10 Underrated Spots in New Zealand Definitely Worth a Visit

Little Kaiteriteri Beach
Little Kaiteriteri Beach | © Jonathan Reid/Flickr
Thalita Alves

New Zealand is renowned for its wonderful landscapes, adrenaline-inducing destinations and eclectic cities. But what about the unsung heroes in the midst of all its attractive features? Come venture into lesser-explored horizons as we take you on a journey around 10 underrated spots that everyone should visit.

Loved by over 40s

The Kapiti Coast

The Kapiti Coast is located within a 45-minute drive from central Wellington and comprises some the most spectacular sea vistas, unspoiled forests and dramatic hillsides you’ll ever see. It is home to the Kapiti Island, which is just one of New Zealand’s esteemed nature reserves, as well as a number of scenic beachside towns like Paraparaumu, Waikanae and Raumati.

Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti Coast

New Plymouth

New Plymouth is the main city in the Taranaki region — an area movie buffs might recognise because of its namesake mountain’s cameo in The Last Samurai. The city’s main draws include a sunny climate, beautiful parks and New Zealand’s first contemporary art museum, the Govett-Brewster/Len Lye Art Gallery. For the outdoor lovers, Pukekura Park and the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway should be on top of your must-sees — those epic views are going to be a treat.

Pukekura Park, New Plymouth


The Hawke’s Bay is quite famous for its food and wine, but have you thought about exploring its main cities? Napier is the place that gets instantly recognised for its historic architecture, but its twin city, Hastings, is just as worthy of a visit. Walk around the town for a lovely showcase of art deco- and Spanish Mission-style buildings, or head along to the local Sunday market to get the most out of the city’s produce and artisan delicacies.

Council Chambers Building in Hastings

Little Kaiteriteri

The sunny South Island town of Kaiteriteri is known for being the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park, but Little Kaiteriteri is lesser-known to the area’s visitors. If you want to escape the crowds, head a little a further down the golden coastlines to find this secluded gem. This sheltered beach offers stunning seaside vistas, fantastic swimming conditions and a few secret spots to discover in your own time.

Little Kaiteriteri Beach

The Kauri Coast

The Kauri Coast is a remarkable showcase of native forestry within a 90-minute drive north of Auckland. It is accessed via the Twin Coast Highway, stretching right into the Hokianga Harbour. Waipoua Forest is one of its main highlights, it is where you’ll find the Tane Mahuta, the world’s largest Kauri tree which is more than 2,000 years old. Another point of interest in the area is the Trounson Kauri Park, which is one of the few places in New Zealand you’ll get to see kiwi birds in the wild.

Tane Mahuta

Hahei Beach

Hahei is one of those places in the Coromandel you don’t hear much about. It is situated right next to the esteemed Cathedral Cove, between the settlements of Cooks Beach and Hot Water Beach. A sheltered, white sand beach invites visitors to chill out in its calm waters. Mahurangi Island, which lies right in the midst of Te Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve, is one of its most prominent features.

Hahei Beach

Waipapa Point

Waipapa Point is a rocky promontory in the Catlins region, right at the lower end of the South Island. With a tumultuous coastline known for its shipwrecks, Waipapa Point is probably best known for its historic lighthouse (which was built in 1886 and is still active), but it also hides a treat for marine animal lovers. Hang around by the beach and you might just spot one of the world’s rarest seal species, the New Zealand sea lion.

Waipapa Point Lighthouse

Te Araroa

The tiny coastal settlement of Te Araroa is situated near New Zealand’s easternmost point, the East Cape Lighthouse. Venture into the township to find Te Waha-o-Rerekohu, the 600-year-old Pohutukawa tree that is currently believed to be the country’s oldest and largest. Te Araroa is also known for being the birthplace of Sir Apirana Ngata, a historic New Zealand figure who dedicated his life to improving Maori social, cultural and economic conditions.

Te Waha O Rerekohu

Bruce Bay

These rugged coastlines are a definite must-visit if you’re driving from Fox Glacier to Queenstown or Wanaka. Also known as Mahitahi, Bruce Bay is a lovely coastal gem right on the Tasman Sea. The bay is a nesting ground for some native penguin species, and endemic critters like the Hector’s Dolphin and southern right whales can occasionally be spotted swimming in the oceans.

Bruce Bay

Te Urewera

Te Uruewera lies right between the Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay regions. Its nearest towns are Whakatane and Taneatua to the north, Wairoa to the east and Murupara and Ruatahuna to the west. The area was originally established as a national park in the 1950s but has ceased being a national entity in 2014 after the local Tuhoe tribe took ownership of the land. Despite all of this, the lush forested ranges are still open to the public, who readily enjoy a series of walking tracks which are surrounded by beautiful lakes.

Te Urewera, New Zealand
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.