Best Places to Visit in New Zealand – The land of Kiwis, New Zealand, is tucked away in the corner of the world, which often missed being placed on the world map. New Zealand is the most sought destination among various interest people — adventure seekers, tech enthusiasts, nature lovers, artists, and many more. New Zealand is mocked as “the adventure country” because New Zealand is the hot spot for adrenaline-fueled — bungee jump, jet boating, white water rafting, luging, heli-skiing, skydiving, hiking, and many more.
There are so many other things in New Zealand that are worth visiting once in a life-time — Tongariro National Park is one of the oldest national parks in the world. Rotorua, one of the world’s largest geothermal areas. Franz Josef and Fox glaciers are among the most accessible glaciers in the world,
The tourist places in New Zealand are divided into two main islands — North and South islands. Both islands offer unique things. People of New Zealand are friendly and welcoming who locally follow the Maori culture. The Maori people have a long history in New Zealand. They originated when they arrived in the early- to mid-1300s, and even after hundred years, they play a big part in New Zealand’s identity.
With so many things to explore in New Zealand, we have picked the top things that students can enjoy while studying in New Zealand:
NORTHERN NEW ZEALAND
Auckland is the harborside city in New Zealand and famous for crystal clear beaches, farmland, and picture-perfect landscapes. Auckland is nicknamed “City of Sails” because Auckland is sprawling out between Waitemata Harbor to the east and Manukau Harbor to the west, while the bustling city in the middle.
Auckland is a home for avid adrenaline thrill-seeker, nature lover — beach and mountains, or an art enthusiast, the harbor city has it all.
Top 10 best places to explore in Auckland:
- The Sky Tower — The tallest tower in the southern hemisphere and Auckland’s prominent skyline at 328 meters high offers bungee jumping.
- Auckland Domain — Auckland’s oldest park
- Mount Eden — Perfect spot to catch an epic sunrise or sunset
- Piha — Wild waves, the black volcanic sand, and majestic forest make for a gorgeous epic picturesque.
- Devonport—Auckland’s most delightful village, picturesque peninsula, and most beautiful bays in Auckland.
- One Tree Hill — The gorgeous farmland and a well-preserved park
- Puhoi — the hidden gem of Auckland and the best place to do kayak eight kilometers along the Puhoi River to Wenderholm Regional Park.
- New Zealand Maritime Museum — offering a thorough survey of the country’s maritime history.
- Viaduct Harbour — one of the country’s significant marinas offers one of its kind entertainment and dining hubs.
- SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium — A series of huge aquariums equipped with aquatic life can be observed from the tunnel walkways. For the adrenaline-junkies, the aquarium offers Shark Dive and Shark Cage Snorkel experiences.
2. Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is a 45-minute ferry ride from Auckland. The Island is famous for its gorgeous forested plains, vineyards, crystal-clear beaches, scenic walking trails, and home to art galleries. There are around 8,000 people live here.
Do not miss to visit — Stony Batter Historic; the, Reserve, an underground tunnel system carved out in World War II if Auckland was attacked.
*Note: There are regular ferries from 35–45 minutes to run from the Princes Wharf in Central Auckland to Waiheke Island.
Rotorua is famous for three things — Mouri Culture, Redwoods Forest, and Mud Pools (Geothermal). Rotorua city in northern New Zealand offers experiences for everyone, from adventure-seekers to those looking to relax.
Must-do activities in Rotorua:
- Tree walk or cycling at Redwoods Forest
Redwoods Forest is famous for its network of mountain biking and walking tracks. You can either hire a bike at Mountain Bike Rotorua or enjoy a 700-meter long tree walk that consists of a series of 28 suspension bridges traversing the gaps between 27 majestic 120-year-old Redwood trees.
- Enjoy the hospitality and learn about Maori culture at Te Puia
Te Puia spans 70ha within the historic Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, on the edge of Rotorua. Not only is it home to the world-famous Phhutu geyser, mud pools, hot springs, and silica formations, here you will also find the national schools of wood carving, weaving, stone, and bone carving. Te Arawa is the local tribe of this area who has shared these treasures with visitors for over 170 years and proudly continues that tradition today.
- Explore Rotorua’s geothermal valleys scenic view with Volcanic Air
Enjoy a scenic float plane flight over Lake Rotoiti and experience a water landing then soak in the secluded hot pools usually only accessible by boat or a five-hour walk.
- Head to Velocity Valley for adventure
- BMX bike into a giant airbag
- Reverse Bungy
- Swoop from 40 meters in the air or race with your friends on the Shweeb Racer — the only pedal-powered monorail track in the world.
- Zip through the water at a speed of 100 kilometers on the Aerojet
- Try the Xtreme Freefall — it’s like skydiving without the plane.
- River Rafting at The Kaituna River by Kaitiaki Adventures
Nestled on the banks of the Waikato River, Hamilton is New Zealand’s fourth-largest city and one-of-a-kind city that is best appreciated for its scenic riverside walks, boat cruises, gardens, cafes, and nightlife. Hamilton is home to more than 80 ethnic groups and the center of one of the world’s affluent agricultural and pastoral areas.
Best things to do in Hamilton:
- Visit Hobbiton Movie Set
Hobbiton is one of New Zealand’s must-visit attractions for many years, attracting Hobbit and Lord of the Rings fans globally. The effort invested in recreating an entire tiny village is enormously impressive. Regardless of whether you have seen the movies or not, the Hobbiton movie set offers a charming insight into the incredible lengths film production companies provide to create awesome movies
- Explore Hamilton Gardens
- opt for walking or cycling around the city.
Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand and serves as a music and cultural hub of New Zealand. Wellington has it all — history, quirky streets, ballet, music, theatre, beaches, sweet bars, good food, and loads of amazing things to do.
Top 7 best places to explore in Wellington:
- Museum Of New Zealand — One of the finest museums in New Zealand which showcase natural forces and the culture of the Maori people (the first kind of people that settled in New Zealand).
- Mount Victoria — The mountain offers panoramic views. The inner-city public parkland is among the cyclists, hikers, and runners.
- Botanic Gardens — The most stunning and eye-pleasing gardens. Also, enjoy the planetarium show called Carter Observatory.
- Wellington Waterfront — The city’s festivals and celebrations hub. Also, home to the city’s oldest market and various eateries.
- The Beehive — One of the iconic buildings in New Zealand and is the official site of New Zealand’s parliament. The architectural piece was built from 1964 to 1979 by the Britishers. Enjoy a daily free tour from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm.
- Princess Bay —One of the most beautiful beaches in Wellington where you can talk for a short walk, swimming, surfing, or have a perfect picnic or brunch day. Princess Bay allows having an open fire or non-gas barbeque.
- Zealandia — Hidden gem of New Zealand. Zealandia is a sanctuary that showcases the rich reserves that are kept secret in the country.
Other things to do in North New Zealand:
- Gorgeous sunset at Kapiti Coast
- Art Deco and wine tasting at Hawkes Bay Region
- Surfing at Shipwreck Bay
- Scared spots at Ninety Mile Beach and Spirits Bay
- Enjoy the thermal pools at Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley
- Visit the world’s youngest geothermal system at Waimangu Volcanic Valley
- Snorkeling at Poor Knights Islands
- Visit the Bay of Islands for dolphin spotting and natural scenery
- Explore Waitomo Caves to witness glow worms — a maze of limestone caves lined with stalagmites, stalactites, and galaxies of glowworms.
- Soak in New Zealand’s only outdoor mud bath at Hell’s Gate — spectacular volcanic craters, giant hot water springs, and beautiful geothermal features.
SOUTHERN NEW ZEALAND
Christchurch is also known as the Garden City because the city is a home of stunning Botanic Gardens, which is over 150 years old. Christchurch is the ultimate getaway for anyone who is looking for adventure or relaxation.
Christchurch is also famous for a thriving tech sector, world-class universities, and an innovative ecosystem like no other. Even after witnessing two disastrous earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, Christchurch is a vibrant city transitioning and coping creatively to offer people the best living and getaway.
Best things to do in Christchurch:
- Opt for a walking tour offered by Green Kiwi Tours
- Hiking at Godley Head
- Jet Boating at Waimakariri River.
- Visit the Botanic Gardens
- Go Skydiving
- Bungee Jumping from the historic Ferry Bridge
- Visit the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial
- Visit The International Antarctic Centre
- Do not miss the Lord of The Rings Tour
- Gondola Ride
- Attend World Buskers Festival, which happens in January mid every year
- Enjoy The Ko Tane Maori Experience, an interactive replica of an old Maori village.
- Art lovers visit Brockworth Street Art Gallery.
Queenstown strikes the perfect balance between adventure and scenic beauty. Queenstown is tagged as the “Adventure Capital” of New Zealand because the city is the home to a range of experiences, from the world’s first and extremely popular Bungy Jumps — the Kawarau Bridge Bungy to jet boards, skydiving, quad bikes, mountain climbing, fishing, and many more.
Nestled on the shores of the Otago Harbour, Dunedin is the second-largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, with a population of less than 150,000. Nevertheless, Dunedin is often touted as a city full of surprises and a little piece of Scottish heritage.
Dunedin has a lot to offer, right from ecotourism attractions to home to the University of Otago — the first and oldest University in New Zealand, authentic Chinese garden in the Southern Hemisphere, having the steepest street in the world, and many more.
Best things to do in Dunedin:
- Explore Larnach Castle
- Visit Otago Museum
- Explore beautiful Dunedin Botanic Garden
- Dunedin Public Art Gallery
- Have a leisure day at the Tunnel Beach
- Dunedin Railway Station — built in Edwardian Baroque style incorporated with Neo-Gothic design in 1904 by George Troup.
- Olveston Historic Home — the historic home, dating from 1906, was built by avid collector and local philanthropist David Theomin as his family’s house.
- Moeraki Boulders — 50 smooth, spherical boulders are a magical sight at the Koekohe Beach. The soft looks like giant marbles.
Nelson is home to three National Parks — Abel Tasman National Park, the Kahurangi National Park, and the Nelson Lakes National Park and popularly known for local arts, gorgeous art galleries. Being the art city of New Zealand, Nelson hosts the most significant Art Festival annually in October.
- World of WearableArt & Classic Car Museum — showcasing a collection of vintage vehicles and plenty of artwork that has been designed to be worn.
- Vortex Wind Karting — learn how to sail a blokart, a three-wheeled land kart.
Invercargill is the southernmost New Zealand home to the Southern Institute of Technology — polytechnic institute that offers a zero-fees scheme to students.
One of the best things to do in Invercargill is to see the Aurora Australis — the Southern Lights. Between April to September (climate change may affect the months) is usually the best time of year to see the breathtaking Aurora Australis.
Invercargill is also home to the best automobiles displays:
- Classic Motorcycle Mecca — exhibits over 300 motorcycles on display over two floors
- Bill Richardson’s Transport World — one of the largest private collections of vehicles found anywhere in the world with over 300+ cars on display.
- Dig This — a wide variety of heavy machines such as Skid Steer Loaders, 5 Tonne Diggers, 15 Tonne Diggers, Bulldozers, and many more visitors can ride during their visits.
Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to involve students in a new culture and learn about globalization. While the list above of New Zealand’s best places to visit has only scratched the surface, there’s a lot to explore and learn in New Zealand. While studying is the primary reason you are in New Zealand, we assure you that you will never get bored here, especially if you love the outdoors.
Also read – Best Places to Visit in Germany.