The 6 Most Interesting New Zealand Tourist Attractions to Visit in 2022

February 15th, 2023

If you want to explore New Zealand tourist attractions, you’re in for a ride. A place where ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was shoot, NZ is a place of surreal beauty. Rated tourist attractions include gorgeous fjords, steamy water springs, long waterfalls, and huge geysers. You won’t be bored with other New Zealand attractions as well.

Long beaches, icy glaciers, and pure, raw wilderness are perfect places for hikers and adrenaline junkies. The dramatic topography of this rugged land allowed jet boating, luging, hiking, water rafting, skydiving, mountain biking, and heli-skiing to become some of the most popular tourist activities in New Zealand.

But that’s just the beginning of NZ’s story. Imagine the highest bungee jump on the planet. You’ll find it in New Zealand. In this travel guide, we’ll explore all these Zealand tourist attractions. We’ll also talk about its customs, money culture, and Covid-19 rules if you’re planning to travel there soon.

1. Tongariro Park

Tongariro National Park is one of the most famous New Zealand tourist attractions for The Lord of the Rings fans. It’s the “home” of Sauron and the place where Mount Doom scenes were shot. Follow Frodo’s footsteps and experience yourself how it is like tracking through Mordor. You’ll be in awe of its arid, barren volcanic landscape.

Even more by its surprisingly colorful lakes. It’s no wonder that such an otherworldly location in NZ was selected as one of the New Zealand attractions you should visit. Don’t forget to pay homage to Lake Taupo while you’re there if you like picnics. Taranaki Falls and lines of volcanic eruptions are a must as well. You can reach this National park from Auckland by bus. You’ll likely need seven hours to reach the park.

2. Museum of New Zealand

The Museum of NZ is located in Wellington. People call it Te Papa. It’s a fresh cultural organization that’s a world leader in interactive experiences, which is why we’ve included it in our travel guide of New Zealand tourist attractions.

Here you can learn about New Zealand’s nature, Maori history, and more. Te Papa is located right at the waterfront and hosts a broad range of lessons, live performances, and more. You can also view traveling art exhibitions from all over the globe.

3. Rotorua

Rotorua has one of the most dramatic topographies of all of New Zealand’s tourist attractions. You can find it in the Pacific Ring of Fire. The name holds true - boiling pools of mud, hot geysers, huge thermal springs, and volcanic crates provide a delightful trekking experience. If trekking over rough landscapes is your thing. If not, why not rest in hot, mineral-rich mud pools?

When this bores you, you can always try your luck with luging, mountain biking, and skydiving. No wonder Rotorua is on every list of New Zealand tourist attractions for adventure lovers. Don’t forget to visit Champagne Pool and Lady Know Geyser while you’re there. And try your luck with trout fishing.

4. Maritime Park in Bay of Islands

This park extends from Whangaroa in the north to Whangaruru in the south. It’s a delightful turquoise range of hot coastal water that includes around 150 islands. Maritime Park is also the home of whales and dolphins, placing it on top of New Zealand tourist attractions you should visit. In fact, its sub-tropical waters make it the key reason why tourists visit north of Auckland.

New Zealand Tourist Attractions

Enjoy scenic boat trips and cruises. Or take tours on kayak from the Bay of Islands key cities Paihia and Russell and visit various small islands in the bay. You can even explore hidden coves for a discrete swimming experience. If you like to film sea life, Maritime Park is one of the top tourist attractions in New Zealand you must see.

The most important places of the park are Urupukapuka Island and Cape Brett. The latter is famous as a secluded lighthouse. And you’ll have to sail through the famous Hole in the Rock to visit the island.

5. Glowworm Caves of Waitomo

If you decide to float through the caves of Waitomo, you’re in for a treat. The only thing needed is to look at the ceiling and walls. The vibrant galaxy of tiny glowing worms will take you away. It all looks like you’re sailing through space. The caves have been one of the most famous New Zealand tourist attractions since the 1880s.

You should definitely not miss this location when visiting different New Zealand attractions. You can find the cave two hours away from Auckland, North Island. It’s easy to schedule a tour on different boats that will take you to these magical coves.

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6. Queenstown

Queenstown is snuggled between the snowy peaks of Remarkables and the vibrant Wakatipu lake. It’s one of the best New Zealand tourist attractions for adventurers. Bungee jumps, rafting on water, rock climbing, jet boats, paragliders, downhill skiing, and rock climbing are just some of the things you can try. You can even explore the stunning mountain ranges of Remarkables.

What Is the Number 1 Tourist Attraction in New Zealand?

Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound is the #1 among Zealand tourist attractions. It’s a World Heritage Site and has a spectacular landscape. It owns this to glaciers that sculpted this rough land over millions of years. You can visit the famous fjords of Dusky, Milford, and Doubtful Sounds here. Not to mention tropical islands, hot rain forests, a huge swath of lakes, high mountain peaks, and cascading waterfalls.

What Are 3 Things that NZ Is Famous For?

New Zealand is famous for Manuka honey, sheep, and wine. Manuka honey is a special kind of honey bees produce from Manuka, which only grows in NZ. Manuka honey farms are definitely a New Zealand tourist attraction too.

NZ is also home to 29 million sheep. You can find sheep farms all over NZ. Wine is the last famous thing in NZ. In fact, NZ has 10 wine regions. However, Martinborough, Hawks Bay, and Marlborough are major tourist attractions in New Zealand for true wine connoisseurs.

What Should I Not Miss in New Zealand?

The best New Zealand tourist attractions you shouldn’t miss out on based on our guide include rated tourist attractions in North and South Island:

Rated Tourist Attractions in North Island

  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Tongariro Park
  • Rotorua
  • Hobbiton
  • Mount Maunganui
  • Waiheke Island
  • Napier
  • Lake Taupo
  • Huka Falls
  • Downtown Auckland
  • Museum of New Zealand

Rated Tourist Attractions in South Island

  • Lake Wanaka
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Doubtful Sound
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Milford Sound
  • Lake Wakatipu
  • Christchurch
  • Mount Cook
  • Fox Glacier
  • Queenstown

NZ Travel Guide - What You Should Know Before Visiting

If you want to visit New Zealand tourist attractions and this gorgeous country, here’s what you should know before going.

Customs Travel Guide

New Zealand Customs are unique because they’re allowed not only to examine all goods and luggage you’re carrying across the border but your electronic devices as well. This rule has been applied since 1996 and includes devices such as iPads, mobiles, tablets, laptops, hard drives, and cameras.

But before they ask for your electronic device, Customs officers have to point out circumstances or facts providing ‘reasonable doubt’ constituting the search. They may also select you for sampling purposes to improve their knowledge on traveling compliance levels.

Covid Travel Guide

New Zealand applies its own COVID-19 Protection Framework that’s in effect across various regions in New Zealand. Since January 7, 2022, people traveling by air, besides those from most Pacific Islands and Antarctica, need a negative RT-PCR or PCR COVID-19 test. The test must be completed within 48 hours of your first flight.

You also won’t have quarantine-free travel and must spend 10 days in the MIQ facility. If you’re traveling by sea, check the info here.

Money Travel Guide

Money culture in this country isn’t much different from other first-world countries. It’s moving toward a cashless society. You don’t have to carry a high amount of cash when visiting New Zealand tourist attractions.

Most New Zealanders don’t carry money at all and use debit cards for purchasing. You don’t have to tip in New Zealand, including restaurants, coffee shops, bars, or taxis. Of course, you can always recognize a good service by tipping.

New Zealand Currency Travel Guide

The official currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar. It has various notes:

  • $5
  • $10
  • $20
  • $50
  • $100

You’ll see they have two different bills in circulation. The newer ones are made from polymer (plastic) and sport different key New Zealand people. They also have coins that come in the following denominations:

  • 10c
  • 20c
  • 50c
  • $1
  • $2

Exchange Your Cash On-time

How much the New Zealand dollar is worth compared to other currencies depends on different factors and changes daily. That’s why it’s a good idea you exchange currency online. You can do it right here at US First Exchange.

You’ll be able to buy or sell New Zealand dollars anytime you want. Night or day. On any device as well. We can deliver high-quality banknotes right to your door within 24 - 48 of your order.

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