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50 things not to be missed in New Zealand

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New Zealand doesn’t get almost 2.5 million international visitors (from Statistics New Zealand) to its shores each year for nothing! If you’re planning a holiday to Aotearoa, make sure to pop a few of these ideas on your to-do list.

90 Mile Beach, Northland
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A beach so long it’s classed as a highway! Great sand dunes and ocean swimming.

Akaroa, Canterbury
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A charming French settlement with a scrumptious cafe culture.

Arthurs Pass, Canterbury
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For forest and mountain scenery, with plenty of mischievous kea, visit Arthurs Pass.

Baldwin Street, Dunedin

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The steepest street in the world.

Blue Lake, Nelson Lakes National Park
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The clearest lake in the world.

Bluff oysters, Southland
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Famously delicious oysters, enjoyed around New Zealand between March and August

Cape Palliser, Wairarapa
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WARNING: Contains historic lighthouse (built 1897), adorable seals and stunning ocean views.

Cape Reinga, Northland
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Cape Reinga is where two oceans meet at NZ’s northernmost point.

Cape Foulwind Seal Colony, West Coast
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Unfortunate name, but amazing seal colony.

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
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A famous ‘must-visit’ of NZ.

Doubtful Sound, Fiordland
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Don’t doubt, Doubtful Sound features nature at its best. Book a cruise to enjoy its ‘sound of silence’.

Fossicking for gold
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NZ history is filled with gold. To try your hand at finding some, visit Arrowtown or Shantytown.

Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers, West Coast
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Grab a scenic flight, lace up your hiking boots or drive on up to one of these glaciers, almost adjacent to each other.

Goat Island Marine Reserve, just north of Auckland
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Established in 1975 – our first marine reserve. Excellent swimming, snorkelling and diving.

Hamurana Springs, Rotorua
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The deepest freshwater spring in the North Island, surrounded by a pristine nature sanctuary.

Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata
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Need we say more?

Hot springs
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NZ has numerous natural and commercial hot springs. Try Rotorua, Hot Water Beach and Hanmer Springs.

Huka Falls, Taupo
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Imagine 220,000 litres of water per second roaring past. Now imagine seeing it from a jet boat. Yeah, you need to visit Huka Falls.

Kaikoura, Canterbury
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New Zealand’s premier whale-watching destination.

Karangahake Gorge, Bay of Plenty
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A historic wilderness area with numerous walks. Come to see antique railway lines, tunnels and other pieces of mining history.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy, Queenstown
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The world’s first commercial bungy operation, opened in 1988 and still going strong.

Kiwi spotting
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Wondering where to see kiwi birds in NZ? Try Trounson National Park, Te Puia, Orana Wildlife Park and any of our awesome zoos.

Lake Taupo
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Once a volcano that exploded so ferociously thousands of years ago, the ancient Romans saw it over in Europe!

Lake Wanaka, Otago
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A sparkling aquatic playground, perfect for sightseers, swimmers and, well, anyone, really.

Larnach Castle, Dunedin
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Our only castle, built back in 1871.

Manuka honey
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Famous around the world for its healthy properties. Available around the country, but a must-try before you leave.

Milford Sound, Fiordland
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Home to one of our greatest walking tracks – the Milford Track – as well as world-renowned cruises.

Moeraki Boulders, North Otago
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These are surreal, spherical boulders that have become an iconic attraction.

Mount Cook, Mackenzie Region
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Aoraki (Mount Cook) is our tallest mountain, at 3,724 metres.

Mount Hikurangi, Eastland
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The first place in the country to see the sunrise, and a sacred Maori place to boot.

New Chums Beach, Coromandel
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An untouched jewel in the crown that is the Coromandel Peninsula. Another absolute must-visit.

New Zealand salmon
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If you love fresh salmon, you’ll love New Zealand. Visit Twizel or Golden Bay.

Otago vineyards
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Tantalise your tastebuds with a wine tour through Otago. Pop by Wanaka, Cromwell and Gibbston Valley.

Pancake Rocks, West Coast
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An attraction 30 million years in the making. Includes a delightful 20-minute loop walk and great views.

Rotorua geothermal parks
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The smell might be weird, but the photo memories here last a lifetime. Visit Te Puia, Hells Gate, Wai-O-Tapu or Orakei Korako.

Skiing on the Southern Alps
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Come winter, the Southern Alps are your playground. Carve up Cardrona, Coronet Peak, Mount Hutt or Awakino.

Skippers Road, Queenstown
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Though it would be wiser to take a tour along here (safety reasons), the mid-1800s historic sights will make it all worth it.

Sky Tower, Auckland
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The tallest man-made structure in NZ (328 metres), and a landmark of Auckland.

Stewart Island
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Across the water from Invercargill. Come to enjoy its tranquil setting and many natural wonders.

Tane Mahuta, Bay of Plenty
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At 51.2 metres, Tane Mahuta is the largest living kauri tree in NZ.

Tarawera Falls, Bay of Plenty
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These cliffs were produced by an ancient lava flow, and now the falls pour out of a dramatic black fissure.

Te Paki Sand Dunes, Northland
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Bring a boogie board, because sliding down these dunes is an unmissable experience.

The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail
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This is the ultimate wine road trip. It covers 80 per cent of NZ’s wine regions, according to Wellington’s website.

The Catlins, Southland
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A rugged natural forest area just off the Southern Scenic Route.

Tongariro Crossing, Ruapehu
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NZ’s oldest national park, and the location of Mount Doom from The Lord Of The Rings movie trilogy.

Volcanoes
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Our most active volcano can be found on White Island, Bay of Plenty. Dormant volcanoes include Rangitoto, Ruapehu and Tongariro.

Waiheke Island, Auckland
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Just off the coast of Auckland, Waiheke presents a tranquil setting a world away from the city.

Waitomo Caves, Waikato
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You’ll find blackwater rafting, glow worms and a fascinating cave journey here at Waitomo.

Wanganui River journey
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Jump in a kayak and experience the multi-day, 145-kilometre-long Wanganui River Journey.

Weta Workshop, Wellington

Finally, for an activity like no other, visit Weta Workshop for its 45-minute movie-based tour.

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