The 10 Best Places To Visit In New Zealand

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Read about 'The 10 Best Places To Visit In New Zealand' on USAVE, the place for all things car rental.

Even though New Zealand is a relatively small country it has a lot to offer travelers and holiday makers from around the world. With so many great things to do figuring out where to go and what to see in NZ can be tricky so we asked around the staff at USAVE Car Rental and we have picked out our top 10 places to visit in New Zealand – just for you!

1. Northland

Taking a road trip around Northland is kind of kiwi tradition here in NZ, this epic drive offers a great way to explore the top of the North Island at your own pace and setting your own itinerary. Simply beautiful is the only way to describe the towns, beaches and landscapes in the Northland region – don’t forget the camera!

The Bay of Islands area is a must-do in Northland – check out the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and scuba diving the wrecks at Paihia, 90 Mile Beach and Cape Reinga, Whangarei, Kaitaia and Dargaville along the way. For more information on road tripping around Northland see here.

2. Auckland

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and is known as the ‘City of Sails’. Auckland provides visitors with amazing scenery, beautiful beaches, world class food and wine, an exciting nightlife, a great range of tourist attractions and some pretty awesome shopping!

Be sure to check out the Hauraki Gulf to explore the many outlying islands, get some sailing and deep sea fishing in or just to enjoy the beautiful oceanic scenery Auckland has to offer. And don’t miss the Auckland waterfront precincts for the best entertainment and dining options. Find more on the best things to do in Auckland here or if you are a bit low on funds check out our guide to cheap things to do in Auckland here.

3. Tauranga And Rotorua

A visit to the region known as the Bay of Plenty is a must when in New Zealand’s North Island. Tauranga and Rotorua are both great options as they are within a short one hour drive of each other. Combining the two cities will give you the adventure tourism of Rotorua plus the stunning beach-side vibe of Tauranga.

Don’t miss the famous Mount Maunganui Beach and a walk up the prominent historic hillside known as ‘the Mount’ – these are two must-dos for any visitor to Tauranga. For visitors to Rotorua there are a wide range of attractions and activities including the world famous Agrodome, the Luge, Gondola, Rainbow Springs Nature Park, the Redwood Forrest and many more!

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4. Palmerston North

Palmerston North is located on the banks of the Manawatu River deep in the lower central North Island. The epic Tararua Ranges form Palmerston North’s Eastern border with the bold and beautiful waters of the Cook Strait to the West.

These stunning natural features provide Palmerston North with plenty of outdoor activities and the local University means night life in Palmerston North is always on! You’ll find a great selection of bars and restaurants along with other cultural attractions such as the Rugby Museum and much more. Heading north? Check out our road trip guide from Palmerston North to Rotorua.

5. Wellington

The capital of New Zealand, Wellington is home to many excellent bars and restaurants, attractions and activities. The city plays host to a large number of festivals and events year round so there is always plenty to see and do.

Don’t miss seeing the panoramic sights of Wellington City from the top of Mt Victoria, check out the world famous Weta Workshop, take a spin in the Cable Car and of course the Te Papa museum is always top of the list of things to do!

6. Nelson

Nelson is the place to be if you love hiking, tramping, kayaking or just taking a scenic walk. The Abel Tasman National Park is right on the doorstep along with access to the famous Heaphy Track where you can walk all the way through to the West Coast. The mountainous Richmond Hill Forrest Park is also right next door offering a great place to get some fresh air and stretch the legs.

While in Nelson don’t miss the Saturday Markets (if you are there on a Saturday), Tahunanui Beach, take a tour out to Farewell Spit, or visit the Founders Heritage Park and Queens Gardens for a bit of quite time. Kayaking out on the beautiful sheltered waters is simply a must-do while in Nelson – go on give it a go!

7. Christchurch

The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch is considered the gateway to the rest of the South Island. Christchurch is home to the one and only Orana Wildlife Park, the epic Antarctic Centre, Hagley Park, the mountain biker’s favourite the Christchurch Adventure Park and much much more!

The affectionately known Garden City is all about getting outdoors and exploring this beautiful countryside, Christchurch is a great base for many activities including skiing, hiking, 4 wheel driving, fishing and much more! Don’t miss exploring the Banks Peninsula or for more ideas on what to do in Christchurch see here.

8. Greymouth

Taking it to the South Island’s West Coast on this one, Hokitika and Greymouth are two of the most visited towns on the West Coast and getting there is half the fun! Take an epic train ride on the TranzAlpine Railway from Christchurch or hire a car and make your own way along through the Southern Alps stopping in Arthurs Pass along the way.

The West Coast has a remote feel with rugged windswept beaches, creative locals and a colourful history built on the back of the gold mining and forestry industries. You will find nature at its best here with some of the most beautiful native forest in NZ and plenty of opportunity for enjoying the great outdoors!

9. Queenstown

Always a popular one with the tourists, Queenstown is located in the South Island’s epic Southern Lakes region. Queenstown is home to a large amount of adventure related activities such as rock climbing, skydiving, hang gliding, zip lining, bungy jumpy, skiing, water sports and much more.

While you are in Queenstown you have easy access to some of New Zealand’s best skiing and snowboarding as well as the beautiful Central Otago region. Queenstown is known for its hospitality so you won’t have any trouble finding some excellent restaurants, cafes and bars and there are plenty of accommodation options ranging from backpackers up to luxury resorts catering to your every need. See here for more information on Queenstown including getting there, where to stay and the best things to do.

10. Dunedin

The South Island’s second largest city, Dunedin has a unique mixture of heritage, student culture and exotic wildlife. There’s always plenty to see and do in Dunedin with numerous walks around the city, spectacular coast lines, beautiful beaches and even its very own castle!

Don’t miss the Royal Albatross Centre out on the Otago Peninsula, these grand birds are simply stunning and will be the highlight of you trip. The Dunedin Railway Station is also one not to miss, this beautiful heritage building is one of the best examples of New Zealand’s early architecture. Or see here for more ideas on things to do in Dunedin.

This is just a small run down of the most popular places in New Zealand – of course there are many more great things to do and places to see in NZ, check out our USAVE Car Rental blog for more great ideas today!

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