Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand (III)

Tag: New Zealand

Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand (III)

Nestled away in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, are the islands of New Zealand. Often overshadowed by its large neighbor, Australia, this is a country that should be singing its natural rugged beauty. Instead, it quietly carries on — knowing that every day, a few thousand new visitors fall in love with it.

 

There's a wealth of beauty to discover here — and these top magical places to visit in New Zealand are just a few of our favorite places.

 

7. Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand: Franz Josef

Nestled within the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the country's most fast-moving glaciers, currently sliding down the mountain at the rate of 200 meters per year. Hikes begin in the tiny town of the same name (population: 330), where local guides provide boots and crampons.

The alternative is taking a short helicopter transfer onto the ice. The guide will hack out a path, taking you through extraordinary blue ice tunnels. The air is clean, crisp but not too cold, and you'll feel refreshed with every breath.

Half-an-hour away, another sliding glacier Fox, is open to explorers. Although not as steep as Franz Josef, this glistening sight will still leave you in awe.

Back in town, book a rejuvenating mirimiri and romiromi massage at the Te Waonui Forest Retreat. Feel your feet melt in the hands of a professional as she recites Maori blessings during the treatment.

 

8. Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand: Lake Wanaka

A favorite with travellers, Lake Wanaka is one of New Zealand's most stunning sights. Settle in for a peaceful lunch overlooking the tranquil waters at the Kai-Whakapai Café, and you will never want to leave.

Kayaking, fishing and hiking are amongst the activities available at the lake, while boutiques and Spas are there to be enjoyed in the town. However, this is one place you may simply want to take in the view — so find a spot on the grassy bank, pull out a book and spend the day surrounded by unimaginable beauty.

 

9. Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand: Queenstown

This adventure capital is home to every sort of high-octane sport; from skiing and river rafting to bungee jumping, canyon swinging and skydiving — all done with a background of idyllic lakes and mesmerizing mountain ranges.

Stop off for a coffee with a view (and perhaps a massage) at the Hilton Hotel, which sits in front of Lake Wakatipu, before hiring a kayak and heading out into the blue.

Finally, take the 20-minute trip to nearby Arrow town, where the country's gold-mining history came alive.

 

10. Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand: Milford Sound

This famous fjord of plunging waterfalls, dark blue waters and dramatic sky-high mountains can be reached from Queenstown by propeller plane or four-hour car journey — and if you're feeling particularly brave, a four-day 53km hike from 

Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand (I)

Nestled away in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, are the islands of New Zealand. Often overshadowed by its large neighbor, Australia, this is a country that should be singing its natural rugged beauty. Instead, it quietly carries on — knowing that every day, a few thousand new visitors fall in love with it.

 

There's a wealth of beauty to discover here — and these top magical places to visit in New Zealand are just a few of our favorite places.

 

The North Island, home to the capital Wellington and boasting great rolling hills, dense rainforests, fruitful wineries and steaming geothermal lakes, was the stunning setting for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films. Volcano cones dot the countryside — some extinct, others still bubbling. The South Island is best known for its spectacular scenery — vast blue lakes, world-famous glaciers, rusty red mountain ranges and dramatic fjord land.

 

1. Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand: Auckland

In New Zealand's largest city, you'll find yourself at the heart of the country's shopping Mecca. Designer stores line the streets of Chancery and the Otara Saturday flea market overflows with Maori and Polynesian homemade cuisine.

At the Viaduct, hire a jet ski and take a tour of the harbor to learn about the city's surrounding suburbs — and there's no better view of the Harbor Bridge than from underneath it. Stop for dinner at the marina, with dozens of sailboats, in the bar and a ruby sunset backdrop, this is the perfect welcome scene.

 

2. Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand: Matamata

If the love for Tolkien's Hobbits has brought you to New Zealand, then you'll find the velvety green fields of Matamata completely magical. Located two hours south of Auckland, one of the prime film sets for The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings trilogy, is now open. A tour of 'Hobbiton' will take you to the homes of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, along with other familiar scenes. Finally, the Green Dragon pub is open to all.

 

3. Top Magical Places to Visit in New Zealand: Rotorua

Thanks to its spot on the Volcanic Plateau, Rotorua is home to the world's most lively geothermal activity. Watch the famous Pohutu Geyser erupt hot spring water up to 30 meters into the air and take in the spectacular rainforest vistas from the banks of beautiful Lake Tarawera and Lake Tikitapu.

To get a bird's eye view, book in for a 15,000ft skydive with NZone Rotorua. The one-minute free fall allows plenty of time to take in the swirling blues and greens of the hot lakes below.

A short helicopter ride from nearby Whakatane town is an active volcano called White Island. Explore this sulphur-spewing beauty with a guide and a hardhat.