International travel is well and truly back so if you’re looking for an affordable break, then a trip across the ditch to visit our kiwi cousins is a great option. And if you’re wondering where the best spots to visit are, we’ve complied our favourite NZ holiday destinations right here.
Rotorua is a destination with dramatic topography. It's known for its geothermal features, and its main attractions include steaming geysers, colourful rock formations, boiling mud pools, thermal springs and volcanic craters. Thanks to this unique structure, you'll find heaps of resorts and parks around with hot spring bath facilities. And if you have an adventurous soul, there are plenty of exhilarating activities to enjoy such as skydiving, trekking, mountain biking, and white-water rafting. Rotorua is an attack on your senses – most notably your sense of smell. All of that geothermal activity releases a distinct sulphuric odour that’s akin to the smell of rotten eggs, so you’ll certainly know when you’ve arrived at your destination!
With over 200 vineyards, Hawke's Bay is one of New Zealand's premier wine-producing regions. But it's also famous for its sunny climate, food, art deco, and the largest gannet colony in the world. Napier City is a particular spot that’s worth a visit, and it’s a holiday destination that’s well-known for its gourmet food and art deco-designed buildings.
After a massive earthquake in the early 1930s destroyed most of the town, it was rebuilt in the art deco architecture of the day, and now serves as one of the city's main tourist attractions. If you enjoy getting into nature and doing a spot of bird watching (of the feathered kind that is), then plan a visit to the world-famous gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers Reserve, where you’ll encounter more than 20,000 gannets in their natural habitat.
Tongariro National Park
Here’s what to expect when you visit Tongariro, New Zealand’s oldest national park – active volcanoes, hot springs, turquoise lakes, herb fields, lush meadows, and dramatic landscapes. No wonder it’s a dual World Heritage area; a status that recognises the park’s important Maori cultural roots as well as it’s volcanic geography.
It’s also one of the world’s oldest parks, and Tongariro is a land full of natural wonders, mainly revolving around the three majestic (and active) volcanoes – Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe. Add a visit to the sparking, 616 square kilometre Lake Taupo to your itinerary, and you’ll have yourself an amazing holiday that can be as action-packed or nature-filled as you want.
If you’ve never made the trip to Queenstown, you’re missing out on something really special. Known for its amazing skiing and snowboarding at The Remarkables and Coronet Peak, it’s a destination of choice for adrenalin junkies and holiday makers all year round. Make sure you take the Skyline Gondola high above Queenstown for the best views of the area. Other popular activities include exploring the region’s wine trails, bungee jumping, rock climbing, jet boating, kayaking, luging - the list is endless, and there’s something for everyone, although it’s not known as the adventure capital of NZ for nothing!
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve
A spectacular spot for stargazing, the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is completely light-pollution-free because it’s located far from any major infrastructure. It’s one of the largest dark sky reserves in the world, and it’s located in the central South Island Lake Tekapo / Twizel region. If you’re planning a driving trip, this is definitely worth a stop-over. You can make you own way to a spot under the stars but there are also a wide range of paid tours to choose from, including a working observatory, floating hammocks in hot pools and a wine cellar experience.
New Zealand is blessed with some of the best scenery in the world and the Coromandel Peninsula never disappoints. It’s a spectacular haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city, surrounded by stunning beaches with golden sand, hiking trails, kayaking sites, skydiving, friendly towns and laid-back locals. You can even create your own little hot spring bath by simply digging a few inches underneath the sand at the famous Hot Water Beach during low tide. And no trip to the Coromandel would be complete without a visit to Cathedral Cove, a gigantic, naturally-formed arched cavern that joins to secluded coves so you can walk from one to the other.
Wellington is the nation’s capital, located at the bottom of the North Island. Known for its great café culture, it’s also the home of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (known by the locals simply as Te Papa). Located close to the city centre, you’ll want to give yourself a good half a day to explore this amazing facility which is unlike any museum you’ve ever visited before. The Weta Workshop is another must see – it’s where most of the special effects for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies were created. Weta was founded by Peter Jackson, who directed those movies.
Enjoy your trip across the ditch
There you have it! These are some of the best places to holiday in NZ, but really you can’t go wrong no matter where you head to in that luscious land. If you want to get away but the budget isn’t looking too promising, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loans up to $5,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours – so you can start planning your NZ getaway today!