7 Great places to visit in New Zealand
When I was backpacking three months in 2014 in Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. I had to stop by New Zealand, when I was in Australia. It is close, only a couple of hours on an airplane and then you are as far as you can get from Norway, but as close as you can get to Australia.
All my life I have heard about New Zealand. Back in the 90´s my dad worked there and was teaching the Kiwi how to make money on fish. Something Norwegians have done for a decade or two. In the hallway at home there is a map of New Zealand, my dad is always telling me about how beautiful New Zealand is. After 16 days in New Zealand and about 3000 km done on the road with bus and car. I have seen a great part of this scenic country.
Now, I know what’s on the map; I have seen and experience it. It was an adventure and it was scenic. Thank you dad and the map for making me have a list of 7 Best places to visit in New Zealand.
1. Wellington the Capital – Walking Tour
I started in Wellington had a lovely day in the city with the free walking tour of YHA. Were we walked around and looked at all the beautiful sculptures in the city. The City is very new because of all the earthquakes. It is wonderful, they do have great coffee, and they are supposed to have wind. When I was visiting the Wellington decided to show up with no wind, only sun and love.
YHA – Hostel is a really nice standard!
2. Ferry ride from Wellington to Picton
This is the most scenic ferry ride I have ever had (except from Norway). This was so beautiful, even the Norwegian girl was surprised by the scenic nature. If you don’t have time for Mildford Sound, you should do this one. A great trip with great nature and a return of my passport since I lost it, it was returned back to me in 5 minutes over the sound system.
3. Kaikoura Whale watching or sea kayaking
The bus ride from Picton to Kaikoura is once again scenic. Then arriving the Kaikoura is the true village feeling. Only a couple of people living her, but the nature is gorgeous so who cares. Eat at the local house for some local fish, it was mouth-watering and made me happy. I decided to go sea kayaking, because I had never done it before, it was a great experience; I was feeling as one with the nature and the ocean.
3. Christchurch – Earthquake and great music
Moved on to Christchurch where I went to the Darkroom and had my first concert with the band French for Rabbits. Folk music from New Zealand that performs the most fragile voice I have heard for a long time. Half of the town area in Christchurch is gone after the massive earthquake that had in 2011, people are still struggling with getting water in to their houses again. There is not much to see there – Have a day to see some of it.
On the Way to Queenstown – lunch break
5. Queenstown, where you go up or down?
I can’t put on Bungy jumping on my résumé, but maybe you can? Went on a thunder jet like a family trip instead of crazy adrenalin kick. Make sure you book the scary one, where you are almost colliding into the canyon mountain walls.
Then go horse tracking in some of the Lord of the Rings landscape.
Then go and eat New Zealand’s most famous burger – Ferg Burger!
Then go for a walk in the park by night and watch the stars.
Milford Sound (12 hour bus ride – Activity)
Milford Sound is breathtaking, with it fjords surrounded by mountain. Then again, I grew up a couple of hours from Geiranger fjord in Norway, which is amazing and huge. Milford was a beauty, for me personally – I never decide if I think it was worth the long bus journey. Then again, It ´s better to regret doing it then not doing it.
All the way down – All the way back
6. Nelson the Best Pizza in New Zealand and Sunday market
Nelson is such a lovely city. I can understand why my dad has this place in his memories. We went for Steffanos Pizza at the cinnamon, and it was packed with people that wanted this delicious pizza. I think we all agreed on that it´s the best pizza in New Zealand.
Sunday market was full of local fruit, plum, blueberry and peach, there was a free tasting. In the end, I decide to finish it out with a falafel wrap and then walk around in the city happy on food.
Kaiteriteri, for a refreshing time, with other words a freezing swim in the ocean. Then for a lovely glass of New Zealand with wine in the sun and great company.
At the night we went to Angkor Bar and had lovely food where to locals like to eat – seafood, green mussels, local fish and scallops.
7. Auckland with city life
Walk around and watch the city, find a place to have some great breakfast and just enjoy the city life. Or you take the ferry over to the other side of Auckland and see the city in a new perspective.
This way my list of 7 best places to visit in New Zealand, think my favorite places was Nelson and Queenstown. They were lovely. What I loved about Nelson was that, I was traveling with friends from my dad; they were showing me great places and a lot of kiwi love that warmed my heart and made it to the best part of the trip. The same goes for taking the ferry in Auckland over to Christina and meeting up with her and talk about Norway and New Zealand similarities – Mountains, Coffee and fjords. I always enjoy the country when being with locals and specially when they are friends.
The surprises on the 7 best places to visit in New Zealand, was for me the ferry ride from Wellington to Picton. It was unexpected that it would be so great and scenic. The other surprise was the bus stop we had up on the mountains on my way to Queenstown, it was a great break and fantastic Egg´s Benedict with a spectacular view.
7 Great places to visit in New Zealand
- Wellington – Walking tour
- Wellington to Picton – Ferry ride
- Kaikoura – Whale Watching or sea kayaking
- Christchurch – Earthquake history and great music
- Queenstown – Mildford Sound and Ferg Burger
- Nelson – Best Pizza in New Zealand and Sunday market
- Auckland – City life and Ferry to the other side
Where is your favorite place to visit in New Zealand?
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If you are not sure about why these are the 7 Best places to visit in New Zealand, well then check out the official website for New Zealand or the famous blogger Liz – YoungAdventuress, that actually decided to move to New Zealand. Maybe that can convince you and maybe you will make New Zealand a fact, not a dream.
P.S. Air New Zealand also have the funniest safety video on the airplanes.