Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific NEW ZEALAND - TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

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1. Posted by Smiley (Budding Member 27 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I am planning a 6week trip to New Zealand. I like to see as much of the Country as possible within this time. I fly into Auckland and depart from Christchurch. Please can someone who already visited the Country tell me the PLACES I MUST SEE - MAIN TOURIST ATTRACTIONS while im there?

thanx, Aileen

2. Posted by soliqa (Respected Member 284 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Just some suggestions- I've never actually been to New Zealand, but I have planned a trip there before (unfortunently I couldn't actually go as it didn't work in at the time).

look these places up on the internet and see what you think- they're in a "sort of" chronological order.

  • bay of islands- right at the top of the north island
  • Auckland- i've heard the harbour is beautiful
  • Waitomo Caves- underground limestone and glow-worm caves, south of Auckland
  • Rotorua- thermal springs and geysers
  • Napier- apparently the Art Deco capital of NZ if you're into that sort of architecture
  • Martinborough and surrounding areas has lots of vineyards apparently if you're into a bit of wine tasting
  • Wellington- capital city at the bottom of the north island

  • Christchurch- city that i've heard has nice botanical gardens
  • Queenstown- adventure capital of NZ- good skiing aswell i've heard
  • Milford Sound- a cruise on here is meant to be something not to miss- beautiful scenery

The TranzAlpine train trip from Greymouth (west coast) to Christchurch is meant to be extremely scenic so that may be worth checking out.

Hope you have a great trip and if you have any questions about what to do message me and I'll try and help,


[ Edit: Fixed list... ]

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Quoting soliqa

[*]Waitomo Caves- underground limestone and glow-worm caves, south of Auckland

Gotta agree with that one! They have Blackwater Rafting through the caves, too - and at one point the guide turns off everyone's helmet lamp and the glowworms are like stars in the dark. Can't recommend it enough!

4. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

The 3-day walk in Abel Tasman National Park in the nortern part of the Southisland is absolutely beautiful. And if you are into hiking the Tongariro crossing on the North Island is also great.
Feel free to PM me for any further questions!

Enjoy NZ,


5. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

When at the bay of islands, go up to Cape Reinga and 90 mile beach for a day.

I liked Wanaka too.

6. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


You could look at something like this for an itinery..

Auckland-Bay of Islands-Coromandel-Tauranga- Rotorua-Taupo-Wellington-Picton-Nelson Lakes-Nelson-West Coast-Haast-Queenstown-Milford Sound-Dunedin-Christchurch

& you will pick up the majority of our wonderful sights

PM me if I can be of any help.


7. Posted by jadeeagle (Budding Member 6 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Okay - I took some people from England around the South Island last February. We had two weeks on the road and didn't cover enough.

Must see in my home city - is a day trip (or overnight if you have the time) to Akaroa - which is about a one and a half hour bus trip from Christchurch. In the city, there's the Antarctic Centre (and I recommend the Haaglund ride, which is the vehicle they use in the South Pole), the Christchurch aquarium, where you can see live kiwis (alternatively, Willowbank at night). The Arts Centre. Sumner Beach or New Brighton Beach. I could go on forever.

Whale watching in Kaikoura - take the plane rather than the boat if you can afford it.

Hamner Springs thermal resort - if you've been doing the adventures in Queenstown you'll need to retreat here for a couple of day's soak in the hot pools. Also save the jetboat ride until here, or away from Queenstown, as it's much cheaper and just as good.

If you're into adventure, a bunjy jump in Queenstown.

The West Coast - and again if you can afford it, take a helicopter ride up to the Fox Glacier. I thoroughly recommend that!

Milford Sound... Abel Tasman/Nelson region... The Alpine Express train ride is a definite - we put our English friends on it in Greymouth and picked them up again in Christchurch.

The south island is famous for it's scenery - what you see in Lord of the Rings is for real.

I can go on and on - PM me for further info if you want. The one comment I remember from my friends was 'why did I leave Akaroa until their last day?' In other words, if I'd taken them at the start of the trip, they'd probably have stayed there.

Of course, there are things to see in the North Island too, I believe. From memory, Bay of Islands is a must... (we have a bit of North/South rivalry here in NZ... the South Island is known as The Mainland, and not to be overlooked. Definitely allow three weeks for each, though it depends on what you're in to when you're travelling...)

8. Posted by Mikey B (Respected Member 181 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

If you can afford it, hire a camper van - you can cover most of the main sights in 6 weeks.

(dependening on what time of year you go) I would say my 'not to miss' highlights would be:

Milford Sound - great sea kayaking and/or boat cruises, or you could walk the Milford Track. Don't worry about the weather too much here. It chucked it down when I was there (they even had to close the track) but the Sound still looked amazing with hundreds of waterfalls and towering mountains disappearing into the clouds.

Lake Tekapo and Lake Wanaka

Walking the Tongariro Crossing - apparently the world's greatest one day walk and I certainly am not going to disagree. A top tip - get up really early so you can be starting the walk at sunrise, therefore avoiding the crowds that follow later.

Te Urewera National Park - Remote, rugged, immense, Te Urewera contains the largest forested wilderness remaining in the North Island. One of my favorite places on the North Island

9. Posted by BCarter (Budding Member 5 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Queenstown wooo!

10. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Don't miss Cape Reinga, the very northern tip of NZ. There are some breathtaking, neverending beach walks, where you feel like you're all alone in the world, and they're just awesome! Also, there is a really pretty lighthouse, and you really get this "end of the world" feeling. Most people visiting NZ don't go up north from Auckland because they don't feel it's worth the effort. But it really is, and also it's a small country and distances aren't too huge.

Bay of Islands is also up north - if you like diving you might want to go there but otherwise it's just pretty touristy and there are far more beautiful beaches/areas elsewhere, pretty much everywhere you go along the coast!

I'm not a kiwi but I spent a year in Auckland as an exchange student and used to put a lot of effort in doing trips, pretty much every weekend and school break. I went to the South Island a couple of times too, so feel free to ask any question, I might be able to help you!!!