April 08, 2019
New Zealand is a dream destination for many travelers. Visiting the island is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you are planning a trip to see this wild and beautiful country, below are some of the top 5 natural attractions you may want to add to your must-see list.
Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site that protects some of the most spectacular scenery found in the country. Visitors to this park can explore virgin rainforests, offshore islands, mountain peaks, lakes and more. This is an excellent place for hikers to visit with some of the best walking trails in the country as well as for travelers interested in kayaking!
Queenstown has been coined the adventure capital of New Zealand. Nestled between the snowy peaks of the Remarkables and the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this area is great for a number of adrenaline-fueled sports activities, including rock climbing, bungee jumping, white-water rafting, paragliding, jet boating, downhill skiing and more. Plus there are a number of first class hotels, restaurants, spas, shops and galleries. It’s also a great starting point for making a trip to the Central Otago region, where Lord of the Rings movie fans can explore Middle Earth scenery from the movies.
See whales, dolphins, marlin and penguins in the fertile waters surrounding the Bay of Islands. With over 144 islands that dot the glittering bay, there is plenty to do on the water, including yachting and sailing. You can also go fishing, hike many island trails, kayak along the coast and bask in coves that are quite secluded. There are plenty of sub-tropical forests around to check out as well as quaint little towns in the area, such as Paihia, Kerikeri, Opua and Russell.
New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, is just a few kilometers from Tongariro National Park, which is a dual World Heritage Site thanks to its fantastic volcanic features and importance to the culture of the Maori. Maori chief Te Heuheu Tukino IV gave the peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and a portion of Ruapehu as a gift to the people of New Zealand for the preservation of the sacred land. Tongariro is one of the oldest national parks in the world and flows with spectacular towering volcanoes, beautiful turquoise lakes, alpine meadows, hot springs and plateaus. One of the most popular walks in the country is located here, known as the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Franz Josef and Fox glaciers are the biggest tourist attractions of Westland Tai Poutini National Park. The two rivers of ice flow from some of the highest of peaks in the Southern Alps to almost sea level where the coastal climate makes it easier for visitors to explore by foot – easier than many other glacier locations worldwide. Travelers can go on guided hikes, weaving through ice caves and pinnacles at the foot of the glacier or visit the area by aerial view in seaplanes and helicopters to see the top of the glaciers.
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