For being such a small island country, New Zealand is packed with an array of diverse and beautiful landscapes.
If travelers were to compare New Zealand to the United States they’d learn that it has roughly the same surface area as Colorado. For being such a small island country, it is packed with an array of diverse landscapes.
With snow-covered peaks, jaw-dropping glaciers, steep fjords, rolling hillsides, temperate rainforests, and a coastline with beautiful beaches, New Zealand is striking no matter which part travelers find themselves in. Highlighting just a few of these incredible sights won’t do the nation justice, but the sites we’ve listed will make anyone want to journey to New Zealand.
No matter if travelers are looking for thrilling hikes with endless views or want to relax on a pristine beach overlooking large rock formations, New Zealand makes a perfect destination for just about anyone. Here are 20 photos of the island nation that will make you want to book a plane ticket ASAP.
20. New Zealand Is Without A Doubt One Of The Most Beautiful Countries On Earth
It’s easy to see why people want to travel to New Zealand. The island country’s landscape is so diverse, travelers can do just about any outdoor activity. There are walking paths that will lead to waterfalls, remote beaches you can have all to yourself and hikes to active volcanoes with emerald-green lakes.
19. From White Sands To Snowy Mountains, It Has It All
There are countless beaches that line the coasts of New Zealand, from Rarawa Beach in the Far North that is known for its very white sand to Mount Maunganui Main Beach in Tauranga with its blue waters, green hills, and lively atmosphere. For lovers of snow, there are endless hikes to sights like Mount Cook and Mount Tasman in the Southern Alps.
18. There Are Breathtaking Waterfalls
There are hundreds of waterfalls in New Zealand with the tallest one towering 2,000 feet in Fiordland National Park named Sutherland Falls. The waterfall is so big, it can be seen from miles away, but travelers should see this amazing sight up close easily accessible with a car ride or a hike on foot.
17. The Country Contains Stunning Geographic Diversity
Boat cruises are a great alternative to see all the amazing sited and diverse landscapes in New Zealand. On the North Island, travelers can take a boat cruise around the Coromandel to see stunning beaches and coves or head to South Island to see Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu surrounded by snow-capped mountains and forests.
16. Two-Million-Year Old Caves
In the North Island, travelers seeking more of a thrill can find themselves walking through two-million-year old caves populated by a species of glowworm, reports Matador Network. There are even boat rides that take you through glow worm caves that will make your trip feel magical thanks to these luminescent worms.
15. Mount Tongariro Is One Of The Best Hikes In The World
Mount Tongariro is one of the main active volcanoes in the North Island with the Tongariro Alpine Crossing known as the world’s greatest single-day hike. This hike takes travelers through volcanic terrain with old lava fields with steep descents down to thermal pools.
14. Milford Sound Is Surrounded By Sheer Rock Faces And High Peaks
Milford Sound is considered one of the top tourist destinations in the world. This spectacular fjord contains waterfalls and is home to a vast number of wildlife like penguins and dolphins and steep mountains and summits. The area is breathtaking and unlike any place on the planet.
13. Countless Incredible Drives
The best way travelers can see all of New Zealand is on a road trip. One of the best drives is from the rugged west coast from Westport to Greymouth. Travelers should see amazing views of the coast and majestic snow-capped Southern Alps right on the other side, Backpacking Matt recommends.
12. Views Seem To Be Endless
There are endless sights to see here but if you’re looking for some cool Instagram photo opportunities, head to a few spots like the Nugget Point Lighthouse, Milford Sound, Cathedral Cove, Castle Hill or take the Queenstown Skyline Gondola for views of Lake Wakatipu and the city, according to Escape Here.
11. Remote Locations Where Travelers Can Have A Beach All To Themselves
Looking for something more remote and away from tourists? Travelers should trek to Cape Farewell to find beautiful cliffs, sand dunes, and Wharariki Beach, located at the northernmost tip of the South Island. You’ll also find the stunning Archway Islands off the beach which have been featured in many Instagram feeds.
10. Awe-Inspiring Lakes That Seem To Go On Forever
According to Touropia, there are about 800 lakes in New Zealand and most of them were created by glacial movements thousands of years ago. These lakes are surrounded by an array of landscapes like majestic mountains and rocky hills. Some of the most impressive lakes include Lake Rotoiti, Lake Ohau, and Lake Te Anau.
9. Franz Josef Glacier Is A Bucket-List Site
The Franz Josef Glacier has some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in all of New Zealand. Descending from the tops of the Southern Alps into the temperate lush rainforest, it is just outrageously stunning. Travelers will have to board a helicopter to get to the ice and start their descent down towards the Tasman Sea, writes The Culture Trip.
8. Day Trips To Lake Pukaki Is A Must-Do
Lake Pukaki is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the island country. Located on the South Island, the main thing that stands out about this lake is its very blue waters, and no this photo isn’t photo-shopped. According to Drone and SLR, fine rock particles that get transported from glaciers called “glacier flour” give this lake its distinctive blue color.
7. Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest Contains The World’s Tallest Tree Species
The area around Whakarewarewa valley was completely deforested by European settlers in the late 1800s. With nothing growing here, the New Zealand government began an exotic species experiment to see what would grow most quickly in the area. As a result, they learned that the California coast redwoods (the tallest tree species in the world) did exceptionally well and now blanket the area.
6. Geothermal Areas Featuring Boiling Mud Pools And Hot Springs
The Wai-O-Tapu geothermal area near the Rotorua in the North Island is home to geysers, boiling mud pools and hot springs like the Champagne Pool pictured above. The Champagne Pool is derived from the constant influx of carbon dioxide gas, similar to a glass of bubbling champagne, writes Amusing Planet.
5. Sandy Beaches And Surrounding Hills Are Found In The Nation’s Capital
In Wellington, the nation’s capital, there are beaches travelers just cannot miss. Check out Lyall Bay, a beach known for surfing and great places to dine, Castlepoint, where you’ll find an incredible lighthouse and Red Rocks, a popular spot to see seals and red-colored rocks that were formed hundreds of years ago.
4. Coromandel Peninsula Is A Popular Holiday Destination
The Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island is known for pristine beaches, amazing rock formations, cliffs, and caves. Travelers should take a Coromandel coastal walk to discover all of these stunning sights or snorkel and kayak around sea caves, cliffs, and blowholes near Cathedral Cove.
3. Take In Views Of Snow Capped Mountains
In the South Island, travelers will see New Zealand’s majestic mountains and their snow-capped peaks. Near Queenstown, tourists can ski and snowboard on the steep mountain range known as The Remarkables in the winter months. The mountain range decorates the southeastern shores of Lake Wakatipu.
2. Queenstown Is The Most Picturesque Place Visitors Will See
Queenstown is known as the country’s adventure capital, with visitors and natives walking or biking along Lake Wakatipu, taking the Skyline Gondola for breathtaking views of the landscape, and bungee jumping Skippers Canyon, writes The Culture Trip.
1. A Photographer’s Dream Come True
Each November, travelers can take photos and marvel at the beautiful Lupin flowers that cover entire fields along lakeshores, streams, and highways of the Mackenzie Region. With colors of pinks, purples, and whites, these flowers are a sight to see, and a photographer’s dream.