where to go in New Zealand

Where to Go in New Zealand: Exploring the Diverse Landscapes of Middle Earth

Get ready to embark on an epic journey through the stunning landscapes of New Zealand. It’s a country that’s not only renowned for its breathtaking beauty but also famously known as the real-life Middle Earth. Inspired by my own wanderlust and fueled by the desire to share the magic of this enchanting land, join me as we uncover the hidden gems and iconic locations that make New Zealand a destination like no other. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adrenaline junkie, or a die-hard fan of “The Lord of the Rings,” New Zealand has something extraordinary in store for you. So, pack your bags and let’s dive into the ultimate guide on where to go in New Zealand for an adventure of a lifetime!

Where to Go in New Zealand

where to go in New Zealand

1. Fiordland National Park

Prepare to be mesmerised by the breathtaking beauty of Fiordland National Park, home to the iconic Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Cruise through the dramatic fjords, framed by towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls, and immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

where to go in New Zealand

2. Tongariro National Park

Lace up your boots and embark on the unforgettable Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of New Zealand’s most renowned hiking trails. Trek across volcanic landscapes, past emerald lakes and steaming vents. And witness the awe-inspiring beauty of Mount Ngauruhoe, better known as Mount Doom from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

where to go in New Zealand

3. Bay of Islands

Escape to the idyllic Bay of Islands, a paradise of turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and secluded islands. Explore charming coastal towns, embark on a dolphin-watching cruise, or simply relax and soak up the sun in this tropical haven at the northern tip of the North Island.

where to go in New Zealand

4. Abel Tasman National Park

Discover the pristine beauty of Abel Tasman National Park, where golden beaches meet lush rainforest in a stunning coastal paradise. Hike the renowned Abel Tasman Coast Track, kayak along crystal-clear waters, or simply unwind on the sun-drenched shores of this unspoiled wilderness.

5. Queenstown

Brace yourself for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure in the adventure capital of New Zealand – Queenstown. Whether you’re bungee jumping off the historic Kawarau Bridge, jet boating through the Shotover Canyon, or skiing down the slopes of Coronet Peak, Queenstown offers thrills and excitement at every turn.

where to go in New Zealand

6. Rotorua

Immerse yourself in Māori culture and geothermal wonders in the vibrant city of Rotorua. Explore bubbling mud pools, steaming geysers, and ancient forests, and experience the rich traditions of the indigenous Māori people through cultural performances and immersive experiences.

where to go in New Zealand

7. Mount Cook National Park

Stand in awe of New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook, and the stunning alpine landscapes of Mount Cook National Park. Embark on a scenic flight over the Southern Alps, hike to the Tasman Glacier, or simply marvel at the pristine beauty of this alpine wilderness.

8. Hobbiton Movie Set

Step into the enchanting world of Middle Earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, the iconic filming location of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. Wander through the charming hobbit holes of the Shire, enjoy a pint at the Green Dragon Inn, and immerse yourself in the magic of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendary tales.

9. Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Venture underground and discover the mesmerising beauty of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where thousands of bioluminescent glowworms illuminate the darkness like a starry night sky. Take a boat ride through the serene waters of the underground grotto and marvel at nature’s dazzling light display.

where to go in New Zealand

10. Coromandel Peninsula

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and unwind in the tranquil beauty of the Coromandel Peninsula. Explore hidden coves, soak in natural hot springs, and dig your own hot pool at the famous Hot Water Beach. With its pristine beaches and lush rainforest, the Coromandel offers the perfect retreat for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

where to go in New Zealand

11. Nelson Lakes National Park

Discover the serene beauty of Nelson Lakes National Park, home to picturesque alpine lakes, dense beech forests, and rugged mountain peaks. Hike the scenic trails, go fishing in the crystal-clear waters, or simply relax and soak up the breathtaking scenery of this untouched wilderness.

12. Whanganui National Park

Immerse yourself in the rich natural and cultural heritage of Whanganui National Park, where lush forests, stunning river gorges, and historic landmarks await. Take a scenic cruise down the Whanganui River, explore ancient Māori sites, or embark on a multi-day hiking adventure through this diverse and captivating landscape.

13. Kaikoura

Immerse yourself in the marine wonderland of Kaikoura, where mountains meet the sea in spectacular fashion. Embark on a whale-watching tour to witness these magnificent creatures up close, swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, or feast on fresh seafood straight from the ocean.

where to go in New Zealand

14. Dunedin

Explore the charming city of Dunedin, known for its rich Scottish heritage, Victorian architecture, and vibrant arts scene. Visit the historic Dunedin Railway Station, wander through the picturesque Dunedin Botanic Garden, or take a scenic drive along the stunning Otago Peninsula for a taste of the region’s natural beauty and wildlife.

15. Whakarewarewa Forest

Get lost in the enchanting beauty of Whakarewarewa Forest, a sprawling redwood forest just outside of Rotorua. Explore the network of hiking and mountain biking trails, marvel at the towering redwoods, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this magical woodland sanctuary.

where to go in New Zealand

16. Lake Tekapo

Discover the mesmerizing beauty of Lake Tekapo, renowned for its stunning turquoise waters and panoramic mountain views. Visit the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, soak in the hot pools of Tekapo Springs, or simply relax and take in the breathtaking scenery of this alpine paradise.

17. Whangarei Falls

Witness the breathtaking beauty of Whangarei Falls, a stunning cascade nestled in lush native bush just outside of Whangarei. Take a leisurely stroll through the scenic reserve. Marvel at the impressive 26-metre waterfall and enjoy a picnic in the tranquil surroundings of this natural gem.

18. Napier

Explore the charming Art Deco city of Napier, known for its beautifully preserved architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and world-class wineries. Take a guided tour of the city’s historic landmarks, sample award-winning wines in the surrounding Hawke’s Bay region, or simply soak up the laid-back atmosphere of this coastal gem.

19. Fiordland’s Kepler Track

Embark on an epic adventure along Fiordland’s Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks renowned for its stunning scenery and diverse landscapes. Trek through ancient forests, past pristine lakes and rugged mountains. And experience the untamed beauty of Fiordland National Park on this unforgettable multi-day hike.

where to go in New Zealand

20. Punakaiki

Marvel at the natural wonders of Punakaiki, home to the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Explore the otherworldly rock formations sculpted by the sea. Witness the spectacular blowhole eruptions and take a stroll along the scenic Punakaiki Beach for a truly unforgettable coastal experience.


As our journey through the diverse landscapes of New Zealand comes to an end, one thing is abundantly clear. This extraordinary country offers a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered. From the rugged beauty of Fiordland National Park to the magical allure of Hobbiton, New Zealand never fails to captivate and inspire. So, if you’re wondering where to go in New Zealand, look no further. Start planning your journey today and prepare to be amazed by the unparalleled beauty of Middle Earth!

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