17 Natural Wonders in New Zealand That Will Take Your Breath Away

Mount Aspiring National Park
Mount Aspiring National Park | © Andrea Schaffer/Flickr
Thalita Alves

New Zealand is a treasure trove of breathtaking sights. In fact, viewing the country’s scenic wonders up close and personal should be on top of every traveller’s to-do list. Allow us to give you a look at some of the stunning landscapes, mountain ranges and natural sights that are just waiting to be explored. Here are 17 gems that will take your breath away.

Waitomo Caves

The Waitomo Caves are located in the Waikato Region, approximately 200 kilometres from Auckland. An underground boat tour of this popular destination will expose you to a fluorescent blanket of glow-worms.

Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

Tongariro Crossing

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Franz Josef Glacier

Ever wanted to hike up a glacier? Then consider making an expedition to the fascinating Franz Josef. Guided tours of this frosted beauty usually take approximately 2-3 hours to complete, rewarding you with plenty of fabulous vistas.

Franz Josef Glacier

Fox Glacier

While you’re in a cool, alpine mood, don’t forget to check out the majestic Fox Glacier too, as its grandness is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. And in case you’re wondering, the Fox Glacier is slightly larger than its neighbouring Franz Josef.

Fox Glacier, New Zealand

Wai-O-Tapu

This compelling hot water pool, 27 kilometres south of Rotorua, is quite memorable for its unique champagne hues.

Wai-O-Tapu

Milford Sound

Another famed hiking destination greatly embellished by picture-perfect, mountainous scenery. Hidden within the Milford Sound you will also find the exquisite, and underrated, Lake Quill.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Haast Pass Blue Pools

The Haast Pass is a fantastic travelling route, and its Blue Pools are an added bonus for nature-loving drivers.

River on the Haast Pass

Pupu Springs, Golden Bay

New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs will douse you in crystal-clear colours and native greenery. Its full name is actually Te Waikoropupū, and the spring’s place in local culture and history means its waters are strictly off-limits.

Pupu Springs

Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

Exquisite rock formations make for an interesting sight, and the handsome Pancake Rocks on the South Island’s West Coast region are very much proof of this.

Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki

Mount Taranaki

Snowy mountains are a Kiwi speciality. Mount Taranaki on the North Island’s west coast is among the best renowned, mostly for its beauty, but partly because of a special cameo in the 2003 film The Last Samurai.

Mount Taranaki in Winter

Lake Wakatipu

New Zealand’s third largest lake adds a special sparkle to Queenstown and the surrounding Otago Region.

View of Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown Bay

Mount Aspiring National Park

Amazing remote wilderness, remarkable river valleys, and high mountain peaks line this interesting national park. Tolkien fans will also recognize Mount Aspiring as the location for Isengard in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Mount Aspiring National Park

Farewell Spit

The Farewell Spit is New Zealand’s longest sand spit, and is particularly renowned for its rich bird life and engulfing dunes.

View Towards Gannet Colony, Farewell Spit

Bridal Veil Falls (Waireinga), Waikato

Admire this 55 metre waterfall adorning the Northwestern Waikato district. You’ll find this aptly-named Bridal Veil Falls within a 10-minute walking distance from the beachside town of Raglan.

Waireinga Falls

Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest

The sheer size of the trees in this Rotorua forest is enough to leave everyone astonished.

Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua

Nugget Point, The Catlins

See The Catlins in its best possible light. Literally. Nugget Point is a lighthouse that has been greatly embellished by its wildlife and surrounding Otago landscapes.

Nugget Point Lighthouse in The Catlins

90 Mile Beach

This iconic beach actually has a misleading name, as it’s less than 60 miles long. Still, those gorgeous coastlines won’t disappoint with their continuous stream of oceanic views.

Southern End of 90 Mile Beach
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

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.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article