Home: Hotspots

Mt Cook viewed from the West Coast of the South Island


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New Zealand is a small country of immense beauty. There is so much to see and so many secret sights most tourists don't get to see.
From beaches of golden sands or mountains of blue and white ice, New Zealand has what your after for an amazing holiday. Whether you want to see our beauty at your own pace, or take in all of the adventure the country has to offer.
New Zealand is the biggest little country in the deep blue Pacific.

To see all of New Zealand is it's glory could take months, so we've assembled some of the country's 'hotspots' for those who only have weeks to experience some of the best that New Zealand has to offer.
We don't suggest you should forget the rest, you might miss the best!


Tourist Hot Spots of New Zealand

 Bay of Islands
Lake Taupo
Hanmer Springs

Franz Josef

Mt Cook
Lake Tekapo



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New Zealand offers some major contrasts from North to South. While the North Island contains the major concentrations of volcanoes and geothermal activity, the South Island has huge ice covered mountains running the length of the island. While the west side of the South Island is one of the wettest places on earth, less than 40 kilometres away on the east side of the mountains, the land is classed as a semi desert.


North Island

The top of the North Island offers a temperate climate and areas of scenic beauty such as that seen in the Bay of Islands. With over 200 islands within the greater area, the Bay of Islands has been named appropriately.
The game fishing capital of New Zealand. Take in a trip out to the hole in the rock and sail through it.

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city with a third of the country's population living in greater Auckland. Known as the city of sails, Auckland was host of the America's Cup in the late nineties and up until 2003, until being won by the Swiss.
The city is also home of the SkyTower, Oceania's tallest structure and has many attractions and tours.
Don't miss a trip out into the Gulf and visit some of the nearby islands.

Rotorua must be the smelliest city in New Zealand. Built on a geothermal region Rotorua has several natural attractions in the form of mud holes, geysers and hot pools. The huge capacity of the geothermal resource is large enough to allow the generation of electricity for New Zealand's main grid.
Visited by thousands every year, other attractions and tours exist in the area.

Lake Taupo is New Zealand's largest lake and is the result of one of New Zealand's historical volcanic eruptions.
Now teeming with large trout and eels and surrounded by gorgeous native bush, Lake Taupo is an essential stop for a stay while passing through the North Island.

Ohakune is to the south of three majestic volcanoes, Ruapehu, Nguaruhoe and Tongariro. Ruapehu occasionally interrupts the ski season with a spectacular eruption.

South Island

The northern end of the South Island begins with a maze of channels and islands making up the Marlborough Sounds. The beauty of 'the Sounds' attracts thousands of New Zealanders for their summer holidays.

Not far down the road is Kaikoura, a seafood lovers paradise.
The steep sided mountains along Kaikoura's coast don't stop at the water's edge and continue down to depths of around 2 kilometres only a short distance from land.
These impressive depths attract sperm whales and elusive giant squid from other parts of the world. Whale watching and swimming with the dolphins and sharks are a 'must do' activity while staying in Kaikoura.

Hanmer Springs is the South Island's largest geothermal resort. Water heated by the geothermic activity below the earth's crust makes a relaxing rest in the hot pools above. Tracks in the surrounding forest parks makes a backpackers and mountain bikers paradise.

Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island, is often referred to as a more English city than those in England.
Situated at the base of an extinct volcano that formed Banks Peninsula, Christchurch looks out over the Canterbury Plains towards the majestic Southern Alps.
During the early exploration of the Antarctic, Christchurch was often used as the departure point for expeditions and today is used by many nations to support their Antarctic bases.

Lake Tekapo is situated in the heart of the MacKenzie Country in some of New Zealand's most spectacular high country.
Known internationally for its teal blue lake water, Lake Tekapo is fed by melted glacier water that produces its unusual colour.
Established as a rural village, Lake Tekapo is surrounded by high country merino sheep stations and spectacular mountains.

Mt Cook, know to the local Maori as Aoraki, is the highest mountain in New Zealand and Oceania. At at height of 3,753m (12,313ft) above sea level.
Surrounded by huge glaciers and covered in spectacular ice falls and snow covered plateaus
The small alpine village of Mt Cook is situated within the National Park and sports some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

Queenstown is known as the tourism capital of New Zealand. Situated on the shores of Lake Wakitipu and nestled under a mountain range know as the Remarkables, Queenstown is spectacular.
Literally hundreds of activities orientated towards the tourist are available in and around Queenstown.
Take a journey across the lake to Walter Peak sheep station on the historic steamship, Earnslaw. Enjoy a gondola ride up to the restaurant overlooking the township.

Milford Sound is one of the perils of New Zealand's natural features. Deep in the heart of Fiordland, Milford Sound is beauty at an unimaginable level. Huge waterfalls cascade down sheer cliffs in to the clear waters of the sound itself. Native bush lines the surrounding hills until the snow takes over at altitude.
The trip to Milford Sound is breathtaking alone. A 'no exit' highway has been carved through untouched rainforest and chiselled across mountainsides. At its peak a tunnel in the middle of nowhere allows traffic to drive through the Southern Alps and on to the South Island's West Coast.

Franz Josef is on the South Island's West Coast, one of the wettest places on the planet. Areas of the West Coast have been known to receive up to 18 metres of rainfall in a 365 day period.
Franz Josef's secret is a spectacular glacier winding its way down a steep valley from the upper reaches of the Mt Cook region.
While the head of the glacier forms at over 3km above sea level, the terminal is only 40-50 metres from sea level and can be driven and then walked to.