Thursday, 26 January 2012

Top Ten places I have visited in New Zealand



1      Central Otago.  The great empty majestic landscape.  What can beat it?  And it is still relatively unpopulated – except by those pesky rabbits.  It is very well represented in the art of Grahame Sydney.

2      Coromandel PeninsulaThe bush, the beaches, the fishing, the tranquillity.  The classic Kiwi favourite summer holiday spots.  I don’t mean the couple of places spoiled by too many tourists – Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach at low tide.  But just all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies on both sides of the Peninsula to explore.

3      Lake Manapouri and the Wilmot Pass.  For my money, a much nice place to visit than Milford Sound.  Not the tourists and tour buses.  But an absolutely stunning, majestic lake and the Wilmot Pass under snow in winter is a delight.  The Wilmot Pass is the road that runs between where the boats come in and Doubtful Sound.

4      Queenstown/Wanaka/Arrowtown Okay all these areas are a bit chocolate boxy but at the same time such spectacular settings, they have to be included.  A paradise for skiers in winter, golfers the rest of the time with lashings of water activities thrown in.  If you like touristy things there is the Gondola and bungy jumping etc – although why anyone would want to do that beats me.

5      Waiheke Island  Some of the great memories I have of lunch at Te Whau Lodge looking out at the Hauraki Gulf.  I’m not sure they are still operating as a function centre/restaurant as well as a lodge although the Te Whau Vineyard Restaurant is still I understand.

6      Sailing on the Waitemata Harbour.  I prefer the Waitemata but others can certainly argue the merits of the Bay of Islands.  Tootling about, doing a little fishing, preferably under sail.  Bliss.

7      Auckland It’s a great city.  Taken for granted by those who live there.  Beaches all over the place.  A great harbour.  Good cultural and popular events.  Parks of all shapes and sizes.  Driving through the Domain is one of the pleasures of being in Auckland.

8      Wellington.  A small city which is spectacular on a fine day.  A compact city centre where you get the feeling most people know each other.  A sort of super sized village.  We have to be thankful that they put up with having all the politicians and let Auckland get on with life.

9      The West Coast and Fox Glacier   I haven’t been there for years.  It was a sleepy backwater when I was there with a natural wonder in the glacier.  Very high rainfall so the vegetation is lush.

10     Rotovegas – included with some hesitation.  While I hate the more fake touristy bits, it is a place where you absorb the importance of local iwi.  I would go there more often but the duck egg smell gets to me.  The thermal springs and mud pools are great.



  1. Carole, Thanks for taking me on a tour of your favorite spots in New Zealand. They're gorgeous!

    Is it possible to enlarge your photos? I tried clicking on them without success.

    1. I'm not sure how to do that - one of the many things still to learn about blogging! Thanks for your comment

  2. Hello Carol
    You have visited some beautiful spots in NZ, it is a country that has so much to offer, I like that you went a bit off the beaten track. I agree with Milford Sound, just that I went there by boat, so there are no buses. Thanks for visiting my Blog

  3. I am strange, as I don't mind the smell.

    1. You do get used to it after the first day.

  4. I;ve always fancied going to NZ more than Australia - that doesn't appeal to me at all - beautiful places x

  5. I only spent 4 days in NZ in 2009 when I visited my friends who studied abroad there but I absolutely loved it! During the 4 days we drove around and went bungee jumping and sky diving so the days were pretty adrenaline filled! Would love to go back someday and explore the whole country!

  6. I have bookmarked this for my trip later this year :) Cant wait to check out the wineries on Waiheke Island


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