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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New Zealand

Nature crafted New Zealand with the surreal beauty of a set. Few destinations boast so many staggering natural wonders packed into such a small area. Snow-capped peaks sparkling coves coastal rain forests and fish-filled rivers are some of the treasures travelers can explore. In Rotorua one of the world's largest geothermal areas visitors can witness the powerful forces that birthed these landscapes in the bubbling mud ponds and hissing springs.

Thanks to its dramatic topography New Zealand is a hot spot for adrenaline-fueled sports. White water rafting luging jet boating heli-skiing skydiving hiking and mountain biking round out the list of outdoor adventures and the country is home to one of the highest bungee jumps in the world.

Strategically New Zealand is a breeze to travel around. Self-drive vacations are popular and the country's diverse accommodations range from quaint bed-and-breakfast inns and eco-lodges to some of the world's most luxurious hotels. For more ideas on things to do, read our list of the top attractions in New Zealand.

Fiord land and Milford Sound, South Island

A World Heritage Fiord land some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Glaciers sculpted this dramatic landscape, carving the famous fjords of Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful Sounds. Visitors here can explore gushing cascades offshore islands virgin rain forests vast lakes and craggy mountain peaks.

Not surprisingly the park is a haven for hikers with some of the country's best hiking, including the famous Milford Track. Sea kayaking is a popular way to explore the fjords and visitors can also enjoy a scenic flight over the park for a bird's-eye view of its staggering beauty.

Bay of Islands, North Island

A three-hour drive north of Auckland the beautiful Bay of Islands is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country. More than 144 islands dot the glittering bay making it a haven for sailing and yachting.

Penguins, dolphins, whales, and marlin live in these fertile waters, and the region is a popular sport-fishing spot. Visitors can sea kayak along the coast hike the many island trails, bask in secluded coves, tour Cape Brett and the famous rock formation called Hole in the Rock, and explore subtropical forests where Kauri trees grow. The quaint towns in the area such as Russell, Opua, Paihia, and Kerikeri are great bases for exploring this scenic bay.

 

Queenstown, South Island

Snuggled between the shores of shimmering Lake Wakatipu and the snowy peaks of the Remarkables, Queenstown is New Zealand's adventure capital and one of the country's top destinations for international visitors. Bungee jumping jet boating white water rafting paragliding rock climbing mountain biking and downhill skiing are just some of the adrenaline-fueled things to do here and visitors can explore the stunning alpine scenery on the excellent network of hiking trails.

In addition to the adventure sports Queen stown offers all the creature comforts with first-class hotels spas restaurants galleries and shops. It's also a great base for sightseeing trips to the Central Otago.

Lake Taupo and Tongariro, North Island

In the center of the North Island and just a few kilometres from glittering Lake Taupo New Zealand's largest lake lies Tongariro. A dual World Heritage due to its spectacular volcanic features and its importance to the Maori culture the volcanic peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and part of Ruapehu were in fact gifted by Maori chief Te Heuheu Tukino IV to the people of New Zealand in order to preserve this sacred land.

One of the oldest park in the world, Tongariro is a land of dramatic beauty, with towering volcanoes, turquoise lakes, arid plateaus, alpine meadows, and hot springs. A highlight of the park is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of the most popular day walks in the country. Fun things to do here include camping, enjoying the park's many walks and hiking trails, and spending time in its interesting visitor center.