It’s no secret that New Zealand is a country with some of the most stunning scenery this world has to offer. As New Zealanders, it’s not uncommon to have once dreamed about moving to bigger cities that never sleep with bustling streets. We tend to forget the level of beauty our country is blessed with and how people from across the globe actually dream of coming here! To those who say they’ve seen it all, think again as there seems to be something hidden in every corner of this paradise. Here is a run-down of the hidden wonders of New Zealand!
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland doesn’t refer to themselves as a wonderland for no reason, this geothermal haven is truly breathtaking. There's no denying that the smell isn’t the most pleasant but the scenery makes it all well worth it. This spectacular sight is surrounded by a diverse range of colours such as bright orange and emerald green waters. There are different trails to enjoy a nice stroll so you can take your time to soak in the magical atmosphere. Do yourselves a favour and visit the Devil’s Bath for the most vivid colours.
Cape Reinga Lighthouse
Located on the edge of Cape Reinga, there is a spiritual lighthouse overlooking the Northern Coast that doesn’t end. On a clear day, you can even see the Tasman Sea meet the Pacific Ocean. The isolation of the lighthouse will make you feel like you’re on a retreat and is the go-to place when you want some downtime to unwind and clear your mind. Even the drive to this spot is worth mentioning as it takes you through a forest of lush greenery. Take time to read the plaques of information of the meaning this gem has for Maori.
If hidden is what you’re wanting, Lake Quill is perfect for you. In order to get to this glacier-fed lake, you’d either need to take a scenic flight to get a view of the hidden treasure or have mountain climbing abilities of Sir Edmund Hilary. The calm and undisturbed waters give an ambience of pure serenity. The waters are so clean and pristine, it reflects every bit of light and it seems as though it’s just a pool of sparkles and glitter.
When someone from overseas fantasises about New Zealand, they’re most likely to think of a small community and breath-taking elements of nature. Well, Tutukaka Coast provides just that with their white sand beaches, bush walks and little cafés and eateries located here and there. If you want something a little more interactive, look into booking a dive in the waters of Poor Knights to get a look at the abundant sea life Tutukaka has to offer.
Located in the heart of Mackenzie Country in the Canterbury region is Lake Tekapo. This town may be small in size but don’t underestimate the amount of beauty this wonderland has in store. From a prairie of flowers that have the most perfect shades of purple to the serene waters of the lake, it is truly magical. The lack of tall buildings and clear skies also makes Lake Tekapo the ideal location for when it gets dark. Look up and the stars will make you feel like you’re in a milky way.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
This wonderland will take a little bit more effort to get to as it is a hike but let us tell you, it’s so worth it. Reaching the summit, you’ll feel like you’re amongst the clouds and you'll be treated to the stunning colours of the Emerald Lakes. As this is a difficult hike, the feeling of accomplishment will add to the beauty once you reach this wonderland. Tongariro is one of the most well-known hikes in New Zealand but the effort of getting there keeps it relatively hidden!
Blue Pools of Haast Pass
Just 15 minutes away from the highway parking area, an hour away from lovely little Wanaka is the Blue Pools. The path to get to the pools is not any less amazing with the forest walk and swinging bridges. After the simple hike, you’ll reach crystal clear water which is melted ice from the surrounding mountains. As its melted ice, the waters are freezing cold and we dare you to brave through it and go for a refreshing dip.
Waipu Cove has got everything you can think of when you imagine an ideal beach in New Zealand. It has the long and white sandy beach which was just made for strolling. The pristine and clear blue water gives you the urge to swim and the strong waves attracts the surfers. Waipu Cove also has a community that really brightens up the ambience that lives up to Kiwiana. Fish and chips shops and local dairy’s selling $1 lolly bags, there isn’t much more we could ask for!
The World’s Steepest Street
A wonderland doesn’t always have to entail clear waters and stunning forestry! The community and aspects of the small town aesthetic is what many people love about New Zealand and the world’s steepest street—Baldwin Street entails all these things! This street is treated to old, vintage architecture that embodies suburbia at its finest. Not to mention, the gorgeous view you get once you reach the top!
Image Credit: Vaughan Brookfield