New Zealand Attractions


New Zealand Attractions
& New Zealand Sightseeing

New Zealand’s landscape has been truly blessed when it comes to spectacular natural and urban scenery. With the dawn sun shining on New Zealand before the rest of the world, it seems that every new day is to be cherished and marvelled.

With its outlandish scenery, magical outdoor experiences, fabulous local food and wine to sample, along with meeting friendly Kiwi’s, New Zealand’s North Island and South Island has sights and attractions for everyone. Below are a few of New Zealand’s popular attractions.

North Island, New Zealand

Auckland Region

  • Sky Tower & Sky City Casino

    North Island, Auckland New Zealand
    The Sky Tower is a 328 metre (1,076-ft) high broadcasting & telecommunications tower that is an iconic landmark of Auckland’s city skyline. The Sky Tower has four observation decks that offer 360 degree views of Auckland. It is also an epicenter of entertainment as it has a revolving restaurant, casino and for the more adventurous, activities like the Skywalk & Sky Jump.

    Sky Tower Auckland

  • Auckland Waterfront & the Viaduct Basin

    North Island, Auckland New Zealand
    The waterfront and basin have benefited from regeneration over the last 20 years and has become a hive of activity, with a surplus of up-market apartments, restaurants, yachts, museums, hotels and a wonderful interactive space for tourists and local families.

    The Viaduct Basin is the home of the New Zealand America’s Cup sailing team. The ferry terminal to the North shore and surrounding volcanic islands is on Prince’s Wharf, and Queen’s Wharf is where the Rugby World Cup entertainment & exhibition space, ‘The Cloud’ can be found.

    Auckland Harbour

  • Auckland Harbour Bridge

    North Island, Auckland New Zealand
    Built in 1959 this historic bridge was built to connect the North shore and Auckland city centre. Due to the expansion of the North shore suburbs the bridge was widened in 1969 to accommodate the increase in traffic.

    For those keen to see the Waitemata Harbour from a slightly different angle, there is the option in true Kiwi style to bungy jump from underneath the bridge spans, to kick start your day in Auckland.

    
Auckland Harbour Bridge

  • Auckland War Memorial Museum

    North Island, Auckland New Zealand
    This iconic neo-classical building was built as a World War 1 memorial in 1929 and is a treasure trove of New Zealand’s history. It has everything from Sir Edmund Hillary’s mountaineering boots, Māori artwork and cultural displays, volcanology exhibitions, examples of Auckland as a pioneering town, and information about all the wars that New Zealand has participated in from the Māori wars to World War 2. This is a great activity for rainy days or an introduction into the history of New Zealand when first arriving in Auckland.

    Auckland War Memorial Museum

  • Devonport

    North Island, Auckland New Zealand
    Is one of Auckland’s most historic suburbs with a very distinct Victorian feel to it. Just a 10 minute ferry ride from the Ferry Building on Princes Wharf, Devonport offers excellent views of Auckland’s central business district, Waitemata Harbour and the extinct volcanic islands which are dotted around the bay.

    It is home to the Royal New Zealand Navy and Naval museum. Devonport is a popular destination for locals as a launching site for water sports, beach activities and leisurely strolls along trendy entertainment areas of Victoria Wharf, Edward Parade and Victoria Road.

    Devonport

  • One Tree Hill

    North Island, Auckland New Zealand
    Surprisingly is an extinct volcanic cone named after the solitary tree planted on its summit in 1640. Today the tree has been replaced with a stone monument but, it still remains an important spiritual place for the Māori people.

    One Tree Hill

  • Auckland City Center

    North Island, Auckland New Zealand
    Attractions are mostly found around Auckland’s waterfront and parks. Auckland is a modern city with plenty of trendy shops, theatres, clubs & street entertainment.

    Auckland City Center

Northland Region

  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds

    North Island, Northland New Zealand
    Is the location where New Zealand’s founding document the ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ was signed on the 6th February 1840 in front of a house owned by James Busby.

    The house was renamed in 1932 as the Treaty House and today visitors can take guided tours around the grounds. Annual meetings between Māori and New Zealand government leaders takes place at the grounds on the 6th February every year.

    Waitangi Treaty Grounds

  • Cape Reinga

    North Island, Northland New Zealand
    The northern point of New Zealand and an iconic landmark, the Cape Reinga lighthouse is where the convergence of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea can be seen. Here there are outstanding views as the two great oceans meet over the submerged Columbia Bank. On stormy days the immense power of the oceans can be witnessed.

    Cape Reinga

  • Ninety Mile Beach

    North Island, Northland New Zealand
    Is the longest beach in the country and is in fact fifty five miles long! The sand is quite firm enabling it be used as an official highway, so occasionally given the right conditions you can see coaches, bikes and cars travelling along the beach. Ultimately it’s a wonderful way to enjoy the beautiful Northland coastline.

    Ninety Mile Beach

  • Bay of Islands – Pahia & Russell

    North Island, Northland New Zealand
    The Bay of Islands is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations and has been since the early 1930’s. The surroundings reflect a beautiful sub-tropical Pacific island setting, white sandy beaches, mangroves, interesting rock formations and an abundance of marine wildlife. Pahia and Russell are central to activities and accommodation in the area.

    Bay of Islands

Bay of Plenty Region

  • Bay of Plenty

    North Island, Bay of Plenty New Zealand
    The Bay of Plenty (Te Moana-a-Toi) was originally named by James Cook around 1769, because of its wealth of natural resources in the area. It was also one of the first areas to be settled by the Māori people.

    It is situated on the North eastern coastline, nestled between the Coromondel Peninsula in the West and Cape Runaway in the East. The area is famous for its apples, kiwi fruit, forests and spectacular sandy beaches and is a popular tourist destination for locals and visitors alike.

    Bay of Plenty

  • White Island

    North Island, Bay of Plenty New Zealand
    Is the most active marine volcano in New Zealand. It is found on the northern tip of the Taupo-Rotorua geological fault line and forms part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Situated in the Bay of Plenty the island is only accessible by authorised tourist operators by aeroplane, helicopter or boat, most likely leaving from its nearest mainland towns of Whakatane, Tauranga and Rotorua.

    Bay of Plenty

  • Rotorua & Taupo Volcanic Valley

    North Island, Bay of Plenty New Zealand
    Is the popular and famous destination for tourists in the North Island of New Zealand to visit. Rotorua is the heartland for geothermal activities and Māori culture, and has been a popular spa town since 1894. Famous for New Zealand’s largest and most active geyser, Pohutu Geyser is located in the Whakarewarewa thermal area.

    The surrounding areas of Rotorua are also full of geological wonders like the Waimangu Volcanic Valley (original site of the famous ‘Pink & White Terraces’), Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, Hells Gate, numerous geothermal spas and other adventure activities.

    Rotorua & Taupo Volcanic Valley

Waikato Region

  • Lake Taupo

    North Island, Waikato New Zealand
    Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest inland lake and lies in a volcanic caldera created by a super volcanic eruption in AD186. White pumice beaches are still prevalent on the shoreline today.

    The town of Taupo lies at the north eastern corner of Lake Taupo.
    With views over the pristine lake and the distant volcanic peaks in the Tongariro National Park, it makes for a nice afternoon to sit on a lakeside bench to watch the world go by. For those seeking a more active activity there are plenty of opportunities for jet boating, tandem skydiving and much much more.

    Lake Taupo

  • Coromandel Peninsula

    North Island, Waikato New Zealand
    The Coromandel is a beautiful Kauri forested area (the Kauri being one of the world’s tallest and oldest trees growing to more than 50 metres high), with natural coves, hot springs and the famous Hot Water Beach spring near Whitianga. As it is in close proximity to Auckland it has become a popular getaway for city dwellers, as it offers a more laid back lifestyle.

    Coromandel Peninsula

  • Tongariro National Park

    North Island, Waikato New Zealand
    Was established in 1887 and it is the oldest national park in New Zealand. Tongariro National Park is unique due to it’s cluster of three active volcanoes known as Ruaphehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongaririo, of which the latter forms the nucleus of the mountains at the centre of the park.

    A popular activity is walking along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track and this is rated as one of the top 9 walks in the country, encompassing spectacular scenery such as emerald lakes, old lava flows and unique fauna and flora.

    Tongariro National Park

  • Whakpapa Ski Area

    North Island, Waikato New Zealand
    Whakpapa ski field is located on the north-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu, and combined with it’s sister ski field Turoa is located on the mountain’s south-western slopes, forms the largest and one of the more established ski areas in New Zealand.

    Whakpapa Ski Area

Hawke’s Bay Region

  • Hawke’s Bay

    North Island, Hawke’s Bay New Zealand
    This can be considered as New Zealand’s little Garden of Eden, due to its beautiful fruit tree orchards, vineyards and other agricultural pursuits. It is home to two of New Zealand’s famous Art Deco towns Napier and Hastings. Wine is one of the predominant industries in the area and one of the best ways of exploring local vineyards is to follow the ‘Hawke’s Bay Vineyard Self-Drive Tour’.

    This is a circular route starting from either Napier or Te Awanga and will take you past Mission Estate Winery, Clearview Estate Winery, Te Mata Estate Winery, Vidal Wines, Sileni Estates, Ngatarawa Wines, Te Awa Winery, C J Pask Winery and Park Estate Winery.

    December to February is a good time to do wine tours in Hawke’s Bay, as the vineyards tend to slow down quite significantly in the winter months. However, February is probably the best month to visit to participate in a glass or two, as one of New Zealand’s premium wine festivals – ‘Harvest Hawke’s Bay’ is celebrated.

    Hawke’s Bay

  • Napier

    North Island, Hawke’s Bay New Zealand
    Is considered the ‘Art Deco’ capital of New Zealand. In 1931 the town was destroyed by an earthquake and was rebuilt in the architectural style of the day – Art Deco. Napier is positioned on the edge of the South Pacific Ocean and is the gateway to Hawke’s Bay wine and fruit district.

    Napier is a town that is easy to walk around and there is an extensive network of cycling paths along the beach. Common activities include visiting the Colonnade & Sunken Garden, walking along Marine Parade, enjoying farmers markets, vintage shops and indulging in café culture of a bygone era.

    Close by attractions include Cape Kidnappers, the National Aquarium of New Zealand and the Hawke’s Bay Museum. Due to its romantic setting Napier is also a popular wedding and honeymoons destination.

    Hawke’s Bay

Taranaki Region

  • Egmont National Park

    North Island, Taranaki New Zealand
    The Egmont National Park is home to an iconic, cone shaped, dormant stratovolcano known as Mount Taranaki or Mount Egmont. The park, the second national park in New Zealand, is situated to the south west of the town of New Plymouth.

    Egmont National park has easily accessible walking trails that can take advanced climbers right up to the summit, whilst still offering more leisurely strolls for the novice. During the winter months the Manganui ski field provides winter activities on the eastern slope of the mountain.

    Egmont National Park

Wellington Region

  • Wellington

    North Island, Wellington Region New Zealand
    Is the capital city of New Zealand and is also affectionately known as the cultural capital, or Wellywood (due to its large film industry). Wellington is a more condensed city than Auckland and walking to major attractions, theatres and shops is very accessible.

    Highlights of visiting Wellington include the Lambton Harbour & Clyde Quay, Wellington Cable Car & Botanical Gardens, Carter Observatory, Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa and Peter Jackson’s Weta Studios. Ferry crossings to the South Island depart regularly from Wellington’s harbour making it the gateway to the South Island.

    Wellington

South Island, New Zealand

Marlborough Region

  • Marlborough Sounds

    South Island, Marlborough Region New Zealand
    The Marlborough Sounds were formed by rising sea levels and a subsiding landmass allowing the flooding of ancient valleys and rivers. Today massive ridges and outcrops host a spectacular collection of bays, hidden coves, picturesque inlets and an abundance of marine wildlife. The Sounds offer excellent walks and boating opportunities.

    Queen Charlotte Drive & Track runs between Picton and Havelock and is one of the most scenic routes in New Zealand and can either be driven and walked. The popular ferry service running between Picton and Wellington provides a wonderful opportunity to see some of the sounds before entering or leaving the Cook Strait at the north end of the South Island.

    Marlborough Sounds

Nelson Region

  • Nelson

    South Island, Nelson Region New Zealand
    The Nelson region is best known for its warm climate, vineyards, festivals and creative arts and culture. Nelson was originally established as an official city in 1858, and visitors have access to numerous art galleries, coffee shops, museums and public memorials. Nelson is also the gateway to the Nelson wine and craft beer region, where wine and beer tasting is a popular past time.

    Nelson

  • Abel Tasman National Park

    South Island, Nelson Region New Zealand
    Is New Zealand’s smallest national park and one of the most popular to visit. Famous for beautiful beaches, kayaking, canoeing and it’s one way, well worn and easily followed walking track, “The Abel Tasman Coast Track,” which is acccesible all the year round. Parts of which can be walked in a day with the entire 51 km track taking three to five days.

    Abel Tasman National Park

West Coast Region

  • Punakaiki Blowholes

    South Island, West Coast Region New Zealand
    Is part of the Paparoa National Park and is more commonly known as the ‘Pancake Rocks and Blowholes’. The limestone rocks look curiously like stacked pancakes and during high tides, the sea bursts through numerous vertical blowholes creating a spectacular daily display. Punakaiki is the central point for exploring the rocks and can be easily accessed from the main coastal road.

    Punakaiki Blowholes

  • Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier

    South Island, West Coast Region New Zealand
    These two famous and rapidly retreating New Zealand glaciers form part of the Westland/Tai Poutini National Park. They are the most popular tourist attractions in the Westland area and the townships of Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier, service tourists looking to explore the glaciers all the year round.

    Walking trails around the glaciers create accessible viewing platforms for most tourists, but the glaciers are constantly melting and walking on them without an official guide is dangerous and forbidden. Another great attraction in the glacier area is Lake Matheson (near Fox Glacier), which creates great reflective views of Mount Cook (mirror image) and can be easily accessed by walking around the lake.

    Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier

  • Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

    South Island, West Coast Region New Zealand
    Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is considered a natural world heritage site for it’s outstanding natural vegetation and landscape. The park shares a border with the Westland Tai Poutini National Park and covers a 700km squared area, of which half is taken up by glaciers. The nearest town to the South and outside of the park is Twizel, whilst the Aoraki/Mount Cook village lies within the park.

    Most of New Zealand’s tallest mountains that peak over 3000 metres are found in the park along with indigenous alpine fauna and flora. Key attractions in Aoraki/Mount Cook National park include Mount Tasman, Tasman Glacier and Aoraki/Mount Cook – the highest mountain in New Zealand!

    Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

  • Arthurs Pass mountain pass

    South Island, West Coast Region New Zealand
    Arthurs Pass road (Highway 73) and railway line is considered one of the most spectacular journeys in the world. Arthurs Pass is a south-east to north-west mountain route that connects Christchurch on the Southern Pacific Ocean side to Greymouth on the Tasman Sea side, through the Southern Alps and has an elevation of 920m.

    Arthurs Pass mountain pass

Canterbury

  • Kaikoura

    South Island, Canterbury Region New Zealand
    Is famous for its whale watching and marine wildlife adventures. Whale watching in Kaikoura is considered one of New Zealand’s ‘must do activities’. Sperm whales, Orcas and swimming with or near dolphins are some of the wildlife attractions found in the area.

    It is also one of the best places to see the large ocean sea birds like the albatrosses, and the easily seen colony of southern fur seals sunbathing on the nearby rocky beaches.

    Kaikoura

  • Lake Tekapo

    South Island, Canterbury Region New Zealand
    Is located in the heart of the South Island surrounded by the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo is famous for its bright blue waters and spectacular scenery, and is a popular holiday destination for activities such as walking (tramping), kayaking, swimming, fishing, boating and hang-gliding.

    Situated on the banks of the lake is New Zealand’s most photographed church – the ‘Church of the Good Shepherd’. Other attractions include the bronze statue of a collie dog (erected in 1968 to honour the collie dog’s role in the development of high country farming), and the University of Canterbury’s observatory on top of Mount John, which is to the north of the town.

    Lake Tekapo

  • Hanmer Springs

    South Island, Canterbury Region New Zealand
    In 1859 hot springs were discovered in the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve as the result of a fractured rock bed that ran along the Hanmer fault. The surrounding town which grew as a result of the popularity of the springs now has thermal pools consisting of; 12 pools with different temperatures, a children’s waterslide, private swimming pools along with an ice-skating ring.

    Hanmer Springs is a popular tourist destination not only for the springs, but for the surrounding forests, the great walking and mountain bike trails. The area is so popular that daily return shuttles are available from Christchurch.

    In the winter months there are two ski fields providing winter sport activities, located at Mount Saint Patrick and Mount Lyford, some 90 minutes drive from Christchurch city centre.

    Hanmer Springs

  • Mount Hutt

    South Island, Canterbury Region New Zealand
    Mount Hutt summits at 2,190m above the Canterbury Plains and is the location of New Zealand’s South island’s largest ski field. It is fortunate in having the longest ski season in Australasia (June – October) and has ski runs for a wide variety of abilities. Apres ski activities and accommodation are found to the southeast in the nearby town of Methven, a 35 minute drive away, whilst the city of Christchurch and it’s international airport are located some 90 minutes drive to the East.

    Mount Hutt

  • Christchurch

    South Island, Canterbury Region New Zealand
    Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island and the oldest established city in New Zealand. It is nestled between the volcanic foot hills of Port Hills to the south, the surrounding beautiful Canterbury Plains and the South Pacific Ocean to the East.

    Christchurch has become a city of creative regeneration after the damage it suffered by earthquakes in 2010 to 2012. The constant regeneration of Christchurch makes it a very interesting place to visit, as changes to the city happen daily. It is also one of the official gateways to Antarctica and is home to the research teams from New Zealand, Italy and the United States of America.

    Christchurch is a fantastic central point for accessing local attractions and activities such as, skiing, playing golf, bungy jumping, mountain biking, wind surfing, whale watching, hot-air ballooning and exploring world-renowned wineries and city gardens, and not forgetting punting down the river Avon!

    Christchurch

Otago Region

  • Queenstown

    South Island, Otago Region New Zealand
    Queenstown is a beautiful resort town situated on the shores of the glacial Lake Wakatipu surrounded by the mountains of the Southern Alps characteristically named, ‘The Remarkables’, ‘Cecil Peak’, ‘Walter Peak’, ‘Ben Lomond’ and ‘Queenstown Hill’. Some of the easily accessible attractions in the town include; the ‘Skyline Gondola’, the ‘Kiwi and Birdlife Park’, ‘Queenstown Gardens’ and the 1912 steam ship the ‘TSS Earnslaw’. It is a place steeped in history and offers a wide range of activities, attractions and beautiful scenery for visitors and locals alike.

    Queenstown is also a wine producing area and there are numerous vineyard and wine tasting excursions. The town has a ‘party town’ feel to it, with many clubs, pubs and restaurants to choose from. There are also annual festivals including the Bike Festival (March/April), the Winter Festival (June) and the Jazz Festival (October) not to be missed. At the turn of the last century Queenstown was also a historic gold rush town, and today that history can still be discovered in the surrounding hills and neighbourhoods.

    Famous for being the ‘adventure capital’ of New Zealand and the centre of winter sport activities, Queenstown has several ski fields surrounding it; including ‘Cornet Peak’, ‘The Remarkables’, ‘Treble Cone’ and the ‘Cardrona Alpine Resort’. It is also a hub of activity in the summer with a range of adventure activities such as bungy-jumping, sky diving, mountain biking, trekking/ tramping, paragliding, hand-gliding, canoeing, jet boating, white water rafting, just to name a few.

    Queenstown

  • Arrowtown

    South Island, Otago Region New Zealand
    Arrowtown is a charming colonial style town founded in 1862, comprising many preserved buildings from the New Zealand gold rush era of the 1860’s to 1870’s. It is located on the banks of the Arrow River some 21kms from Queenstown, and approximately 5kms from State Highway 6.

    Arrowtown’s famous attractions include the Lakes District Museum, Ah Lum’s Store and the historic Chinese Settlement located on the banks of Bush Creek. There are also beautiful walking trails around the town that offer spectacular views of the river and the Southern Alps mountains.

    Arrowtown also has a wide range of arts, crafts and antique shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs making it an ideal excursion between the busy adventure based resort towns of Queenstown, Wanaka and the Shotover River area.

    Arrow Town

  • Wanaka

    South Island, Otago Region New Zealand
    Wanaka is a small ‘adventure based’ resort town on the southern tip of Lake Wanaka. It is best known for being the gateway to the ‘Mount Aspiring National Park’ and for being the less commercial cousin of Queenstown.

    In the winter time Wanaka offers a wider range of ski activity options due to its close proximity to ski resorts such as ‘Treble Cone’, ‘Cardrona Alpine Resort’, ‘Snow Park’ and ‘Snow Farm’. Other adventure activities around Wanaka during the summer months include hiking/ tramping, mountain biking, mountaineering, fishing, paragliding, kayaking, rafting, jet boating and eco-tourism.

    Quirky attractions in the town include ‘Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World’ (a three-dimensional maze and puzzle centre), ‘Paradiso Cinema’ (an old classic cinema with old couches and an old Moris Minor as seating), the ‘Wanaka Transport Museum’, the ‘New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum’ and a number of local vineyards & wineries in the surrounding areas.

    Wanaka

  • Moeraki Boulders Scenic Reserve

    South Island, Otago Region New Zealand
    The Moeraki Boulders is a unique geological wonder of what can be described as giant, grey, spherical shaped, boulders that are eroding gently out of the mud stone, wave cut of Koekohe Beach on the east coast of the South Island. The boulders are protected in the scientific ‘Moeraki Boulders Scenic Reserve’ which is located 80 km north of Dunedin, 35 km south of Oamaru and approximately three hours drive south of Christchurch. Tourists can access the site either by walking 10 min along the beach from the reserve car park or by using the direct access walkway located by the local café that is subject to a small entrance fee.

    Moeraki Boulders Scenic Reserve

  • Oamaru

    South Island, Otago Region New Zealand
    Oamaru is best known for its beautiful, white, local limestone buildings in the Victorian Precinct. Oamaru was established in the late 1800’s due to the community prospering from the gold, quarrying, timber milling and farming industries. Today Harbour & Tyne Streets are intact Victorian streets, with architecturally rich buildings hosting numerous, art galleries, artisan studios, cafés and whisky cellars.

    Oamaru is part of the naturally beautiful Waitaki region, is home to two rare blue & yellow-eyed penguin colonies and has numerous walking and cycling trails. Located 90 minutes north from Dunedin and three hours south of Christchurch it is an ideal stop over when travelling along the east coast of the South Island.

    Oamaru

  • Dunedin

    South Island, Otago Region New Zealand
    Dunedin is known as the nature and heritage capital of New Zealand and has a distinctive Scottish influence. Dunedin is built in the remnants of an extinct volcano and stretches from the beautiful Otago Harbour into the surrounding hills. The Otago Peninsula is famous for its albatross breeding ground, penguins and seal colonies. Dunedin was originally established by Scottish settlers and is affectionately known as the Edinburgh of the south. Its name comes from the original Gaelic for Edinburgh and many of its streets are named after the streets in Edinburgh. Dunedin is a university town and boasts having the oldest university in New Zealand.

    The city centre is laid out in a unique octagon shape and is surrounded by distinguished Victorian and Edwardian buildings making it an architecturally rich city. Famous landmark buildings include the ‘Dunedin Railway Station’, ‘The Municipal Chambers’, ‘Olveston House’, and on the Otago Peninsula is New Zealand’s only castle ‘Lanarch Castle’. Dunedin is a rich cultured city and is famous for its arts, education, fashion, eco-tourism and annual festivals such the annual ‘Cadbury Chocolate Festival’. (Thousands of Jaffa’s down a street proclaimed, by local Dunedinites as the ‘steepest street in the world’ – Baldwin Street.)

    Dunedin

Southland Region

  • Fiordland

    South Island, Southland Region New Zealand
    The Fiordland is one of the most remotest and unique area of New Zealand. Located on the south western area of the Southern Alps the Fiordland has some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand virtually untouched by man. Home to the ‘Fiordland National Park’ which is the largest national park in New Zealand and is considered a world heritage site due, its unique ecosystem of Fiordland temperate forests and endemic plants and wildlife.

    The fiordlands was formed flooded glacier valleys and today the area consists of 14 fiords, five predominant lakes all surrounded by sheer forested cliff faces, abundant waterfalls and hanging with valleys with rare ecosystems. The most famous fiords (although incorrectly named) are the Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Travelling through the ‘Homer Tunnel’ on the ‘Milford Road’ is probably just as iconic and Milford Sound itself and there are numerous cruise operators on both the Milford and Doubtful sound that offer excellent eco-tourism opportunities. The area is also well known for its spectacular walking tracks the most well known being the Milford Track, which is only accessible in the summer months.

    Te Anau and Manapouri are your two major settlements in the area that offers accommodation in the area, although hiker’s huts and lodgings are available in the national parks. Te Anau is a small ‘little gem’ and locals are very friendly and helpful. Besides the beautiful lake that the town is set, local attractions include the Te Anau Glow worm caves (that are only accessible by boat) and the stylish ‘Fiordland Cinema’ which has daily screenings of local Fiordland helicopter pilot’s movie ‘Ata Whenua – shadow land. Te Anau & the Fiordland are also part of the scenic tourist highway the ‘Southern Scenic Route’ which interlinks between Queenstown, Fiordland, Te Anau, the Milford Road, Invercargill, The Catlins, Riverton and Dunedin.

    Fiordland

  • Invercargill & the Bluff

    South Island, Southland Region New Zealand
    Invercargill is a Scottish influenced city and is famous for being the most southern city of the South Island. Established by Scottish immigrants in the mid 1800’s Invercargill is the main commercial hub of the Southland region and services the local agriculture industry and nearby port. Invercargill has a few historical attraction such as the ‘Southland Museum and Art Gallery’, the Victorian ‘Water Tower’, ‘Queens Park’ and ‘Dee & Tay Streets’. The surrounding areas have a few secluded beaches with a few interesting restaurants and cafés.

    The Bluff is not far from Invercargill and is located further south on ‘Stirling Point’. The Bluff is the gateway to Stuart Island and has daily crossings to the island – weather permitting! The settlement is one of the oldest settlements in the South Island and has a few nature trails as well as the famous international sign post which is popular with tourists. Locals are referred to as “tough” because of the changeable weather and a common phrase you’ll hear in the south “…you’re only tough if you come from the Bluff”. The Bluff is also a traditional fishing area and its ‘Bluff Oysters’ are famous throughout New Zealand.

    Invercargill & the Bluff

  • Stuart Island

    South Island, Southland Region New Zealand
    Stuart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island after the North and the South Island. Eighty five percent of the island forms part of the ‘Rakiura National Park’ and its only town is the small settlement of Oban. The environment on Stuart Island has remained virtually untouched and consists of virgin beaches, inlets, bush forests and spectacular rocky coastlines. The island is a bird watchers paradise and is home to endangered New Zealand species such as the brown Kiwi, is a breeding ground for the mutton bird and haven for other marine wild life such as seals and penguins. Stuart Island is an ideal location for walking, hiking and tramping and has numerous tracks throughout the island.

    Stuart Island

  • Catlins

    South Island, Southland Region New Zealand
    The Catlins is a scenic coastal forested region located on the south eastern region of the South Island. It is an often forgotten about corner of the country but, is probably New Zealand’s best kept secret. Named after one of the early land owners in the 1840’s, the Catlins comprises of a rugged coastline area, dense temperate rainforests, waterfalls, fortified forests, coves that is home to the endangered yellow-eyed penguin and other marine wildlife such as seals and Hector dolphins. The area is very exposed to the weather from the Southern Ocean often has high winds and big swells. This of course makes it an ideal surfing location and ‘big-wave surfing’ is very popular in this part of the world.

    The Catlins forms part of the ‘Southern Scenic Route’ and is located between Balclutha and Invercargill. Some key attractions include: ‘Waipapa Point’ (location of New Zealand’s worst shipping accident 1881); ‘Curio Bay’ (location of 160-million year old fortified forest); ‘Porpoise Bay’; Mclean Falls; ‘Cathedral Cave’ (only accessible in low tide); ‘Purakauni Falls’ (an impressive waterfall that drops 20m onto cascading terraces); ‘Jacks Blowholes’(a blow hole with a 60m sea water spray surrounded by cliff top pastures); ‘Slope Point’(the southernmost point of the South Island of New Zealand has an AA sign showing the distance to the Equator & South Pole) and ‘Nugget Point’ (home to seal, sea lion, penguins, shags, gannets and shearwater colonies and a lighthouse built in 1869).

    Catlins

  • Southern Scenic Route

    South Island, Southland Region New Zealand
    The Southern Scenic Route is a scenic tourist highway the which interlinks between Queenstown, Fiordland, Te Anau, the Milford Road, Invercargill, The Catlins, Riverton and Dunedin. The route is an ideal way to explore the beautiful, rural and iconic southern countryside and coastline.

    Southern Scenic Route

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