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Must places to visit in New Zealand

May 12 , 2021 by: Tash Boudville

Are you planning an adventurous getaway to New Zealand as an expat or nomad? Are you wondering what places are a must when planning a trip to New Zealand? This article is for you.

If you’re looking for adventure, New Zealand is the place for you. New Zealand gets known to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and it truly is. You will see everything from frightening mountains, ice-cold glaciers, and even breathtaking views from above.

There won’t be one day of your trip left to sit and relax when there are endless hikes to take, Māori culture to learn, thrill-seeking ski, and snowboarding slopes. And, of course, beautiful natural landscapes to capture.

Milford Sound by Fred T on Pixabay

1. Milford Sound

If you are southwest of New Zealand, you have to check out Milford Sound. Milford Sound has everything from crashing waterfalls, towering, sharp-looking mountains to deep green rainforests and has picturesque views from the lookout areas, and is the home to many beautiful wildlife species. These animals include seals, penguins and, even dolphins. Milford Sound is also home to many other sea species.

This place is perfect if you’re looking for family-friendly activities or a place that you can take it slow. If you’re wondering what you can do at Milford Sound, perhaps try a coach and cruise tour. You could also try to go kayaking or even hike some of the stunning tracks around the area.

Aoraki on Pixabay

2. Aoraki

Aoraki can get found on the south island of New Zealand. This beloved mountain is also known as Mount Cook, where it is known for its glorious treks by many trekking enthusiasts. Did you know that Aoraki is also home to New Zealand’s highest mountains and having some of the longest glaciers?

Although Mount Cook has over 23 rocky mountains that stand at least 3000 meters high, it is very accessible to the public. Do you feel like taking on one of these mountains? Follow the paths for mountain climbing, and you’ll be sure to face your fears.

Aoraki or Mount Cook has a scenic Lake called, Pukaki. You can catch mystical glimpses of the waters from the tips of the mountains or even from the Aoraki village center. There are plenty of things to do at Aoraki, such as stargaze or watch the sunset in the mountains. You could try one of ten short walks Aoraki has to provide. You could look at brilliant glaciers, ski or even mountain climb.

3. Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is on the North Island of New Zealand. This area gets known for its breathtaking beaches, fishing, being filling with 140 surrounding subtropical islands. It also gets known for the Maori culture.

If you’re looking for what you can do at the Bay of Islands, try these activities on for size. Join one of many daily cruises. Hire a charter yacht or hire a sea kayak for a couple of hours. How about camping out on the camping grounds, or even try some of the famous walking tracks.

The Bay of Islands is also a fantastic place for wildlife sightseeing. It is the home of wildlife, including penguins, dolphins, many fish, whales, and more.

Peace Park, Lake Papatiku, Queenstown by Michelle Raponi on Pixabay

4. Queenstown

Queenstown sits on the South Island of New Zealand, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown gets known as the adventure capital of New Zealand and glorious vineyards. It also gets known for its mining towns. If you happen to pass Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, stop by and bungee jump from the top.

Did you know Queenstown is where the famous “Hobbit” got shot along with seven other locations? This billion-dollar movie has even left some of its traces of the films for you to experience.

There are so much great adventure sports activities for you to try out. For example, try sailing, jetboating, or white water rafting. You could even try activities such as mountain biking, play a bit of golf. Take a leap and Bungy jump, or if your feeling adventurous, try out some sky diving.

5. Waitomo Glowworm Caves

If you are looking for a romantic adventure, you have to try out the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. These cave attractions can get found on the North Island of New Zealand. Of course, these caves are famous for the glowworm species found in New Zealand.

The Waitomo region is an endless sightseeing attraction perfect for the whole family to enjoy. There are many fun things to do within this area of New Zealand, such as join a world-famous boat ride within the cave and see thousands of glowworms in their natural state. You can learn 125 years’ worth of cultural history given by your guides.

Franz Josef Glacier on Pixabay

6. Franz Josef Glacier

If you are on the West Coast of New Zealand, you have to visit the Franz Josef Glacier. This Glacier gets known to be one of the steepest glaciers in New Zealand. The Glacier got first explored by locals in 1865. By the name of Julius von Haast. The Glacier is at least five kilometers from town, and if you feel like scaling up this Glacier, it takes an hour and fifteen minutes to complete.

If you want to hike up the Glacier, you have to join either the glacier heli hike tour or the guided ice walk tour. But if you don’t want to hike up the Glacier and still want picturesque views. Franz Josef Glacier also provides aerial views.

There are a lot of fun activities you can do at Franz Josef Glacier and its surroundings. Some fun activities you could try out include visiting the local rainforests, waterfalls, and lakes.

Some other activities you can fill your into ready with include exploring the wildlife center or even try your hand at kayaking.

Matamata on Pixabay

7. Matamata

Are you visiting the Northern part of New Zealand? Matamata is a place you will definitely want to add to your list. As an expat, this is a place you will definitely want to add to your itinerary. To the locals and big-time tourists, this may seem like a small town with little to do. But Matamata is actually a great place to visit, especially with its beautiful buildings and green landscapes.

Did you know that Matamata is actually the hometown of the movie set for both Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films? If you enjoyed watching these films, this is definitely something you want to visit the Hobbiton movie set and explore the tiny homes of the hobbits.

8. Museum of New Zealand

Are you planning on visiting Wellington on your trip to New Zealand? If you are, you must visit the Museum of New Zealand. The Museum of New Zealand opened its doors to the public in 1998 and has roughly a million people go through its doors every year.

With this museum being open from 10 am – 6 pm every day, except Christmas Day, you definitely will not miss out on any fun. There are so many fun things to do here, such as visit the many events that take place. Take a look at all the exhibitions, new and old.

Napier on Pixabay

9. Napier

If you are on the North Island of New Zealand, you have to visit Napier. Napier gets known for its renowned wine-producing region of Hawkes Bay and the many art landmarks.

There are many great activities for you and the family to enjoy in Napier. Some activities you could try include visiting the national aquarium of New Zealand. You can book close encounters with many of the animals they have like, penguins. You could also try joining an art deco tour.

The streets of Napier get filled with restaurants and many bars too, so perhaps try hitting one of the many urban bars.

10. Fox Glacier

On the western coast of Southern Island in New Zealand, you will find this beautiful 13-kilometer Glacier. The Fox Glacier gets located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

If you are wondering what you can do at Fox Glacier, here are some things to try. Take on one of the hiking trails, or take a scenic walk around Lake Matheson. This lake is also a beautiful place for taking gorgeous pictures. You could also visit the glow worm caves around the area or visit the town that offers many cafes and restaurants.

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