“I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want.”
– Andy Warhol
New Zealand is a small island country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It’s comprised of the North Island and the South Island. The North Island is home to spectacular natural landscapes, stunning coastlines, active volcanoes, national parks, and tranquil beaches. The larger South Island is one of the world’s most beautiful destinations, featuring spectacular coastlines, majestic mountains, waterfalls, lakes and glaciers. The area is also renowned for its adventure water sports and fun outdoor activities.
Fun New Zealand Attractions
Check out these fun attractions in New Zealand’s North Island and South Island:
North Island Attractions
- The Bay of Islands
Take a boat trip to The Bay of Islands. Keep an eye out for dolphins and whales.
- Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula
This must-see site is famous for its dramatic cliffs and cave rock formation.
- Hobbiton Movie Set
Take a Guided Tour of the site of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film trilogies.
- Hot Water Beach
Aptly named, Hot Water Beach is famous for its natural underwater spring. The best time to visit is during low tide.
- Huka Falls
Walk along the scenic banks of the Waikato River and marvel at one of the country’s most visited natural attractions.
- Kakadu National Park
This World-Heritage archaeological site is a popular nature reserve.
- The Kapiti Coast
Admire a gorgeous New Zealand sunset at the Kapiti Coast.
- Lake Taupo
Visit New Zealand’s largest lake.
- New Plymouth
See spectacular views of the Tasman Sea and Mt. Taranaki.
- Ninety Mile Beach and the sacred Spirits Bay
Visit one of New Zealand’s longest stretches of beach and Spirits Bay, a sacred place in Maori culture.
- Rotorua’s Tamaki Maori Village
Journey back in time and experience Maori culture and traditions.
- Sky Tower
The popular landmark’s three Observation Decks provides visitors a stunning 360-degree view of Auckland.
- Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley
Visit its thermal pools to enjoy the world’s largest hot spring.
- Waitomo Glowworm Caves
See New Zealand’s unique and world-famous florescent blue glowworms at Waitomo Glowworm Caves. The caves were created over 30 million years ago.
- Wellington’s Te Papa Museum
Learn about the history and culture of New Zealand at this world-class museum, located in Wellington.
- White Island
Visit White Island and see New Zealand’s most active volcano.
South Island Attractions
- Abel Tasman National Park
Explore New Zealand’s smallest and most popular national park. Hiking and kayaking are the best ways to experience the area.
- Aoraki / Mt. Cook
Marvel at Aoraki / Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, located in the Southern Alps.
- The Catlins
The Catlins is famous for its three waterfalls – the McLean Falls, Purakaunui Falls and the Matai Falls.
- Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier
Take a adventurous Helicopter Tour and get an up-close view of these stunning glaciers. See ice caves and the famous blue ice at Franz Josef Glacier.
- Golden Bay
Admire the beauty of Golden Bay, a relatively untouched and quiet area, nestled into the northern tip of South Island.
- Kaikoura Coast
Kaikoura Coast is located on the island’s east coast. It’s a great place for whale-watching.
- Lake Pukaki
Enjoy swimming in Lake Pukaki. On a clear day, you can see magnificent views of Mt. Cook.
- Marlborough Sounds
An extensive network of sea-drowned valleys, located at the northern end of the island.
- Milford Sound
Famous for its towering waterfalls, beautiful fjords and lakes.
- Otago Peninsula
Home to magnificent marine wildlife, including the Royal Albatross and Yellow-Eyed and Blue Penguins.
- Pancake Rocks at Dolomite Point near Punakaiki
Spectacular must-see limestone rocks and blowholes. It’s the most visited attraction on the West Coast.
A great adventure sports destination.
- Waiheke Island
Famous for its beautiful beaches and fine wines.
Book New Zealand Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips and Fun Things To Do
Go Whale-Watching in Kaikoura on a Fun Boat Tour. Experience a Franz Josef Heli-Hiking Glacier Tour and explore ice caves with professional guides. Swim with the Dolphins in Akaroa Harbor. Take a Guided Tour of the Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit Movie Set. Go Black Water (Cave Tubing) Rafting on an adventurous Waitomo Glowworms Tour. Get an up-close view of these magnificent glowworms.
Find New Zealand Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips and Fun Things To Do
Book Your New Zealand Business Trip or Vacation
Get the best travel deals, airfares, car rentals, hotels or vacation apartments from our top Travel Partners.
The Best Time To Visit New Zealand
Bear in mind that the seasons are the opposite of the seasons on the Northern Hemisphere.
The best time to visit New Zealand is February to April. Peak season is Summer (December-February) so expect crowds, especially at the beaches. Springtime (September-November) is also a good time to visit.