This list of the best places to see in New ZealandIt will help you prepare your trip to a country where you will see nature in its purest state and enjoy incredible landscapes, which we are sure, will leave you speechless.
After our experience, we can say that the best way to travel the two islands that form New Zealand is to rent a motorhome, which will allow you to have the freedom to stop where and when you want. This, in addition to giving you this great privilege, will save you money on accommodation and food, making the trip much more sustainable, something important to consider in a country as expensive as New Zealand.
Although there are hundreds of possible routes, after our trip, we recommend you start the route on the North Island by landing in Auckland to after crossing the island, cross by ferry from Wellington to Picton, on the South Island, to after knowing this island , end the trip in Christchurch.
The minimum duration to tour the two islands, seeing the main points of interest would be 3 weeks, although we suggest adding 3 or 4 extra days in case of bad weather at one of its points of greatest interest, have that extra time.
This is something important especially if we take into account that the weather in New Zealand is quite variable, it is even difficult to avoid rains in summer, the time known as high season and the period that corresponds to the months of January and February in Spain.
If you do not want to cross a lot of tourism and find more adjusted prices, a highly recommended option is to consider this trip in spring or autumn, perfect moments in which having less frequent rainfall and pleasant temperatures, you can enjoy New Zealand at its best .
And to show our case. We travel during the month of March and the first week of April and enjoy the whole trip in good weather.
Based on the experience of our trip to New Zealand, we have made this list of what we believe are the 10 essential places to visit in New Zealand. We start!
1. Mount Cook
Mount Cook or Aoraki in Maori is the highest peak with 3724 meters and one of the places to see in New Zealand more beautiful.
And although this is the great icing on the cake, before arriving at Mount Cook we recommend you to squeeze the route and calmly travel the road that goes from Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook, one of the most spectacular in the country, which alone deserves the journey time to get there.
On the way, do not forget to stop at the Pukaki and Tekapo glacial lakes, where you can enjoy an impressive intense blue, the views of the New Zealand Alps and a starry night next to the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Once you arrive at the Mount Cook car park, you can do one of the most famous trekkings in the country, the Hooker Valley about 4 hours round trip, considered one of the most incredible in the area and New Zealand.
Do not forget to check the weather beforehand to make sure the day will be clear so you can see Mount Cook, one of the gifts of this hike.
From this parking lot, the trails leave for the Kea Point Track for an hour and the Muller Hut for about 9 hours, both well-known and totally recommended trekking.
If your idea is to do both (or even only one of them), we recommend you spend the night at the Whitehorse campsite, with basic services and a price of 13NZD per person and with fantastic views of Mount Cook that we are sure, will leave you without words.
In addition to those mentioned above, located a few kilometers from this area is the point to start the Tasman Glacier Lake, another of the most important tracks in the area and another one of the best places to visit in New Zealand, where you can enjoy one of the best views in all of New Zealand with the glacier, a lake full of large pieces of ice and the Cook in the background.
In addition to the one we mentioned, there are several more trails you can do, all less than 1 hour long, that run through the Tasman Valley area and are a perfect complement to the previous one.
If you do not have a motorhome or rental car you can book this excursion to Mount Cook with a guide in Spanish from the pleasant city of Queenstown.
Hobbiton is the set of filming of the scenes of the village of the Hobbits and the Region in the famous film of The Lord of the rings and another one of the most essential places to see in New Zealand. Located on the North Island, very close to the city of Matamata, Hobbiton is a magical place surrounded by meadows and green hills, which will love both the fans of the film and those who are not.
The history of this place begins in 1988 when director Peter Jackson looks at the Alexander farm as the ideal place to start filming the trilogy of The Lord of the rings. After dismantling all the stages at the end of the last film, they had to be reassembled a few years later to shoot the trilogy of The Hobbit By the time the filming of the last film ended, reach an agreement with the producer whereby the Alexander family could keep the shooting set intact and make it one of the country's tourist attractions.
The visit to the shooting set is always done with a guide in English, although they give you a brochure in Spanish, and it is highly recommended to book the ticket in advance, to avoid running out of space, something that happens regularly in summer and spring or autumn
During the two-hour tour you will be able to see most of the hobby houses, including Bilbo Bolsón, as well as knowing many of the curiosities of the film and its filming before finishing the visit at the Green Dragon inn.
In addition to visiting Hobbiton in New Zealand, if you want to complete your experience with a meal in the tent mounted at the party place of the Hobby people, you can book this guided tour.
For us it was one of the most visited visits in the country and despite being guided, you have enough time to make all kinds of photos recreating scenes from the movie.
Wai-O-Tapu in Rotorua
One of the best things to do in New Zealand and more magical, is to visit the Waitomo caves, famous as the so-called live inside luminous worms or glowworms.
These strange insects, or rather their larvae, feed by causing light in the dark with which they attract their prey to their sticky silk thread.
Although the entrance is not exactly cheap, since the peak only lasts about 10 minutes and in other places in New Zealand you can get to see these worms for free, nothing is comparable to the vastness of Waitomo where you can enjoy of thousands of lights on the walls and ceiling, making the experience similar to being under a starry night, while navigating an underground lake.
As with Hobbiton, we recommend you book your ticket here in advance so you don't run out of seats or have to choose a different time than desired.
Near Waitomo are the caves of Ruakuri, another of the places to see in New Zealand in which you can see glowworms. We believe that it is more a cave to see stalactites and stalagmites, since there are not many luminous worms although the joint experience can be highly recommended if you have time to do both. You can book the ticket here.
Map of the best places to visit in New Zealand
If you feel like helping us complete the list of the 10 places to see in New Zealand, add yours in the comments.