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Holiday in New Zealand: Visit New Zealand Tourist Attractions and New Zealand Cities

Updated on May 6, 2011

New Zealand is a great tourist destination as the country is renowned for its beautiful landscape with mountains, spectacular backdrops, nice valleys and meandering rivers. New Zealand is a popular location for filming movies and indeed many movies have been shot in New Zealand, such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Chronicles of Narnia movies.

New Zealand can certainly be recommended to lovers of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and boat cruises. There are hiking trails throughout the country, commonly in national parks, such as the Tongariro Crossing in the Tongariro National Park and the hiking trails in the Abel Tasman National Park.

Let's have a look at New Zealand and its natural beauty!

New Zealand
New Zealand | Source
Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand.
Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand. | Source

New Zealand

As you can see on the right, New Zealand consists of two islands: the north island and the south island. It's hard to say where you should go because both islands are worth visiting. If you have the time and money, consider traveling around both islands. This also allows you to see the beautiful passage between the two islands on a ferry.

New Zealand has smooth green valleys in the northern island and rough rocky landscape in the southern island. The south island also has snowy mountains and very steep cliffs. These mountains are never far away and they provide great backdrops in many locations around the island. For example, lake Matheson is famous for its symmetrical reflection of the mountains in the distance.

The Abel Tasman National Park in the southern island combines beautiful beaches with green forests and altogether it is a small paradise on Earth.

I have personally traveled around New Zealand by bus as a backpacker, complete with staying in hostels and other cheap accommodation! The articles below tell you more about traveling around New Zealand and what is is like to stay in hostels:

Abel Tasman National Park.
Abel Tasman National Park. | Source
Mountains near Kaikoura, New Zealand.
Mountains near Kaikoura, New Zealand. | Source
Christchurch, New Zealand.
Christchurch, New Zealand. | Source

Photos of New Zealand

I think photos of New Zealand are one of the easiest ways to convince you to come to New Zealand! For this reason I have added some nice pictures of New Zealand's landscape to this article!


Christchurch is also nicknamed the Garden City after its many gardens and parks. This city is known in world news by the earthquakes that struck the city in 2010 and 2011 resulting in the loss of many lives. The earthquake also resulted in the partial destruction of its famous and iconic cathedral at Cathedral Square.

I can't really comment on the current situation but I'm sure many travellers in New Zealand will still visit Christchurch on during their travels on the south island.

Some things you can do in Christchurch are visiting the botanical gardens, taking a gondola up to look over the city and the nearby city of Lyttelton and a Lord of the Rings tour to see the famous scenery used in the well-known movie trilogy.


In Nelson you can have a look at the Center of New Zealand, a location designated as the center point of New Zealand. Nelson is located in the north of the south island and it's therefore indeed near the geographic center of the country. I'm saying "near" because it's currently not exactly the center point but for historical reasons it is still named as such.

Nelson is also the starting point for many tours to the Abel Tasman National Park. The hiking trails in that national park have been rated among the best hiking trails in New Zealand. I can indeed confirm that the scenery is stunning!

Bungee jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Bungee jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand. | Source


Queenstown is a place of thrills and adventure! You name it and you can do it somewhere in or near Queenstown! Skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, luge riding, jetboating - the list goes on!

For some Queenstown is also the starting point for exploring the southern part of the south island of New Zealand. You can also do day trips to the Milford Sound from Queenstown.

Have a look at the following article if you're looking for a thrill near Queenstown:

Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, New Zealand
Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, New Zealand | Source

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is a fjord in the southern island of New Zealand and it is considered one of the most beautiful and famous attractions in New Zealand.

It's one of the wettest places in New Zealand so on many days it's cloudy and you won't be able to see it all. There are day trips on a boat that take you through the fjord with its steep cliffs and waterfalls. If you're lucky and the weather is sunny and clear then you're in for a treat! The landscape features steep cliffs, mountains, and local wildlife such as seals.

There is a boat tour which includes a lunch on the way through the fjord. At the end it reaches the Tasman Sea and then it makes its way back through the fjord again.

Skyline of Auckland, New Zealand.
Skyline of Auckland, New Zealand. | Source


Auckland is New Zealand's biggest city and the only city that reminds us of other large cities in the world with skyscrapers, parks and a busy central business district.

The skyline of Auckland is dominated by the famous Sky Tower which also happens to be the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand. It provides a nice view of the city and surrounding area. If you fancy, you can also jump off the tower in a controlled fall!

Hole in the Rock, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.
Hole in the Rock, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. | Source

Bay Of Islands

Bay of Islands is a typical holiday town with beaches and water activities. There are many islands and many boat tours to explore this area. This region of New Zealand has also played an important role when the country was founded - the Europeans settled here first - and you'll find several traces of that.

If you're interested in the history of New Zealand this is one of the places that you cannot miss. In any case, it's a perfect holiday place with an esplanade and very sunny weather. Try not to miss the famous Hole in the Rock (pictured) which is big enough for a boat to go through!

Blue Lake, Tongariro Crossing
Blue Lake, Tongariro Crossing | Source


Taupo is known for its nearby lake, also named Lake Taupo, and there are many outdoor activities in the region.

Some of the places to visit are the Huka Falls, an impressive group of waterfalls, the Wairakei Terraces (a Maori cultural experience) and Taupo Puzzle World (entry is free and you just pay per activity!). Some of the things you can do in Taupo are bungee jumping, skydiving and horse trekking.

Near Taupo you'll find the Tongariro National Park which is one of the oldest national parks in New Zealand. It is home to the famous Tongariro Crossing, a one day hike which can take a full day to complete depending on weather conditions and the snow on the track.

Champagne Pool, nearby Rotorua, New Zealand.
Champagne Pool, nearby Rotorua, New Zealand. | Source


In Rotorua you'll find a lot of geothermal activity with geysers and hot mud pools. There are also quite a few spas and wellness centers so I suggest you include Rotorua in your New Zealand travel itinerary as a relaxing stop.

If you happen to be traveling between Rotorua and Auckland then the town of Matamata is a nice place to stop for lovers of the Lord of the Rings. The town is also known as Hobbington as the famous scenes from the shire with the hobbits were filmed in this area.

Map of New Zealand

A markerNew Zealand -
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    • Kay Sunshine profile image

      Kristen Strobak 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Great tips! I had the chance to visit NZ myself earlier this year-it's amazing!

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

      I grew up in New Zealand after we left Wales , lived in both Islands and love the ferry trip into Picton , one of the places we spent some time ! I went to school in Christchurch, lived in Rangiora, married in Nelson , Also lived in Taumaranui, Auckland + Orewa . I highly reccommend a visit to this beautiful country! Voting you up.

    • lex123 profile image

      lex123 5 years ago

      I never had the chance to visit New Zealand. But reading your hubs tempts me to visit this great place one day.

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      Yes, it's quite far from Europe. But it's worth it; when you're there you can also visit Australia and then make a stopover on the way back somewhere in Asia :) Just get some money together and go! :)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Such a beautiful place - I would like to visit some day.

      I wish it wasn't so far though.... 24 hours from UK?

      Cheers. :)