Top 15 things you need to see in New Zealand that will blow your mind stuff nation

Radoslav and Barbara Cajkovic at Cape Reinga.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Radoslav and Barbara Cajkovic at Cape Reinga.

Originally from Slovakia, Barbara and Radoslav Cajkovic lived in New Zealand for three years before travelling across the US. Here, they share a blog post about their favourite places in NZ.

New Zealand is the place like no other. Not just a few people have said that from many places they visited, New Zealand was by far the most beautiful and interesting country ever.

When it comes to nature and scenery, New Zealand is unbeatable, a very special place.

Mitre Peak in Milford Sound, one of the most famous tourist attraction of New Zealand.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Mitre Peak in Milford Sound, one of the most famous tourist attraction of New Zealand.

The fact that it has been developing for centuries, isolated from all over the world, gave a chance for survival to many animal and plant species which would not survive anywhere else.

Diverse, fast-changing weather influenced by the Pacific Ocean created a land, where are various types of nature which are comparable to whole continents with its richness.

And so, you can hike the snowy mountains, swim on the exotic beach, walk through the active volcanic area, play in the vast sand dunes or get lost in the tropical bush – all of this just few hours of drive from each other.

Admiring Mt Ngauruhoe.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Admiring Mt Ngauruhoe.

With unique and breathtaking sceneries, wild animal encounter and discovering precious Maori culture, there won't be anything better like your holiday in New Zealand.

These are the top 15 things you need to see in New Zealand when you finally decides to visit.

1. Auckland

Auckland city from Mt Eden.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Auckland city from Mt Eden.

Auckland city is the biggest city in New Zealand. And not just that, furthermore, the City of Sails is the largest Polynesian city in the world.

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This amazing coastal metropolis will be your perfect recharge for further travels. With great restaurants, festivals, shopping venues, cultural program, and endless activities to do, Auckland will boost you with plenty of unforgettable experience.

2. Ninety Mile Beach & Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Cape Reinga.

Once upon a time, there was the end of the world. And who would guess that despite many people's fear of it, it is one of the most enchanting places? Cape Reinga lies in the northern point of North Island, with the spectacular views of the limitless horizon of ocean and nice lighthouse.

Just a few kilometres on the southwest is situated Ninety Mile Beach – a vast sand dunes area with a beach. If you have never surfed on the sand, now is the perfect time to try it.

3. Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands are best explored by boat.
FAIRFAX NZ

The Bay of Islands are best explored by boat.

This subtropical paradise is the best place for anyone who loves water and water sports. The best way how to discover these 144 islands is on the boat, yacht or kayak.

Furthermore, the Bay of Islands is a world-renowned place for scuba diving for its coral reefs and colourful variety of fishes and sea life, including friendly dolphins and seals.

4. The Coromandel with famous Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Cathedral Cove.

We have been to this place before we even know it is so famous. And then we saw the movie The Narnia, and a screensaver of a Windows 10 and it was like "wow, look it's a Cathedral Cove…".

The Coromandel is a fabulous subtropical rainforest area with pristine golden beaches perfect for chilling, sunbathing and all kinds of water fun. Full of adventurous tracks and trails, there is plenty of things to do besides admiring lush and beauty of Cathedral Cove. Don't miss unique Hot Water Beach! Where you dig a hole into sand and bath in the natural hot spring few meters from the sea. Amazing!

5. Tongariro National Park

Emerald Lakes, Mt Tongariro.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Emerald Lakes, Mt Tongariro.

There is no excuse to miss this destination. This vast, active volcanic national park is home to Mt Ruapehu.

This absolutely unique area offers spectacular tracks in summer and perfect ski fields in winter. What not to miss in Tongariro National Park: Tongariro Alpine Crossing – popular one-day tramping track with astonishing views of Emerald Lakes, volcanic fields, and Mt. Ngauruhoe

6. Rotorua

Bubbling hot mud in Rotorua.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Bubbling hot mud in Rotorua.

Rotorua is famous for its best Maori culture experience and countless natural hot springs, boiling mud pools, geysers, native exotic forests with great tracks, lakes, and warmth welcoming people.

Definitely, a must see on your list of places to visit in NZ.

7. Wellington

Barbara’s portrait in Wellington.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Barbara’s portrait in Wellington.

Wellywood was our favourite city to visit for us. This capital is very rich in culture, arts, good vibes and everything about it. The city centre is absolutely stunning with nice buildings, great places to dine, shop and moreover, so many galleries, museums etc.

The stunning city beach, Oriental Bay, is especially interesting to see on a Christmas day. Surroundings of Wellington are also wonderful, with the views of the Wellington Harbour and Fitzroy Bay.

8. Abel Tasman National Park

Views from the Abel Tasman Coast Track.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Views from the Abel Tasman Coast Track.

Abel Tasman National Park belongs to a popular holiday destination for locals as well as tourists from all over the world. The Abel Tasman Coastal Track is especially popular track because it is accessible and not very demanding tracks for people of any age. Besides that, nobody could resist the track along one of the most beautiful beaches in New Zealand, and tropical bushes with the ultimate opportunity to camp directly on one of many beaches there.

Kayaking and water taxi is also popular transferring option in this area. Absolutely amazing escape from the rush to a real paradise!

​9. Arthur's Pass

Views of the Arthur’s Pass from Avalanche Peak track with the usual companion – Kea parrot.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Views of the Arthur’s Pass from Avalanche Peak track with the usual companion – Kea parrot.

This remote area is a good over-stop when travelling between the east coast (Christchurch) and West Coast. Apart from waterfalls and great camping spots, you will love encountering Kea – the friendly, and a bit annoying birds which are too smart to leave your belongings. They will go after your backpack, comfortably unzip it and take anything they want, especially food, so be aware.

We highly recommend to hike the Avalanche Peak there, as it offers the astonishing views of the mountains, but it is a quite demanding track for experienced trampers only.

10. Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki.
Radoslav Cajkovic

Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki.

On the way to the highest mountain of the New Zealand, you will pass by the unbelievably blue glacial lakes Tekapo and Pukaki. The colour of these lakes, especially the Pukaki one, will blow your mind. On the shore of the bright blue lake, you will enjoy spectacular views of the snowy Mt Cook and the Southern Alps.

Mt Cook village has some easily accessible walking tracks, and we recommend Hooker Valley Track, which ends at the glacier lake with the flowing icebergs right in front of almighty Mt Cook.

11. Dunedin

On the St. Clair Beach in Dunedin.
Radoslav Cajkovic

On the St. Clair Beach in Dunedin.

Dunedin belongs to one of the oldest places in New Zealand and is valued as a national heritage. However, its distinctive Victorian and eclectic architecture are not all you can admire there. Otago Peninsula offers great golden beaches perfect for swimming and surfing with the rare spots to watch seals, sea lions and other water birds like Royal Albatross.

Furthermore, you can visit the only New Zealand castle called Larnach Castle with exceptional gardens.

12. Queenstown

Queenstown´s Skyline and the views of sunset
Radoslav Cajkovic

Queenstown´s Skyline and the views of sunset

The capital of adventure where it all begun. This town has a hype all year round. Winter offers excellent skiing choice, while every attraction you could only dream of is open in summer. Bungy, zip tracks, boat cruises, jet boat, to name a few. The small town is bustling with great restaurants, cafes, bars and the best waterfront chocolate bar ever.

Queenstown is also an important base camp for anyone who is going for hiking and discovering of a nearby Fiordland National Park and Mount Aspiring National Park.

13. West Coast (South Island)

One of many mysterious beaches on West Coast.
Radoslav Cajkovic

One of many mysterious beaches on West Coast.

West Coast of South Island is a pretty magic place. Despite its roughness and remoteness, it is a very mysterious place.  The coast has unusual natural beauty and friendly wekas are approaching you, curiously seeking a food. Also, you will enjoy Nikau palms everywhere, which are endemic to New Zealand.

14. Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park belongs to one of the most pristine places. This unique park full of forests, mountains and fjords is a home to plenty of endemic and precious animals and plants which evolved thanks to the remoteness of this place.

With plenty of tracks, camping spots, hidden gems, and 3 Great Walks, you can discover Fiordland forever. Camping spots managed by DOC are a great way how to become a part of this special nature and enjoy it at its best.

15. Stewart Island

This island located south of the South Island near Invercargill is a little, untouched paradise and a great escape for adventure seekers.

It is the best place where you can watch real kiwis in their natural habitat.

Furthermore, it is one of the few breeding spots of endangered yellow-eyed penguins. Also, you can meet there weka, kākā and albatross birds and many others.

You can watch the Aurora Australis, walk many tracks and admire the calm and friendly atmosphere of this very remote place with only 380 people living there.

Did we miss anything from your favourite place in NZ?

 - Stuff

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