My 5 Favorite Views in New Zealand

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New Zealand is full of beautiful views.

From snow-capped mountains, to untouched beaches, to geothermal wonders, to lush rainforests, to rugged coastlines, to colorful towns… need I go on?

Though it's really difficult to chose my “favorite” views and landscapes in this picturesque country, I've narrowed it down to the 5 that I find to be most memorable.

My 5 Favorite Views in New Zealand

Top of the North

Cape Reinga
Te Paki Sand Dunes
Cape Maria van Diemen

The Northland Region of New Zealand — full of beaches, forests, and gently-rolling hills under a big blue sky — has some of my favorite views in the country. Whether it's the golden sand dunes along 90 Mile Beach, the Tasman meeting the Pacific at Cape Reinga, or the towering old kauri trees in nearby forests, Northland has a lot to offer someone who loves nature and the untouched beauty of undeveloped land.

Wellington

Oriental Bay

It's no secret that Wellington — New Zealand's political and cultural capital — is my favorite city in the world. Whether it's taking a stroll along the waterfront, visiting the lookout at the top of Mount Victoria, or riding the historic cable car up to the botanic gardens, some of my favorite views in New Zealand are located right in downtown Wellington. It's no wonder that Lonely Planet once called Welly “the coolest little capital in the world.”

Above the Southern Alps

Flying over the Southern Alps in New Zealand

Southern Alps

There really is nothing quite as breathtaking as soaring over snow-capped mountains and crystal-clear alpine lakes on a perfect, blue-skied day. I had the chance to do just that over New Zealand's craggy Southern Alps between Milford Sound and Queenstown, and it ranks up there as one of my most memorable NZ experiences.

Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand

Lake Wakatipu
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown calls itself “New Zealand's Adventure Capital” — and I would have to agree. Here you can do everything from bungy jumping to jetboating to skydiving. But, along with being home to a slew of extreme sports, Queenstown also has some of the most spectacular views of any city in New Zealand. With green hills and the blue waters of Lake Wakatipu set before the backdrop of the Remarkables mountain range, it's hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else when you're here.

The Wind-Swept Southern Coast

The Catlins Coast

If you do one road trip in New Zealand, pick this one — the Southern Scenic Route through the Catlins along the coast of the country's South Island. It only takes about a day to drive, but there's so much to see that you could let it last much longer. I wore out my camera battery on this drive, and it's not difficult to understand why with coastlines and landscapes like this.

What are some of YOUR favorite views in New Zealand? Did any of them make my list?

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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