Kiwis must be amongst the most fortunate people in the world, with 8,700 miles of coastline, breath-taking glaciers, incredible national parks and unique wildlife on their doorstep, all shared out amongst just four million inhabitants. With such an abundance of natural beauty, it seems hardly surprising that legendary director, Peter Jackson, chose his native country as the backdrop to his incredible The Lord of the Rings trilogy. See the true Middle Earth and experience just why New Zealand is constantly cited as an unmissable travel destination with our guide to the most beautiful Kiwi attractions!
There simply aren’t enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe just how beautiful Abel Tasman National Park is, so visit Abel Tasman National Park and see it for yourself! One of the world’s best hiking destinations, the entire National Park lies on the coast, offering a fantastic selection of beach and mountain trails.
Located in the South Island, Milford Sound is one of the country’s top attractions and it isn’t very hard to see why. You can visit it by water, air, or even hiking if you’re feeling adventurous. As well as breath-taking scenery, the Sound is also home to an abundance of wildlife including penguins, dolphins and seals.
Though not as conventionally beautiful as some of the other attractions listed here, Kaikoura is still well worth a look and is a real haven for any seafood lover! The town is small, but there’s plenty to see and do, and you can buy delicious fresh seafood from local fishermen including mussels, blue cod, and lobster. There’s also an opportunity to spot fur seals, sperm whale, dolphins and albatrosses of the coast, all against a backdrop of gorgeous snow-capped mountains and a dramatic coastline. Kaikoura is definitely one not to be missed!
Waipoau Forest really does feel like something out of The Lord of the Rings, and a wander through here will explain just why Peter Jackson chose New Zealand as his filming location. The forest’s Kaouri Trees are some of the oldest in the world, and though most of them were destroyed by early settlers who used them for making boats, the ones that do remain are truly remarkable. Tāne Mahuta is the most famous and, at 168ft tall and 45.1 feet in diameter, it’s the biggest too!
We all pray for good weather when we go away, but Punakaiki is definitely best explored when the weather is terrible. Come at high tide when the wind is strong and you’ll see the waves crashing against the rocks, forcing the water upwards like it’s being spouted from a blowhole.
Walking is something not to be missed while you’re in New Zealand, and it’s the best way to take in the country’s incredible beauty. There are nine official Great Walks which will take up between two and four days, but Routeburn is particularly special, taking you through two national parks, Mt Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park. It’s an exhausting walk, but most of the hike takes place above the line of the trees, offering magnificent views at any time of the day.