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Top 10 Best and Most Beautiful Cities To Visit In New Zealand

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country has two main landmasses the North Island, and the South Island and around 600 smaller islands. Wellington is New Zealan's capital.

New Zealand's friendly and down-to-earth people will be one of the things you treasure most about your visit.

With a patchwork history of Māori, European, Pacific Island and Asian cultures, New Zealand has become a melting-pot population - but one with some uniting features that make it unique in the world.

According to travelers reviews, here are the top 10 best cities in New Zealand to visit with best hotels and apartments to stay:

1- Auckland

Rated as the third most liveable city in the world, Auckland is an exhilarating mix of natural wonders and urban adventures.

Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping, and you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland, New Zealand, largest and most diverse city.

Top 10 Best and Most Beautiful Cities To Visit In New Zealand

More than just a city, Auckland is a whole region full of things to see and do. Best of all, with so many experiences close by it’s easy to hop from one adventure to the next.

Auckland, based around 2 large harbours, is a major city in the north of New Zealand’s North Island. In the centre, the iconic Sky Tower has views of Viaduct Harbour, which is full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes. Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, is based around an extinct volcano and home to the formal Wintergardens. Near Downtown, Mission Bay Beach has a seaside promenade.

Best Hotels and Apartments in Auckland

2- Queenstown

Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s most exciting and beautiful destinations, and if you come to the region you'll understand why.

Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand, sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, set against the dramatic Southern Alps. Renowned for adventure sports, it’s also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns. There's bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers. In winter, there's skiing on the slopes of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak.


With a smorgasbord of outdoor activities, Queenstown is the home of the ultimate adventure bucket list. There’s skiing from winter right through to spring, and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round. It is also a renowned cycling destination, providing everything from easy scenic tracks to backcountry trails, road rides to heli-biking and the Southern Hemisphere’s only gondola accessed downhill mountain biking.

Best Hotels and Apartments in Queenstown

3- Christchurch


Set against a majestic backdrop from the alps to the ocean, Christchurch and Canterbury offer visitors a unique and diverse destination.

Christchurch

Christchurch, known for its English heritage, is located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Flat-bottomed punts glide on the Avon River, which meanders through the city centre. On its banks are cycling paths, the green expanse of Hagley Park and Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

From Christchurch city, you’ll find the sparkling Pacific Ocean, the majestic Southern Alps and an ancient volcanic peninsula all within driving distance.

Journey through the Southern Alps by train, investigate the night sky in the world’s largest International Dark Sky Reserve or get up close with some of nature’s finest creatures in Kaikōura – from a boat, plane or helicopter. See a diversity of species from giant sperm whales to pilot whales, orca and humpbacks.

Watch the steam rise amid murmurs of conversation as you sit back and relax in Hanmer Springs’ natural hot pools, explore charming townships, boutique galleries and hidden bays in Akaroa and Banks Peninsula or enjoy the delights of the North Canterbury wine region.

Best Hotels and apartments in Christchurch

4- Wanaka


At 45 kilometres long and covering 193 square kilometres, Lake Wanaka is perfect for jetboaters, sailors and kayakers to explore.

Wanaka

Wanaka, a resort town on New Zealand's South Island, is set on the southern end of its namesake lake with views of snowcapped mountains. It's the gateway to the Southern Alps' Mount Aspiring National Park, a wilderness of glaciers, beech forests and alpine lakes. Treble Cone and Cardrona ski resorts are near the park. Just outside the town is the outdoor maze and sculpture gallery of Puzzling World.

Located in the spectacular alps of the South Island, New Zealand, visitors from around the world are drawn to the Wanaka region by its outstanding beauty. The stunning mountain and lakeside setting and proximity to Mt Aspiring National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Area, makes it the ultimate base for outdoor activities.

With four distinct seasons, Wanaka is a year-round destination. Summers are hot and dry - perfect for water-sports, hiking and biking. Winters are cool and crisp with four diverse ski areas offering great options for skiers and snowboarders. Spring is the ideal time to get out and explore the lakeside tracks and trails, and the vibrant colours of autumn are perfect for photography.

It’s not just the outdoor enthusiasts who have plenty to do, stroll the streets and be inspired by galleries, stylish shops and be spoilt for choice with a great selection of cool cafes, excellent restaurants, craft breweries, award-winning wineries, and an artisan distillery.

Wanaka is also home to more world class events than most, from international triathlons to music and arts festivals. Warbirds over Wanaka, Festival of Colour, Rhythm & Alps, and the Audi Quattro Winter Games, just to name a few.

Best Hotels and apartments in Wanaka

5- Rotorua


Rotorua, a town set on its namesake lake on New Zealand's North Island, is renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. In Te Puia’s Whakarewarewa Valley, there are bubbling mud pools and the 30m-tall Pohutu Geyser, which erupts many times daily. It’s also home to a living Maori village and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, with traditional wood carving and weaving schools.

From crystal-clear streams and magical forests, to epic biking trails and thermal mud pools, Rotorua has it all. The city offers a raft of attractions and experiences for everyone from adventure-seekers to those just looking to unwind.


Sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire, Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland with bubbling mud pools, clouds of steam, and natural hot springs perfect for bathing and relaxing in. After marvelling at the distinctive landscapes and volcanic activity within a geothermal park, enjoy a simple soak in a natural hot stream or indulge in a wellness getaway at a luxurious spa.

Best Hotels and apartments in Rotorua

6- Taupo


The beautiful Lake Taupō is about the size of Singapore – more of an inland sea really.

Taupo, a town near the centre of New Zealand's North Island, is distinguished by its lakefront setting and outdoor sports ranging from fishing to jet-boating. The vast waters of Lake Taupo, a volcanic caldera, drain into the Huka Falls, dramatic, crystal-blue cascades reachable by hiking and biking trails. Surrounding Taupo are hot springs like those filling the Craters of the Moon reserve.

Taupo

Taupō was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China. Visit the Craters of the Moon and you'll see evidence of the lake's fiery birth in the geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools. At some of Taupō's beaches, swimmers and paddlers can enjoy warm, geothermal water currents.

Just north of Taupō you'll find New Zealand's most visited attraction, the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second.

Taupō is a great lake for water-skiing, sailing and kayaking. The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water, make for a great boat trip or kayaking excursion. The forests surrounding the lake offer hiking and mountain biking to suit all levels of experience.

Best Hotels and apartments in Taupō

7- Dunedin


Dunedin is a region of unique landscapes and fascinating cultural history. Enjoy getting close to rare wildlife and soaking up the quirky city vibe.

Dunedin

Dunedin is a city in New Zealand, at the head of Otago Harbour on the South Island’s southeast coast. It's known for its Scottish and Maori heritage, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and a large student population. Hiking and cycling trails crisscross the dramatic landscape of the adjoining Otago Peninsula, home to colonies of albatross, sea lions and rare yellow-eyed penguins.

Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin is the country's city of the south, wearing its Scottish heritage with pride. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. The accommodation is good and plentiful; the nightlife buzzes with funky bars and delicious restaurants and the natural attractions are unique and fascinating.


Don't miss a drive up the Otago Peninsula - the views are endless and the beaches are beautifully rugged. Nestled at the foot of Taiaroa Head is the Royal Albatross Centre, the only place in the world on the mainland where you can view Northern Royal Albatross in their natural habitat. On Dunedin’s doorstep you will also find incredible wildlife including the world’s rarest penguin colonies.

Best Hotels and apartments in Dunedin

8- Nelson


Nelson Tasman is an extraordinary, vibrant region where art and businesses thrive together among a stunning natural landscape.

Nelson

Nelson is a city on the South Island of New Zealand, facing Tasman Bay. It's known for local arts and crafts stores, and art galleries. It's also a popular base for nearby caving sites, vineyards and Abel Tasman National Park. Established by English settlers in 1841, the city's history is showcased at Founders Heritage Park, a living museum with a vintage railway.

Nelson Tasman is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, with diverse geography capturing everything from long golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains.


Perhaps it’s the sun, perhaps it’s the location, but Nelson Tasman has long been a magnet for creative people. With one of the largest numbers of working artists and galleries in the country, you’ll find an array of craftspeople living in the region; traditional, contemporary and Māori. Visit their studios, explore the weekend craft markets, taste the delicious locally made artisan products and find something extraordinary to take home with you.

Best Hotels and apartments in Nelson

9- Wellington


Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington, New Zealand, was recently named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet.

Wellington

Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, sits near the North Island’s southernmost point on the Cook Strait. A compact city, it encompasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and colourful timber houses on surrounding hills. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname "Windy Wellington."

Surrounded by nature and fuelled by creative energy, Wellington is a compact city with a powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. Fuel your visit with strong coffee and world-class craft beer – Wellingtonians are masters of casual dining, with plenty of great restaurants, night markets and food trucks.

Things to do

Relax at Oriental Bay, Wellington’s golden-sand inner-city beach and delve into the many museums, art galleries and theatre shows that make up the city’s pulsing cultural scene. If you’re into the outdoors, Wellington has action-packed adventure activities like mountain biking and sea-water kayaking, as well as beautiful walks around the harbour and surrounding hills.


Try the visually stunning Makara Peak track, as well as the City to Sea walk where you can experience the best of Wellington's waterfront. Ride the cable car up the hill to Kelburn for amazing views over the city and enjoy an ice cream at the top.

On the waterfront itself you’ll find Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, New Zealand’s national museum. Te Papa, as it’s colloquially known, means ‘our place’ and is one of the best interactive museums in the world.

Best Hotels and apartments in Wellington

10- Lake Tekapo


Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is a small town located at the southern end of the lake of the same name in the inland South Island of New Zealand. It had 369 residents according to the 2013 census, being one of five settlements in the sparsely populated Mackenzie Basin.

Lake Tekapo is about three hours drive south-west of Christchurch in the Mackenzie Basin. The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water.

Best Hotels and apartments in Lake Tekapo

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