Wondering how to travel in New Zealand? Where to go and what to see? With this guide you will get all you need to know about the travelling in New Zealand.
I spent around 3 months for traveling through this amazing country. This time was just incredible and let me fell in love with this wonderful country. From magnificent Northland with its boundless vastness and the exiting volcanic fields on the North Island, to the majestic snow covered mountains and the unique Fiordland on the South Island. The New Zealand has so much to offer and to discover you will enjoy every single day you spend on these stunning islands. And I’m pretty sure you will fell in love with this amazing country, too, when you travel across these beautiful islands.
The best time for travelling in New Zealand is from November to March. The best weather you can expect during the local summer time from December till February. This is also the best time for hiking and sunny golden beaches. On the other side it can be very crowdy during the summer months. So if you don’t plan a lot of hiking tours, for which is the best time the summer, the autumn or spring can be a good option, too. While in the spring you can expect snow in the mountains, you can enjoy a lot of golden trees during the autumn. However, the weather in New Zealand can be really unpredictable, non-stop rain for days is not uncommon, even in the midsummer. So be prepared for it, especially if you plan a lot of hiking or camping.
How long should I plan the trip for
New Zealand offers so much to explore and to discover, it almost not possible to see all the amazing places just on the one road trip. You will need a lot of time to travel across this amazing country, especially if you want to visit all the special and beautiful places on these wonderful islands. I recommend at least 4 weeks for each island for the best travel experience in New Zealand. But the more time you have, the better :-). Even if you travel for weeks through New Zealand you still will find new undiscovered and unspoiled places, so big is this country. If you don’t have so much time I would recommend to concentrate just on the one island instead to split the travel time for the both of them. On this way you can more enjoy your travel and will be less in rush. Which island to choose in this case is highly depend on your preferences what you like to see. While the North Island provides golden beaches, wide forests and exciting volcanic experience, the South Island is more about majestic mountains, snow covered glaciers and deep blue lakes.
New Zealand is a really expensive country and the travel here is not cheap. The complete trip costs are highly depend on your “travelling preferences”. The whole costs may be split into 4 different categories:
Transport: the costs are highly depend of your travel choice and can vary from almost zero (hitchhiking) until up to several hundred or even thousands of NZD (car renting). For more information, see the chapter “How to get around” below.
Accommodation: the costs are depend of the kind of the accommodation and can vary from around 10 NDZ for a camping site per person and night, up to over 100 NZD for a hotel room. In a hostel you may pay between 20 and 45 NZD per night in a standard dorm room, depend on the hostel and the location. The charge for Airbnb may range between these for a hostel and hotel accommodation.
Food: the food is really expensive in New Zealand, much more then for example in Europe. The cheapest way is to cook at your own, in this case you can calculate around 10-15 NZD per day, depend on your food preferences. But if you want to eat outside it will be much more, except the usual take-aways, which is even expensive but still affordable. For example, the most popular backpacker fast-food restaurant in New Zealand is the Domino’s Pizza, where you can get a single pizza from 5 NZD.
Tours: The tours are another cost factor you could have by traveling in New Zealand. These costs are highly dependent of the tour you like to do and start by around 100 NZD and can go up to several hundred NZD.
Tip for booking tours: On the site Bookme New Zealand you can find some really good deals on tours in New Zealand.
How to get around
There are a plenty of options for travelling in New Zealand:
Hitchhiking: This is probably one of the most adventurous and exiting ways of travelling in New Zealand. And since the hitchhiking is very common here, it is very easy to travel on this way in New Zealand. So many friendly and helpful people, and so many great stories. The hitchhiking is one of my absolute favorite ways of travel in New Zealand. Of course, when you are hitchhiking you are not that flexible like by traveling by car, and sometimes it can be really frustrating when you are waiting for a long time for a ride, but the most time you will always get a ride. I hitchhiked almost the whole South Island for around one month and it was just an incredible adventure and my best decision I could make by travelling in New Zealand!
Public bus service: Another low budget way for travelling in New Zealand is the public bus service. The most common bus service is the InterCity coach service. While you can get really affordable rates, you can unfortunately only travel between the cities where the bus stops are located. For all other remote places outside of the cities you will need to hitchhike or take a tour to go there. However, if you plan to travel by bus in New Zealand, take a look at the hop-on/hop-off travel passes, which are the best way for exploring New Zealand by bus.
Guided bus tours: The guided bus tours are something really specially for traveling in New Zealand. There are two most popular companies providing such tours: Kiwi Experience and Stray. The main difference between the public bus service and the bus tours is that the bus tours provide not only the transport but also the complete guided experience for travelling in New Zealand. And because the bus tours are more about exploring New Zealand and not just to go straight from A to B, the network of the bus-stops is not limited by the cities, they also stop on the most remote and touristic known places. You can think of these bus tours as a big school trip.
Car renting: The car renting is a really good option to explore New Zealand on your own. There are a lot of companies providing car rentals in New Zealand. If you prefer to rent a camping van you can take a look, for example, by:
If you decide to rent a camper van for your trip I can really recommend to book it in advance, especially in the main season and around the Christmas time it can be a challenge to find a camper van because of everything fully booked out.
A good option to save money is to rent a normal car instead of a camping van, and just use a tent for camping. A really affordable company is for example RaD Car Hire.
Another good option to save a lot of money is the car relocation. These are some special offers from the car renting companies, when they need somebody to relocate their cars between their branches, in order to position the cars for new hires. In this case you can get a really great deal for the car renting like just 1 NZD per day. Of course, there are some limitations by this offers, like limited days for travel or kilometer allowance. But even with this restrictions the car relocation can be a great option for traveling in New Zealand where you can save a lot of money by the way.
Car purchase: To buy a car is another great option to explore New Zealand on your own. And after the trip you can sell it to get the most part of the costs you spent for the purchase back. But it is actually only worth if you stay at least 3 months in New Zealand, because of the additional time that you will need to spend for the car purchase and the sale. You can use, for example, the usual Facebook backpacking groups for New Zealand to find a car to purchase. Another very good site is TradeMe, where you can find a lot of used cars for your adventure.
Where to stay
Camping: If you are on low-budget trip the camping will be the cheapest option for your accommodation. There are a plenty of campsites across New Zealand. The price for accommodation is always depend of the kind of the campsite and how well it is equipped. While the basics campsites with around 10 NZD per person and night are really cheap, in the full equipped caravan park you may pay two or three times that much. And sometimes you can also find basic campsites which are even completely free of charge!
The most scenic campsites are these from the Department of Conservation (DOC) located on very remote places, far away in the national parks or on sandy beaches. For me personally, these were the best campsites during my New Zealand trip!
The most of the campsites from DOC operate on “first come, first serve” basis, while some of them require a booking. These are the campsites on very popular tracks or those on most scenic and spectacular places. You can book them either onlineor in the nearby DOC visitor center.
A very helpful App to find a campsite is the Camper Mate.
Hostels/Hotel: In almost every city on your way you will find plenty of hostels and hotels where you can stay. Even if you not book large in advance it is still possible to find a free bed at least in a dorm room in some hostel. Anyway I would recommend to book your accommodation as soon as possible, because during the main season it can be very crowdy and the best hostels are booked out very fast. You can use for example booking.com or hostelworld.com to find a free room in a hostel or hotel.
Airbnb/Couchsurfing: This is another low-cost option for accommodation. Personally I don’t have a lot of experience with Couchsurfing in New Zealand and I can image this could work quite difficult, because of the really small villages and towns across the country, where you will find only limited options for Couchsurfing. But of course, you can give them a try.
The situation may be different for Airbnb, but even here you will get just limited number of options outsides of the big cities.
Hiking in New Zealand
New Zealand is the perfect country for hiking. There are so many beautiful and amazing tracks across the country, there is definitely something for everybody. You can look for walking tracks on this site of DOC where you also can find a really good map with all hiking tracks in New Zealand.
Travers-Sabine Circuit (4-7 days). I did 3 days part of this track (Travers-Cascade Track to the Angelus Hut) and it was just amazing! One of my absolute favorite tracks in New Zealand.
What should I expect to pay for my hiking adventure
If you are planning to do just one day walk you actually don’t need to pay any fees. In case of a multi-day walk you have to pay for the accommodation along your track. You can choice between the backcountry huts and campsites. The most of them are operating on “first come, first serve” basis, and don’t require any bookings. But there are also some huts and campsites on very popular tracks or most scenic and spectacular places, which require a booking.
The huts and campsite which don’t require any booking will cost around 10 NDZ per person and night. There is some difference how to pay your fees for these huts or campsites:
To pay your fees for the campsites you can use the self-registration stand at the campsite or pay them to the camp warden when present. For more information about the paying for campsites you can visit this DOC site.
To stay in a hut you will need a hut ticket, which you always must buy before your trip. You can buy the hut tickets for example in the nearby DOC visitor center. By the way, if you plan a lot of hiking, you may consider to buy a backcountry hut pass, which is like an annual hut ticket valid for 12 months, which can save you a lot of money. For more information about the paying for a hut you can visit this DOC site.
The fees for the huts and campsites, which require a booking are highly depend of the track, the place and the accommodation at self. They can vary from around 20 NDZ for a simple accommodation up to more than 100 NZD for the huts on really famous walking tracks like the Milford Track. You can book them either online or in the nearby DOC visitor center.
You can check out whether the huts and campsites on your track require a booking or not either online on the individual hut/campsite page or in the nearby DOC visitor center.
The New Zealand famous Great Walks
These are some special premier walking tracks, located in the most famous and scenic locations in New Zealand. Since these tracks are very popular, the most of them are really crowded during the whole hiking season. Except the Heaphy Track because of his really remote location and quite expensive shuttle transport to the start and the end point. The same about the Rakiura Track. By the way, the Rakiura Track on the Stewart Island is also known as one of the best places in New Zealand to spot some Kiwis (the bird not the fruit ;-)!
However, if you want to walk one of the Great Walks you need to book them large in advance, because the most of them are booked out really fast. Especially the tracks in Fiordland are usually full booked out already at the begin of the new season! How crazy is it! You can read more about the Great Walks on this DOC site.
Tip for booking the Milford Track: The Milford Track is one of the world famous walking tracks and it is very popular. Basically it is almost not possible to book it, because of the gigantic ticket demand the track is fully booked out really fast every year. But there is a trick how still to get a ticket for this famous track.
Because the most people book the track many months in advance, there are some cancellations from time to time. If such a cancellation occurs the tickets will be returned to stock and become available for sale again. You just need to check the DOC booking site for Milford Track from time to time and after you see a free slot, book them immediately. And I really mean immediately!
When I was looking for my ticket I did check the DOC site at least three times a day until I saw free slot and could book the ticket. Of course, it needs a lot of luck, but it isn’t impossible. I did spoke to the other travelers I met on the Milford Track and some of them got their tickets on the same way, too.
Another travel app for New Zealand with a huge database of campgrounds, points of interest, sights and much more.
Best Places and Must-Sees on North Island
Trip suggestion (4 weeks)
Auckland – Whangarei – Bay of Islands – Cape Reinga – back to Auckland – Coromandel – Tauranga – Rotorua – East Cape – Gisborne – Lake Waikaremoana – Hastings – New Plymouth – Taupo – Wellington
The biggest city of New Zealand and the perfect place to start your journey. When you are in Auckland don’t miss the walk to the Mount Eden with its spectacular view over the city.
2. Rangitoto Island and Waiheke Island
These are two very popular islands close to Auckland. The Rangitoto Island is an uninhabited volcanic island covered by deep forest and petrified lava fields. There are a plenty beautiful walking tracks here and from the top of the Mount Rangitoto you will get an incredible view over whole bay of Auckland and even beyond.
While the Waiheke Island is the biggest island near to Auckland and very popular by tourist. There are a lot of nice walking tracks on the island. I can recommend the Matietie Walk which is a really nice coastal walk. To go to the islands you can take a ferry from the harbor of Auckland.
When you are heading north, Whangarei would be a good place for a stop. The nature around the small town is really beautiful and there are a lot of nice walks around. I can really recommend the Whangarei Falls as well as the Smugglers Bay Loop Track. A really good campsite in this area is the Otamure Bay Campsite.
4. Bay of Islands
A small region around Paihia with more than hundreds of small islands which are almost a nature paradise. You can take a sail tour to the islands or do some kayaking there. By the way, here is the best place for sky diving all over the whole North Island.
5. Cape Reinga
The most northern point of North Island. The nature here is just amazing. A really good campsite close to the Cape Reinga is Tapotupotu Camping Area. I can really recommend to walk from there to the Cape Reinga, this walking track is just amazing!
You can do sandboarding here which is a lot of fun. But be careful and follow the safety instructions, otherwise the risk of injury can be really high.
7. 90 Mile Beach
The famous endless beach in Northland. It is allowed to drive a car on the beach which is a lot of fun. But to drive here you will need a four-wheel drive. If you want to do this be really careful because there is no breakdown service in this area. It has happened before that people lost their car to the tides….
8. Lake Taharoa
A wonderful crystal-blue lake.
9. Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove
The Hot Water Beach is one of the most famous attractions in Coromandel. There are underground hot springs directly under the beach, so you can dig a hole in the sand and hot water will bubbles up from the deep, so that you can make your own hot pool in the front of the sea. However, the part of the beach with the hot springs is only accessible within two hours either side of low tide, so absolutely check the tides before you go. You can use, for example, this site to check the tides.
The Cathedral Cove is a very popular cave formation on the coast surrounded by golden beaches. There is a beautiful walkalong the coast going there. By the way, the beach by the Cathedral Cove is also known from the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”.
10. Mount Maunganui
A city part of Tauranga on the foothills of Mount Maunganui with beautiful golden beaches. There are several walking tracks to the summit of the Mount Maunganui from where you can get a stunning view over the Bay of Plenty.
11. Hobbiton Movie Set
Hobbiton Movie Set is the original village of the hobbits from the Lord of the Rings movie. To visit it a booking in advance is necessary!
12. Mclaren Falls Park
Mclaren Falls Park is a wonderful nature reserve where you can spot plenty of glowworms at night! There is also a really nice and cheap campground directly in the park.
This city was built on active volcanic field and you can spot a lot of geothermal activity all over the town, especially in the city park. There is also a beautiful campgroundon the Lake Okareka close to Rotorua.
14. Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Champagne Pool and Kerosene Creek
The Waimangu Volcanic Valley is a large geothermal park where you can explore a lot of volcanic activity. Not that cheap but definitely worth it.
Kerosene Creek is a stream with natural hot pool. Absolut amazing and definitely worth a visit! And the best is this pool is completely for free!
Because of the safety reason, always keep your head above the water when you are swimming in any hot pools in New Zealand.
15. Lake Aniwhenua
A beautiful lake with a nice campground where you can stay overnight complete for free.
A nice small city and a good place for a stop when you are heading to East Cape. There is a really nice coastal walk close to the town.
17. White Island
White Island is the only one volcanic active island in New Zealand. You need to book a tour to go there and to explore the island, which is not cheap but definitely an unique experience.
18. Te Waha O Rerekohu
The world oldest and biggest Pohutukawa Tree.
19. East Cape
The most eastern point of New Zealand mainland. The sunrise here almost at the end of the world is amazing. I can really recommend to stay at the nearby campgroundovernight and come back to the East Cape Lighthouse at dawn to watch this colorful spectacle.
20. Tolaga Bay Wharf
The longest pier of New Zealand. There is also a really good walking track near to the pier, the Cooks Cove Walkway.
21. Rere rockslide
A natural rockslideclose to Gisborne where you can slide down the river which is a lot of fun!
22. Lake Waikaremoana
Beautiful lake surrounded by unspoiled rainforest. The nature and the forest here are amazing. There are a lot of beautiful tracks around the lake, even a Great Walk. For one day hiking I can recommend the Ruapani Circuit Track. A good campsite for an overnight stay is Mokau Landing Campsite. And a great overview over the lake and surroundings you can get from the Lou’s Lookout which is good accessible from the Lake Rd.
23. Cape Kidnappers
Cape Kidnappersis famous for its spectacular cliff formations and the home of two gannet colonies. While the gannet colonies are closed to the public access the one of them can be viewed from the beach. To watch the colony just follow the Cape Kidnappers Walking Track.
24. New Plymouth and Egmont National Park
New Plymouth is a nice small town and a good starting point to explore the nearby Egmont National Park around the volcano Taranaki. A really spectacular walking track in the national park is Pouakai Crossing (1 day walk) which is a part of the longer Pouakai Circuit (2-3 days).
When you are in New Plymouth don’t miss the Festival of Lights with its colorful light installations and daytime and night time programmes of events. The festival take place every year from mid-December to early February and the entry is free of charge.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves is one of the most popular attractions in New Zealand. The caves are a part of an underground cave system where you can find plenty of Glowworm. There are several guided tours to explore the caves. You can book them online or at the visitor center at the entrance.
Taupo is a nice small town which is located on the largest lake on the North Island, the Lake Taupo. The city is a good starting point to explore the nearby Tongariro National Park and geothermal activities in the surroundings.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the most famous walking track in New Zealand. Unfortunately really crowdy but definitely worth it. The landscapes in the national park are really unique and spectacular, and also known as the Middle-Earth from the Lord of the Rings movie, in particular the Mount Ngauruhoe as the Mount Doom, that one passes by if walking the track.
Because Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one way track you will need to book a shuttle to come back to your starting point. If you travel by car I can recommend to let your car at the end point of the track and book the shuttle to go to the starting point. On this way you will have all the time you need to walk the track and can more enjoy the walk without being in rush to catch the bus for the return. When you are traveling by bus or hitchhiking you can stay in Taupo or Turangi and book the shuttle service to go to the national park from there. A recommendable shuttle service is AdventureHQ.
Tip for booking the shuttle for Tongariro Alpine Crossing: you can get some really awesome deals by booking your shuttle over the site Bookme New Zealand.
The capital city of New Zealand and the windiest city in the southern hemisphere. Really famous and absolutely Must Do in Wellington is the Museum of New Zealand “Te Papa Tongarewa”, which is the most exiting museum in New Zealand.
A great view over the skyline of Wellington you can get from the Mount Victoria, especially the sunset from here is really amazing.
Best Places and Must-Sees on South Island
Trip suggestion (4 – 6 weeks)
(Kaikoura – Nelson) if you start in Christchurch or (Nelson) if you start in Picton – Golden Bay – Nelson Lakes National Park – West Coast from Westport to Hokitika – Arthur’s Pass – Tekapo – Mount Cook National Park – Wanaka – Franz Josef Glacier – Queenstown – Fiordland National Park – Catlins – East Coast
1. Queen Charlotte Track
Queen Charlotte Trackis an amazing hiking track which leads you through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds.
The sunniest city in New Zealand. The small city is really adorable and cozy, and a good starting point to explore the nearby national parks or make some break after long and exiting adventures.
3. Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park is famous for its golden beaches and scenic coastline. The most popular walking track is the Abel Tasman Coast Track. You can also do kayaking here and so explore the national park on a very exciting and spectacular way.
4. Te Waikoropupū Springs
Te Waikoropupū Springs are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand. The water in the springs is incredible clear and the springs belong to the clearest water sources worldwide.
5. Farewell Spit and Wharariki Beach
Farewell Spit is the longest sand spit in New Zealand and the home of a big bird sanctuary. While the bird sanctuary is closed to the public access you can still make a walk on the rest of the sand spit, which is really beautiful.
Wharariki Beach is an amazing sandy beach on the north coast of South Island close to Farewell Spit. For me personally, one of the most beautiful beaches on South Island. There is also a chance to spot here some seals. By the way, if you are running Windows 10 you may notify the one desktop background picture with a jogger on a beach. This picture was taken on the Wharariki Beach.
6. Kahurangi National Park
Kahurangi National Park is a really amazing national park. The best way to explore it is from the town of Karamea on the west coast or on the Heaphy Track, which is by the way one of the most spectacular hiking trails in New Zealand.
7. Nelson Lakes National Park
Nelson Lakes National Park is another wonderful national Park. You can best explore it from the small village Saint Arnaud. The most beautiful walking track in this national park is the Travers-Sabine Circuit, which is about 4-7 days walk. But there also are some really beautiful short walking tracks, like the tracks to the Angelus Hut(e.g. the Robert Ridge Route). There is also a DOC visitor center located in Saint Arnaud where you can get some advice for the best walks in Nelson Lakes National Park.
8. Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
Pancake Rocks is a unique landscape of pancake-shaped rocks on the west coast of South Island. While the Blowholes are a spectacular attraction in the form of compressed water and air escaping through the caverns below, creating a huge wall of spray.
9. Town of Hokitika and Hokitika Gorge
Hokitika is a small cozy village on the west coast. The town is famous for its greenstone workmanship. There are plenty of shops and manufacturer in Hokitika where you can find a lot of beautiful greenstone art, which is really exciting. And the beach of Hokitika is pretty cool, too.
Not far away from the town of Hokitika you can find the Hokitika Gorge, a little gem hidden in the forest. The Hokitika River flowing here through the gorge, is fed by water from melting glaciers which color the river in magnificent blue-green. And the water of the Hokitika River looks so incredible wonderful and magic, almost like melted ice cream. You can even swim in the river, but it should be said that the water is really cold, I mean really, really cold!
10. Arthur’s Pass
Arthur’s Pass is a mountain pass in the Southern Alps which link the west coast and the Canterbury regions. The landscapes here are so incredible beautiful and unique it is definitely worth to make a road trip through this pass.
It is also worth to make a stop in the Arthur’s Pass village when you are heading towards north or south, and make some hikes in the Arthur’s Pass National Parkwhich is just an amazing national park. By the way, when you are travel through Arthur’s Pass, there is a chance to spot some Keas, the famous bird of New Zealand. Especially on the lookout points and parking spaces keep your eyes open for these curious and intelligent birds.
Tekapo is a small town on a beautiful lake of the same name. Due the clear sky on the most days in the year, and a relative freedom from light pollution, Tekapo is considered to be one of the best places for stargazing in New Zealand. There is also a well-known observatory in the town, located at nearby Mount John, the Mount John Observatory, which offers guided stargazing tours. By the way, from the top of the Mount John you will get an incredible panorama view over the surrounding landscape.
Another very popular highlight in Tekapo is the Church of the Good Shepherd, a beautiful stone church and one of the most photographed sights in New Zealand.
12. Lake Pukaki
A beautiful turquoise-blue lake.
13. Mount Cook/Aoraki National Park
Mount Cook National Park is a very famous national park around New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mount Cook/Aoraki. You can best explore it from the small Mt Cook Village, from where you can start some walks in the national park. The most popular tracks are the Hooker Valley track, which provides a lot of beautiful views on the Mount Aoraki, as well as the Mueller Hut Route. There is also a DOC visitor center located in the Mt Cook Village, which is by the way really wonderful decorated and it has even a small exciting museum in the underground floor.
The another very popular sights in this national park are the Tasman Lake and the Tasman Glacier, which are located really close to the Mt Cook Village.
Wanaka is a small town located on a beautiful blue lake of the same name. When you are in the town don’t miss the Wanaka Tree, a local sight and the most photographed tree in New Zealand. You can easily find it when you are walking from the city center along the shore of the Lake Wanaka towards the west.
The most beautiful walking tracks around Wanaka are the Roys Peak Track, which provides from its summit breathtaking views over the Lake Wanaka, and the Rob Roy Track, which leads through forest and alpine landscapes. At the end of the track you will get a good view of the Rob Roy Glacier.
Franz Josef Glacier is the most popular glacier in New Zealand. There is a small village of the same name close to this famous glacier. There is no way to walk to the glacier, but you can book a helicopter flight over it and the surroundings in the Franz Josef Village, even with landing on the glacier. However, the best way to view the glacier on low budget is the Roberts Point Track, which leads you to the Roberts Point from where you can get a great view of the Franz Josef Glacier.
Another spectacular attraction in the Franz Josef Village is skydiving. Only here over the Southern Alps you can do a 20 000 ft jump (ca. 6000 m), which is the highest jump in the southern hemisphere. And because of the breathtaking views over the snow covered mountains, deep rainforest and golden beaches, the skydive in Franz Josef is considered to be as the best one in New Zealand. You can book it directly in the village by Skydive Franz.
Queenstown is adventure capital of New Zealand located on the lake Wakatipu. There is almost nothing on adventures you cannot book here. Either the world highest bungee jumping, paragliding, kayaking, skydiving, wild water rafting etc. all of this you can do in Queenstown. The biggest leisure district in Queenstown is the “Skyline Queenstown” from where you can get a spectacular panorama view over the city and the lake Wakatipu. And the Queenstown Gardens is a really nice city park and besides the Main Town Pier also perfect for a walk.
However, Queenstown is a nice cozy town, but with a lot of tourists. So expect high prices for accommodation (this is the most expensive city in New Zealand) and try to book it as soon as possible, because everything in Queenstown is booked out very fast.
18. Te Anau
A small nice town located on the beautiful Lake Te Anau and close to the New Zealand most famous Fiordland National Park. The town is the perfect starting point to explore the Fiordland National Park.
19. Milford Sound
Milford Sound is a fjord in the Fiordland National Park and one of the most famous places in New Zealand, as well as a word famous heritage area. The nature here is so wonderful and so unique you won’t find such a beautiful place elsewhere on the earth. The best way to explore the Milford Sound is to book a cruise or do it by kayaking. Unfortunately because of its huge popularity the Milford Sound can be very crowdy, so you can consider to go to Doubtfull Sound instead, which is not less beautiful but definitely less crowdy.
20. Doubtful Sound
Like Milford Sound, Doubfull Sound is another beautiful gem in the Fiordland National Park with amazing and unique nature. You will need to book a tour to explore this wonderful fjord.
21. Stewart Island
Stewart Island is the third largest island of New Zealand located in the south of South Island. On the Stewart Island you have the biggest chance to spot some wild kiwis, especially by walking the Rakiura Track. To go to the island you can book a ferry in Bluff.
The Catlins is an area on the south coast of South Island between Balclutha and Invercargill. There is so much to do and to see there, like the sea lions by Waipapa Point, the Yellow-eyed penguins and the primeval petrified forest in the Curio Bay, in the native bush hidden Purakaunui Falls, the sunrise by the Nugget Point Lighthouse, or the Slope Point as the most southern point of the New Zealand mainland. The best way to explore this wonderful gem is by road trip.
23. The Royal Albatross Centre
The Royal Albatross Centre is the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross located on Otago Peninsula near Dunedin.
24. Moeraki Boulders
Moeraki Boulders is a very seldom geological formation, consisting of large and spherical boulders, located on Koekohe Beach near the small village of Moeraki. The boulders look so magic and almost like not from this world, it is really fascinating. The best time to visit them is by sunrise, when the first sun rays fall onto the boulders and make them look so magnificent and magic.
Another interesting sight in this area is the Katiki Point Lighthouse located in the south of Moeraki. Nearby this lighthouse you can find a small colony of seals and Yellow-eyed penguins.
Kaikoura is a small coastal town on the east coast of South Island. It is very popular for whale and dolphin watching.
I hope this guide will help you for your trip planning through the amazing New Zealand. If you have some questions don’t hesitate to let me a comment or contact me with any enquiries.