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Natural Attractions New Zealand
New Zealand is a country of adventure and nature, it boasts some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world and is seen by many as the most beautiful and diverse country on earth.
Living in the shadow of its bigger, louder brother, Australia, New Zealand has been left to go about its business almost untouched. To give you an idea of the wonders of the country here is the top five natural attractions for visitors:
Milford Sound is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island, within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world's top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers' Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Rudyard Kipling had previously called it the eighth Wonder of the World
Go kayaking or hike the famous "Milford Track", commonly thought of as one of the most beautiful walks in the world.
Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve is on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand covering an area of 840 hectares (2,100 acres).
Cathedral Cove is named after the cave located there, linking Mare's Leg Cove to Cathedral Cove. Gemstone Bay and Stingray Bay are also located within the reserve. A walking track exists from the northern end of Hahei Beach, and it is also possible to walk from the local authority car park at the top of the headland between Hahei and Gemstone Bay. The area is very popular with tourists, and receives around 150,000 visitors per year.
Explore the beaches and cliffs surrounding this photographic coastal area.
Lake Pukaki, Canterbury
Lake Pukaki is the largest of three roughly parallel alpine lakes running north-south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin on New Zealand's South Island. The others are Lakes Tekapo and Ohau. All three lakes were created when the terminal moraines of receding glaciers blocked their respective valleys, forming moraine-dammed lakes.
The lake is fed at its northern end by the braided Tasman River, which has its source in the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers, close to Aoraki/Mount Cook. Good views of the mountain, 70 kilometres to the north can be had from the southern shore of the lake.
Lake Rotomahana is an 800-hectare (2,000-acre) lake in northern New Zealand, located 25 kilometres to the east of Rotorua.
The lake is a wildlife refuge, with all hunting of birds prohibited. A healthy population of black swan inhabits the lake, and there are efforts underway to ensure the lake's largest island, Patiti Island, is kept pest-free.
A boat cruise on the lake, visiting hydrothermal features on the lake's shore, is available as an additional extra from the Waimangu Volcanic Valley tourism operation.
Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson/Tasman
Abel Tasman National Park is a New Zealand national park located between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay at the north end of the South Island. It is named after Abel Tasman, who in 1642 became the first European explorer to sight New Zealand and who anchored nearby in Golden Bay.
Access to the park is usually via the small settlement of Marahau. The nearest large town is Motueka, 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the south.
The Catlins, Otago
The Catlins (sometimes referred to as The Catlins Coast) comprises an area in the southeastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The area lies between Balclutha and Invercargill, straddling the boundary between the Otago and Southland regions. It includes the South Island's southernmost point, Slope Point.
Fishing and tourism now account for much of the area's economy. The rugged natural scenery, sense of isolation, and natural attractions such as Cathedral Caves makes the Catlins a popular destination for weekend trips by people from Dunedin and Invercargill, the two nearest cities.
Pink and White Terraces
The Pink Terraces, or Otukapuarangi ("fountain of the clouded sky") in Maori, and the White Terraces, also known as Te Tarata ("the tattooed rock"), were natural wonders of New Zealand
The Pink and the White Terraces were 800 metres apart. The White Terraces were at the north end of Lake Rotomahana and faced away from the lake at the entrance to the Kaiwaka stream. They descended to the lake edge 40 metres below. The extra sunlight they received from facing north gave them a more bleached or white appearance.
Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is in the South Island of New Zealand near the town of Twizel. Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain and Aoraki/Mount Cook village lie within the park. The area was gazetted as a national park in October 1953 and consists of reserves that were established as early as 1887 to protect the area's significant vegetation and landscape.
Try to catch a sunrise over Hooker Lake.
Queen Charlotte Sound
Queen Charlotte Sound is the easternmost of the main sounds of the Marlborough Sounds, in New Zealand's South Island. It is, like the other sounds, a drowned river valley (or ria), and like the majority of its neighbours it runs southwest to northeast before joining Cook Strait.
Sail on the tranquil waters and stop for a picnic break on one of its many sandy shores.
Kaikoura Island (formerly known as Selwyn Island) lies to the west of Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand. Kaikoura Island is the seventh largest island in the Hauraki Gulf, 90 km (56 mi) north east of Auckland. It forms the natural harbours of Port FitzRoy and Port Abercrombie and is home to the endangered brown teal duck, the north island kaka as well as many native trees and shrubs.
Look for giant sperm whales on a whale watching trip.
Tongariro National Park
Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand, located in the central North Island. It has been acknowledged by UNESCO as one of the 28 mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Sites.
Be inspired by the spectacular volcanic terrain of Tongariro National Park. Did we mention the remarkable emerald-colored lakes?
Waiotapu (Maori for "sacred waters") is an active geothermal area at the southern end of the Okataina Volcanic Centre, just north of the Reporoa caldera, in New Zealand's Taupo Volcanic Zone. It is 27 kilometres south of Rotorua.
Not too far away is the Rotorua geothermal zone. You won't want to miss the Wai-O-Tapu hot springs which will give you even more volcanic activity with the colorful geothermal pools, Lady Knox geyser and the bubbling mud pools.
Franz Josef Glacier
The Franz Josef (Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere in Māori) is a 12 km (7.5 mi) long glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Together with the Fox Glacier 20 km (12 mi) to the south, and a third glacier, it descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level
Try your hand at climbing Franz Josef Glacier, a roughly 8-mile-long glacier that descends from the Southern Alps through rainforest to almost sea level.
Lake Tekapo is the second-largest of three roughly parallel lakes running north–south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island of New Zealand (the others are Lake Pukaki and Lake Ohau), about three hours drive south-west of Christchurch. It covers an area of 83 square kilometres (32 sq mi), and is at an altitude of 700 metres (2,300 ft) above sea level.
If you happen to be on the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin during November and December, you'll get the opportunity to see and smell the lupines on Lake Tekapo.
The lake is a popular tourist destination, and several resort hotels are located at the township of Lake Tekapo at the lake's southern end. The Lake Tekapo Regional Park, administered by Environment Canterbury, is located on the southern shore of the lake.
Another natural phenomenon called the "Pancake Rocks" can be seen at Punakaiki on the South Island's west coast. These limestone formations create a dazzling display where columns of water shoot skyward during high tide.
Relax in the naturally heated waters of Kerosene Creek, Rotorua, where hot spring and freshwater stream meet. Thirty five minutes south of Rotorua is Kerosene Creek, a geothermally heated stream where you can bathe and relax.
Hot water from a natural spring under the earth bubbles up into the cool waters of the creek, creating pleasantly warm waters. Swimmers have piled up small smooth rocks to create little hot pools beside the 2m waterfall.
Waitomo glow worm walk
This attraction does exactly what it says on the tin. The area is a haven for tourists who pay over the odds to enter the caves or sail down the river to witness this breath taking site. What they do not realise that a simple walk down the Ruakuri Natural Tunnel Walk will provide them with the same show for no fee. Whichever way you chose to witness this wonderful site, it will undoubtedly stay in your memories forever. Tens of thousands of glow worms come out at night to light your path, this site is truly impossible to picture until you have seen it with your own eyes.
This island is just a short ferry ride out of New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland. Visiting the Island will provide you with a breath taking view of the city from a truly picturesque island. The Island was created by a volcanic eruption around six hundred years ago, with the name Rangitoto meaning "bloody sky" in Maori.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
As is apparent upon arriving in the country, New Zealanders love to be at one with nature, there is nothing they like more than going for a walk, or a 'tramp' as they call it. The Tongariro crossing is a nineteen kilometre path that allows you to take in some astounding natural sites. The combination of the volcanic mountain range and the bright green lakes are so stunning they look fake.
This is something you find yourself thinking a lot while travelling around New Zealand, how can some of these sites be real?
Lake Wakatipu, Otago
Lake Wakatipu is an inland lake (finger lake) in the South Island of New Zealand. It is in the southwest corner of the Otago Region, near its boundary with Southland.
With a length of 80 kilometres (50 mi), it is New Zealand's longest lake, and, at 291 km2 (112 sq mi), its third largest. The lake is also very deep, its floor being below sea level, with a maximum depth of 380 metres (1,250 ft). It is at an altitude of 310 metres (1,020 ft), towards the southern end of the Southern Alps.
Mangawhai Heads, Northland
Mangawhai is a locality in Northland, New Zealand around the Mangawhai Harbour. The township of Mangawhai is at the south west extent of the harbour, and the township of Mangawhai Heads is 5 km north east. Kaiwaka is 13 km south west, and Waipu is 20 km north west of Mangawhai Heads
Castlepoint is a small beachside town on the Wairarapa coast of the Wellington Region of New Zealand. It is home to a lighthouse which stands near the top of the northern end of a reef. The reef is about one kilometer long. At the southern end of the reef, there is an island known locally as "seagull island", due to its large population of seagulls. The southern side of Castle Rock is known as Christmas Bay. Castlepoint is approximately one hour's drive from Masterton
The Castle Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse near the village of Castle point in the Wellington Region of the North Island of New Zealand
Sterling Falls, Southland
One of the Must See New Zealand Waterfalls, Stirling Falls, second name Waimanu Falls, is the most magnificent waterfall in the world's famous Milford Sound. Accessible via a Milford Sound Cruise or a Milford Sound Scenic Flight.
From Te Anau follow Milford Road (SH94) , one of the most scenic and 'waterfalls' road in New Zealand. Also you'll need to drive through the famous Hommer Tunnel, built in 1954. Drive up to the end of SH94 where you'll find a huge free carpark. Here, you'll require to leave your car and walk (about 10min one way) to the Information Center.
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