Sightseeing in New Zealand
Check out our list of top tourist attractions in New Zealand. Don't miss these places to see and visit when you go sightseeing in New Zealand!
The North Island, New Zealand
The sub-tropical temperatures and the extensive unspoiled coastline make Northland a great place for water activities. Head up to Tutukaka or Russell to fish or visit Waitangi and learn about the Treaty that shaped New Zealand. Soak up the art, creativity, organic farming and alternative thinking which defines the unique culture of Northland.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and combines urban living with the seaside - you’re never more than half an hour away from a beach. It's dubbed the "City of Sails" because Aucklanders are big on their boats. You could take the ferry across to Waiheke Island and tour the wineries, explore one of the many volcanoes in the region, do some surfing at Piha, or check out one of the many restaurants, bars and clubs.
Don’t miss the boiling mud pools and squirting geysers which make Rotorua famous. Maori sites are in abundance in Rotorua, too, so get your dose of culture while you’re there, and finish the day with a soak in one of the hot pools (just not one that’s boiling).
A must for the ski and snowboard lovers, Tongariro National Park boasts three (sporadically active) volcanic cones Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. When the snow melts, the peaks are equally good for hiking. Base yourself at nearby Ohakune and experience the bars and restaurants at night and some outdoor adventure during the day.
Nestled at the bottom of the North Island sits New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. It's big in arts and culture and has incredible natural beauty. Head to the Te Papa museum with big interactive displays to get a dose of the past, and at night stay up with the city to enjoy bars, restaurants, live music and performances.
The South Island, New Zealand
The sunniest region in New Zealand with great beaches, national parks, vineyards, and art galleries! Go sea kayaking, rock climbing, white water rafting, mountain biking, sailing, horse trekking, four-wheel biking and skydiving (to name just a few activities available).
Head to a Marlborough vineyard, discover the history or check out the wildlife. The nature lover will revel in the dolphins, seals, tiny blue penguins, native bellbird, tui and other birdlife throughout the region and within bird and sealife sanctuaries.
Canterbury is home to the highest point in New Zealand, Mt. Cook, which stands at 4,200 ft. At the other end of the scale are deep submarine trenches off the coast of Kaikoura that are home to whales, dolphins and seals. Christchurch and Timaru are the regions cities, and you’ll find the colonial heritage well-preserved.
Queenstown will really rock your socks off whether you’re a ski or snowboard bunny wanting to take advantage of some of the pristine snowfields, a bungee jumping adrenaline junkie, or just a sightseer happy to soak up the amazing scenery. This place has it all. Don’t miss the Queenstown Winter Festival – 10 days of carnage known as the "Southern Hemisphere’s Ultimate Winter Party."
Visit Invercargill to admire the Victorian and Edwardian buildings which sprang up to accommodate the early British settlers, then head to Bluff and sample some of the regions famous oysters. Keen to see a kiwi in its natural habitat? Jump on the ferry to Stewart Island.
*The Small Print
We’ve tried to make this destination guide as accurate as possible but please double check the essentials like visas, health and safety, airport information etc with the relevant authorities before you travel. STA Travel takes no responsibility for loss, injury or inconvenience caused as a result of this guide. All prices listed are in the currency of the destination, unless otherwise stated.