New Zealand is a nature-enthusiast’s paradise, filled with the breathtaking sights of endless waterfalls, beaches, mountains, lakes, and glaciers. Don’t miss these 10 incredible spots of untouched natural beauty during your visit to New Zealand.
For this post, I’d like to introduce today’s special guest contributor: Elisabeth Bunch!
Elisabeth is a 25-year old adventurer born in the Pacific Northwest. She first began exploring the planet in 2012 with an experience working at an orphanage in Honduras for 3 years. Since then, she has continued traveling to 18 different countries across 4 continents. She now shares her travels and helps others to plan their own through her blog: Pages of My Passport!
1. Roy’s Peak
This is a challenging but incredible hike, and one of my all-time favourite experiences from traveling. The trail has a steep incline all the way to the end, and there is no tree-coverage, which means the heat of the sun beating down adds to the difficulty of the track. There is a 360-degree view at the summit that will make it all worth it in the end!
2. Wainui Falls
Hike your way to the largest waterfall in Golden Bay, New Zealand. Here you can take a dip in the icy water if you’re brave enough! Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy the sound of the falls crashing elegantly into the pool of water below.
3. Pancake Rocks
In Punakaiki, you can find a 20-minute loop walk that leads you through the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. These limestone rock formations are uniquely shaped like giant pancakes, and are a spectacular sight that you won’t find anywhere else.
4. Fox Glacier
Fox Glacier is located on the west side of New Zealand’s South Island. It is 13 kilometers long, and was named in 1872 after a visit by the then Prime Minister of New Zealand, Sir William Fox.
5. Milford Sound
In the southern part of the South Island you can find this famous fiord. Take one of the daily boat cruises or kayak through the full length of the beautiful Milford Sound. You might even come across some seals swimming or hanging out on the rocks here.
6. Key Summit
This trail is part of the longer Routeburn Track, one of “New Zealand’s Great Walks.” Hike up to a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and lakes.
7. Lake Marian
Lake Marian is one of my personal favourite destinations in New Zealand. The trail to this alpine lake surrounded by the Darran Mountains is fun and scrambly, and the view at the top is beautiful! The water is clear and refreshing, perfect for a swim after a difficult hike.
8. Mount Cook
Take the Hooker Valley Track to a glacier lake here at Mount Cook. This trail includes three swing-bridge crossings. My friend and I attempted swimming in the ice-laden water, but didn’t last long – I recommend admiring the landscape from OUTSIDE the water.
9. Manu Bay
Manu Bay is famous for having the longest, most accessible, and consistent left-hand break in the world. It’s a surfer’s dream! If you don’t practice the sport yourself, come here to watch the experienced surfers, and you will find some serious talent! Nearby is Ngarunui, a blacksand beach with a bit calmer waves, suited for beginning surfers.
10. Cape Farewell
Located at the most northern point of New Zealand’s South Island, a short uphill walk will take you to Cape Farewell. This headland offers a stunning view of the Tasman Sea on one side and lush green rolling hills on the other.
New Zealand’s nature makes it one of the world’s best travel destinations. These 10 sights are some of the most breathtaking, but you will find that the entire country is filled with beauty.
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To see more from Elisabeth, check out her travel blog below 🙂