8 Fantastic Reasons Why Travellers Love New Zealand

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand (And Why We Think You Will, Too) 

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 to discover, the country has enough natural wonders to get your blood racing or fill you with an utter state of peace, you’d be hard-pressed to find the same feeling anywhere else in the world. Of course, there are many reasons to love New Zealand. Here are some of our favourite ones to get the ball rolling! 

1. New Zealand boasts abundant natural beauty

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand

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

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

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

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand

Rock climbing in Queenstown | Image credit: Stefanos Nikologianis

New Zealand is for daring travellers, fearless surfers who can brave the high waves, thrillseekers with a knack for jumping off helicopters — okay, you get the idea. Needless to say, you’ll find no shortage of exhilarating and heart-pumping activities to choose from New Zealand. And for the wild ones at heart, there’s simply no better adventurer’s playground than Queenstown

Kawarau Bridge in Otago | Image credit: macronix

Whether you want to bungee jump from Kawarau Bridge or go 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 countries you’ll find

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand

Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown

Another reason we love New Zealand? It’s one of the safest and happiest countries in the world to live in! According to the Global Peace Index, New Zealand is the second most peaceful destination in the world, coming just after Iceland. Aside from the low-crime rates and lack of violent crimes, the study notes that New Zealand has built the resilience to cope with conflict and disasters. 

Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula

Meanwhile, the World Happiness Report for 2020 places New Zealand as the eighth happiest country in the globe. The report attributes happiness levels to the overall wellbeing of citizens, while looking into what makes a healthy social environment. When there is shared trust, citizens feel a sense of belonging in society and don’t feel as pressured to tough out hardships alone. 

Even in 2020, the country is setting 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

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

Many New Zealanders, or Kiwis, as their nickname goes, are friendly and warm towards visitors. More than a kind disposition, 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 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. 

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. The animals are cute and cuddly

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand

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

Sometimes you just want to pet a wooly lamb and stare into its innocent eyes, you know? Or maybe you want to frolic in a farm full of alpacas to escape life’s stresses? Thankfully, New Zealand is teeming with diverse wildlife and rural getaways to make animal lovers happy! 

If you love cute and cuddly animals, then you’re going to have a blast at the farmstays 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. 

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. 

Also read: 5 Cute Animals You Can Get up Close & Personal with in New Zealand

6. The night skies are perfect for stargazing

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand

A starry night sky over the Queenstown Lake District | Image credit: Tom Hall

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

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand

Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park

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. If you happen to be in New Zealand during the winter, you’ll even get to spot the Southern Lights

7. Exploring New Zealand is just as scenic on a train

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand

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 them 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. It’s the real Middle-earth

8 Fantastic Reasons Why We Love New Zealand

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. Fans from around the world journey to 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 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 on a farm in Matamata, Waikato, for starters. Afterwards, you can have a tipple at the Green Dragon Inn, or visit the Kaitoke Regional Park for 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, these are only the tip of the iceberg — we couldn’t possibly list down all the reasons we love New Zealand! As more countries open their borders, we’re itching to discover more of New Zealand in the future. For now, though, we have to settle for fuelling our wanderlust from afar. 

What are your favourite destinations in New Zealand? Fill us in on your unexpected journeys and tag us on IG: @tripillamag

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer who covers travel, food, 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.