9 Must See Vacation Destinations in New Zealand
When planning your trip to New Zealand, you may not know exactly where to begin. Here’s a list of 9 ‘Must-Dos’ to get you started. Don’t forget if you need help planning your dream vacation, need the best deals, looking for suggestions, contact a Travel Team Agent at 1-800-788-0829 today!
Staggering beauty and heart-pumping thrills await in the resort town of Queenstown, which is also known for its Hobbits—much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the area. Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Queenstown for the kayaking, bungee jumping, jetboating, white-water rafting, hiking and skiing. More mild-mannered adventurers can take a quiet cruise through nearby Milford Sound, part of the Fjordland National Park World Heritage area, or sample South Island pinot noir from one of the region’s 75 wineries.
Whitianga is located on the North Island about 2.45 hour drive from Auckland. Enjoy beaches, water sports, scenic flights and boat excursions of Mercury Bay. Whitianga has great seafood and forests; is known for a forest walk or two.
Enjoy sampling the wines of the Marlborough Wine Region in Blenheim, an agricultural town in the heart of New Zealand’s renowned wine hub. More than 20 wineries are just a hop, skip and a corkscrew away from Blenheim, where a stream of cafes and restaurants serve up tasty, artisan fare. One of the sunniest towns in New Zealand, Blenheim is the perfect destination for foodies and wine lovers who love to soak up the sun.
Wanaka is on the South Island and it appeals to both adventure lovers and relaxation-minded travelers. Situated on the crystal-clear waters of New Zealand’s fourth-largest lake, just a short drive from Mount Aspiring National Park, Wanaka is an ideal spot to go fishing, hiking, skiing, wine-tasting or golfing. The city also hosts Warbirds Over Wanaka, the largest three-day air show in the Southern Hemisphere.
Artists and free-spirits mingle with the rich and famous on this blissful island, a haven of beautiful beaches, gastronomical treasures and small wineries. So much to explore, you can browse the dozens of art galleries and craft stores of the Waiheke Arts Trail, take a swim in emerald waters, soar above the landscape on a chartered scenic flight, stop for a casual beachfront café meal or an upscale, multi-course affair. Waiheke boasts several boutique vineyards, your perfect spot for savoring New Zealand’s fine wines.
Tauranga Island boasts lush parks and golden beaches, making it a popular destination for outdoorsy folks and watersports lovers. Located on New Zealand’s North Island, you’ll find a variety of opportunities for surfing, white water rafting, kiteboarding, hiking and golfing. Take a refreshing dip in the swimming holes by Kaiate Falls, visit one of Tauranga’s amusement park, take a guided nature tour or swim with dolphins in the Bay of Plenty.
Kaikoura means “meal of crayfish,” a nod to the New Zealand township’s seafood-rich origins. Located on the South Island, this settlement provides an ideal base camp for observing the abundant offshore wildlife (sperm whales, dusky dolphins, orcas and fur seals) and dining on fresh local catch.
A gateway to Fjordland National Park, Te Anau is nestled on the edge of a lake of the same name—the perfect site for jetboating or fishing. Embark on one of many day-long or multi-day hiking or walking tracks, then enjoy a soak or massage at a spa and a delicious café meal. Nature lovers will marvel at the Te Anau glowworm caves, the Wildlife Park and Ivon Wilson Park
The Remarkables are a mountain range and skifield in Otago in the South Island of New Zealand. Located on the southeastern shore of Lake Wakatipu, the range rises sharply to create an impressive backdrop for the waters. The range is clearly visible from the nearby town of Queenstown. The Remarkables are welcoming and relaxed for beginners and challenging for the more experienced.