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Only in New Zealand: the most insane landscapes

by Kseniia

Thanks to Peter Jackson, New Zealand is now known worldwide as the ‘Real Middle Earth’. But the meaning behind this phrase goes far beyond ‘the place where ‘The Lord Of the Rings’ was filmed’. The landscapes of this country are so diverse, unique and absolutely out of this world that sometimes it’s difficult to believe your eyes. ‘Is it a movie set or a real place?’ is what you think looking at the roaring giant waterfall or into the active volcano crater. Here are our videos of some of the most unbelievable landscapes of New Zealand.

Milford Sound

Also known as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’, not surprisingly this South Island fiord often tops ‘New Zealand’s most beautiful places’ lists. There is no other destinations in the country where you’ll feel yourself so tiny and fragile as here – sailing between giant ancient mountains on a boat or kayak. As if Milford Sound’s scenery wasn’t already spectacular enough, there are also those endless powerful waterfalls everywhere, that truly turn this place into a fairytale. Did you know that Milford Sound boasts some of the country’s highest waterfalls, by the way? Read our detailed guide to Milford Sound to enjoy it at it’s fullest.

White Island in Bay of Plenty

It goes without saying, New Zealand’s only active marine volcano is one of the craziest places on Earth and an absolute must-visit. Wearing a gas mask and a special helmet makes a whole experience a bit surrealistic and causes a real adrenaline spike. Though it’s totally safe to visit White Island in Whakatane these days, it’s still an active volcano and who knows what forces are hiding there beneath the surface 🙂 If you’re more of a reader than watcher, here is our article about visiting White Island.

Volcanic valleys in Rotorua

Rotorua is a very well-known place both among tourists and locals thanks to its unusual geothermal activity. This town is nestled just between White Island and Taupo (yet another area full of volcanoes) and its location is what produces all these endless geysers, mud pools, colourful fields and Champagne pools. Te Puia, Wai-o-Tapu, Waimangu and Hell’s Gates are just a few of the places to enjoy Rotorua’s breathtaking volcanic landscapes. Here are a few more places to see in this town.

Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel

From terrifying volcanoes – back to peaceful landscapes New Zealand is famous for 🙂 Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel is one of the most famous sights of the North Island not only because it was featured in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ but due to its gorgeous wide arch that is so fantastic it turns every adult into a kid for a minute and makes him believe there is a magical land on the other side of the unusual rock formation. Of course, this picture-perfect beach also has its very own waterfall and a few tall rocks fighting high waves. Magic!

Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay

Home to two enormous gannet colonies, Cape Kidnappers no doubts rocks some of the most spectacular landscapes in New Zealand. Local cliffs keep the history of the region from ancient times to the latest days and local guides are sharing it in the most entertaining and interesting way. The best way to explore this area is sitting on a retro tractor trailer – so much fun!

Omarama Clay Cliffs

Pure geological wonder! These tall sharp pinnacles on the South Island  are made up of layers of gravel and silt, originally formed by the flow from ancient glaciers over a million years ago. This sight is located on a private land, so requires a donation to enter. Plus, there is quite demanding gravel road on that private land, so make sure you have a proper car and enough of patience! But the reward at the end of the road will be so worth it!

Forgotten World Highway in Taranaki

This road is officially called one of North Island’s most scenic routes for reason! Lost in Taranaki region, Forgotten World Highway is a dive into a nature of pre-human era. Native bush, rolling hills, wild animals and no people in sight. Forgotten World Highway is only 155 km long but is so stunning and interesting to explore, it can easily take you a whole weekend to enjoy it at its fullest. Here is everything you need to know about this slice of paradise to make your trip really enjoyable.

Kaikoura Peninsula

Kaikoura is such a picturesque little town! No matter where you stay there, you’ll be surrounded by epic mountains, beautiful valleys and, most probably, a sea view. To soak in the best of the best Kaikoura has to offer, we recommend to explore Kakikoura Peninsula Walkway – the highest concentration of breathtaking views and local history!

Mount Maunganui in Bay of Plenty

It might be our own backyard and we see it every day, so it’s really easy to forget, how special the views of The Mount and from Mt Maunganui really are! But honestly, can there be anything more incredible than a cute town on a narrow piece of land tucked in between an ocean and a bay? Surrounded by water, our very own gorgeous mountain and a town at the base of it are truly unique!

Karangahake Gorge

Resting at the border of Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel, this incredible forest is full of scenic walks and historic places, showing what was the life of miners like ages ago. The most picturesque route to take here must be Windows Walk – it’s quite short but so interesting and beautiful!

Anawhata beach in Auckland

Auckland’s West Coast needs no second introduction – everyone knows its rugged landscapes and stunning black sand beaches. Anawhata beach is often unfairly overlooked by visitors in favour of more popular Piha beach and Muriwai beach, but in our opinion it’s the most beautiful beach of Auckland’s West Coast. In order to get there, you’ll have to take 10 km of a gravel road but it’s so worth it! Even the view from the carpark is amazing and the walk down to the beach takes only around 10 minutes.

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