Essential New Zealand experiences

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Magical and otherworldly, New Zealand’s landscapes form the backdrop for enthralling adventures and experiences you’ll remember for a lifetime. Here’s New Zealand’s top-10 ‘greatest hits’ – the most spectacular destinations, activities and sights that await you in the home of Middle‑earth.

 

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Ruapehu
Emerald Lakes, Tongariro Crossing, Ruapehu

By Rob Suisted

The Emerald Lakes are explosion craters that have filled with mineral-rich water running down from the Red Crater thermal area.

 

Hike the Tongariro Crossing

One of New Zealand’s most spectacular day walks, the volcanic landscapes, emerald-coloured lakes and snowy volcanic peaks can only be described as spectacularly otherworldly.

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Christchurch - Canterbury
Lake Tekapo, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Sergio Del Rosso

The quaint Church of the Good Shepherd is perched on the edge of beautiful Lake Tekapo.

 

Lake Tekapo

The snow-capped mountains, milky blue water and golden hills of tussock that surround Lake Tekapo will make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon an alpine paradise.

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Christchurch - Canterbury
Kaikoura, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Chris McLennan

Kaikoura is a natural whale way. Several whale species use the area as a stopover on their way to breeding grounds in the Pacific. Kaikoura also has a permanent pod of sperm whales, which can be seen all year round.

 

Whale watching in Kaikoura

Experience a majestic Sperm Whale – the gentle giants of the sea – with a whale watching expedition in Kaikoura.

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Fiordland
Milford Sound, Fiordland

By Chris Sisarich

A sea kayaking expedition lets you get up-close and personal with the amazing landscapes and wildlife of Milford Sound. Experienced, professional guides provide everything you need and paddle alongside you to ensure you have the best time.

 

Kayaking in Milford sound

Described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘8th wonder of the world’ Milford Sound’s towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls and sky-scraping mountain peaks make kayaking in the fiord an unforgettable experience.

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West Coast
Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast

By Julian Apse

Turning the corner to meet your first glacier is a big moment that deserves big weather. You're less than 300 metres above sea level, but you're standing in front of a huge chunk of ancient ice that stretches back up into the Southern Alps.

 

Glacier hiking

Witness ancient valleys of ice that cascade almost to the sea with an enthralling glacier hike.

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Rotorua
Kerosene Creek, Rotorua

By Fraser Clements

Soak in water naturally heated by the earth's energy amongst lush native forest - Kerosene Creek is one of New Zealand’s many natural hot springs.

 

Kerosene Creek natural hot springs

Soak in water naturally heated by the earth's energy amongst lush native forest - Kerosene Creek is one of New Zealand’s many natural hot springs.

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The Coromandel
Cathedral Cove, The Coromandel

By David Wall

Reached by a picturesque walkway, Cathedral Cove is a gigantic arched cavern passing through a white rock headland that joins two stunning, secluded coves.

 

Cathedral Cove

Reached by a picturesque walkway, Cathedral Cove is a gigantic arched cavern passing through a white rock headland that joins two stunning, secluded coves.

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Northland & Bay of Islands
Ninety-mile beach, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Amos Chappie

Ninety Mile beach is an enchanting paradise of forest, white sand and rolling ocean waves at the very top of New Zealand.

 

 

Ninety Mile beach

Ninety Mile beach is an enchanting paradise of forest, white sand and rolling ocean waves at the very top of New Zealand.

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