How was New Zealand formed geographically

Articles from the "Current" section | | 03/30/2020 | ± 8 minutes reading time

If you want to visit a country with a breathtakingly beautiful landscape, New Zealand, with its surprising and varied landscapes, is your perfect travel destination.

New Zealand, famous for the haka - the ceremonial dance performed by the All Blacks' national rugby team - and the film adaptation of the Lord of the Rings epic, has a lot to offer. The land of the kiwis has a population of almost 4.8 million people (776,000 of them Maori) and consists of two large islands that are becoming more popular with nature lovers from year to year. The North Island, on which the majority of the population lives, is characterized by subtropical forests, hills and volcanoes, while the South Island with its rainforests, glaciers and mountain ranges has a somewhat rougher landscape.

It is difficult to pinpoint the most rewarding among the many beautiful places and activities New Zealand has to offer. We have here for you the 15 most beautiful places of the "Land of the Long White Cloud" (Aotearoa in Māori).

1. The Northland Peninsula and the Bay of Islands

As the name suggests, this region is located in the far north of the North Island. As these regions are located in the subtropical part of the country, there is an abundance of natural beauty to be found, such as the charming coastal towns of Paihia and Russel and the northern tip of New Zealand: Cape Reinga. There's no better way to get there than via that Ninety Mile Beach to drive. Note, however, that Ninety Mile Beach is basically not a street, but a beach that is officially accessible by all-wheel drive vehicles. The use by vehicles is expressly at your own risk and over and over again cocky drivers get stuck in the sand or in the water, which regularly ends with the loss of the car in the flood.

Don't forget that when you visit the Bay of Islands Waitangi Treaty Grounds to visit where the Waitangi Treaty was signed in 1840. With this treaty, which was signed by 45 Māori chiefs of the northern tribes and Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson as representative of the British crown, New Zealand officially became a colony and thus belonged to the British Empire. These historical sites are the best opportunity to learn about the Māori and their way of life before and after the arrival of British settlers. Catch a musical performance by the Māori or learn about their war canoes while taking in panoramic views of the Bay of Islands.

2. Coromandel

A little bit south of the Notrhland Peninsula is the Coromandel Peninsula, which some consider to be the most beautiful part of New Zealand. The very touristy one Cathedral Cove definitely worth a visit but be sure to check the tide map first to get the right time. A few kilometers away is Hot Water Beach. This beach owes its name to the water that penetrates to the surface of the earth. In some places, this water can be almost piping hot because of the hot springs located under the beach. You can dig your own hot water bath here. If you haven't brought your own shovel, you can also rent one here. If you want to move away from the standard tourist attractions, visit the northernmost tip of the peninsula (north of Colville), where beautiful scenery after the other presents itself to you.

3. Rotorua

The city of Rotorua is located a little to the north as seen from the center of the North Island in an area with a lot of geothermal activity of volcanic origin. Rotorua is without a doubt one of New Zealand's most amazing cities. Noteworthy are the seething mud puddles, which can be found in the Kuirau Park can be found in the city. Near Rotorua there are a number of places where warm springs have formed ponds and terraces colored by minerals, one of which is the geothermal park Wai-O-Tapu the most famous is. A visit to this park is highly recommended.

4. Taranaki

Taraniki is an area in the west of the North Island and named after its main geographical feature: Mount Taraniki, a 2,518 meter high dormant volcano that forms the center of the Egmont National Park. The area is perfect for beautiful walks. Real adventurers can choose to hike to the top. The recommended (one-day) hiking trails include Veronica Loop, Maketawa Track and Pouakai Crossing.

5. Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-see destination for many tourists visiting New Zealand. Every morning an incredible number of people hike on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing: a 19.4 kilometer climb to the top of Mount Tongariro. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing Widely regarded as one of the best day hikes in the world, other routes are also worthwhile, such as the one to the Taranaki Falls and the Tama Lakes. In summer, hiking and climbing are the most popular activities in this area, in winter skiing and snowboarding: after all, who doesn't want to ski on a volcano?

6. Hawke’s Bay

There is enough to do in the Hawke's Bay area: bike rides, vineyards, beaches, architecture ... Stroll the Art Deco streets of Napier or rent a bike to explore the diversity of the area. Hike to the top of the Te Mata Peak in Havelock North, from where you have a magnificent view of the wide area or relax on the beautiful beach of Ocean Beach.

7. Wellington

In Wellington, the capital of New Zealand named after the Duke of Wellington, the weather is pretty extreme. It is not for nothing that the city is nicknamed "the windiest city in the world". Many cultural and artistic events take place here, and a visit to the New Zealand National Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, definitely worth it for both young and old.

8. Christchurch

After the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, the city found Christchurch again. It is a multifaceted city where culture and natural beauty coexist in harmony. Spend an afternoon in the Botanical Gardens, take a gondola ride on the River Avon, stroll or visit the city in search of the many street art Canterbury Museum to learn more about the history, people and nature of the area.

9. Queenstown and Wanaka

Queenstown and Wanaka are cities that don't ignore adrenaline junkies: skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding ... the possibilities are endless! All of this in a beautiful region characterized by lakes, vineyards and mountains. The hiking trails in this area with its idyllic landscape are very varied and in winter you can ski on the surrounding mountains.

10. Mackenzie District

The two lakes, Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, which are located in the heart of the Mackenzie District, attract many tourists because of the beautiful, intense blue of the water that can hardly be described. Another landmark of the region is Mount Cook, at 3,724 meters the highest mountain in New Zealand. One of the most popular hiking trails in this area is the Hooker Valley Track.

11. The Catlins

The Catlins are an area in the extreme south of the South Island and the most remote area of ​​New Zealand. Nature is completely preserved here and you can admire seals, sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins. The lighthouse of Nugget Point and the surrounding beaches are absolutely beautiful, and a visit to the petrified forest on the beach of Curio Bay it's worth it.

12. Milford Sound

A trip to New Zealand is not complete without a visit to the famous Milford Sound. This fjord with its countless waterfalls is one of the most spectacular places in the country. The Miter Peak is the highest point at 1,692 meters. A boat trip in this beautiful area is very impressive, even in bad weather. You might even be lucky enough to see some dolphins!

13. West Coast

There is only one road along the west coast of the South Island and it crosses the two most famous glaciers in New Zealand: the Franz Josef Glacier and the Fox Glacier. Further north you can in Punakaiki stop by and see the famous Pancake rocks admire a breathtaking rock formation overlooking the sea.

14. Abel Tasman

In the far north of the South Island is the Abel Tasman National Park, named after the Dutch sailor who discovered it in 1642. Here you can also find the Abel Tasman Coast Track, a 60-kilometer hiking route along the beautiful blue sea water. Real athletes and daredevils hike the whole route and spend the night in a hut in between, but you can also rent a kayak or use various ship transport companies that drop you off wherever you want on the way.

15. Nelson Lakes National Park

Nelson Lakes National Park offers a very different setting. The park is for its glacial lakes Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoroa famous. This national park is less touristy, but definitely worth a visit. It's the perfect place to rent a kayak or boat and take in the beautiful mountain scenery from there.

If you are convinced and want to visit this beautiful country then apply for your New Zealand visa now.

Please note: This article from our “News” section about the New Zealand visa is more than a year old. It may contain outdated information and advice and we can no longer guarantee the content of this article. Are you going to travel soon and would you like to know which rules currently apply? Then read all the latest information about the New Zealand visa.