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The top 10 Places to Visit on your first trip to New Zealand

This is my personal favourite destination too!! For a lot of travellers like me, New Zealand is both a dream destination and once in a lifetime places to visit. NZ people are fond of outdoors and their hunger for adventure and outdoor can be seen across the country. With amazing nature parks, scintillating glaciers, incredible Maori Culture, and the most friendly people who will not want to visit a destination like this. So here are the 10 best places to visit while you are in New Zealand

Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands
Image Credits: Unsplash

About three hours from Auckland ‘Bay Of Islands’ is a major hub for watersports like fishing, parasailing, Scuba Diving, and a lot of other water sports. While you are here make sure to take the Hole in the Rock cruise which is one of the most famous cruises here and if you are lucky and the tides are on your favour, you can ride through the Hole in the Rock. We would recommend you staying here for a night instead of doing this as a day trip from Auckland and we are super confident that it will not disappoint you!

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand
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Considered as the largest city and an international air travel Hub, Auckland is one of the best places to go in New Zealand. International Flights in and out of Auckland are super cheap most of the times and this city is also well connected to the local cities around north island and frequent domestic flight options are available to the south Island. Not just that Auckland is world-famous for its Art Gallery and War Memorial and is a hot hub for shopping. Nightlife in Auckland City is very vibrant and not to miss kinda experience so when you plan for a vacation make sure to book your rooms nearby the city or in the city

Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Image Credits: Unsplash

Just about 30 minutes away from Auckland downtown is ‘Waiheke Island’ which is one of the best places to go for wine tasting. Home to some of the most loved vineyards in the country try samples of wine how much ever you want to. Just make sure someone sober is there to help you reach the hotel. Different Day tours are available from Auckland where you will be able to experience some of the best wines in the country. Of course, there is more to do on Waiheke Island and its famous for its vibrant art community, beaches, and forests.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
Image Credits: Unsplash

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are naturally illuminated by thousands of glowworms and is among the most unique places to visit in New Zealand. Take a boat ride through the caves to learn about the history and science behind this phenomenon. If you are adventurous enough and want something more special and adrenaline-pumping try black water rafting with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company. In this, you will be floating with the help of a tube and will be going down a subterranean stream. It will be pitch-dark (except for the naturally illuminated lights – Glowworms) and you will get to do everything from jumping off waterfalls to rappeling down cave walls. I hope that’s quite an adventure for you!

Rotorua

Rotorua Town
Image Credits: Unsplash

One place where you can experience the rich Maori culture and the world-famous ‘Polynesian Spa’ which will get your body totally relaxed and rejuvenated. You can take part in a Hangi Fest which is a traditional meal prepared by the Maori people. The town itself is very secluded and away from the city, people are calm and relaxed. It will be a perfect addition to the Itinerary next to Auckland as it is the closest major city and also because it takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the urban city.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown View
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Located on the southwest side of the South Island, Queenstown has a very well deserved reputation of being the adventure capital of the world. During the winter and spring months (June to October), Queenstown is known for its world-class skiing. During the summer months, it gets even more adventurous. Activities like bungee jumping, Skydiving, jet boat riding, river rafting you just name the adventure sport and you have got it there in New Zealand. When you are hungry after experiencing all these adventure sports and don’t know where to grab dinner head straight to “Fergburger” which has the best burger on the planet. Yeah, you heard me right

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Franz Josef Glacier
Image Credits: Unsplash

Can you believe that one can hike an actual glacier in New Zealand? The Franz Josef Glacier plays host to both guided walks and jaw-dropping Heli Hikes. One can experience ice climbing and the icing on the cake is it doesn’t need any technical expertise. The next obvious question everyone will get is with regards to the temperature and whether you will be freezing there on top. Don’t worry Franz Josef Glacier receives a lot of sunlight and temperatures on the ice are usually only a few degrees colder than the nearby town

Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch City
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Despite being rocked by four large earthquakes and all of them happening within one year, Christchurch has made a true comeback. You will be able to see evidence of the city’s rebirth everywhere like buildings made out of old shipping containers and other unique materials like the cardboard cathedral. Of all the best attractions in Christchurch, the Botanical Gardens are super special, Displaying conservatories, walking tracks, and horticultural displays.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound Cruise
Image Credits: Unsplash

Termed as the “Eighth Wonder Of The World” and is a must-have experience in every single itinerary if you are into nature and greenery. If you want a bit more thrill you can navigate yourself on a kayaking tour. Once you are done experiencing the water and the beautiful scenery above the water make sure to go visit the only floating underwater observatory in New Zealand. Visitors can go more than 30 ft deep (while staying dry) and get 360 degrees of the underwater environment

Mount Cook

Mount Cook
Image Credits: Unsplash

Aoraki/Mt. Cook is new Zealand’s tallest mountain with an altitude of 12,218 feet. It is located in the centre of the South Island in Canterbury. Mount Cook village is a little town 12 kilometres from the base of the mountain and has one of the world-class stay option called ‘The Hermitage’. This property is our top pick if you are planning to stay in mount cook and this also has a Stargazing tour which will mesmerize you beyond your imaginations. If you know to drive make sure to take a car when visiting this secluded village. We are sure the driving will itself be an experience of a lifetime.

New Zealand is one extraordinary country with a perfect blend of culture and nature. Just a small recommendation, when you plan for New Zealand make sure you have at least 10 to 14 days in your hand because this destination needs that time for you to experience its beauty. All this being said I am sure you are already planning for NZ Vacation, Visit Pickyourtrail.com and customize your Itinerary your way for the cheapest of prices and you can thank us later :))

Srinivasan