We have written the BEST from the beautiful landscape of Zealand for you.
Milford Sound is a fjord located in the southwest of the South Island and is part of the Fiordland National Park. It is a piece of beautiful nature, a pearl in the crown of the beauties of this country. Visitors to the fjord can admire the bays, waterfalls, cliffs and the pointed peak of Miter Peak, rising directly from the water. Locals recommend buying a boat because the views from it are beautiful and breathtaking.
Fiordland National Park is the largest national park in New Zealand. Everything in it is green - forests, mosses, ferns, and even the water in the lakes. The local center is the town of Te Anau, where the tourist center can get a lot of information about treks that lead through deep forests and mountain slopes.
Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is located at the northern tip of the North Island. It is an area where there are beautiful beaches full of sunshine and warm dunes. Travelers are offered a wonderful relaxation - they can float on the waves, watch the waves, take and bring surfers back, and how they can create interesting shapes in the sand. Another option is to explore the whole area, there are, for example, the cities of Russell and Paihia. And because it is a bay of islands, tourists can board a selected boat and visit an island.
In the footsteps of the Lord of the Rings
If you want to follow in the footsteps of Lord of the Rings filming, you should travel almost all of New Zealand, a landscape that the filmmakers have transformed into Middle-earth. The selected localities were completed with the help of technicians and make-up artists so that the landscape corresponded to the scenario. And where was it filmed? Of course, there were a lot of scenes in The Hobbiton, another in the Tongariro National Park, another by the lakes and mountains of the South Island. And the magic of the landscape is used everywhere, with scenery where the water level, steep mountains and meadows stand out.
From a sheep farm in the middle of the North Island, between Hamilton and Tauranga, about 100 km north of Rotorua, the filmmakers created a magnet for many admirers of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Visitors can be drawn directly into the story and find themselves in the scenery of the film Middle-earth. They will choose from a range of tours and walk through attractive places that they remember from movies. These include, for example, the hobbit burrow, At the Green Dragonpub and the whole landscape with picturesque views. During the tour, the guides tell you about the events from the shooting. And in the evening, when it gets dark, the tours are much more interesting and the visitors are much closer to the atmosphere they have only seen on the movie screen so far.
White Island is an island with an active volcano, which lies opposite the Bay of Plenty. In 2019, the volcano was raging, in January 2020, smoke could be seen coming out of its esophagus. Boat trips to the island are organized, and those interested can also book a sightseeing flight.
Visitors to the island get helmets and walk through the crater with a guide. They can see steaming vents full of steam, hot volcanic springs and bubbling mud levels. All around you see sulfur, which turns everything yellow and orange.
The national park is one of the most visited locations on the North Island. The main attraction is the volcanoes, the highest of which is Mt. Ruapehu / Tahurangi (2,797 m above sea level). Next to it, you can see the massive crater of Ngauruhoe volcano and of course Mt. Tongariro. Accordingly, the popular trek Tongariro Alpine Crossing, 20 km long, is also named. It is recommended to all those who are just a little physically fit to cross the volcanic peak with an elevation gain of about 1200 meters. It starts from the Mangatepopo car park, which is located east of Pukekaikiore. However, you can only park there for a maximum of 4 hours, so those interested in the trek are brought here by taxis from individual hotels and towns that are in the vicinity. It is, therefore, optimal to book in advance not only the arrival at the beginning, but also the transport from the last one, from which tourists will not otherwise get. Visitors will first climb the slopes of Ngauruhoe and then travel along the plateau across the Red Crater to two sulfur lakes. And then just keep going down the serpentines. Between low bushes and often in the sun, the views are great, but the way down is almost more tiring than the challenging climb. Because it is a popular route, it often falls in crowds, both up and down. Nobody buys anything along the way, but there are plenty of mobile toilets. If you don’t want to go, you can book a flight over the whole area. And if you have more time, you can try the 6-day Round the Mountain trekking, which runs around Mount Ruapehu.
Taranaki is a beautiful, solitary volcano with a regular cone, 2518 meters high, which dominates the western tip of the North Island. In good weather it can be seen not only from the coast, but also from distant places. It is also one of the most visited mountains in New Zealand. With the beauty of the mountain and the possibility that from the top you will see the island in the palm of your hand, because the ascent to the top can be managed in one day. Another attribute of the place is the fact that the mountain is sacred to the Maori, their chieftains were buried here.
The top of the volcano can be reached from several sides, but only one path is accessible for tourists. Those interested in climbing are advised to wear warm and waterproof clothing, as there are ice and frost upstairs. The peak is snowy all year round, respectively. is covered with ice. The mountain is one of the places where it rains the most in New Zealand. Tour participants also have to anticipate sudden changes in the weather, which may force them to return to base. The mountain is the center of Egmont National Park.
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park is located in Golden Bay in the north of the South Island. Unlike other NPs, tourists do not face any large elevations, the paths lead along the undulating plain along the beautiful coast. What can be seen here? Long sandy beaches, astounding blue sea and the original bush. If the passenger chooses one of the offered treks, he or she can choose between different options - just walk, take a taxi and return on foot along the coast or use only the waterway. Those interested are also offered kayaking or sailing. The whole walking route is 51 km long. It leads along wooden sidewalks, groomed paths along the coast or. along some bays. Visitors can admire beautiful views of the beaches and bays. In some places of the trek there are stops, where the road to the mountain is developed and it is possible to walk along the marked path through the rich vegetation and relax to the sounds of local birds and insects. And what to watch out for? Especially at high tide, some sections of the route are flooded during high tide and passengers have to wait for low tide or wade through the water.
Tekapo is a glacial lake that lies on the South Island, about 100 km to the south of Christchurch. Its area is 87 km2, the water level is 713 m. The lake is fed by several rivers, the largest tributary is from the Godley River, which originates in the Southern Alps. The water in the lake is turquoise, when viewed from the north, you can see the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps behind it, which attracts photographers to immortalize the view of the water and the mountains. Especially when they mix the surrounding meadows, which are full of flowers. In the south of the lake is the town of Lake Tekapo.
Arthur´s Pass National Park
Arthur’s Pass National Park is located in the middle of the South Island. In its center is the village of the same name. The park is a popular destination for tourists, who are attracted to guided roads by trees in the valleys and along the slopes of mountain peaks. They reach a height of 2000 m. However, you can only stop here, park your vehicle on the way from Christchurch to Greymouth and walk on the sidewalks, perceive and absorb the atmosphere of unspoiled nature with all your senses. The NP is very large, so most visitors will see only a small part of it. And who then continues to the Tasman Sea in the west, can stop at Lake Brunner.
Auckland is located on the North Island and is the largest city in New Zealand. Over 1.6 million people live in the entire agglomeration. Many say it is a large village running by highways. This is because the vast majority of buildings are low, the country is not building many high houses due to volcanoes and earthquakes. The tallest building in Auckland is the Sky Tower, which dominates the city. And any other attraction? Visitors are advised to visit the port of Queens Wharf, walk along the main street of Queen Street, visit the fish market, walk to the highest local volcano Mt. Eden, where a green 50-meter-deep crater drips. You can also go to the coast and go swimming. Locals recommend Mission Bay in the northern part of the city or Takapuna Beach, which can be found opposite Rangitoto Island.
Auckland is not only a modern economic center, it is also a city of schools and universities. In addition to the locals, a large number of foreigners, mostly Chinese, study here.
Coromandel is a peninsula located on the northeastern tip of the North Island. The national park of the same name covers most of the peninsula. There are many attractions that attract visitors from all over the world. Why is it? The peninsula is very mountainous, reaching its peak means going through hundreds of serpentines up and down. The reward, however, is beautiful original nature, beautiful rocky shores and views of the blue sea.
Tourists come here to visit Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach and other natural features. However, the amazing atmosphere of the towns of Coromandel and Whitianga awaits them.
Cathedral Cove is a rock that resembles a gate. Here you enter a beautiful beach, which is bordered by a high steep rock and from which there is a view of the calm sea, in which there are many small islands, rather rocks that break the waves of the ocean, so when you enter the water, the ripples just sway you so easily. Cathedral Cove can be reached on foot from Hahei Beach car park or by boat.
Hot Water Beach is a beach on the shores of the peninsula, but it also offers the opportunity to warm your body in hot water, even if it is cold outside. There are hot springs under the beach, so after low tide, visitors dig wide pools in the sand, which will soon be filled with warm water. Warm thermal water springs from below, it is often too hot. Therefore, it is good to cool it with seawater.
At first glance, the town of Coromandel is reminiscent of a typical town in the American West, where a sheriff rules and a horde of cowboys soon pass. It’s Whitiang, it’s something else. Solid modern town with beautiful villas, which is separated from the city beach by a palm row. There are many shops and a large shopping center. In the city you will meet a lot of foreigners, whom you will recognize immediately, because, unlike the locals, they normally wear shoes. Locals most often go here barefoot or in rubber boots.
Kaikoura is a larger coastal village located on the east coast of the South Island. It is spread under majestic mountains, reaching almost 3000 m. The biggest attraction is the trek around the peninsula - Kaikoura Coast Track. In about 12 km, visitors walk along the seashore, climb steep cliffs and continue along the plateau, everywhere they can observe the blue sky, the surf and flocks of seagulls. On the rocks in the sea, it is possible to see seals, as in one of the few places on earth you can watch whales very close to the mainland. Those interested can pay for a boat trip, which guarantees a meeting with dolphins and whales. If you are unlucky and do not meet any of them, the organizer will refund the amounts paid to the visitors.
Taupo is the name of a lake that lies about 50 km to the north of the volcanoes Tahurangi and Tongariro, the North Island. The lake was created 26,000 years ago by a supervolcano, on the top of which a caldera filled with water was created. It is the largest lake in New Zealand, with an area of 616 km2. There are beautiful sandy beaches and many species of water birds live here. The sand on the beaches is white and there are a lot of white smooth stones everywhere. But when you throw them into the lake, you will find that the stone floats - it is pumice, which is light and originated here during volcanic activity.
The lake area is a frequent tourist destination. And not only because of the lake and swimming, but there are also other attractions, such as the most beautiful wild water in the country - Huka Falls and Crater of Moon, which is an active geometric area, the largest in the country. For a small fee, visitors can watch a mixture of steam and hot mud being ejected into the air. The ground is smoked everywhere. The circuit route will take them about an hour.
The city of Rotorua lies on the shores of the lake of the same name, which was formed as a result of volcanic eruptions. It is the largest city in the region, has its own airport, large shopping malls, beautiful parks and museums, but it is mainly a spa. Spa is designed to improve the musculoskeletal system, relax muscles and relieve pain. The city lies in an area that is the center of the volcanic area. There are many pools, whose thermal water has a temperature between 33 and 43 ° C. Steam rises from the ground and mud bubbles in the ponds everywhere. Geothermal manifestations can be observed in almost every place in the city.
The largest spa is located in the Government Gardens, which lies between the city center and the lakeshore. Their dominant feature is the Tudor Tower building in which the Museum of Art and History is located.
The city also has a Forest - 5,500 hectares of forest, 6 hectares are planted with gigantic redwoods, which were imported here in the 20th century. Visitors can walk here and admire both the forest and the individual trees. There are also Maori villages and performances of Maori culture.
The city not only offers walks and shopping, but there are various outdoor activities available, including rafting, skyline under the cable car, zipline on the local track, bike park and finally you can walk the trail in the treetops. 30 km from the city are lakes Titikapu and Rotokakahi - blue and green lake. Titikapu is beautifully blue, there is a large camp on its shore and you can swim in it.
The most beautiful beaches of New Zealand
90 Mile Beach
This beach is the world’s most famous beach in New Zealand. The beach is known mainly for its length and is a destination for surfers. It is located on the very northern tip of the North Island. The southern end of the beach is near the Reef Point promontory, which lies near the town of Kaitaia. The beach is narrow and very long, lined with dunes, behind which there is only a bush. The northern end of the beach is formed by Cape Reinga. This is where everything ends, there is only the ocean.
Tunnel Beach is a beach located in the southwest of the center of Dunedin. It is sought after for its appearance: it has sea-carved sandstone cliffs and rock arches. It has its name because it can be reached through a tunnel. Visitors can reach the tunnel and the beach from Blackhead Road and then the Tunnel Beach Track. Although the beach is beautiful and photogenic, it is not very suitable for swimming. In the warmest months, the average temperature in Dunedin is around 15 degrees, so even though it is very hot during the day, the water in the sea does not heat up much.
Piha Beach is located on the west coast about 40 km west of Auckland. The sand here is black - due to its volcanic origin - and Lion Rock divides it into two parts. The beach is especially popular with surfers. The reason is high waves, in which it is almost impossible to swim, just jump or ride a surf. Therefore, it is also quite dangerous and the Coast Guard stands and controls bathers on both parts of the long beach. It always has marked places where it is possible to enter the water. As for bathers elsewhere, they wave and whistle at him. They do this to prevent them from being drawn into the lower vortices, which would not allow them to climb out of the water and pull them into the depths. Visitors to the beach do not swim much, but they can warm themselves by lying on the hot sand. Because of this, it is not possible to get to the beach without shoes, the hot sand will allow the barefoot to take them a few steps only. There are shorter treks around the village of Piha, which take tourists to the surrounding views and to the extending mountain, which stretches far inland. You can also conquer Lion Rock, where the totem is located.
Wharariki Beach is a sandy beach on the northernmost tip of the South Island. Visitors will find it in the west of Cape Farewell. At the back of the beach are white sand dunes, otherwise everywhere only sand surrounded by rocks. And at low tide, the water creates a reflective surface on the sand, where you can see the silhouettes of rocks rising from the sea. Someone calls them rocks, officially the Archway Islands.
In addition to swimming, long walks and exploration of rocks and caves can be taken. The rocks have picturesque shapes, one looks like an elephant lost at sea, the other gives the impression that it is an unfinished stone envelope of a large temple. At low tide, small pools remain in the sand, and many visitors are fortunate to see seal pups playing together while adults rest nearby.
Moeraki Boulders Beach
Koekohe Beach is located on the east coast of the South Island, about 40 km to the north of Dunedin. It is a “normal” sandy beach, which differs from others in that it is scattered by groups of huge round stones (Moeraki Boulders). The stones - rather boulders - are up to two meters wide and weigh several tons. There is a path around them and because it is a big attraction, there are always a lot of people interested in taking pictures of them.
From Tauranga approximately 10 km to the east in Plenty Bay, the beaches of Papamoa are not attractive from a tourist point of view. But this is a very big mistake! There is one beautiful beach after another in the whole bay. There is beautiful fine yellow sand everywhere, the beaches are clean, not very wide and there is no rush on any of them. The sea is refreshing, the water temperature in the summer months is optimal. The waves are not too high, so you can swim well in the sea, go boating or just play with the children. Many beaches are next to campsites and hotels. The author of these lines was most interested in the beach in Papamoa. It is next to the Papamoa Holiday campsite and is separated from the residential houses by a high slope and a meadow. Just drive to the parking lot above the beach, go down a few steps and visitors are right by the water.
The highest mountain in New Zealand
Mount Cook resp. Aoraki is the highest mountain in New Zealand. It is 3724 m high and lies in the Southern Alps in the middle of the South Island. In its vicinity are the Tasmanian and Hooker glaciers, it lies in the National Park of the same name, where there are more than 100 other peaks, higher than 2,000 meters, and many glaciers that cover the NP of 40%.