New Zealand’s diverse and unforgettable landscape is a paradise for nature lovers. At times otherworldly, this untouched country has rugged coastlines, icy glaciers, rolling countryside, towering mountains and abundant wildlife. Here are 20 photos that will convince you to make majestic New Zealand your next holiday destination.
Lake Tekapo, Southern Alps
The clear atmosphere makes this UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve a dazzling place to stargaze by night and a breathtaking place to admire Lake Tekapo during the day. Glaciers create fine rock-flour which floats in the lake giving it an unusual milky turquoise colour.
Milford Sound, Fjordland National Park
Milford Sound is a UNESCO Heritage Site and has been described as the eighth wonder of the world. The fjord is one of the wettest places on earth and, jutting 1692 metres above sea level, Mitre Peak is an iconic New Zealand attraction that can’t be missed. You might even see dolphins, penguins or fur seals during a visit to the country's most famous tourist attraction.
Mirror Lakes, Fjordland
Avalanches, ice and fog can make the drive to Milford Sound one of the most dangerous in the country but it’s also one of the most scenic. Stopping along the way to take in magical sights like Mirror Lakes is well-worth the challenge. On a clear day, you won’t be able to tell Earl Mountain from its reflection in the lake.
Shores of Lake Wakatipu
Surrounded by mountains, Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand’s longest lake and its shores provide a charming setting for a picnic, walk or snooze in the afternoon sun. Watch visitors parasailing, kayaking or boating along the glassy water of the lake.
Maori Rock Carvings, Mine Bay
These impressive Maori rock carvings can only be accessed by boat. The best vantage point is from kayak where you can admire the enormous carvings that line the cliffs of Mine Bay. It took Maori master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell four summers to complete this 10 metre high work of art in the 1970s.
Mt. Aspiring National Park
Named after one of New Zealand’s highest peaks this national park is a combination of towering mountains, lush green valleys and sprawling countryside. Perfect for hiking, tramping or road tripping, you can stop anytime to admire the friendly flocks of sheep and beautiful droves of horses that roam the land.
Tunnel Beach, Otago Peninsula
Just south of the historic town of Dunedin are the high cliffs of Tunnel Beach. Hand-carved in the 1870s this passage leads to a secluded and sheltered beach along the rugged coastline of the Southern Ocean. A spectacular sight, it can be walked in an hour during low-tide but is closed from August to October.
Rolling countryside, Wanaka
The best thing about road-tripping across New Zealand is the ever-changing landscape. In this stunning country it’s all about the journey; stopping along the way will yield some of the most unforgettable views of your trip, like this image taken during a pit-stop from Queenstown to Wanaka.
Bungy Jumping, Queenstown
Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world. Its adventure tourism brings thousands of thrill-seekers to New Zealand’s South Island every year. For adrenaline junkies, no trip is complete without jumping from the Kawarau Bridge at AJ Hackett Bungy Jump.
Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge
For those who prefer to watch, standing on the bridge admiring the view (and watching the bungy jumpers) is almost as exhilarating as the jump itself. It’s certainly entertaining hearing the excited screams as adventurers plunge more than 140 feet down into the river below.
Sit back and relax at dusk while watching the sky over New Zealand change colours. Vibrant red, orange, yellow, pink and purple light up the evening sky; a perfect way to unwind after a day of adventure and sight-seeing.
Fox Glacier, Westland Tai Poutini National Park
One of the most accessible glaciers in the world, Fox Glacier is 13 kilometres long. A tour of this unique natural environment will give you access to incredible ice caves and spectacular scenery. For those who can afford it, a helihike (fly in by helicopter) is an unforgettable experience.
Champagne Pools, Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland
This hot spring on the North Island is considered New Zealand’s most colourful geothermal sightseeing attraction. You won’t believe your eyes when you see the vibrant orange water of the Champagne Pools.
Devil’s Bath, Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland
Suspended sulphur is responsible for the neon green colour of Devil’s Bath - another incredible geothermal feature of Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland.
Skyline Gondola, Queenstown
Take a ride in the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak where you can see 220 degree panoramic views of stunning Queenstown, Coronet Peak, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range.
What better way to see the dramatic landscape of New Zealand than to do it on horseback. Riding across alpine terrain and river gorges, you’ll get a real sense of nature while learning about the land. The Ben Lomond Horse Trekking Station will take you to Moke Lake, where some of The Lord Of The Rings was filmed.
Emerald Lakes, Tongaririo National Park
The 19.4 kilometre Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track is hailed as being the best one day-trek (or tramp as the Kiwis call it) in New Zealand. One of three active volcanos in the region, Mount Tongariro provides great hiking and beautiful scenery to all who visit.
Mount Ngauruhoe, Tongariro National Park
This World Heritage National Park is also the backdrop for the Lord Of The Rings with Mount Ngauruhoe standing in as Mount Doom in the popular trilogy.
The Remarkables Mountain Range
These north-facing sunny slopes are the perfect place for ski bunnies to enjoy a laid-back winter wonderland (from late June to October). During the summer months, a drive up the windy mountain range delivers incredible views of Queenstown and its surrounds which are, well, remarkable!
With six sheep to every person in the country, you're bound to get some up close and personal time with our sociable wooly friends.