New Zealand is a relatively small country, but with huge diversity. From lush rolling hills, glacial lakes, sub-tropical rainforest to snow-capped mountains, native wildlife and fascinating culture. The whole country is extraordinary. Therefore, to help you decide, we have made a list of some of our most favourite regions.
Which regions should you visit in New Zealand?
Depending on how much time you have, you will most likely need to make some choices of which regions you would most like to visit. We can advise you on which regions are best suited to your interests. And, we highly recommend travelling at a slow pace, getting to know each region like a local.
Discover the remarkable, North Island
Bay of Plenty
Golden beaches, ancient rainforests, mystical lakes and volcanic geysers. A diverse region where the Māori culture is deeply embedded. Listen to legends and stories from local Māori. And, experience a traditional feast called a Hangi.
Central Plateau & Tongariro
In the heart of the North Island, is a natural wonder with three active volcanoes - Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe. Home to the oldest national park in New Zealand - Tongariro National Park. And, one of the best day hikes in the world - Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Discover the laid-back vibes on the Coromandel Peninsula, where pristine beaches meet misty forests. A popular spot for locals, you will experience the quintessential Kiwi beach lifestyle. Hike the Pinnacles, explore Cathedral Cove or spend your days on the glistening water - kayaking, sailing, snorkelling and fishing.
East Cape & Gisborne
A remote region on the east coast of the North Island, but that makes it all the more special. It’s the first place in the world to see the sunrise. Gisborne is home to vineyards, golden beaches, good surf and Māori villages. The East Cape is sparsely populated with many bays, that can be enjoyed often uninterrupted. Nature, culture and fine wine - what more could you ask for?
A place that is renowned for sunshine, fruitful vineyards and award-winning wineries. Go back in time to the 1930s, with a visit to the Art Deco-styled, Napier. Te Mata Peak offers spectacular views of the region or for a seaside escape, spend the day at Waimarama Beach. Visit the impressive gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers or groove to live music at Black Barn Vineyards.
Boasts a sub-tropical climate, diverse landscape ranging from pristine white beaches to rugged coastline and holds immense Māori significance. With a large Māori population, strong tradition and culture, it's the perfect region to integrate and learn about the indigenous people of New Zealand. It is the home of Tane Mahuta - the Lord of the Forest, a giant Kauri tree located in the Waipoua Forest.
An adventure hub, bubbling with outdoor activities. Venture into Egmont National Park to discover walking tracks with lush rainforest, waterfalls and soaring views of Mount Taranaki. Mount Taranaki is the most distinctive and iconic volcano in New Zealand and makes for a striking backdrop. The rugged coastline also produces some of New Zealand’s best surf.
"Whether you’re a passionate hiker or simply enjoy being outdoors, Taranaki has plenty of options.”Laura, Product & pricing
The South Island, a natural wonderland
Discover secluded bays, islands, golden beaches, and marine life such as seals, penguins and dolphins. An outdoor adventurer's dream and a coastal paradise featuring granite and marble rock formations. Explore the coastline and lush native forest by foot, go sailing on a catamaran or paddle through the crystal blue water in a kayak.
"We love Abel Tasman for the sunny hills, dotted with vineyards, olive groves, cafes, galleries, the sea, rivers and the mountains."Local hosts, Alastair and Fiona
Diverse landscapes, stretching from the ocean to the mountains. The impressive Southern Alps mountain range makes for a beautiful backdrop. Arthurs Pass and Aoraki/ Mount Cook National Parks offer magical hiking and cycling tracks as well as skiing in the winter months. And, a great place to experience the day-to-day rural life of a farmer and their animals.
Fiordland National Park
Named on the UNESCO World Heritage List - this region is not to be missed. Unforgettable hikes, nature, wildlife and home to both the Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound fiords. Explore the national park on foot, by kayak, on an overnight boat or for the ultimate views, take a scenic flight over the region.
A vibrant alpine town, set around Lake Wanaka. The crystal clear waters are ideal for fly fishing, boat cruises, jet boating, kayaking and swimming. And, the ultimate outdoor base to explore the Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring National Park.
It’s all about wine and nature. Spend your days vineyard-hopping and tasting world-famous Sauvignon Blanc, among other delicious wines, fresh seafood and local delicacies. A magical network of waterways with scattered islands, secluded bays and clear blue waters make up the Marlborough Sounds. Love the outdoors? Kayak, cycle and hike through the diverse landscape and soak up the views.
A beautiful, rugged corner of New Zealand - where the countryside meets the wild ocean. Rolling hills dotted with sheep, lush rainforest and remote coastline. Featuring some of the best surf in the country. At Curio Bay, you can swim with rare Hector’s dolphins. Spot yellow-eyed penguins, fur seals and sun-bathing sea lions in their natural habitat.
"From the moment you enter the canopy of native bush that is our driveway in The Catlins, you enter another world."Local hosts, Lyndon and Gill
New Zealand’s third-largest island is situated 30-kilometres south of the South Island. Travel back in time, visiting Stewart Island is like New Zealand was 50 years ago. Experience the wild beauty with dense forest, rugged coastline and sandy beaches. There is a good chance of spotting Kiwis in their natural habitat, with 85% of the island being part of Rakiura National Park.
A wild and rugged region that stretches down the west coast of the South Island. Unpredictable weather conditions add to the excitement. Conquer the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, walk through ancient forest and along the dramatic coastline to see the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Soak up the wilderness that surrounds the region. Indulge in freshly caught seafood!
"Route 6, from Haast to Westport is a road trip you'll never forget. With the Tasman Sea on your left and the Southern Alps on your right."Nicole, Travel specialist
Would you like more information about visiting these regions? Or other regions? We are happy to meet with you at your most convenient time and discuss all the possibilities.
Discover more about New Zealand
New Zealand features some of the best scenic drives in the world. And that is why we recommend travelling through… read more
All the things you love
and none of the things you don't
Our local knowledge makes the difference for your bespoke holiday through New Zealand or Australia. Your Journey Down Under starts here.
We would love to discuss your dream journey