From glaciers to beaches, whale-watching to wine-tasting, New Zealand has so much to offer. Not sure where to begin? Get started with these places.
1. Try wine-tasting on Waiheke
Home to a magical blend of vineyards, olive groves, beaches, art studios and funky cafes, Waiheke Island is an enchanting oasis. Sip New Zealand’s finest wines at one of the many vineyards while enjoying sea views.
2. Explore adventure in Queenstown
Queenstown is the perfect place for an adventure. Experience jet boat rides, skiing, river rafting, hiking and biking, or go bungy jumping where it all began. Not for you? Try wine-tasting, spa treatments or alfresco dining for a relaxing alternative.
3. Say 'kia ora' to culture
Soak up Māori culture and hospitality in Rotorua, the cultural heart of New Zealand. Visit an authentic pre-European Māori village for a cultural show. After a delicious ‘hāngī’ feast, the thermal hot pools will be calling.
4. Bask in Milford Sound's scale
Depart from Queenstown or Te Anau and enjoy an afternoon cruise around Milford Sound's dramatic fiords, spectacular waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. You can also see the "Eighth Wonder of the World" by flightseeing, kayaking or taking an overnight boat ride.
5. Explore geothermal phenomena
Geysers, boiling mud pools & huge volcanic craters are in Rotorua, where nature's forces escape by bubbling, steaming & hissing from the inner earth. Discover the sights and wonders of this city sitting squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire.
6. Make furry-footed friends
Ever since the first The Lord of the Rings movie was released in 2001, New Zealand has been known as the home of Middle‑earth™. Take a guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata, land of The Shire's lush pastures.
Just 3.5 hours from Auckland is Paihia, a great base to explore this aquatic playground of 144 beautiful islands. Get out on the water and explore by paddling around in a kayak, or take a cruise to spot dolphins, relax on golden beaches and visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is often described as New Zealand's best day walk. The 19km hike traverses ancient volcanic terrain, winding its way past emerald lakes, old lava flows and even an active crater. Views of Lake Taupo and the Ruapehu region are magnificent, and make the hike well worth the effort!
12. Relax on Cathedral Cove beaches
Pack a picnic, follow the coastal trail and enjoy an idyllic day at The Coromandel's Cathedral Cove. Go for a swim, snorkel, kayak or just relax in the sand. From beautiful Hahei Beach you can walk to Cathedral Cove, where a naturally formed archway deserves photographic attention.