10 Fantastic Reasons Why You Should Visit New Zealand

10 Fantastic Reasons Why You Should Visit New Zealand

From bungee jumping to dining under the stars, New Zealand has enough to keep anyone coming back for more.

What’s not to love about New Zealand? Full of enchanting landscapes, this South Pacific nation has enough natural wonders to get your blood racing or fill you with an utter sense of peace — you’d be hard-pressed to find such a diverse range of experiences anywhere else. Of course, there are many things to love about New Zealand and even more reasons to visit this country. Check out our favourite ones below.

Why visit New Zealand? Here are the best reasons!

1. New Zealand boasts abundant natural beauty

Fantastic Reasons to Love New Zealand: Natural Wonders

Lake Wakatipu on the South Island | Image credit: Mantas Volungevicius

Home to some of the most stunning attractions, New Zealand comes with magnificent natural landscapes to discover. Imagine lakes, fjords, snow-covered mountains, cliffs, dunes, waterfalls, river valleys, underground caves, geothermal springs, and national parks. It has just about any stretch of land and sea that would blow your mind, if you were to see them in person! 

Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves on the North Island | Image credit: 2il org

From the glaciers at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and the volcanic crater of Lake Taupo to the magical glow worms lighting up the Waitomo Caves, it’s no wonder that New Zealand is considered one of the most beautiful countries on the planet.

2. It’s the adventure capital of the world

Rock Climbing in Queenstown

Rock climbing in Queenstown | Image credit: Stefanos Nikologianis

To say that New Zealand is for daring travellers is quite an understatement. This country is perfect for fearless surfers who can brave the high waves, bungee jumpers with no fear of heights, thrillseekers with a knack for jumping off helicopters — okay, you get the idea. 

From heli-skiing in Wanaka to skydiving in cool tourist attractions like Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, you’ll find no shortage of exhilarating and heart-pumping activities to do across New Zealand. And for the wild ones at heart, there’s simply no better playground for adventurers than Queenstown

Also read: 13 Breathtaking Airbnbs in Queenstown with Mountain and Lakeside Views

Bungee Jumping Off Kawarau Bridge

Kawarau Bridge in Otago | Image credit: macronix

Whether you feel like bungee jumping from Kawarau Bridge or going river kayaking in Pelorus River — just like Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves, except without being chased by your mortal enemies — New Zealand boasts plenty of fun under the sun. 

Also read: 20 Incredible Experiences You Must Have in New Zealand

3. Despite its wild streak, it’s one of the safest and happiest countries you’ll find

Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown | Image credit: skyice11 via Canva Pro

Another reason we love to visit New Zealand? It’s one of the safest and happiest countries you can live in. According to the Global Peace Index, New Zealand is the second most peaceful country in the world after Iceland

Aside from the low crime rates in the country, the study notes that New Zealanders exhibit great resilience in adapting and coping with major conflicts. While other nations are easily divided during a crisis, a powerful sense of solidarity and inclusivity allows New Zealanders to band together and bounce back in major conflicts such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cathedral Cove on Coromandel Peninsula

Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula | Image credit: travellinglight via Canva Pro

Meanwhile, the World Happiness Report places New Zealand as the eighth happiest country in the world. By examining what makes a healthy social environment, this report attributes happiness levels to the overall wellbeing of citizens. In New Zealand, people feel like they belong in their society and don’t feel as pressured to tough out hardships alone. 

Even now, New Zealand continues to set an example in promoting empathy and compassion for others, owing no doubt to the leadership of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

4. Kiwis are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet

Fantastic Reasons to Love New Zealand: Friendly Locals

Māori tattoo designs reflect the cultural heritage of the Māori people | Image credit: Steve Evans from Citizen of the World

New Zealanders, or Kiwis, as their nickname goes, are friendly, easygoing, and warm towards visitors. They have no trouble showing you around their country or welcoming you as one of their own.

This open-hearted hospitality can be partly traced to the Māori, the very first inhabitants and indigenous people of New Zealand, who embrace the concept of manaakitanga (loosely translated to “hospitality”) in showing respect towards strangers and making them feel at home. 

Māori Family

A Māori family at the park | Image credit: MollyNZ via Canva Pro

Since Māori traditions and customs play an important role in day-to-day life in New Zealand, getting a closer look at Māori culture is definitely one of the things you should make time for in your future trips! 

5. From sheep to alpacas, the animals are cute and cuddly

Fantastic Reasons to Love New Zealand: Cute Animals

A sheep farm in Parawa | Image credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ

Sometimes you just want to pet a woolly lamb and stare into its innocent eyes, you know? Or maybe you’d prefer visiting an alpaca farm to escape life’s stresses? Thankfully, New Zealand is teeming with diverse wildlife and rural getaways to make animal lovers happy. 

If you love adorable and friendly animals, then you’re going to have a blast seeing them up close at the farms on the North Island and South Island. Alternatively, you can swim with dusky dolphins or look out for sperm whales breaching the sea in Kaikoura. Or gaze a little closer to the earth and meet the country’s flightless birds, like the kiwi and the kea. 

Kea Parrot in New Zealand

A Kea parrot showing its colourful feathers | Image credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ

Speaking of friendly animals, this brings us to a different reason we love New Zealand: No creepy crawlies! Unlike Australia, where encounters with the wildlife might land you on a guest spot in Animal Planet’s Monsters Inside Me, the creatures in New Zealand won’t sabotage your trip by sending you to the hospital. 

6. New Zealand has no shortage of jaw-dropping beaches to dive into

Best Reasons to Visit New Zealand: Jaw-Dropping Beaches

The surf town of Raglan in New Zealand | Image credit: vkp-australia via Canva Pro

If you think national parks and awe-inspiring mountains are all New Zealand has to offer, think again. From the golden sands of Awaroa Beach to the surfing mecca that is Raglan, New Zealand beckons to tourists with its chill surf towns, hidden coves, swimming holes, dramatic rock formations, and countless seaside views. 

Surfers can choose from world-famous surfing destinations like Ninety Mile Beach and Shipwreck Bay to tackle some waves, while families and laid-back tourists can head to Maitai Bay, Cathedral Cove, and Rarawa Beach for gentle waters and pristine sands. 

Aerial view of Maitai Bay on Karikari Peninsula

Aerial view of Maitai Bay on Karikari Peninsula | Image credit: nazar_ab via Canva Pro

With approximately 15,000km of coastline and more than 25 marine reserves, New Zealand guarantees that you won’t have to worry about finding a place to swim or laze around on the shore. Your real concern is choosing where to lay down your beach towel. 

7. Exploring the country is just as scenic on a train

Best Reasons to Visit New Zealand: Scenic Trains

TranzAlpine passing through Otira on the West Coast | Image credit: Kevin Prince

If there’s anything more spectacular than witnessing the diverse terrain of New Zealand, it’s experiencing the country’s beauty by train. Riding the rails of the TranzAlpine should be on any train lover’s bucket list, as this scenic rail journey takes you from Christchurch through the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps, and towards Greymouth in less than five hours. 

You can also hop on the Northern Explorer, which begins in Auckland and ends in Wellington while climbing past epic vistas along the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

8. The remote landscapes and night skies are perfect for stargazing

Best Reasons to Visit New Zealand: Stargazing

Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park

Camping out beneath the star-filled skies takes on an otherworldly quality in New Zealand. Most of the country’s skies are almost entirely devoid of light pollution. This is why the stars can appear both clearer and closer to you. 

Find constellations and shooting stars through the state-of-the-art telescopes at the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, hailed as one of the best stargazing destinations in the world. Or take in the celestial skies from your backyard, whilst gazing over the serene waters of Lake Pukaki

9. New Zealand has its own mesmerising spectacle called the Southern Lights

The Southern Lights Over Lake Hayes in New Zealand

The Southern Lights over Lake Hayes | Image credit: chemc via Canva Pro

Speaking of night skies, how about an equally spectacular alternative to the Northern Lights? Arguably one of the best reasons to visit New Zealand is to admire the Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights. This luminous natural phenomenon brings out fiery red, orange, green, pink, and purple lights across the sky.

Aurora Australis in Little River, Canterbury

Aurora Australis in Little River, Canterbury | Image credit: Ben 

Curious about the best time to visit the Southern Lights? To witness the most vivid colours, experts recommend that you time your visit to New Zealand from March to September. This way, you’ll be taking advantage of the lower flight prices during the off-season. 

Alternatively, you can also visit the country from June to August in the winter. That’s when the sky is at its darkest, providing a more striking contrast to the colourful lights. 

10. It’s the real Middle-earth

Fantastic Reasons to Love New Zealand: Middle-earth

Hobbiton in Matamata 

We know you were waiting for this one! Among the many reasons to love New Zealand, finding the actual Middle-earth is the most compelling one of all.

It’s easy to see how Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy has transformed New Zealand’s tourism industry. Every year, fans from around the world journey to the real Middle-earth just to relive the magic of this high fantasy tale, starting from flight instructional videos with elven cosplay (it’s called “An Unexpected Briefing”) to the vast landscapes scattered like jewels all over the country.

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand

Rivendell Bridge in Kaitoke Regional Park | Image credit: Tom Hall

One does not simply visit New Zealand without touring the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata, Waikato, for starters. Afterwards, you can have a tipple at the Green Dragon Inn or visit the Kaitoke Regional Park to see the tranquil forests and rivers of Rivendell. 

Even more iconic: Go on a road trip to the Isengard Lookout in Glenorchy, while blasting this classic anthem in the car. More than your average filming locations, these destinations in New Zealand feel both lived in and larger than life. 

Also read: 10 Stunning Airbnbs in Auckland for a Relaxing New Zealand Vacation

Really, we’ve barely scratched the surface of all the reasons we love New Zealand. As countries open their borders, we’re hoping it won’t be long before we can explore New Zealand’s best attractions. 

What’s your favourite reason to visit New Zealand? Tag us on IG: @tripillamag and fill us in on your unexpected journeys! 

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer who covers travel, food, shopping, and pop culture. She has a soft spot for stories about Japan and Italy. While she waits patiently for her next adventure, she enjoys writing about the coolest places to stay around the world and where to find them.

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