A land of great contrast, New Zealand offers beautiful scenery, beautiful coastlines, and world-class cities.
While many tourists travel here to experience the stunning natural attractions, many discover that it is actually a country that also has a strong metropolitan feel.
New Zealand is decoratively dotted with pleasant cities; some large and some charming and small. Driving between these cities will reward you with some of the most pristine wilderness you will ever encounter.
New Zealand’s must-see cities include:
Known as the “Adventure Capital of the World”, Queenstown may be small, but it is one not to be missed. Queenstown is New Zealand’s premier ski destination as it is surrounded by beautiful mountains and crystal clear lakes.
Queenstown is also a springboard for activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, and white water rafting, making it a must for anyone looking for a natural shot of adrenaline.
Like Queenstown, Rotorua is also a city with “world-first” adventure experiences. Claiming to capture the best of New Zealand in one, Rotorua is a city that encompasses the best of both natural and man-made attractions.
Most people travel to Rotorua to experience Maori culture and the geothermal Earth forces, which are one of the most landslide experiences you could ever have. Rotorua also has some incredible mountains and lakes, with mountain biking as a popular time.
Nelson is a center for arts and crafts and is known for the annual Nelson Arts Festival. The city is also home to some fantastic beaches and a sheltered harbor, where kayaking is a popular time.
The Nelson region also covers the picturesque coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park, a must-see when visiting the South Island.
The residents of Dunedin describe it as a “bustling city surrounded by a gigantic outdoor playground”, and this cannot be true. The most notable natural highlight is, of course, the Otago Peninsula, which is home to some of New Zealand’s most fascinating wildlife.
Dunedin also considers itself one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian towns in the Southern Hemisphere, ensuring the architectural beauty of Europe without the crowds.
One of New Zealand’s major centers for business, international trade, culture, fashion, education and entertainment, Tauranga is also one of the fastest-growing cities.
Every year, Tauranga organizes the National Jazz Festival, which draws visitors from far and wide. Tourists are confronted with beautiful mountain and coastal scenery, along with a wide variety of exciting things to see and do.
Located in Hawke’s Bay, Napier is a port city with an incredible landscape and fantastic wineries. Often associated with Hastings City, Napier is a popular tourist city with a unique concentration of 1930s Art Deco architecture.
Napier is also known for the wide variety of water sports, including waterskiing, windsurfing, kayaking, and parasailing.
Located in the Waikato region of the North Island, Hamilton has a wide variety of city attractions and offers everything a metropolitan center should have.
The Hamilton Gardens are a particularly popular spot with unique garden contrasts and idyllic settings. The zoo is another hot spot, where tourists can discover a whole new animal world.
New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, is a city of pleasing contrasts and a charming, cosmopolitan feel. Situated on the edge of a harbor, Wellington is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and wonderful natural attractions.
Explore nature, shop until you drop, taste good food and walk through beautiful vineyards; Wellington has it all.
Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and is located just north of the Banks Peninsula. The city is centered around the beautiful Cathedral Square; an area that is a must for every Christchurch tourist.
Some of New Zealand’s best experiences start here, including the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, numerous ski resorts, and swimming with dolphins.
Auckland is at the top of the list of the largest cities in New Zealand; New Zealand’s best city for breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches, idyllic holiday islands, great food, wine and shopping, and vibrant nightlife.
Explore the city’s many galleries and museums, get out into nature and experience the coastline or take to the water on a sailing or kayaking expedition.