New Zealand is known for its stunning natural beauty, adventure sports, and friendly locals. While places like Auckland, Queenstown, and Rotorua are must-visit destinations for any traveller, there are some lesser-known gems that are equally worth exploring. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at five hidden gems in New Zealand that you won’t want to miss.
1. The Catlins
Located on the southeastern coast of the South Island, the Catlins is a beautiful region that is often overlooked by tourists. The area is home to rugged coastlines, stunning waterfalls, and native wildlife such as penguins, sea lions, and dolphins. Some of the highlights of the Catlins include Cathedral Caves, Purakaunui Falls, and Nugget Point Lighthouse.
2. Stewart Island
Stewart Island is located south of the South Island and is New Zealand’s third-largest island. The island is a nature lover’s paradise, with over 80% of its landmass covered in national parks. Visitors can explore rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and dense forests. One of the main attractions on the island is Ulva Island, a predator-free sanctuary that is home to rare bird species such as the South Island saddleback and the Yellowhead.
Taranaki is a region on the west coast of the North Island that is known for its stunning mountain, also called Taranaki. The mountain is a popular destination for hikers and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The region is also home to some beautiful beaches, including New Plymouth’s Back Beach and the black-sand beach at Opunake.
4. The Coromandel Peninsula
The Coromandel Peninsula is located on the east coast of the North Island and is a popular destination for Kiwis but often overlooked by international visitors. The area is known for its stunning beaches, including Hot Water Beach, where visitors can dig their own hot pools in the sand, and Cathedral Cove, a beautiful spot accessible only by foot or boat.
5. The Waitomo Caves
The Waitomo Caves are a network of underground caves on the North Island that are famous for their glowworms. Visitors can take a guided tour of the caves, which includes a boat ride through the glowworm grotto. The caves are also home to other interesting rock formations, including stalactites and stalagmites.
New Zealand has no shortage of incredible places to visit, but sometimes it’s the hidden gems that leave the biggest impression. From the rugged coastlines of the Catlins to the glowworms of the Waitomo Caves, these five destinations offer a unique and unforgettable New Zealand experience. So next time you’re planning a trip to Aotearoa, be sure to add these hidden gems to your itinerary. Group travel? Let The Coach Company New Zealand’s nationwide service provide coaches and minibuses for your needs.