the two main islands of New Zealand, is the island of picturesque mountains, fjords, large beech forests, and beautiful beaches. You can get ferries to the South Island from Wellington. The island is known for its scenic beauty. You can relish and capturing scenic beauty of the island. On the South Island, you can visit cities, towns, and other sites, such as Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Nelson, Franz Josef, Blenheim, Kaikoura, Milford Sound, Omarama, Picton (Gateway to the Marlborough Sounds), Queenstown, Southern Alps, and Wanaka.