Best of New Zealand
Best of New Zealand
1. Fiordland National Park (South Island)
Fiordland is a powerhouse with Milford Sound and three of New Zealand's Great Walks (the Milford, Routeburn, and Kepler Tracks). The rest of Fiordland is untouched wilderness preserved for the heartiest of adventurers.
2. Fox Glacier (South Island)
Fox Glacier and neighboring Franz Josef Glacier rise up from sea level to New Zealand’s highest mountains. You can take a guided trip on the ice or hike up nearby peaks for big views.
3. Tongariro National Park (North Island)
Tongariro is one of the world's most striking and accessible volcanic landscapes. The views are good from Whakapapa Village, the Tongariro Crossing is New Zealand’s most popular day hike, and the multi-day Round the Mountain Track is a hidden gem.
4. Northland Region (North Island)
The beaches at the northernmost tip of New Zealand are some of the best in the country. An off the beaten path alternative to the Abel Tasman Coast Track is the Cape Reinga Coastal Walkway: it's pure New Zealand without the crowds.
5. Doubtful Sound (South Island)
Milford Sound gets the hype but Doubtful Sound is ten times larger and receives only a fraction of the visitors. Overnight trips in Doubtful Sound aren't cheap but get rave reviews (you can catch your dinner and see sunset and sunrise from the boat).
6. Wanaka (South Island)
Queenstown is New Zealand's traditional adventure town but Wanaka quickly is becoming a contender. The outdoors community is coming in droves for world-class hiking, mountain biking, and watersports.
Most people depart from Queenstown and ignore the dusty gold country of Otago, but pinot noir and the Rail Trail have brought it back to life. The boom is different this time around but Central Otago is well worth a visit.
Staring directly at Mt. Cook and with a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding Southern Alps, mountain views don’t get better than Mueller Hut. The hike is steep but only 3–4 hours in each direction.
10. Nelson Lakes National Park (South Island)