Trip and Wellness

15 Top Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in the New Zealand

Stunning scenic views of Lake Wanaka and Aspiring national park

As travel enthusiasts, we understand the importance of planning a memorable vacation that’s worth every penny. And when it comes to New Zealand, there’s no doubt that it’s a breathtaking destination that’s worth exploring. From picturesque landscapes to adrenaline-pumping activities, New Zealand has something for everyone.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a virtual journey through the best tourist attractions in New Zealand. Our aim is to provide you with detailed insights into each location, including the top things to do and see so that you can plan your itinerary with ease.

1. Hamilton

Hamilton Aerial View, New Zealand
source: gettyimages

Hamilton is the most populated in the Waikato Region and is nestled on the banks of the Waikato River. Hamilton’s most famous gardens and public parks are themed gardens in Italian Renaissance to Japanese, and Traditional Maori styles. This place has a wide range of antique art and treasures. The lively metropolis has a plethora of multi-cuisine restaurants and pubs where you may unwind.

Hamilton Garden, a wonderful mix of horticultural expertise and inventiveness, and Hamilton Zoo, home to over 500 species. While the Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato is a great way to immerse yourself in Hamilton’s art and culture, other popular attractions in the Waikato region are worth a visit.

Visiting the city’s more than 120 waterfalls, and hiking along scenic routes passing through waterfront paths, lush forest valleys, and the Bruce Trail will allow you to get close to nature. The Royal Botanical Gardens, the glittering glow worms at Waitomo, and learning to surf at Raglan will give you a sense of the vibe of New Zealand.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Hamilton: Best Areas & Hotels

2. Queenstown

Sunset at Queenstown, New Zealand
Source: istockphoto

Queenstown is located on New Zealand’s South Island and is recognized as a dream resort for individuals seeking adrenaline. It is an exceptionally beautiful site, surrounded by the towering peaks of the Southern Alps and right on the banks of deep-blue Lake Wakatipu.

One of the best places to take in the view is Lake Wakatipu. You may cycle around the lake’s edge or take a cruise on its beautiful waters. There is also a thriving nightlife in the town’s small center district, which is densely packed with pubs and restaurants.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Queenstown: Best Areas & Hotels

3. Glacier Country

Aerial View of Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Source: istockphoto

Glacier Country is located on Western Coast of South Island, and its crown treasure is Westland National Park. You’ll be able to see the country’s two most stunning glaciers, Franz Josef Glacier, and Fox Glacier in the park.

The Franz Josef Glacier is one of the world’s most accessible glaciers, which means you may walk up to it and even into its valley. Guided tours allow a closer look at the expanding glaciers, and bathing in the gorgeous glacial hot springs is a great way to relax after a day of hiking.

4. Fiordland

Famous Mitre Peak rising from the Milford Sound fiord. Fiordland national park, New Zealand
Source: istockphoto

The Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most picturesque areas. You may go on great climbs, fish for trout, or cruise on the stunning fjords in the South Island’s southwestern region. The biggest attraction in Fiordland is Milford Sound, a real fjord formed by a glacier.

A tour around Milford Sound allows you to observe waterfalls, steep rock walls towering above the sea, and animals such as dolphins and penguins.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Fiordland National Park: Best Areas & Hotels

5. Auckland

Auckland City in Summer at New Zealand
Source: istockphoto

Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand and the most populated Polynesian city in the world (population = 1.6 million). The city is surrounded by blond- and black-sand beaches, rainforest hiking paths, scenic coves, islands, and volcanoes, making it an ideal base for day excursions and outdoor activities.

Visitors may zip up the 328-meter Sky Tower for amazing views of the city and region to enjoy Auckland’s wonderful setting. Other fun things to do in Auckland include dining at top restaurants, experiencing the city’s vibrant arts scene, and exploring the city’s revamped waterfront district, which is packed with boutiques and restaurants.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Auckland: Best Areas & Hotels

6. Christchurch

Morning sun lights up small port town, Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Source: gettyimages

One of the most popular places to visit for tourists in New Zealand is Christchurch. Although the city was leveled to its foundations by a series of four devastating earthquakes that occurred between 2010 and 2011, it has been able to rise from the ashes and resume normal operations. In every corner of the city, you can see signs of the revitalization taking place. Everything, from brand-new buildings to retail malls, has been rebuilt from the ground up once again. 

The stunning Botanic Gardens are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. Here, visitors may take advantage of the many excellent strolling paths, conservatories, and horticultural exhibitions. In addition, the garden is home to some of the oldest, tallest, and most massive trees that can be found anywhere in New Zealand. Ride the gondola to get a bird’s-eye view of both the new and the old parts of Christchurch. You may take in the breathtaking views of Mt. Cavendish from the comfort of the cable car.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Christchurch: Best Areas & Hotels

7. Wellington

High angle view of Wellington CBD and harbour at sunrise, North island, New Zealand
Source: gettyimages

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital, situated on the southwestern corner of the North Island. It is a bustling city surrounded by hills and a beautiful harbor. It is renowned as the Windy City because of its thriving arts and cultural scene, as well as its outdoor activities and gorgeous natural environment. Wellington is known as the “coolest little capital in the world,” and it has something for everyone.

This New Zealand city is also a terrific destination to visit, with lots of interesting things to keep you busy. You may take a cable car up to the Wellington Botanic Garden, visit Zealandia eco-sanctuary to New Zealand’s natural species, tour Te Papa – the national museum, or just wander along the shoreline. Kayaking, mountain biking, and a variety of other outdoor sports are available for the more daring. There is something for everyone to enjoy during their vacation to Wellington!

8. Nelson

Central shopping and dining streets of the city of Nelson, Nelson region, South Island, New Zealand
Source: gettyimages

Nelson is known for its amazing lifestyle, beautiful scenery, and magnificent beaches. The town, which overlooks Tasman Bay, is one of the most popular destinations to visit in New Zealand and provides an ideal base for relaxation, partying, or indulging.

Those who have an interest in history may visit Founders Heritage Park, which has a museum including a vintage railroad. Hikers and walkers enjoy the Heaphy Track, and along the way, they may stop at art studios and markets to sample regional specialties and look for unique mementos to take home with them. Views of enchanting seascapes or freshwater springs may be seen at Golden Bay and Takaka, respectively. Visit Abel Tasman National Park to get lost in the verdant splendor of the park or to have an exciting day kayaking or hiking.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Nelson: Best Areas & Hotels

9. Rotorua

Steam through the landscape from the fumaroles, geysers and hot springs of Whakarewarewa Thermal Park in Rotorua, New Zealand.
Source: istockphoto

Rotorua is a geothermal location in the globe with some stunning landscapes. It is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Steaming geysers, boiling mud pools, hissing thermal springs, and volcanic craters add to the already breathtaking landscape. Take a walk around these geological beauties and bathe in the mineral-rich water. Sky diving, luging, hiking, and mountain biking are just a few of the activities available, making it a must-see destination in New Zealand for the daring.

10. Milford Sound

the Rushing water of Bowen falls, it is the biggest waterfall in the Milford Sounds
Source: gettyimages

Milford Sound, sometimes known as the ” Eighth Wonder of the World,” is one of those New Zealand locations that you just must see at least once in your lifetime. Amazingly beautiful landscapes can be found all around the Milford Sound area, which is surrounded by glaciers. The use of boats is highly recommended for getting about the area. Take a trip around the region to see the many waterfalls and animals that live there. You also have the option of going on a kayaking excursion if you want to.

When you visit the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory, you may descend below the surface of the water if you have previously enjoyed exploring the water’s surface. The Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory is located in Milford. The Underwater Observatory is the only one of its kind in New Zealand. When you go thirty feet deep into the water, you’ll have a view of everything that’s happening below the surface in every direction.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Milford Sound: Best Areas & Hotels

11. Waiheke Island

Aerial view of Putaki Bay in Waiheke Island, Auckland
Source: istockphoto

Waiheke Island is one of the most stunning tourist destinations in New Zealand. It is just half an hour by boat from the heart of Auckland, making it one of the most convenient spots to visit in the country. All of you who enjoy wine will find that this is the perfect location for you. A variety of wineries may be found in and around this location. When you come to this location, you really must make time to participate in one of the wine excursions.

During the wine excursions, you will get the opportunity to try samples of 14 different wines. You will be led by knowledgeable experts to the three vineyards where you will have the opportunity to sample some of the highest-quality wines. The only thing you can do on the island of Waiheke is drink wine, although there are plenty of other things you can do there besides that. Additionally, the island is a very well-known art scene, with its olive groves, its forests, and beaches. While you are in this area, it is strongly suggested that you participate in either a cultural or a hiking excursion.

12. Napier

New Zealand, North Island, Hawkes Bay, Napier, elevated city view, dusk
Source: gettyimages

Napier, which is situated in the sunny area of Hawke’s Bay. It is well-known for its Art Deco architecture and its high-end cuisine. The town was completely leveled by a severe earthquake in 1931. Then, it was rebuilt in the Spanish Mission style and Art Deco architecture, both of which are famously associated with Miami Beach. Today, visitors can enjoy Napier Beach or a self-guided tour of the area’s Maori-designed buildings.

The Marine Parade seaside promenade has the famous Pania of the Reef statue from Maori mythology. Furthermore, foodies will be in heaven in Napier.  In this town, gourmet restaurants have made a specialty out of utilizing locally sourced, fresh vegetables. The town also hosts several very popular farmer’s markets. Hiking Paths and the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers are both nearby sights that are worth checking out.

13. White Island

The most active volcano in New Zealand, an island in Bay of Plenty.
Source: istockphoto

White Island is one of the greatest spots to visit in New Zealand if you want to do something more exciting on your vacation. It is the country’s most active volcano. This location is great for those adventurous tourists looking to make their journey unforgettable. You may take a helicopter flight above White Island while admiring the breathtaking volcanic terrain. You must wear gas masks and hard helmets since this is an active volcanic region. If you’re fortunate, you could even get to see volcanologists monitoring the volcanoes. You may even take a boat to the island. Those who are brave enough can even go scuba diving around White Island and check out the underwater vents of the volcanoes.

14. Bay of Islands

Waewaetorea Passage, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Source: istockphoto

The Bay of Islands is one of the most sought-after holiday locations in New Zealand. It is located only a three-hour journey north of the city of Auckland. The dazzling bay is dotted with more than 144 islands, which makes it an ideal location for sailing and yachting.

These rich seas are home to a variety of marine life, including penguins, dolphins, whales, and marlin. The area is a popular destination for sport fishing. Visitors have the opportunity to sea kayak along the coast, trek the many island paths, soak up the sun in peaceful coves, see Cape Brett and the iconic rock formation known as Hole in the Rock, and discover subtropical woods where Kauri trees flourish. The picturesque bay may be best explored from a base in one of the area’s charming towns like Russell, Opua, Paihia, or Kerikeri, all of which are located nearby.

15. Lake Tekapo

Lupins At Lake Tekapo
Source: istockphoto

Lake Tekapo is located in the heart of South Island. It is often considered to be one of the most stunning natural attractions in all of New Zealand. The township exudes natural beauty and has breathtaking views of a turquoise-blue lake and the beautiful Southern Alps. It is also a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve and a popular location for stargazing.

Tekapo Springs provides the ideal environment for a variety of water activities as well as beautiful vistas. It is equipped spas, saunas, water slides, and a lot more activities that people of all ages.


What is the best time to visit New Zealand?

The best time to visit New Zealand is during the summer months of December to March.

What is the most beautiful place in New Zealand?

Some of New Zealand’s best attractions that one must visit are Waiheke Island, Hamilton, Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, …

What are 3 things that New Zealand is famous for?

Three things that New Zealand is famous for are Lord of the Rings, rugby, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Why is New Zealand one of the top 10 tourist places to visit?

New Zealand offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience, combining natural beauty, adventure, culture, and sustainability. These factors make it a top destination for tourists from around the world.