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    Skyline of Auckland is a popular one among top tourist places in New Zealand

    Backdrop for the legendary “Lord of the Rings” movies, New Zealand is a place with heavenly middle Earth beauty. Cascading waterfalls, deep fjords, hot water spring, steaming geysers, untamed wilds, clear beaches and dazzling glaciers; it’s just the beginning of its beautiful story. The country is full of so many wonders that it’s hard for people to decide which one to visit and which one to miss. Here is an attempt to sort this out with our list of most beautiful and famous New Zealand tourist attractions. Make sure that you include them while planning your next trip to New Zealand.

    TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN NORTH ISLANDS

    1. Bay of Islands – A yachting and sailing haven

    The beauty of island strands in Bay of Islands – the top New Zealand tourist attraction

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    Ritz Factor: Yachting and sailing spot.

    One of the most popular New Zealand tourist attractions, Bay of Islands is a haven for yachts and sailing boats. Pearls of 144 islands adorn the necklace of Bay of Islands. Kayak along the coast, hike the island trails, enjoy in secluded coves, and explore undisturbed forests. Abundant marine life including dolphins, whales, big marlin, and penguins make for a popular fishing spot.

    Don’t Miss: Hole in the Rock, the famous rock formation.

    How to reach:
    By air: Auckland Airport is well connected with major international cities. Air New Zealand flight operate in tandem from Auckland to Bay of Island Airport, which is also known as Kerikeri Airport.

    By road: Bay of Islands is well connected with Auckland by road. Intercity buses and taxis operate from Auckland to Bay of Islands. The 193 km distance takes 3 hours to cover by state highways.

    Best time to visit: February – March

    Stay options near Bay of Islands: Paradise on the Strand, Sea Spray Suites, Veronica House, and Arcadia Lodge

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    Must Read: 10 Fun Things To Do In New Zealand


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    2. Tongariro National Park – One of the oldest national parks in the world

    The stunning Beauty of Tongariro National Park is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand

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    Ritz Factor: Mineral rich turquoise water lakes and melodramatic sceneries

    Towering volcanoes, untamed forests, arid plateaus, hot springs, herb fields, turquoise lakes and lush meadows pitch for a melodramatic scenery. One of oldest national parks in the world and best places to visit in New Zealand, Tongariro is a land of stunning beauty and natural wonders. Add in a visit to the Lake Taupo, and you are set for a surprisingly delightful day.

    Don’t Miss: Taranaki Falls and lava line of volcanic eruptions.

    How to reach:
    By air: Auckland (345 km) & Wellington (288 km) Airports are the closest you can get to Tongariro National Park by air from major cities across the world. Book a cab or take a transport bus from the airport to reach Whakapapa Village- the gateway to Tongariro National Park.

    By road: Regular buses operate from Auckland to Tongariro National Park daily. By road it takes almost 7 hours to reach the national park.

    Best time to visit: December – February

    Stay options: Adventure Lodge and Motel, Chateau Tongariro Hotel, Pipers Lodge, and National Park Tavern

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    The beautiful turquoise Lake Taupo

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    3. Rotorua – Dramatically red with lava lines

    The dramatic beauty of Rotorua with lava lines and steaming water

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    Ritz Factor: Geothermal wonders and red lava lines are dominant features of this tourist attraction in New Zealand.

    Rotorua is one such geothermal region in the world which has a bit of dramatic topography. It is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Dramatic, isn’t it? Steaming geysers, boiling mud pools, hissing thermal springs and volcanic craters add to its already startling topography. Stroll around these geothermal wonders and soak in the minerals-rich water. Options like sky diving, luging, trekking, and mountain biking make it a must visit place in New Zealand for adventurous souls.

    Don’t Miss: Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Pool, and Trout Fishing.

    How to reach:
    By air: Wellington Airport (450 km) is well connected with major cities across the world. Intercity bus services and cabs are available from airport to Rotorua.

    By road: Coaches, shuttles and taxis run in tandem from Auckland to Rotorua. The ride via road takes a good 2.5 hours to reach Rotorua.

    Best time to visit: November – April

    Stay options: Millenium Hotel, Arista of Rotorua, Rydges Hotel, and Quest Hotel

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    4. Napier in Hawke’s Bay – Art Deco and the Gourmet capital

    The picturesque town of Napier in Hawke's Bay is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand with Maori influence

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    Ritz Factor: Gourmet dining scenes and Art Deco architecture.

    Gourmet food and Art Deco – These two things define the Napier region, one of the best places to visit in New Zealand to take a peek in the Maori World. Spanish Mission style architecture and Art Deco design buildings line this city. Some of them are even adorned with Maori motifs. Also, gourmet restaurants in this place are to die for. Unique procedures and equally unique recipes, make even the regular dishes worthwhile.

    Don’t Miss: Yearly Art Deco weekend in February. Also, the Gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers is a must visit among the famous New Zealand tourist attractions.

    How to reach:
    By air: Napier’s Hawkes Bay Airport is almost 450 km from Auckland Airport, the international airport well connected with major airports across the world. Napier’s Hawkes Bay can be reached by local flights from Air New Zealand. By road it’s 5-hour drive.

    By road: Overnight inter city buses operate from Auckland to Napier and take 6 to 8 hours usually.

    Best time to visit: July – August

    Stay options: The Country Hotel Napier, The Crown Hotel Napier, Art Deco Masonic Hotel, and Scenic Hotel Te Pania

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    5. Auckland – Base of the Sky Tower

    Skyline of Auckland is a popular one among top tourist places in New Zealand

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    Ritz Factor: Black sand beaches, gold sand beaches, and two sparkling harbors.

    Two shimmering harbors, the Manukau Harbor and the Waitemata Harbor, are the main jewels of the Auckland crown. Rainforests, wild hike trails, hidden coves, picturesque islands, and mysterious volcanoes make this city a perfect base for adventure lovers. Unusual black and gold beaches set the backdrop for amazing pictures and memories. It is quite popular among top tourist places in New Zealand.

    Don’t Miss: Sky Tower – the 328 meters high tower to zoom in on the stunning expanse. Also, don’t even think about missing the Orbit revolving restaurant.

    How to reach:
    By air: One of the major cities in the North Island, Auckland is well connected with major international cities.

    Auckland is well-connected with most of the cities of New Zealand by road

    Best time to visit: June – September

    Stay options: Skycity Grand, Off Broadway Motel, Warkworth Lodge, and Parklane Motor Lodge

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    Must Read: 20 Best Beaches In New Zealand For A Lazy Romantic Holiday

    6. Coromandel Peninsula – A sublime world

    The expanse of Coromandel Peninsula is one of the must see places to see in New Zealand if you love the calm

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    Ritz Factor: A surreal world away from the hustle.

    A sublime world, away from the city’s hustle-bustle, Coromandel Peninsula is a paradise for complacent people who look for peace around them. The beaches here are famous for their golden sand. Indulge in hiking, kayaking, and skydiving at this New Zealand tourist attraction.

    Don’t Miss: Thames – a small city famous for its gold mining history; and the Hot Water Beach – dig your own hot water pool here.

    How to reach:
    By air: Auckland Airport is the closest you can get to Coromandel Peninsula by air. Local flights take 30 minutes to reach Whitianga (Coromandel Peninsula) from Auckland. The peninsula is 1.5 hour drive from Auckland by road.

    By road: The scenic drive from Auckland, Hamilton or Rotorua Airport is very well connected by intercity buses and cars. The drive from Auckland takes almost 1.5 hour.

    By ferry: Regular ferries operate from Auckland to Coromandel town. The 2-hour ride is one of the most exciting things to do in the North Island region.

    Best time to visit: September – November

    Stay options: Anchor Lodge Coromandel, Aotearoa Lodge, Beachfront Resort, and Beachside Resort Whitianga

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    TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN SOUTH ISLANDS

    7. Queenstown – Country’s adventure capital

    The picture perfect view of Queenstown – adventure capital of New Zealand

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    Ritz Factor: Loads and loads of adventure sports.

    Country’s adventure capital, Queenstown is one of the top tourist destinations of New Zealand. Bungee jumping, white-water rafting, jet boating, rock climbing, paragliding, hiking, downhill skiing, mountain biking; the list of adrenaline-fueled sports is endless at this top tourist attraction in New Zealand.

    Don’t Miss: Explore gold mining towns and landscapes of snow-clad peaks of Remarkables Range.

    How to reach:
    By air: Queenstown International Airport on the South Island is well connected with other major cities across the globe.

    By road: Intercity buses from Christchurch (354 km) and Auckland (1028 km) commute to Queenstown at regular intervals. Drive down to the city to enjoy one of the most scenic drives in New Zealand.

    Best time to visit: June – August

    Stay options: The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments, Heritage Queenstown, Coronation Lodge, and Adventure Queenstown Hostel

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    Suggested Read: 10 Exotic Destinations For A Fairy-Tale Honeymoon In New Zealand

    8. Fiordland National Park – Home to numerous fjords

    Fjords in Fiordland National Park – one of the most stunningly best places to visit in New Zealand

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    Ritz Factor: Home base to famous fjords and striking beauty.

    Home to some of the best walking trails, Fiordland National Park boasts of spectacular beauty. Whispering waterfalls, offshore islands, stretched lakes, undisturbed forests, high mountain peaks and gushing cascades make sure that you don’t have a dull moment in here. The popular ways to explore the fjords are sea kayaking or flights for bird’s eye views to enjoy this must see place in New Zealand.

    Don’t Miss: Famous fjords of Milford Sound, Dusky Sound, and Doubtful Sound.

    How to reach:
    By air: Queenstown airport is the closest you can get to Fiordland National Park by air. Located at a distance of 235 km from Queenstown the national park can be reached by taking a bus or driving in to Te Anau – also known as the gateway to the park

    By road: State highway buses ply from Invercargill or Queenstown. The 156 km distance from Invercargill to Fiordland National Park takes around 3 hours by road.

    Best time to visit: Throughout the year

    Stay options: Fiordland National Park Lodge, Aden Motel, Distinction Luxmore Hotel Te Anau, and Mintaro Hut

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    9. Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers – World’s most accessible glaciers

    The stunning landscape of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier – the best place to visit in New Zealand

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    Ritz Factor: World’s most accessible glaciers and best frozen sceneries

    The Franz Josef and Fox glaciers are one the most accessible glacial rivers in the world, and thus make it to list of best tourist attractions in New Zealand. The frozen landscapes of ice caves and mountain peaks at the foot of the glacier are a norm here. Walk over or ride a helicopter, do whatever you want to do but do not miss these amazing natural wonders.

    Don’t Miss: Guided hikes to these glaciers are an experience which you shouldn’t miss.

    How to reach:
    By air: Christchurch (5.5 hour drive) and Queenstown (5 hour drive) are the nearest and most accessible international airport from Franz Josef Glacier.

    By road: Buses and cabs are available from Christchurch, Wanaka, and Queenstown to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Drive down to the place to experience a surreal driving experience

    Best time to visit: June – August

    Stay options: Aspen Court Franz Josef, YHA Franz Josef Glacier, Alpine Glacier Motel, and Franz Josef Oasis

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    The frozen beauty of Franz Josef Glacier

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    10. Abel Tasman National Park – A hiker’s dream destination

    The coastline of Abel Tasman National Park is a tourist attraction in New Zealand that boasts of exotic bird collection

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    Ritz Factor: Exotic bird sightings and weathered rock formations.

    The vast expanse of Abel Tasman National Park is a hiker’s dream come true. Wilderness with weathered rock formations set the background of this national park. The Tasman Coast Trek is the icing on the cake. Clear beaches and sparkling water lure tourists to themselves. Snorkel, hike, trek, camp or relax; the options are numerous here. And the sightings of rare birds like blue penguins, wekas, wood pigeons, and oystercatchers can make a photographer’s day.

    Don’t Miss: Split Apple Rock – a gigantic granite boulder spliced in two.

    How to reach:
    By air: Nelson Airport is the nearest airstrip to Abel Tasman, which is pretty accessible from major cities across the world. The 60 km distance from Nelson to the national park can be covered in 1-hour via State Highway 60.

    By road: Regular buses and cabs ply from Marahau (5-minute), Motueka (30-minute), Nelson (1-hour drive) to Abel Tasman National Park.

    Best time to visit: Throughout the year

    Stay options: Kimi Ora Eco Resort, Kaiteri Lodge, Abel Tasman Lodge, and Riwaka Retreat

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    Suggested Read: 10 Places To Go Skydiving In New Zealand: Experience Thrill At Its Best

    11. Mount Cook National Park – Base of longest glacier, Tasman

    The breathtakingly beautiful Mount Cook National Park is one of the stunning tourist places in New Zealand

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    Ritz Factor: A top mountaineering destination.

    Well, Mount Cook National Park, also known as Aoraki National Park, is the base of tallest mountain peak – Mount Cook and longest glacier – Tasman Glacier. This is the place where the legendary Edmund Hillary trained to ascend the heights of ginormos Mount Everest. A top destination for mountaineers, its pristine glaciers and serene beauty will catch your breathe. Surely justified for being among the top rated best places to visit in New Zealand!

    Don’t Miss: Mount Cook Village to satisfy you’re your inner adventurer with the offerings such as ski-touring, heli-skiing, hiking, stargazing and hunting.

    How to reach:
    By air: Christchurch and Queenstown airports are 2.5 hour drive from Mackenzie region (Mount Cook National Park). The international airports in Christchurch and Queenstown are well connected with other major cities around the world. Chartered flights are also available from these international airports to Mount Cook Airport.

    By road: Intercity buses are available from Christchurch, Queenstown, and Wellington. Take a bus or book a cab to reach Mount Cook Village. The national park is a 15-minute drive from the village.

    Best time to visit: July – Sptember

    Stay options: The Westhaven, The Hermitage Hotel, Bella Vista Motel Fox Glacier, and YHA Aoraki Mt Cook

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    12. Kaikoura – Place known for whale watching tours

    A whale diving in the sea at Kaikoura is among the top places to visit in New Zealand

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    Ritz Factor: Tropical wildlife and best seafood.

    Seafood connoisseur, wildlife fanatics, bird watchers and natural beauty devotees find this place hard to resist. The taste of fresh crawfish, blue cod and mussels will tantalize your taste buds. Spotting of humpbacks, sperm whales, fur seals, dolphins and albatross, among the extensive wildlife here, against the stunning landscapes of Kaikoura, one of the top places to visit in New Zealand, will lift your spirits to a whole new level.

    Don’t Miss: At this New Zealand tourist attraction, whale watching tours and coastal hikes should not be missed.

    How to reach:
    By air: Christchurch International Airport is the nearest airstrip to Kaikoura, which is well connected with other major cities around the world. At a distance of 180 km from Christchurch, it takes 2.5 hours to reach Kaikoura by road.

    By road: Intercity buses and cabs run in tandem from Christchurch to Kaikoura. Travel time is 2.5 hours.

    Best time to visit: April, June, and October

    Stay options: Alpine View Motel, Heritage Court Motor Lodge, Anchor Inn Motel, and Aspen Court Motel

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    Now, we’ve given you enough fodder to start planning. Get the tickets done and set your itinerary now!

    Further Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Auckland For An Unforgettable NZ Vacay


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    Category: Bot, New Zealand, Places To Visit

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