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Top 10 must-see attractions and things to do in New Zealand

by Juan José Herranz | March 18, 2022
pier at night and mountains in New Zealand

New Zealand is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. If you travel to New Zealand, you will find majestic mountain ranges, active volcanic zones, lovely lakes, enormous waterfalls, and a diverse assortment of fauna. With so much to see and do in New Zealand, picking which sites not to miss can be challenging. Below there is a list of 10 must-see attractions and things to do in New Zealand:


Queenstown is much more than just New Zealand's adventure capital. Queenstown is one of the cities in New Zealand to visit. will also allow you to enjoy art, wineries, and famous cosmopolitan cuisine scene that goes from the shorelines of Lake Wakatipu to the spectacular peaks of the Remarkables.

The city's diversified attractions are exciting, and the dramatic scenery makes it one of New Zealand's most appealing year-round locations. Lake Wakatipu, Skippers Canyon, Shotover River, The Remarkables Mountains, Lake Wanaka, and Queenstown Hill are just a handful of good places to visit.


Rotorua is New Zealand's vibrant cultural center. Around every bend, you'll find breathtaking landscapes, ranging from geysers to relaxing mud pools. Immerse yourself in a lunar landscape of silica verandas or take in the unusual light of glowworms in a cave that is otherwise dark.

Traditional Maori culture is still alive in Rotorua, with local tribes keen to share their history and legacy, while the environment offers a glimpse into Tolkien's Middle Earth. Highlights include Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Te Wairoa, Wai-O-Tapu, Whakarewarewa, Te Puia and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

Lake Taupō in New Zealand


Auckland is home to a broad range of habitats that highlight the aquatic diversity of New Zealand's largest city. The Hauraki Gulf and Waiheke Island, which is recognized for its award-winning wines, are easily accessible from the green bays.

The City of Sails is a mix of stunning beaches and greenery, beautiful islands, and bustling harbors, all of which are full of good food and coffee. Some of the things to do in Auckland is visiting the Waitemata Harbor, SkyTower, One Tree Hill, Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Islands, Rotoroa Island and Rangitoto Island.

Abel Tasman National Park

What else to do in New Zealand? Visiting the Abel Tasman National Park is another new Zealand tourist attraction. The spirit of New Zealand is captured in Abel Tasman National Park. Sand beaches wedged between healthy trees and the lapping tide make this a beautiful attraction with plenty of opportunities to relax. You will have spectacular viewsas crystal-clear streams wind through lush slopes and granite structures burst into the sea.

Some of the highlights are the Golden Bay, Abel Tasman Coastal Track, Ngarua Caves, Paynes Ford Scenic Reserve, Farewell Split and Te Waikoropupu Springs.

Things to do in New Zealand Bridal Veil Falls in New Zealand

West Coast

Some of the best things to do in New Zealand is exploring the West Coast. The West Coast offers incredible tranquility in the midst of some of the country's most stunning scenery. Adventure isn't that far away with amazing jet boat and helicopter trips, making even the most distant regions accessible. The Franze Josef and Fox glaciers and the limestone stacks of Pancake Rocks squeezed between the Tasman Sea and the Southern Alps are the real deal. You can explore the West Coast by bicycling, trekking, kayaking or by boat.


Napier is one of the places to visit in New Zealand. Napier is vibrant and harmonious city that works as a gateway to the natural beauty of Hawkes Bay. The fields are draped in vines that extend to backwater villages, while the streets of Napier are lined with Art Deco buildings.

The Cape Kidnappers preserve biodiversity such as gannet colonies, and lonely beaches give way to rolling waves ideal for surfing. The simple joys of New Zealand can be found in great wine, delectable cuisine, and the lush terrain in Napier and Hawke's Bay.

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park's vast extent epitomizes New Zealand's natural beauty.  It is one of the best things to do in New Zealand because it allows you to see how the wilderness stretches over the mountains and into unspoiled rainforests and colossal fiords. It creates an ecological wonderland. The river and vegetation preserve endangered animals, which can be seen on multi-day treks and day cruises.

It's no surprise that areas like Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound may leave you speechless, as the ground has been molded and carved by receding glaciers over thousands of years. Te Anau, and Lake Manapouri are also among the highlights.

Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is a spectacular display of New Zealand's various ecosystems. The sea sparkles as it plunges you into forest slopes and secluded white-sand bays. Coastal towns can be seen taking a cruise along the waters and islands.

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds showcase the region's and country's history, while the untamed wilderness is reflected in 150 uninhabited islands. You'll almost always be surrounded by whales and dolphins, whether you're kayaking, diving, or on a cruise ship. 

Don’t forget to miss out on Russell, Paihia and Waipoua Forest.

Things to do in New Zealand Roys Peak in New Zealand

Lake Taupo

On the banks of Lake Taupo, the town of Taupo captures the genuine spirit of New Zealand grandeur. The shoreline is lined with exquisite eateries, and the paths outside of town provide excellent cycling and hiking opportunities.

Rapids, snow-capped peaks, and sparkling water only scratch the surface of Taupo's essential ornateness, all of which contribute to an appealing contrast. Tongariro National Park, Huka Falls, Mine Bay, Orakei Korako, Craters of the Moon are just a few of the highlights.


The last recommendation about the things to do in New Zealand is visit Kaikoura. If you want to see birds, whales, dolphins and seals, Kaikoura is the ideal destination in New Zealand. Kaikoura is one of the very few places in the world where the natural beauty of both land and water may be enjoyed at the same time. The town's charm and scenic shoreline provides the ideal combination to walk along the coast, enjoy delicious seafood meals, encounter wildlife encounters, and plan out excursions in the mountain.

Highlights include the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, the Seal Colony and the Kaikoura Museum.