A country of endless beauty and limitless possibilities, the attractions in New Zealand are so much more than what you think. It’s very fun to explore with a wide range of different landscapes, from ancient rainforests, rolling green vineyards to glaciers. Plus, the people are so friendly and welcoming! If you are a city person, then you will find everything you love in the cities because they are packed with awesome museums, friendly cafes, and fun bars. And don’t worry, New Zealand doesn’t have the scary snakes and large-shaped spiders like Australia… You will be fine!
1. Tongariro National Park
Are you a fan of Lord of the Rings? Hiking the Tongariro Crossing will give you a familiar feeling. You can follow the footsteps of Frodo to discover barren volcanic landscapes and the only oddly-colored lakes for a unique experience. The Tongariro National Park is located on the North Island, and it’s one of the best tourist attractions in New Zealand that is beautiful in its own unique way to help you understand why it was chosen to be the great and powerful Lord Sauron’s place.
Speaking of Lord of the Rings, what did you think of the pastoral community of Hobbiton? The rolling green hills and the tiny homes with round doors? The good news is that the place still looks exactly the same as it did in the movies. The Hobbiton is located near Matamata, and it’s one of the greatest attractions in New Zealand. You can take a guided tour to learn about how that incredible movie came to life. Even if you are not a Lord of the Rings fan, this is a top tourist attraction that should not be missed in New Zealand.
3. Lake Taupo
A mind-boggling expanse of water that is as big as Singapore, Lake Taupo was created by a volcanic eruption that happened 2 thousand years ago. It was too big that the skies remained dark as far away as Europe and China. But today, it’s a tranquil lake that is perfect for fishing, swimming, and boating. You can still see evidence of the birth in the steaming craters and the boiling mud pools. Lake Taupo is one of the very popular attractions in New Zealand where you can stretch your legs and admire nature peacefully.
4. Museum of New Zealand
If you don’t spend the majority of your vacation exploring nature, then you can spend some of it learning about history in the Museum of New Zealand. Known also as Te Papa, this museum is located on the waterfront, also on the North Island. In the Museum of New Zealand, you can learn about the Maori culture, the country’s culture, and a lot more. It also hosts many events that feature lectures, performances, travel art exhibitions, and a lot of fun stuff regularly, which makes it one of the greatest tourist attractions in New Zealand!
5. Waitomo Glowworm Caves
How can you go to New Zealand and not go to these caves? All tourists must add the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to their bucket list because it’s one of the unique attractions in New Zealand. As you float through the cave, you will find a glowing galaxy on the walls and ceilings that will blow your mind. They are tiny sources of light that look like the stars twinkling in a dark night. This cave has been glowing since the last 1880s, and it’s located south Auckland on the North Island. There are many boat tours to help you explore these magical caves.
Christchurch has been through serious earthquakes back in 2010 and 2011 that caused over 180 deaths, and many buildings were destroyed. But fortunately, this great city recovered quickly from this natural disaster, which makes it one of the most interesting tourist attractions in New Zealand. There are so many things to explore in Christchurch, like the colorful street art, beautiful parks, unique reserves, and many more. It’s incredible how this city is emerging in a more creative way, and the best part is the ability to easily go for outdoor activities like snowboarding and skiing.
7. Doubtful Sound
Internationally, one of the most famous tourist attractions in New Zealand is Doubtful Sound. The reason behind the name is Captain Cook, who was doubtful if whether or not he could navigate it with this ship. The Doubtful Sound is a fjord (not a sound) and a gorgeous natural wonder. To access it, you can’t drive there; you must use a boat cruise (even better!). When visiting it, it would be great if you got the chance to see New Zealand fur seals and Fiordland Crested Penguins.
8. Franz Josef Glacier
Discovered by the German explorer Julius Von Haast, and it’s named after Austria’s Emperor Franz Joseph. The Glacier is a huge river of ice, moving slowly over a rocky landscape, creating beautiful scenery that you won’t see anywhere else, not with that beauty. The Franz Josef Glacier is only 3 miles trip from the town (with the same name), so if you are in South Island, don’t hesitate to visit one of the greatest attractions in New Zealand. There are many local tour companies that offer great hiking experiences. If ice interests you, you will actually be thrilled in this place.