7 of the Best Sights in New Zealand

7 of the best sights in New Zealand

For many travellers, visiting New Zealand is a must. Plan a trip to the island country in the Pacific Ocean, and you’ll have some of the world’s most picturesque views within reach. Throughout the country, there are loads of breathtaking sights to behold. Below is a small selection of the best sights in New Zealand to whet your appetite.

Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

These magnificent glaciers can be found on New Zealand’s South Island in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. They’re well known for being some of the most easily accessible glaciers in the world. Many keen hikers and ice climbers come from far and wide to explore the glaciers on foot at their own pace; guided walks are also available.

If you want to do lots of hiking while in New Zealand, ensure you’re in good shape before you set off. By starting an exercise plan months in advance, you can easily tackle the country’s hills and mountains.


The city of Auckland lies on an isthmus with two harbours – one on either side. It offers beautiful coastal views from the many miles of coastline. Going up the Sky Tower is a must for those who enjoy the sights of cities from above. With a height of 1,076 feet, it’s the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Sky Tower is part of the SkyCity Auckland casino complex, the only casino in Auckland. It features 2,100 gaming machines, 150 gaming tables, and several VIP-exclusive rooms. As well as pokies/slots, there’s blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker, among others. Before heading to a casino like this, it’s recommended that players learn the games before coming. Luckily, there are plenty of online casinos around the world where you can hone your skills. You can play table games such as pai gow poker, sic bo, blackjack, and many more! The best sites offer welcome bonuses to new players, such as a three-bonus welcome package worth $1000, so you can play the best casino games in NZ with the casino’s money. If you feel confident enough to play in person, we recommend checking out the fabulous Sky Tower in Auckland.

Auckland skyline New Zealand

If disappointing weather rains on your time in Auckland, short ferry rides allow you to escape to the Hauraki Gulf, where beautiful islands with their own microclimate, such as the wine-making Waiheke, may offer a sunnier and more relaxed experience.

Bay of Islands

Located a three-hour drive north of Auckland, the Bay of Islands is so-called because it consists of over 140 islands. Many people visit the bay to admire its stunning natural scenery, relax on its undeveloped beaches in the summer, and explore the islands by boat. It’s also a prime spot for spotting dolphins. There are several towns in the area, and they’re full of charm and history. Each of them makes for an ideal base from which to discover everything the Bay of Islands offers.

Coromandel Peninsula

Not too far from Auckland is the Coromandel Peninsula, which is known for its rich gold-mining history and its beautiful landscapes. It’s a complete contrast to the developed city of Auckland and is a must-visit for those who enjoy nature at its finest. There’s a forest park that’s well worth exploring. Activities such as scuba diving and yachting are particularly popular, especially in the warmer months.

Hobbiton Movie Set

Yet another worthwhile sight easily accessible from Auckland is the Hobbiton movie set. This is a filming location for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Step into the Shire on a two-hour guided tour and enter some of the Hobbit holes. Refreshments are available, and a gift shop sells an array of merchandise themed to the films. The Hobbiton movie set is worth seeing, especially if you’re a Tolkien fan.

new zealand best sights hobbiton movie set

Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves is one of New Zealand’s top tourist attractions. It’s a network of underground caves featuring limestone formations, waterfalls, and a large glowworm population. There are lots of different caves that you can visit – some free, some not. Guided tours lasting an hour to a few hours long are ideal for those wanting to learn more about the caves and their features.

Some of the more exciting ways to visit the caves include rappeling and blackwater rafting, or tubing on the underground river that runs in the caves. You can choose more active or mellower tours depending on your taste for adrenaline and how wet you want to get!

Milford and Doubtful Sounds

Another highly rated attraction is Milford Sound. It’s a spectacular fjord with mighty peaks, thundering waterfalls, and unrivalled views. Even though it’s one of the wettest places on Earth, many people still visit to admire its beauty and unspoiled scenery. Kayaking, scuba diving, and boat tours are very popular activities here.

If you can’t have enough of New Zealand’s majestuous fjord, continue further down South to visit the even more remote and wilder Doubtful Sound – an awe-inspiring natural wonder that you can take in on a day or overnight cruise!

Final Words

The 7 best sights in New Zealand listed in this article are some of the can’t-miss attractions that should definitely make it onto your itinerary, especially if it’s your first time in Aotearoa (the country’s name in the Maori language) are your days are limited. Focusing on these seven sites as you travel across the North and South Islands will give you an overview of the diversity of sights and activities available in this island country with epic nature and geography.

top sights in New Zealand Queenstown

If you have more time to spare, start here, but don’t stop with those! New Zealand has countless other marvels to uncover, from the excellent Te Papa museum in Wellington, the adventure capital of Queenstown and its surrounding alpine lakes and mountains, the geothermal pools and hot springs of Rotorua, to the wine-tasting opportunities in the vineyard areas of Waiheke Island or Marlborough.

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