Figuring out the best places to visit in New Zealand can be a tough decision – the land of the long white cloud is packed full of incredible destinations, so fitting them all into your itinerary can be a squeeze!

But these 10 stops should definitely feature in your Kiwi adventure – from epic beach spots to adrenaline filled towns…

10 Of The Best Places To Visit In New Zealand

North Island

Cape Reinga

Lets kick things off with a trip to the most Northern part of New Zealand – Cape Reinga. Not only is the trip up a beautiful drive, with lots of awesome pit stops en-route, but Cape Reinga itself is filled with stunning natural beauty.

And of course you’ll need to get that perfect selfie in front of the lighthouse overlooking the Cape before driving down the beach highway!


If you’re looking for beach vibes and more importantly surfing, then Raglan is going to be high up on your list of best places to visit in New Zealand.

About 3 hours drive South of Auckland, Raglan is a small, sleepy surfing town – but the waves here have a big reputation. Score pumping Manu Bay and it’ll be some of the best waves of your life!


The capital of New Zealand is also known as the windy city – but there’s plenty going on in Wellington besides the gusty breezes!

Take a cable car up to the scenic view points, get involved in the bustling nightlife or visit the famous Te Papa Museum.

Tongariro National Park

New Zealand is famed for its natural beauty and Tongariro National Park is up the amongst the best places to visit in New Zealand to soak it up.

Make sure you have your hiking gear at the ready and do one of New Zealands most popular day hikes across the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – which is well worth the early start.


Get your spade at the ready for a trip to Hahei and the famous Hot Water Beach! At low tide you can head down onto the sand and dig your own natural hot tub – as the holes on the beach fill up with water heated by the arwas geo-thermal activitity.

Careful though – it can get pretty toasty, so get ready for a dip in the ocean to cool down.

A greta overnight stop, Hahei is also a great base for a Cathedral Cove kayaking tour – the perfect way to take in this epic coastline and visit one of New Zealand many famous movie locations.


South Island


Now when it comes to the title of the best places to visit in New Zealand, we’re going to say that Queenstown is one of the front runners for the title! Not only does Queenstown have some gorgeous alpine backdrops and the expansive beauty of the Queenstown Lake – but it’s also the adrenaline capital of NZ.

Bungy jumping, gorge swings, skydiving, skiing and white water rafting are all on offer in Queenstown and it’s certainly one of the stops you’ll want an extended stay in!


Hands up who loves dolphins! Well if you do (and seriously who doesn’t?!) then a stop in Kaikoura is a must. This town is famous for dolphin and whale watching tours – well you can easily find yourself surrounded by a super pod of over 300 dolphins!

If you’re super lucky sperm whales and orcas also frequent the area too – so keep your eyes peeled.

For the best experience the dolphin swim tour is well worth bracing the cold waters – so have your GoPro ready to capture it all.

Milford Sound

As well as being one fo the best places to visit in New Zealand, a day trip to Milford Sound or even and overnight adventure always sits amongst the list of best tours to do in New Zealand too.

Home to cascading waterfalls, wild seals and some of the most breathtaking natural beauty has to offer – this is another stop that everyone will love.

Franz Josef

One of the best ways to appreciate the snow capped beauty of New Zealand is to get right in amongst it – and Franz Josef is the spot to head for that. The Glacier Hiking tours here are one of the top things to do in New Zealand and combined with a helicopter flight up to the icy landscape it’s two bucket list items in one!

Squeeze through awe inspiring ice caves and tunnels before heading back down to the towns geo-thermal pools to warm up.


Just across the mountain range from Queenstown, Wanaka is a place to kick back and relax. The sprawling lake that forms the centre of the town has it’s own world famous Insta spot too – in the form of “that Wanaka Tree”.

But when you’re not hashtaging the towns attractions, take a relaxing hike or use it as a base for an epic ski trip during the winter season.



Which stop is top of your best places to visit in New Zealand?

Anywhere else you’d add to the list?