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New Zealand highlights: 10 favorite places of the outdoor nomads!

Gertrude Saddle New Zealand highlights

Anyone who knows me knows that New Zealand is my absolute longing country. I was there for several months in 2006/2007 with a Travel and Work Visa and fell in love with the country and its people and have not forgotten until today. I am therefore all the more pleased that dear Miri from outdoor nomads has given me her 10 New Zealand highlights for you in this guest post:

Ggigantic mountain panoramas, beautiful stretches of beach, crystal clear lakes, huge waterfalls and so much more. New Zealand offers a huge selection of fascinating places and great activities. We were in the great country for a total of 14 months, have covered 24000 kilometers by car and 1500 kilometers on foot. We got to know many beautiful areas of the multifaceted country and want to show you our 10 most beautiful New Zealand highlights.

Our New Zealand highlights on the North Island

1. Mount Maunganui

When we think of this place, we get homesick. Yes you read correctly, this place is our second home. We lived and experienced six intensive months here. This makes Mount Maunganui one of the top 10 of our New Zealand highlights.

Beach Mount Maunganui

Beach Mount Maunganui

The small town on the North Island offers a really fantastic "vibe". Street food, relaxed surfers and miles of stretch of beach. If you are already in the surfing place, then you should definitely take a surf course and dive into the waves.

Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui

If we can give you a real recommendation, it's you necessarily at sunrise on the Mount Maunganui should hike. The way is a bit exhausting, but it only takes 45 minutes and is really easy to do with a flashlight. You will be rewarded with a truly unique look. We didn't do it just once and were almost always alone on Mount Maunganui and were able to enjoy the sunrise in peace.

2. The Te Urewera National Park

Wild horses, admirable waterfalls and great little campsites. The Te Urewera National Park is one of the most beautiful New Zealand highlights on the North Island for us. The lake in the heart of the national park in particular offers a great backdrop. Because the road through the park is not paved, the area is not as touristy and therefore appears the national park is still very original.

Lake Waikaremoana at Te Urewera

Lake Waikaremoana at Te Urewera

In addition to the originality of the park has really blown away the diversity of species. We were speechless when we came across a herd of wild horses on our tour of the national park. The so-called Kaimanawa have grazed peacefully in a meadow. Being so close to wild horses was a real goose bump moment.

Wild horses in Te Urewera

Wild horses in Te Urewera

In the national park, it's always a matter of keeping your eyes open so that you don't miss the details. Just on the east bank of the Lake Waikaremoana there are numerous hidden waterfalls and great hiking opportunities.

3. The Bay of Islands

Subtropical warmth uninhabited islands and great stretches of beach. Welcome to the Bay of Islands! This area is not only one of the most popular holiday regions in New Zealand, but also attracts international tourists every year. Leech whether sailing, diving, swimming with dolphins or just relax on the beach, there are numerous ways to enjoy life.

Bay of Islands New Zealand highlights

Bay of Islands New Zealand highlights

We ourselves have a great one Sailing trip made through the Bay of Islands. We explored an uninhabited island and had a great local lunch on a sailing yacht. We saw dolphins during our tour and just had fun. If you Bay of Islands want to discover it differently, then we can really recommend a sailing tour.

4. Taupo

Hot springs, crystal clear river sections and a beautiful lake front. The lively town of Taupo is one of our absolute New Zealand highlights on the North Island. There are a variety of different activities here. Therefore we would like to introduce two exciting activities to you.

Lake Taupo New Zealand

Lake Taupo New Zealand

Relax in the hot springs of Taupo

Yes you heard right. There are hot springs and the great thing is that they are are completely natural and are free of charge. Since the hot water flows into a nearby river, you can choose which temperature is comfortable for you. We can recommend you to bathe in the hot springs on a rainy day because then it’s usually not that crowded.

Plunge into the deep

The next activity releases a little more adrenaline. There is a possibility in Taupo Bungy to jump or swing through a canyon. We chose the swing ourselves because we just couldn't get over a bungee jump. By combining a great backdrop and the adrenaline-packed activity, the swing was an unforgettable experience. Give it a try! Are you looking for other great spots in Taupo? look here here!

Our New Zealand highlights on the South Island

5. Marlborough Sounds

Lonely bays, beautiful beaches, a species-rich underwater world and varied hiking trails. You will find this heavenly backdrop in the Marlborough Sounds. If you want to get a really deep impression of the area, you should is Queen Charlotte Track hike or ride it on a mountain bike.

Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough Sounds

The trail takes 3 to 5 days and takes you through the Marlborough Sounds. The path is not really demanding, but sometimes it is also strenuous due to climbs. You will be rewarded with indescribable views and great bays every day. We are the one Queen Charlotte Track also hiked and were easy fascinated by the landscape and the entire area.

Queen Charlotte Track

Queen Charlotte Track

For detailed information on the Queen Charlotte Track as well as others great hikes in New Zealand!

6. Catlins Coast

Along the Catlins Coast in the deep south of New Zealand you can find some of our absolute favorite spots. One of them is Nugget Point. It is not quite as touristy here and the scenery is unique. But not only the landscape is beautiful and special, but also the wildlife. Along the Catlins Coast you have the chance to see penguins, swim with dolphins and marvel at gigantic sea lions. Sounds fantastic, doesn't it?

Catlins Coast Sea Lion Lady

Catlins Coast Sea Lion Lady

Thereby the Catlins Coast is a bit off the main tourist trail, the entire stretch of coast is very quiet and untouristic. This calm is reinforced by the very poor cell phone network. So you can marvel at nature and at the same time enjoy a few days without internet and cell phone reception.

7. Arrowtown

This small place is very reminiscent of the old gold digging times of New Zealand. Two years after the first settlers settled in New Zealand, became the first gold near Arrowtown found. The result was an uncanny upswing and really "golden" times. You can also try your own luck and try washing yourself in gold. Some claim that nuggets are still regularly found today.

Arrowtown

Arrowtown

Some historical shops, restaurants and miners' houses have been extensively restored in recent years. So you feel like you are back in the old gold mining days. It is precisely this backdrop that makes the special atmosphere of Arrowtown File We recommend you at least one night in Arrowtown to stay. Because after all the "tour buses" are gone, the charm of the small town spreads only really.

8. The Gertrude Saddle

This mountain saddle is one of the absolute New Zealand highlights on the South Island. In the heart of the Fiordland National Park lies the Gertrude Saddle. A strenuous but worthwhile hiking trail leads you to our favorite view. From here you have a unique view of the Milford Sound. Since the hike is still unknown, you can almost do one undisturbed day in the middle of a fascinating national park enjoy.

Gertrude Saddle

Gertrude Saddle

If you might not feel like taking this hike, there are plenty of great alternatives. The Fiordland National Park is one of the most beautiful in the world and offers a lot of possibilities. There is a large network of hiking trails with cool highlights. You can Marvel at waterfalls, canoe tours or simply a boat tour from durch Milford Sound . make

By the way: the Gertrude Saddle is also one of the best photo locations in New Zealand. You can find more great photo spots here!

9. Nelson Lakes National Park

The Nelson Lakes National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in New Zealand in our opinion. Cool suspension bridges, unique river courses and a great mountain backdrop always give goosebumps moments. Because many highlights are not immediately accessible, is the Nelson Lakes National Park not so crowded either. The fascination of the South Island can be enjoyed even more intensely. Especially as an outdoor enthusiast you will be the one Nelson Lakes Park just think it's gigantic.

Blue Lake at Nelson Lakes NP

Blue Lake at Nelson Lakes NP

Should you fancy one If you have a multi-day hike, we can take the tour to Blue Lake recommend. It is one of the clearest lakes in the world. We were allowed to look at it ourselves and what should we say? We were really amazed at the water color and how the lake was crystal clear in reality.

Nelson Lakes National Park New Zealand

Nelson Lakes National Park New Zealand

10. Arthur's Pass

If you fancy a great mountain landscape, we can do it for you Arthur's Pass really recommend. Varied hiking trails, crazy mountain parrots and raging rivers have lured us into the great area three times so far.

The Arthur's Pass is the highest pass in the southern Alps of New Zealand and is due to its Mountain landscape and gorges extremely interesting. If you want to discover the area around the pass, we can do it for you recommend the following day hike.

The Bealey Spur Track

The easy hiking trail initially leads you through a beautiful section of forest. The route is moderately uphill throughout the tour. After the forest section it continues on Tussock grass. From the section you will always be rewarded with unique views. You have an insane view of that Waimakariri valley. The way there ends at the historical one Bealey track Hut. From here it goes back towards the parking lot.

Your own favorite spot as a New Zealand highlight

Finally, we would like to encourage you to find your own favorite spot in New Zealand. The country offers a surprise and around every corner Speechlessness is simply part of a trip to New Zealand. Every mountain, every forest and every path lures with new experiences and therefore you can discover new things at any time. Now we wish you a lot of fun our favorite country on the other side of the world to explore.

New Zealand Love

New Zealand Love

About the outdoor nomads

Hey, Miri and Micha are writing here. Outdoor people and photographers. On our blog Outdoornomaden.de we report on the small and large adventures of travel and digital nomadism. We are happy to have turned our biggest hobby into a profession some time ago, and since then to be able to photograph moments of the heart all over the world. You can find our photo works on Miri & Micha.

Outdoor nomads in New Zealand

Outdoor nomads in New Zealand

Have you ever been to New Zealand? What are your absolute New Zealand highlights? I remember fondly the Silent Bay and Rotorua in the north and Hokitika, Milford Sound and Abel Tasman NP on the South Island! Maybe you are also interested in mine Favorite place in Panama?

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