Top 10 Tourist Attractions in New Zealand
The Islands of New Zealand are open to thrill seekers both great and small. With its ravishing natural landscapes and refined tourist attractions, this small slice of heaven can chill, thrill, excite, unite and astonish even the most discerning of adventurers. The islands offer a wide range of family oriented activities, such as exploring woodlands, climbing mountains, relaxing on the beach or familiarizing yourself with the indigenous Maori culture. Filled with great resorts and fantastic recreational establishments, New Zealand is a great place to bring the whole family and experience what these islands are all about.
Located at the south-western tip of the North Island, Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and is the second most populated urban area after Auckland, housing more than 395,000 residents. While in Wellington one can visit the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa for short) and be stunned by the amazing collection of art, which represents the unity between the Tangata whenua (people of the land) and tangata tiriti (people of the Treaty).
If you enjoy exploring different cultures, the town of Rotorua has what you’re looking for. Inhabited by friendly locals, Rotorua offers visitors a unique taste of the various geothermal hot spots which have drawn tourists from all over the world. If you haven’t seen a geyser before, we highly recommend it. Rotorua is home to 17 lakes (together known as the Lakes of Rotorua), and are known for their waterskiing, fishing and swimming events.
Even though the peninsula is close to both the densely populated Auckland to the west and Tauranga to the south-east, its majestic nature stays untouched by the influence of man. The centre is completely covered in temperate rain forest, while the outskirts are dotted with fantastic beaches and picturesque landscapes.
Bay of Islands
Get your cameras ready, for these are no ordinary islands. The Bay of Islands is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in all of New Zealand. Fishing, sailing, diving and surfing await all water-loving enthusiasts, both amateur and professional. Known for its big game fishing, the Bay of Islands is truly a place you don’t want to miss, even if you are not that keen to get out on the water.
Have you ever been to a place that is so breath taking; so whimsical and surreal that you can’t help but wonder, “is this real?”. Milford Sound is a fjord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island and is an emblematic feature in the greater Fiordland National Park. Green jagged peaks surround clear blue water to form what Rudyard Kipling colloquially dubbed “The 8th Wonder of the World”. Milford Sound is the foremost attended tourist destination in New Zealand, and is regarded as one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Franz Josef Glacier
Part of the UNESCO World Heritage, the Franz Josef Glacier is perhaps the most accessible (and visited) glacier in the world, welcoming roughly around 2, 700 visitors a day. Although, ever since 2001 the glacier is known to be loosing its foothold, it still draws in tourists from all over the world. The easiest (and safest) way to get around the glacier (since April, 2012) is by helicopter, which will bypass the unstable terminal face and drop passenger’s right onto the glacier itself. Heavy duty equipment is recommended for anyone attempting climb and walk on the ice, as well as a trained, fully-certified guide.
Auckland Sky Tower
Like something that came out of a science fiction flick, the Sky Tower in Auckland has amazed and astonished tourists ever since it first opened its doors in 1997. The tower features two fabulous restaurants, one of which is the first and only revolving restaurant in New Zealand. The Sky Tower also supports activities such as the ‘SkyJump’, which is basically a 200 meter free fall jump from the very top of the tower. Luckily, safety precautions have been taken to prevent people hitting the tower on their way back.
Taupo is a quaint little town located on the shore of Lake Taupo in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island. It is an ideal place for experiencing sky diving, bungy jumping, jet boating and para-gliding. The town also offers great panoramic views of the lake itself, as well as the volcanic mountains of Tongariro National Park located to the South.
Kaikoura was once a major player in the whaling industry. Nowadays the small town of only 3,621 inhabitants serves and houses tourists, who have come to marvel at the abundant wildlife and enjoy freshly caught seafood at one of the many amazing restaurants in Kaikoura.
Abel Tasman National Park
Located at the north end of the South Island of New Zealand, the Abel Tasman National Park offers hikers the adventure of a life time. Even though it is the smallest national park in the country, Abel Tasman never ceases to capture tourists’ imagination from all over the world. Natural countryside and a panoramic views of the Riwaka River, places like Abel Tasman National Park are deserve to be in the ‘must see’ list for anyone travelling to New Zealand.
Author Bio: Jack Sheamus‘ big love is travelling and researching new places. He really loves to explore new places. He works for Carpet Cleaner London and that is how he makes enough money to travel.