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Mount Aspiring National Park | © Andrea Schaffer/Flickr
Mount Aspiring National Park | © Andrea Schaffer/Flickr
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17 Natural Wonders in New Zealand That Will Take Your Breath Away

Picture of Thalita Alves
Updated: 13 March 2017
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 | © Donnie Ray Jones/Flickr
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves | © Donnie Ray Jones/Flickr

Tongariro Crossing

The Tongariro National Park is a world heritage site as well as being New Zealand’s oldest national park. Its 19.4-kilometre Alpine Crossing is a popular hiking destination and is lined with some of the most remarkable landscapes.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing | © Jeffrey Pang/Wikimedia Commons
Tongariro Alpine Crossing | © Jeffrey Pang/Wikimedia Commons

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 | © edwin11/Flickr
Franz Josef Glacier | © edwin11/Flickr

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 | © lwtt93/Flickr
Fox Glacier, New Zealand | © lwtt93/Flickr

Wai-O-Tapu

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

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 | © Bernard Spragg/Flickr
Milford Sound, New Zealand | © Bernard Spragg/Flickr

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 | © deeuutee/Flickr
River on the Haast Pass | © deeuutee/Flickr

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 | © Ben/Flickr
Pupu Springs | © Ben/Flickr

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 | © Christian Michel/Wikimedia Commons
Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki | © Christian Michel/Wikimedia Commons

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 | © Pixabay
Mount Taranaki in Winter | © Pixabay

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 | © edwin11/Wikimedia Commons
View of Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown Bay | © edwin11/Wikimedia Commons

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

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 | © Wikimedia Commons
View Towards Gannet Colony, Farewell Spit | © Wikimedia Commons

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 | © Tony Foster/Flickr
Waireinga Falls | © Tony Foster/Flickr

Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest

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

Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua | © Eli Duke/Flickr
Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua | © Eli Duke/Flickr

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 | © Wikimedia Commons
Nugget Point Lighthouse in The Catlins | © Wikimedia Commons

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 | © Phillip Capper/Flickr
Southern End of 90 Mile Beach | © Phillip Capper/Flickr