New Zealand is known for its amazing natural wonders including national parks, world-class beaches perfect for skiing and surfing as well as mountainous sides for an exhilarating bungee jumping and sky-diving.
However, not many know New Zealand also boasts wonderful attractions that are rarely talked about.
From the popular Hobbiton, the real Hobbit village in Matamata to the highest peak in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, Mount Cook, here are the top seven places to visit on your next trip to New Zealand:
Featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, this place surely tops the list with all of the props and set of the Hobbit village remain the same as in the films
Hobbiton was originally a set built for the movie but it was then left as a tourist attraction
Even if you are not a fan of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, this village is still one-of-a-kind that you will never find elsewhere
2. Lake Wanaka
Its outstanding beauty will quickly capture anyone who visits the lake. Wanaka is located in the South Island in New Zealand, just within close proximity to Mount Aspiring National Park, making it the ultimate destination for nature lovers
There, you could also witness the country’s most photographed tree, Wanaka’s Willow that stands in isolation in the middle of the lake.
With the majestic Southern Alps as the background, it is not a surprise that many photographers visited the lake just to capture the stunning image of the “Lone Tree of Lake Wanaka”
3. Waitomo Glowworm Cave
Have you ever seen worms glow from the ceiling just like fairy lights?
If you have not seen anything like that, Waitomo Glowworm Cave is definitely the place you want to include in your itinerary
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves is a cave at Waitomo on the North Island of New Zealand.
Known for its population of Arachnocampa luminosa, a glowworm species found exclusively in New Zealand, this cave serves as a unique attraction that will make you feel like you just wander into a fairytale
This cave is part of the Waitomo Caves system that includes the Ruakuri Cave and the Aranui Cave which is accessible by boat
Located in one of the most picturesque places in New Zealand, Arrowtown was once a busy gold mining town during the height of Otago gold rush
There are still beautiful cottages, shops, hotels and churches built in the 1800s that are well-preserved in the historic town
A special highlight of the town is the Chinese settlement at the end of Arrow River which was built by Chinese miners in 1868.
5. Lake Tekapo
A part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo is located in the Mackenzie Basin where you can admire the turqoise-colored lake and the mountains of the Southern Alps
It is also the perfect location for stargazing as visitors can stargaze the pristine night skies at Dark Sky Project
Dark Sky Project is located in the heart of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve in the world and the first to be awarded gold tier status
6. Lake Pukaki
Dubbed as the “Most Beautiful Lake in New Zealand”, Lake Pukaki is iconic for its high mountain peaks of Mount Cook
It is also famous for its bright-turquoise colored glacial alpine lakes thanks to the extremely fine rock particles from the surrounding glaciers
Lake Pukaki is the largest of the three alpine lakes in the Mackenzie Basin on the South Island of New Zealand.
7. Mount Cook
Mount Cook is the highest peak in the Southern Alps of New Zealand with a staggering height of 3,724 meters. Its mountain peaks are usually covered with snow all year round
New Zealand’s mountaineer Sir Edmund Hilary is famously known for climbing the mountain in his preparation to conquer Mount Everest.
There are also several hiking trails in the mountain range such as Tasman Glacier Lookout, Hooker Valley and Sealy Tarns for hikers who prefer relatively flat paths and more relaxing hiking experience
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