New Zealand is one country that so many travelers wish to visit. There are snowcapped mountains, glaciers all the way to the land of the Hobbits, and copious amounts of wine from a vineyard or two.
Even though it has become hugely popular, there is still a feeling it isn’t too commercial. There are vast amounts of activities in New Zealand for every member of the family, such as casinos, caving, climbing, cycling, and much more.
However, for any visitor. It does take a little planning and information gathering beforehand to make the most of your time there.
If you want to get a taste of what is in store, you can check out Getty images for the work of Graeme Murray, a homegrown photographer who has a unique insight into his homeland.
For now, you can read here all you need to know about New Zealand tourism and some of the best places you need to put on your itinerary.
In This Guide
- What are the Best Months to Visit New Zealand?
- Do I Need a Visa to Visit New Zealand?
- How many days do you need to see New Zealand?
- Top 10 Places to Visit in New Zealand
- New Zealand Tourism
What are the Best Months to Visit New Zealand?
Any visitor to New Zealand will find the New Zealand climate opposite to their home country in the Northern hemisphere. It is possible to experience all four seasons in the span of a day.
The best overall months for traveling to New Zealand are between December and February. These have the best weather, although it is the peak time for anyone on vacation, be it locals from foreign countries.
March to May are a bit quieter and make it easy to drive to the South Island or visiting the likes of Hawkes Bay in the north.
June to August gives skiers a chance to experience the slopes in various locations, take a trip to an icy glacier, or some geothermal walking.
Then you have September to November, which is spring. For outdoor activities like mountain biking, this can be one of the best times to visit a local National Park and sample the trails.
Do I Need a Visa to Visit New Zealand?
Visitors from a vast number of countries don’t require a visa to visit New Zealand. Although anyone from the United States and 60 other visa-exempt countries, like the UK, Australia, Canada, are required to obtain an eTA before travel or the journey.
Travelers can apply for a travel visa waiver that can be done online, and all the documentation is sent to the supplied email address.
How many days do you need to see New Zealand?
After a lot of analysis from past visitors, the estimated time to get the full New Zealand site experience and take in the landscapes, fjords, peaks, history, and buildings and to visit all around the North Island and the South Island is a minimum of 14 days.
You may not have the time like Graeme Murray does as he snaps away more world-class pictures for Getty images, yet it does deliver a chance to take in most of what the country has to offer.
Once you visit these remote islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, you are venturing a very different world
Top 10 Places to Visit in New Zealand
The City of Sails is the most populated city in New Zealand. Located on the North Island by the Hauraki Gulf, it is well-known for the vibrant culture and landscape for food lovers.
You can climb the Auckland Harbor Bridge for great views. You can visit local zoos, sea life aquariums, Sky Tower with its casino, or travel out of town to Waiheke Island.
Stroll around the Waitemata Harbor or downtown to experience all the culture along with the local New Zealanders.
Wellington is the capital city of NZ, and to see all of its glory; you can take the train up Mt Victoria. There are tons of art galleries, and although the capital, New Zealand accommodation can be easy to find in the 100 NZD to 150 NZD range.
Head a little way out of town to Castlepoint, and you can see the tallest lighthouse along with seals and possibly dolphins out at sea.
Not far away is Tairawhiti Taranaki Taupō that offers excellent surfing experiences on the water.
If you like adventure, you can take a trip up to the Whanganui River, which is New Zealand’s longest navigable waterway. Head far enough up for the chance to see some magnificent waterfalls or plenty of wildlife.
Christchurch is rebuilding after all the earthquakes, yet there is still much to see and do. There are the Botanic gardens that are still standing, and you can travel up Mt Cavendish in the Christchurch Gondola.
You can even get a 90-minute flight with Air New Zealand to the Chatham Islands over a couple of hundred miles of open water to fully experience New Zealand travel. Flights are six times per week so that it won’t eat up too much of a holiday.
The second-largest city in the south, it is still sleepy but has plenty of things to do. There is the Dunedin railway station, although more for Getty images rather than catching a train.
Larnach Castle resembles the ones in Scotland, and there are lots of opportunities for some lazy walks around museums, off-road mountain biking along the coast close to the water.
Travel inland, and you can find the World of Difference with Central Otago, which is not highly populated and is very remote.
Located on the southwest coast of the south island. The adventure capital of New Zealand is one place to visit. You can see lots of wildlife, paragliding, freshwater fishing and go hot air ballooning if you wish.
Sitting on the side of the cyan, transparency, opaque, semi-transparent waters of Lake Wakatipu, you can explore on bike or by boat cruises that make their way around the lake.
For the best in geothermal, then Rotorua has it all. National parks and reserves are dotted with geysers and hot springs.
This is the place to learn about the colorful Maori, so check out the Tane Mahuta and Te Papa museums then relax with some geothermal walking or any of the many health spas.
For the best in urban attractions, volcanic exploration, there is no better location.
There are plenty of thermal pools to relax in after you take in all the sights. While it doesn’t come packed with all the restaurants and hotel options other cities do, it is still a highly rated location on TripAdvisor and other vacation sites.
7. Milford Sound
Buried deep in the Fiordland National Park, this area gets many hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Milford Sound is unlike anything else, and you do need one of the many boat cruises to experience it fully.
It is iconic scenery for the likes of Graeme Murray or any budding landscape photographer. There is also the chance for mountain biking, hiking, or other ways to check out the sites.
8. Glacier Trekking
Glaciers are the main focal point of Franz Josef. Hiking up a glacier is unlike anything else you can do, although most of the Franz Josef glacier is shut because of climate change, it does need a heli-hike that costs upward of 300 NZD for half a day helicopter ride on one of the best New Zealandic activities you can take part in.
It is very different from a trip to Milford Sound and will be one to remember.
9. Abel Tasman National Park
For an on-site experience, you do need to spend a night in Abel Tasman National Park. Located not far from Nelson, it is like stepping into another Asian country. With clear water, beautiful beaches, there is plenty of chances for hiking or mountain biking.
There is lots of information on these preserved Wildlife parks and gives the feeling of remoteness in the same way as visiting the Chatham Islands. You will see why the site’s ratings are so high with natural beauty.
If you like to visit vineyards, then this can a worthy stop-off. Before a spot of wine tasting, there are lots of hiking trails to work up a thirst, and Marlborough Sounds and Queen Charlotte sound are in the vicinity.
Being one of the sunniest regions in the islands, it is easy to see why the wine is so good, and the region is used in so many Hollywood blockbusters. If you gather all the information, you will know, you’re not far from world-class wine or from a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit location.
With lots of activities around, there are kitesurfing, wineries and lots of other activities you can do.
New Zealand Tourism
The above are just some of the main areas where you can visit. The reputation of the country is very high, as it is clean and peaceful while offering lots to do without too many crowds. Roads are easy to get around, and no matter where you are, there is always something to do.
One thing anyone has to make time for is the glowworms, and luckily, you can find these in around seven different locations. One of the best places for things like this is the underground cave system in Waitomo.
Add in the waterfalls a limestone cliff formations, and you have another unique adventure in a unique environment.
All over the country, you can go from one extreme to the other. Play golf, heliskiing, heritage tours in the space of a few miles, and the span of a day or so. The country is made for every aspiring travel writer or photographer.
Travel tips are nearly impossible to write because there is just so much to see and do. If you are a water baby, then wildlife encounters, windsurfing are accessible, or you can head into the mountains to see all the rock formations on different tours and hikes.
Hotels are easily accessible and can cover all travel styles from backpackers who are international Argentina, Australia locals, or from New York City.
For less than 200 NZD, you can find high-quality accommodation. It is easy to see why NZ is fast becoming the fairytale location for weddings no matter what the season.
Although airfares can be quite steep, there are visitors from all corners of the world like Germany, Brazil, Chile, the UK, the USA, and the Netherlands.
The country is more accessible now, and with just one stop, you can fly from London or New York in a little over one-day.
With temperatures ideal throughout the year, New Zealand can offer accommodations in any part of the country. With great values, travelers have a chance to reset from their regular life in a setting that is very different from theirs.
Being well out of the way of the Coronavirus, it can be one location of choice that is safe for vacation entertainment.
For any travelers who are searching for a place to visit, then making their way to New Zealand can be the ideal place. Everyone speaks the English language, it is easy to rent a vehicle, and you can travel anywhere without bumping into hordes of other tourists.
It doesn’t matter if you want to do some adrenaline-pumping skydiving or take leisurely strolls in paradise.
The land of the Kiwis is inviting for everyone and allows everyone to see one of the remotest regions on earth.
New Zealand does cater to every kind of traveler, so if you want to fulfill your lifetime adventures, now is the time to check out those Qantas flights from the United Kingdom or any other location where you reside.
It is time to find the best airline and escape the madness and travel around New Zealand at your leisure.