Are you planning a vacation to New Zealand in the foreseeable future? Then you have definitely made a wise decision as New Zealand is full of beautiful landscapes, impressive vistas, and exciting cities. That being said, we know that exploring New Zealand as a beginner might seem challenging. After all, how will you know which places to cram into your five-day stay? Worry not! As one of the most amazing places on Earth, New Zealand will provide you with a plethora of options that will ensure a fun vacay. And we are more than happy to familiarize you with the top five places you simply cannot miss.
Must-see places when exploring New Zealand as a beginner
Whether you decide to tour New Zealand with a car, choose to backpack, or find some new method is entirely up to you. However, when packing for a long-distance trip, try to adjust the stuff you bring to your travel arrangements. You don’t want to carry a huge backpack while taking a three-hour hike. But what you do want to do is prepare yourself for the adventure that’s ahead by making an itinerary – an itinerary in which you will include some (or all) of the suggestions we are about to mention.
As the most populous urban area in the country, Auckland should have a place on every traveler’s bucket list. Naturally, as such a big city, Auckland isn’t a place that lacks entertainment venues. From coffee shops to restaurants and high-end boutiques, this impressive city will give you plenty of options if good fun is what you are looking for. However, it’s not only those who are looking for rich nightlife that should visit Auckland, because there’s also room for nature lovers to get their money’s worth.
Just forty minutes away from Auckland you will be able to find the rugged Muriwai beach. You can rest assured that its wild beauty will have you in awe. Trust us – you could fall in love with this place so much that you might start planning to move here soon from the US. And no one could blame you.
The locals here love saying that you can actually smell Rotorua before seeing it. And you’ll see for yourself why that’s true after visiting it. The reason why this town is so famous all over New Zealand can be found in its sulfur pools, as well as bubbling geothermal areas. While a visit to the aforementioned geothermal areas will entail a small fee, you definitely shouldn’t miss them for anything in the world.
And if you are looking for free attractions in Rotorua, we suggest visiting a modern-day Maori village or spending your time in Kuirau Park. Witnessing geothermal activity in this park is completely free of charge. On the other hand, if you are looking for maximal relaxation, try heading to Polynesian Spa while in Rotorua. As home to naturally acidic waters, this place is said to heal all aches and pains. We’ll let you be the judge of whether that’s the truth or a myth.
If you feel like witnessing something truly great, then we suggest you head straight to Taupo. This lake was formed thousands of years ago by a volcanic eruption and, ever since, it has been one of the places you must explore when in New Zealand as a beginner. And if at any moment you get bored of gazing into the mesmerizing lake Taupo (as if that’s possible), then you can take a break in one of many restaurants or cafes that outline the shore.
And we are not done just yet. If you feel like spending an active holiday, you can venture on a 17-mile hike to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Just make sure you gear up if you plan on backpacking to such a distant location. It’s certainly not mileage that can be traveled in a day on foot.
Interislander Ferry Terminal
Sometimes, you just feel like sitting down and enjoying gorgeous sights. Well, the sights you are going to see when taking the Islander Ferry Terminal won’t be gorgeous – they will simply be mesmerizing. The stretch of highway through the desert that quickly switches to the fields of flowers and vineyards will simply take your breath away. Not to mention that all the while, there will be towering mountains on the horizon. This three-hour ride that will take you to the South Island will be something that you will forever remember.
There are many people who come to New Zealand for whale watching. But since you are exploring New Zealand as a beginner, this might be the first time you hear about it. Worry not, because we will let you know that Kaikoura is THE place to go if you are interested in whale watching. In case you miss a tour or it gets canceled due to poor weather, you don’t have to let an entire day of your trip go to waste.
Instead, you can go on a walk on the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkaway with your group. With stunning views and a colony of seals and rare birds to keep you company, you will still get an invigorating experience. Just make sure you bring your camera – these are the sights you’ll want to capture.
Enjoy on your first-time tour through New Zealand
There is definitely something magical about visiting a country for the first time. The new culture, the amazing sights, the interesting people… And as far as interesting goes, it doesn’t get much better than New Zealand. When it comes to exploring New Zealand as a beginner, the only thing you should do is try to have fun. Don’t worry so much about trying to cram as many sights as possible into one visit. Instead, enjoy the ones you get to see and simply put the other ones on your future itinerary. Because once you experience the true beauty of New Zealand, you can rest assured you’ll come back for more.