There are hundreds of reasons to travel to New Zealand, and most involve remote beaches, hidden waterfalls, and jaw-droppingly gorgeous scenery. From the tip top of the North Island, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea, to the jagged tumble of rocks at Slope Point, where the Southern Ocean crashes into the barren land, I could name a thousand things to do. I won’t, mainly in the interest of word count but also – I have to keep a few secrets! So, I narrowed it down to ten. It wasn’t easy though, as every bullet point reminded me of yet another cool spot. Without further ado, here are ten reasons to travel to New Zealand, listed from north to south!
As an avid reader, I often find myself transported into the pages of an enthralling book. Whether I am side by side with Harry and Ron flying over the Scottish Highlands or tiptoeing through a dystopian city with Katniss, my mind conjures up vivd images of the destination. As a traveller, I wonder what it would be like to really be in those places. Some are more difficult than others; Narnia, while enchanting, may be tough to reach. My closet isn’t very big. And as much as I’d love to follow Alice down the rabbit hole, I don’t seem to have any in my yard. But there are some literary destinations you can travel to in real life! Rather than just listing London and Paris (home to plenty of literary heroes), I attempted to make this list a little more creative. Here are some literary destinations you can travel to in real life, as well as a few luxury properties you can stay in while there.
New Zealand, as a country, is a very outdoorsy place. I mean, you only have to google it to see that the majority of the images are of mountains and lakes. While many appear to be in the middle of nowhere, there are a surprising few right near Wellington. Some of the exciting nature and wildlife attractions around Wellington include Zealandia, Kapiti Island, Cape Palliser, Matiu/Somes Island, and the marine preserve on the south coast. There is also plenty of hiking mere minutes from the city. You may not think about Wellington for nature and wildlife, but I’m here to share why you should! More
As I’ve mentioned a few times in previous posts, there is something to be said for the food and drink in Wellington, New Zealand. The emphasis is on locally sourced, fresh, and flavourful. With fertile regions just on the other side of the mountains, seafood on the doorstep, and barista-perfect coffee roasted all over the city, Wellington is a foodie’s dream town.
Wellington, New Zealand has a lot of great museums to explore. They’re typically perfect on a rainy day – of which Wellington has a few of in the winter. I personally really like Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum of New Zealand, for its interactive and educational nature. There are quite a few other museums in Wellington, though, from the popular The Weta Workshop to the Wellington Museum and the Carter Observatory.
The capital of New Zealand, Wellington, is a small one – but its feisty. There’s so many exciting things to do in and around the city, from hiking treks to unique wildlife sanctuaries, wineries, and historical museums. So many people skip Wellington, although in the past few years it has enjoyed international recognition. Personally, I love this city! It was the first New Zealand city that I lived in, and I continued to go back to explore. Since it’s a good gateway to the South Island, Wellington is the perfect city to end your North Island adventure!
Dunedin, New Zealand is one of my favourite cities simply because there is so much to do, yet so few people visit! The city lies at the head of the Otago harbour, on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s about five hours due south of Christchurch, New Zealand and about three hours northeast of Invercargill. Besides the excitement of the small city, Dunedin is surrounded by incredible wildlife and landscapes, from penguins to white sand beaches.
Ah, Queenstown, New Zealand. Playground for the snowbirds, haven for summer wine lovers, and absolutely surreal scenery no matter the season. Queenstown developed on the shore Lake Wakatipu in the 1860s first as a high country farm and later as a gold mining town. Only some of the original buildings remain, one of them now the luxurious Eichardt’s Hotel. Queenstown, despite its rugged roots, is most definitely an adventure and luxury tourism-based town. It also attracts the majority of Working Holiday Visa travellers who come to work during the ski season. With a population of only 15,000, it might seem like a small town, but Queenstown is definitely jam-packed no matter the time of year with visitors from all over the world.
There are few cities as interesting as Christchurch, New Zealand, in my opinion. It suffers more earthquakes on a daily basis than most other inhabited places, it’s a little England plopped into the chilly sub-Antarctic South Island, and it’s only one of eight pairs of cities worldwide with an exact antipodal city. There are other unique aspects of the city, too, like how it’s only one of four cities to be planned around a central park. Or how it’s a base for scientific Kiwi, Italian, and American Antarctic explorations. But my favourite thing about Christchurch is how central it is to almost every other landscape in New Zealand.
A lot of people consider Nelson, New Zealand to be the gateway to the northern parts of the South Island. To get to the remote Golden Bay, Farewell Spit, and Wharariki Beach, you must pass through the fertile lands of Nelson and Motueka. And a lot of people do go up there; it’s beautiful. However, Nelson alone is a great place to spend a day or two. There are some great wineries, craft breweries, and orchards in the plains surrounding town. This part of New Zealand is incredible fertile, and produces tons of hops, apples, and grapes. The hops are among some of New Zealand’s exports too.