New Zealand lies on the edge of the world, so it is not very popular with domestic tourists. But in vain.

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Things to do in New Zealand

The main asset of the country is untouched nature, which will be appreciated by lovers of contemplative and active recreation. The Tongariro National Park with volcanoes sacred to the Maori is impressive in its scenery. Milford Sound Fjord is one of the wettest places on Earth — mountains and dense emerald forests protrude through the veil of fog. The Waitomo Caves are the true kingdom of fireflies. The vaults of grottoes and tunnels seem to be covered with shining precious stones.

Eclectic architecture will appeal to aesthetes. The Sky Tower offers panoramic views, after which you can look into one of the trendy restaurants on its territory. Larnach Castle is the epitome of New Zealand luxury.

Those who are looking for non-standard entertainment should visit the hobbit village, and then visit the longest underwater tunnel in the world, located in the Kelly Tarleton Underwater World Aquarium.

natural attractions

milford sound

milford sand

This is the largest fjord in the southwest of the country, located within the boundaries of the Fiordland National Park. A natural formation arose on the ocean coast about 20 thousand years ago as a result of the movement of ice. Its landscape is defined by mountains covered with dense forests, shrubs, lichens and soft moss.

It rains every day in Milford Sound, the sun only shines for a couple of hours a day. Seals, sharks, dolphins and penguins live in the bay. The water is so clear that you can see algae and corals at a respectful depth.

Tongariro National Park

nac park tongarinio

The oldest nature reserve in New Zealand is buried in tropical vegetation on one side and surprises with a deserted, almost space plateau on the other. Among the gray wasteland is a lake of volcanic origin with amazing turquoise water. Its shores are covered with frozen lava.

This place is sacred to the Maori people. Indigenous people come to worship three active volcanoes: Ngauruhoe (2291 m), Tongariro (1968 m) and Ruapehu (2797 m). The local landscapes became the scenery for several scenes of the cult saga «The Lord of the Rings». For example, Ngauruhoe played the role of Mount Doom.


oai o tapu

The valley with the sonorous name Wai-O-Tapu is located in the center of the North Island and is part of the Tuapo volcanic zone. On an area of ​​about 5 sq. km dominated by thermal springs. Three of them are the most popular:

  • Geyser «Lady Knox» throws out a jet of boiling water to a height of 20 m.
  • It is not for nothing that the Champagne Pool Lake has such a telling name — thousands of bubbles rise and burst on the surface from its depths.
  • Lake «Artist’s Palette» impresses with colorful water.

When moving through the valley, you should be careful — everything gurgles, bubbles and boils here.

Lake Tekapo

osero tekapo

This is one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand, which strikes with a piercing blue color. The celestial hue enhances the colorful carpet of lupins. Purple, pink and aquamarine flowers transform the landscape from mid-November to late December. During this period, there are especially many tourists on the lake. The area of ​​Tekapo is about 87 square meters. km. Its southern coast has become part of the reserve of the same name, and there is a comfortable hotel in it.

Franz Josef Glacier

lednik franca iosifa

The natural wonder is located in Westland Park. The length of the glacier is over 12 km, and there are always a lot of tourists here. They come on foot or come on horseback to see an amazing picture — every hour the glacier shifts by about 2 m. This is the fastest glacier in the world. Its meltwater feeds the Taiho River and several other nearby lakes.

Waitomo Caves

pesheri waitomo

This is a network of 150 caves, interconnected by tunnels and underground rivers. The speleological walk will not take place in complete darkness, because the way is illuminated by billions of blue-green fireflies. The twinkling lights are like distant stars in a velvety black sky. The passages and grottoes are covered with bizarre stalactites and stalagmites. The age of this geological formation is more than 3 million years.




The fairy-tale village, created specifically for the filming of the film «The Lord of the Rings», is located near the city of Matamata. All 44 houses of the estate were built thoroughly, and they have almost all the attributes of a real home — director Peter Jackson wanted to achieve maximum realism.

Colorful flowers, gardens, fields and lawns complete the idyllic scene. The village also has a mill, a picturesque bridge and a pub with strong drinks.

St. James Theater

teatr sant dgeims

The theater, built in 1912 by architect Henry White, was for a long time not only the largest in New Zealand, but in the entire region. A feature of the room was a low stage — because of this, the audience seemed to be directly involved in a play or vaudeville. The interior of the hall was decorated with frescoes, stucco and bas-reliefs.

In the mid-80s, due to severe dilapidation, the authorities decided to demolish the theater, but the public came to the defense of the architectural monument. A campaign was launched to raise funds for the reconstruction. It was possible to collect over 30 million New Zealand dollars, so that the theater was not only repaired, but also expanded. The modern hall for 1552 seats is used both for theatrical performances and for holding solemn city events.

The underwater world of Kelly Tarleton

underwater world

The entertainment complex in the town of Orkeya received its first visitors in 1985. The oceanarium is divided into 5 thematic zones:

  • The cyclopean aquarium «Skata Bay» holds 350,000 liters of water. It is home to many fish from all over the world. Majestic stingrays attract the most attention — the wingspan of some individuals reaches 2 m.
  • The Antarctic Impact Pavilion is home to 3 species of penguins. There is also a recreated hut of the legendary traveler Robert Scott. Tourists drive along the picturesque scenery in a mini train.
  • NIWA is an interactive room. Stands and screens tell about marine life and animals of the South Pole.
  • There are several aquariums in the Sea Creatures Hall. Each one is inhabited by one species of ichthyofauna: moray eels, piranhas, sea bass, etc.
  • «Underwater World» — the longest tunnel in the world (110 m). Its walls are made of transparent acrylic 7 cm thick. The tunnel is divided into two sections. In the first, sharks of several species swim, in the second — colorful tropical fish. So that visitors do not linger in the tunnel for a long time, a conveyor belt was installed here instead of the floor.

Architecture and religious sites

Sky Tower

basnia sky tower

This is the tallest building not only in New Zealand, but throughout the Southern Hemisphere. The height of the tower is 328 m. Its design is able to withstand an earthquake of up to 8 points and wind gusts of up to 200 km/h. High-speed elevators deliver tourists to the top, which start every 15 minutes.

Observation platforms are equipped at different levels of the Sky Tower. After admiring the views, you can visit one of the many bars or restaurants. The tower also houses two luxury hotels and a casino.

Larnach Castle

samok larnah

The beautiful castle was built in 1874 on the Otago Peninsula by a successful businessman and prominent politician William Larnach. He spared no expense to implement the ambitious project. The construction was supervised by an architect ordered from Europe. He used both local and imported finishing materials: Carrara marble, Venetian glass, etc.

In 1906, fortune turned against the Larnach family and the house was sold for debts. He repeatedly changed owners, each of whom brought something of his own to the decoration of the castle. In the end, the castle became the property of the city and was reconstructed.

Visitors are invited to enjoy its luxurious interiors, in particular the ballroom with an area of ​​about 300 square meters. m, richly decorated with paintings and frescoes. And the adjacent landscaped park is conducive to long walks.

Old St. Paul’s Cathedral

cathedral cathedral

The cathedral was built in 1866 as the official residence of the bishop. However, almost immediately, changes began to be made to the architectural appearance of the building: the baptistery was expanded, transepts were added on the south and north sides. A hundred years later, the diocese moved to a new cathedral, and the old one was bought by the municipality and restored. The modest appearance of the wooden structure is compensated by the rich interior: high vaulted ceilings in the Gothic style, carvings and stained glass windows.


National Museum

nac musei

The National Museum dates back to 1865. It changed its name and moved several times. In 1992, an art gallery was added to it and a new ultra-modern building was donated. So the museum became the largest and richest repository of artifacts in the country.

The exposition consists of several exhibitions. They tell about the stages of the colonization of New Zealand, about the life and culture of the indigenous peoples. There is a section devoted to the natural history and biological diversity of the state. A giant squid weighing about 500 kg and over 4 m long, caught off the coast of the South Pole, is of the greatest interest to the public.

Art Gallery

galeru iskustv

The museum, opened in 1980, has influenced Wellington’s cultural landscape. The peculiarity of the gallery is the absence of a permanent exhibition. This was done on purpose so that it would not turn into a boring collection of paintings covered with age-old dust.

Gallery staff regularly offer guests new and sometimes provocative exhibitions. In addition to the classics (masterpieces by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera or Sidney Nolan), here you can get acquainted with the experimental creations of local artists, including Lawrence Eberhart, Bill Hammond and others.