The allure of New Zealand is undeniable – its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and welcoming people make it a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. If you’re looking to explore some of the most beautiful locations in New Zealand in 2022, you’re in luck!
This blog post will provide an overview of some of the best spots to visit. Whether you’re interested in nature hikes, cultural experiences, or simply stunning coastal views, New Zealand has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to explore one of the most amazing countries on earth!
New Zealand is a country that is best explored by rental car. This way, you can take your time enjoying everything that the country has to offer without being restricted by public transportation schedules. When driving in New Zealand, it’s not about the destination–it’s about the journey.
The scenery is stunning, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and explore. You might even find yourself taking a detour just to see something that catches your eye. New Zealand is a country that is meant to be savored, so renting a car is the best way to do that.
This is probably going to be your point of entry, exit, or both. The city’s multiple volcanoes have left their impact, and its location at the confluence of the Pacific and Tasman oceans contradicts its claim to be the largest city in New Zealand.
You can do it all in Auckland, whether you want to challenge the untamed west coast surf beaches, unwind and sip wine on Waiheke Island, or go on a hike in the Waitakere Ranges’ rainforests.
Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands can be found if you go north from Auckland.
This stunning group of islands off the eastern coast of the North Island is full of history, coastal hikes, and hidden bays, earning them a spot on our list of the top New Zealand destinations.
Head to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a sacred ground in New Zealand where you can get an understanding of our country’s history at its founding place. The treaty that was signed here forms what we know today as ‘the Britain colony’ – Auckland specifically being one such area!
On the North Island of New Zealand, there is a gem that is rarely discovered south of the Bay of Islands.
There are some genuinely breathtaking coastline views, uninhabited beaches, and beautiful walking routes in the vicinity.
Whale Bay and Matapouri Bay are two places that are extremely beautiful.
The former is a quiet bay with a wonderful walking trail and almost never any other people around.
Matapouri Bay is a stunning beach that is the ideal location to relax with a book, but it is unmistakably not a surf beach, so keep that in mind if you’re wondering what to see in New Zealand.
The most northern point of New Zealand, Cape Reinga, is located at the end of the 90-mile-long shoreline. Prepare yourself for some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking coastal landscapes.
Truly, the journey up to Cape Reigna is a part of the experience. In this instance, the journey itself is just as significant as the final destination.
Rotarua, the center of geothermal New Zealand, is one of the most infamous tourist destinations in the country because of the sulphur odor that permeates the air practically constantly.
There is plenty to keep you occupied, including roaring geysers, bubbling mud pools, and scalding hot springs.
To see the town’s volcanic activity up close, go to the thermal reserve and check out Te Whakarewarewa.
This is not the place for you if you are even the slightest bit claustrophobic.
Some of New Zealand’s biggest and most beautiful caverns may be found at Waitomo.
The best part is that you can go on some amazing caving adventures and experience them for yourself.
Try your hand at black water rafting, a thrilling activity that includes an inner tube, tons of water, and glow worms in abundance.
The Lost World Cave is Waitomo’s real treasure. It feels like a drop to the center of the earth during the 100-meter free abseil into the cave.
From here, returning to the surface requires a combination of climbing, wading, and swimming.
The epicenter of extreme sports for the area is Lake Taupo, which is located in the center of the North Island.
Here, you are free to let your hair down by jumping out of a plane or bungee cliff.
In actuality, Taupo is the world’s skydiving capital, with over 30,000 jumpers there each year.
Numerous water activity activities are available on the lake itself, from leisurely cruises to self-renting speedboats.
Hukka Falls, which are breathtaking and only a short drive from Taupo, are undoubtedly worth a visit.
There are numerous quiet spots on Lake Taupo where you can park, have a swim, and take in the beauty, making them ideal for a relaxed day.
If spending a relaxing day is definitely not an option, there are also lots of mountain bike and hiking paths nearby!
Welcome to the top beach resort in New Zealand. This adorable tiny hamlet has a great beach and is located just east of the Coromandel Peninsula.
The hill bears the town’s namesake (mountain certainly is a bit of a stretch).
A wonderful short hike will take you to the summit, where you can enjoy some breathtaking views.
The paragliders in the region literally take off from this peak.
Abel Tasman National Park
One of the main tourist destinations in New Zealand is this gorgeous National Park.
The Abel Tasman Coast Track, New Zealand’s premier hike, is located there.
Depending on your fitness level, it may take 3 to 5 days, but you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the coast and the blissful solitude that only long-distance hikes can provide.
This magnificent National Park can be explored without completing the Coast Track.
There are several possibilities for taking on smaller pieces. If your stay is brief, it will be a pleasant reprieve.
Although a much longer day excursion can be done from Nelson, these shorter day trips start in Kaiteriteri.
If you’d rather experience Abel Tasman from the water, you may also kayak there.
Marlborough Wine Region
Prepare to be spoiled for choice as you tour New Zealand’s largest wine area.
Marlborough is home to over 35 wineries that are accessible to the general public and accounts for 85% of New Zealand’s wine exports.
Many wineries also offer dining alternatives, and they offer cellar door experiences and tastings.
This charming little town is situated halfway between the Marlborough Wine Region and the Abel Tasman National Park.
This makes it one of the most livable cities in New Zealand, along with the stunning surroundings, a cool restaurant and art scene, and plenty of sunshine.
There are a ton of breweries, fantastic restaurants, and galleries in Nelson.
There are many possibilities to feast oneself before venturing into the Abel Tasman National Park’s wildness.
This is unquestionably one of the best spots in New Zealand to visit if you’re interested in wildlife.
Transport into and out of Kaikoura was difficult and time-consuming following the terrible earthquake in 2016 while the coastal roadway was being restored.
Kaikoura, which has peaks covered in snow as a backdrop, is blessed both on land and in the water.
The town is well-known for its amazing biodiversity. In the waterways surrounding the town, seals, albatrosses, dolphins, and whales can all be found.
There are many trips available to see these magnificent creatures up close, and in many cases the proceeds from these tours are used to fund regional wildlife conservation initiatives.
New Zealand also has some of the tightest laws and guidelines for wildlife tours.
The West Coast
Beautiful beaches, deserted lakes, and a few glaciers are all found along the South Island’s west coast.
Visit the adorable Hokitika; the gorge is quite stunning.
Head over to Lake Kaniere for a quick swim if you’d prefer something a little more private.
If you continue south, you’ll reach Franz Josef and Fox Glacier. Even though they are rapidly fading, they are still magnificent.
You might follow your adventurous spirit all the way to Jackson Bay’s windswept beaches.
A fantastic area in New Zealand to stop at any time.
Wanaka must be on the top of your list of New Zealand destinations to visit.
This small village, perched on the banks of Lake Wanaka, can undoubtedly lay claim to being one of New Zealand’s most picturesque locations.
There are many hiking paths in the vicinity, including the well-known Roys Peak.
Despite not being the most fascinating trail—a 1300-meter ascent with reliable switchbacks, an 8-kilometer ascent, and an 8-kilometer descent—the summit’s vistas are nothing short of magnificent.
Wanaka is one of the best spots in New Zealand to try canyoning if you’re up for something a little more challenging.
By abseiling, rappelling, swimming, and making some extremely high jumps, you descend a canyon.
The Banks Peninsula protrudes from the east coast of the South Island. One of the most beautiful places in New Zealand is this tiny island paradise.
The best place to start your exploration of the peninsula is in the center of Akaroa.
There are various hiking routes in the area that lead into the hills nearby.
Additionally, it’s a fantastic location for dolphin trips to see the little Hectors Dolphin, which is unique to New Zealand.
Spend a day exploring some of the many undiscovered beaches scattered along the peninsula, with Okains Bay being especially wonderful.
From Akaroa, the drive is incredibly breathtaking.
This is something that can be done as a day trip from Christchurch. However, I would strongly advise spending at least two nights in New Zealand to fully appreciate it.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable travel experience, be sure to add New Zealand to your list. With its diverse landscape and abundance of natural wonders, this country is sure to enchant and amaze you. Thanks for following along on our tour of the most beautiful spots in New Zealand. Be sure to share this post with your travel buddy so they can start planning their trip too!