When you think of Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is the first sight that comes to mind. But the breathtaking showcase of unspoilt wilderness along its lesser-mentioned sibling, the Doubtful Sound, is definitely worthy of a visit too. Along with being the deepest, and quietest, of the area’s fjords, Doubtful Sound is filled with unique wildlife, flora and fauna.
Piha is the most famous of Auckland’s beautiful black-sand west coast beaches. Renowned for its cinematic appearance in the dramatic feature film The Piano, Piha’s natural remoteness makes it a desirable escape from the city rush. The area is surrounded by lush rain forests, along with comprising two surf beaches, a sheltered lagoon, a waterfall and the Lion Rock that separates Piha’s northern and southern ends.
Tongariro National Park
Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s home to some of the land’s finest forces of nature. Volcanoes, active craters, glacial lakes and astonishing alpine views have made this site a must-visit for hikers. In fact, the park is where you’ll find one New Zealand’s ever-popular Great Walks: the alpine-based Tongariro Northern Circuit.
You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to fall in love with the Waitomo Caves. A cruise along the underground cave systems will bring you up close and personal to New Zealand’s unique glowworm species, the Arachnocampa luminosa, who light up the limestone formations to create a sublime starry-night setting.