New Zealand's top 10 hidden gems

Let us take you on the road less travelled to discover some of New Zealand's best hidden gems.

1. Motueka Saltwater Baths, Nelson Tasman

Built in 1930 the Motueka Salt Water Baths may have been the first-ever infinity pool the world has ever seen. Aim to visit high tide in the early morning or sunset and there’s a good chance that you’ll have it completely to yourself, so you can practice your walking on water.

2. Oparara Arches, West Coast

Meander along a 2km (return) track through ancient rainforest and discover the Oparara Arches in Kahurangi National Park. The massive limestone arch is part of the Honeycomb Hill Caves Specially Protected Area in the Oparara Basin and is an easy walk suitable for all fitness levels.

3. Mount Stokes, Marlborough Sounds

At 1203m Mt Stokes is the highest point in the Marlborough Sounds and is an incredible spot for a different perspective of an unreal setting. Follow the track up through the forest before emerging in a sub-alpine environment. Keep an eye out for Powelliphanta, a giant carnivorous snail found only in New Zealand.

4. Castlepoint, Wairarapa

The Castlepoint lighthouse is pure beauty and a jewel in the crown of the Castlepoint Scenic Reserve. A 90-minute drive from the Wairarapa town of Martinborough, Castlepoint is a popular spot for New Zealand fur seals, dolphin and sometimes even small whales.

5. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, Taranaki

Found in New Plymouth, the Len Lye Centre is the home to Len Lye's (pioneering filmmaker, sculptor, painter and poet) collection of multi-media artwork. Displaying experimental film and kinetic art, the centre offers a unique view into Modernism.

6. Stewart Island, Southland

The third island in New Zealand’s main chain, Stewart Island is remote, beautiful, and often overlooked by visitors. Stewart Island is home to one of New Zealand’s Great Walks the Rakiura Track and is one of the best places to view kiwi in the wild. It is also known for its spectacular night skies, having received International Dark Sky Sanctuary status by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA).

7. Putangirua Pinnacles, Wairarapa

The curious formations of the Putangirua Pinnacles can be found in the Wairarapa region on the lower North Island. The easy walk follows a streambed to the base of these marvels or you can carry on to the lookout for stunning views of Lake Onoke and Cape Palliser.

8. Marokopa Falls, Waikato

Take in the view at one of the most impressive waterfalls in New Zealand. Marokopa Falls is located in Tawarau Forest, a few kilometres drive away from the popular Waitomo Caves.

9. Gibbs Farm, Auckland

Only a one-hour drive from central Auckland, Gibbs Farm showcases an array of large-scale outdoor sculptures in the Kaipara Harbour. It's worth noting that it's only accessible by prior appointment through their website(opens in new window).

10. Cape Brett, Northland

One of New Zealand’s lesser-known overnight walks, The Cape Brett Track is an advanced hike that rewards walkers with dramatic coastal views. The 16km walk (one way) passes through native bush and the bookable hut(opens in new window) is a great place to stay the night before heading back the next day.

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