Few countries combine the adventure and inspiration that New Zealand gifts visitors. This beautiful country is rich with culture and attractions, making it an ideal destination for those longing for an exciting holiday with unforgettable sights.
This list contains seven of our favourite places in New Zealand (each of which you can visit on one of our escorted tours). Remember to pack your camera to capture and share the visual wonders of New Zealand with your family and friends.
No New Zealand holiday should be without a visit to the buzzing metropolis of Auckland. Also known as the ‘City of Sails’, New Zealand’s largest city is a favourite stop on our New Zealand tours. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the Victorian-style shops along the famous ‘Golden Mile’ of Lower Queen Street, before tasting delectable dishes in one of Auckland’s fabulous restaurants.
Mount Cook (Māori name Aoraki – ‘cloud piercer’) consists of three majestic peaks in the Southern Alps. Towering 3,754 metres above sea level, it’s the highest mountain in New Zealand. Surrounded by the Hookier Glacier to the west and the immense Tasman Glacier to the east, it’s the perfect place to relish a breathtaking alpine vista.
The country’s capital city has a stunning harbour. Gaze out over the water from one of the buzzy cafes (preferable with a flat white, New Zealand’s signature coffee). You can also take an engaging tour through New Zealand’s history at the waterfront Te Papa national museum on the waterfront. Wellington is a real foodie city (and it loves its craft beer), so be sure to seek out a few local bars or restaurants while you’re here.
Kiwi wildlife park
The kiwi is the national icon of New Zealand, but where is the best place to see these cute flightless birds (and many more endemic species)? Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park in Rotorua will introduce you to the diverse wildlife of New Zealand and the fantastic conservation work undertaken to ensure it continues to thrive.
Lady Knox Geyser
A thunderous spectacle, the Lady Knox Geyser erupts to heights of up to 20 metres. Visitors to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland in Rotorua can buy tickets for a 10.15am amphitheatre talk by an expert on the mechanics of this natural wonder as it rockets its spray skywards.
Take a scenic cruise around Milford Sound and experience the beauty of this mountainous paradise. Waterfalls cascade, rainforest hangs from rock faces and the mighty Mitre Peak looms, gifting photograph opportunities you will treasure forever. We visit Milford Sound on several tours, including ‘The Best of New Zealand’ and ‘Grand Antipodean Odyssey’.
Bay of Islands
One of the most popular holiday destinations in New Zealand, the Bay of Islands is best explored by boat. Sail on the azure waters, past picturesque sandy coves, and spot dolphins under some of the bluest skies in the world.
These are some of our favourite sights, but there are many, many more magical sights to discover. An escorted tour is a great way to see the country. With us, you’ll stay in handpicked hotels, follow an expertly designed itinerary and have a Titan tour manager on hand 24/7 to make sure everything runs smoothly. We know the journey is a long one, too, so we’ve tried to make it as hassle-free as possible. Our VIP door-to-door travel service will take you (and your suitcase) from home to the airport, and back again on your return. From 2020, you’ll also have the option of flying from a number of airports around the UK, including Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.
First published in February 2015. Updated in December 2018.