New Zealand is a vast country rich with scenic grandeur on a magnificent scale. From busy cities to towering mountains to rushing blue streams, splendor is always on display in NZ. Although this is only a small sample of what the country has to offer, here are arguably the 10 most beautiful views in New Zealand:
10. Nugget Point Lighthouse
This beautiful lighthouse sits on Nugget Point in the Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island overlooking rocky islets (aka the Nuggets). Construction on the lighthouse began in 1869 and it was first lit in 1870. It has seen some upgrades over the years going from having an oil lamp to electric 1000 w lamp and then being replaced with an LED beacon in 2006.
9. Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove is a marine reserve located on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula covering 2,100 acres. While there are amazing sights to take in throughout the reserve, one of the most famous is of the rock arch formations along the coast. This area is popular with tourists and receives about 150,000 visitors per year.
8. Queenstown Skyline Gondola
One of the best ways to get a birds eye view of the city of Queenstown is by taking a ride up the Skyline gondola. The ride is reportedly the steepest cable car in the southern hemisphere and takes passengers up 450 meters above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to Bob’s Peak. Along the way you’ll enjoy 220 degree views and at the top there are viewing platforms and a bar and restaurant.
7. Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland
This stunning area of geothermal activity in Rotorua is something that really must be seen to truly be experienced. One of the most amazing views in the park is of Champagne Pool, a hot spring that was formed over 900 years ago by a hydrothermal eruption. While amazing looking, one dip in this pool could spell disaster as it’s rich in carbon dioxide (which causes it to bubble and fizz) arsenic and sulfides.
6. Auckland Sky Tower
What better way to see the city of Auckland than from 720 feet above it? The Auckland Sky Tower is an observation building and communications tower in the city’s CBD. At 1,076 feet tall, it stands as the tallest man-made structure in the southern hemisphere. While there are several observation decks and restaurants here, the ultimate view is the Skyjump -a 630 foot jump off the tower.
5. Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, Gibbston
One of the most beautiful views in New Zealand also happens to be the birth place of commercial bungy jumping, and we don’t think this was any accident either. The Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge crosses over the Kawarau River and offers jumpers (or just spectators) with breathtaking views of the gorge in all its natural glory.
4. Tasman Glacier Lake, Mount Cook National Park
Tasman Lake is located in Mount Cook National Park on the country’s South Island. The lake is formed by the retreat of the Tasman Glacier and in the 1970s there was no lake at all. By 1990 the Lake was fully formed and it’s estimated that the lake will reach maximum size in the next 10-20 years. Unfortunately there’s a limited time left to see this amazing glacial view.
3. Castle Hill, Arthur’s Pass
This rugged rock formation can be found on New Zealand’s South Island within Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area. The formation got its name from the fact that the limestone boulders throughout the area resemble the ruins of an old castle. Fun facts: the front of the Christchurch Cathedral was made with limestone from Castle Hill and in 2002, the Dalai Lama named this spot a “Spiritual Center of the Universe.”
2. Clay Cliffs, Omarama
Another mammoth rock formation, the Clay Cliffs in Omarama are about 4 hours southwest of the city of Christchurch. These sharp rock pinnacles were formed by layers of silt and gravel deposited by the rivers of melting glaciers between 1-2 million years ago. This is one on those views that seems to be almost out of place on this planet.
1. Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park
Arguably the most spectacular view in the whole country, Milford Sound is a fiordland with spectacular scenery all around you. Located 15 kilometers inland from the Tasman Sea, this magical place has received many accolades including World’s Top Travel Destination by Tripadvisor and Rudyard Kipling once called it the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”