Top 100 “Must Visit” Destinations in New Zealand: #100-#91

By | August 24, 2010

24 August 2010

Here in New Zealand we are proud of our nation.  Throughout a series of articles we will be showcasing this wonderful country of ours.

New Zealand has so much to offer for its own residents, tourists and those of you looking to emigrate.   If you are looking at investing in New Zealand property it would be wise to familiarise yourself with the area and anyone considering a visit should take note of the following.

Let’s begin!

#100    Beehive and Parliament Buildings – Wellington 

For those of you unfamiliar with the New Zealand Government building; the Beehive is an interesting piece of architecture to say the least!  As you would think the building is shaped like a beehive and was constructed in the 1970’s.  A controversial design at the time; it is now a New Zealand icon.  Parliament has an ‘open house’ policy and free tours of the buildings are available, including the debating chamber while is session.  For more information please visit www.parliament.nz

#99     New Zealand Rugby Museum – Palmerston North, Manawatu
New Zealand’s national game is rugby union.  The national team (the All Blacks) are the most successful team in the history of the sport and New Zealanders are very proud of their “men in black” so much so the nation goes into mourning if they lose!  The rugby museum in Palmerston North showcases New Zealand as a rugby powerhouse and has a range of interesting and informative displays for the fan and non-fan alike.  To make a booking please visit www.rugbymuseum.co.nz

#98    Stonehenge Aotearoa – Carterton, Wairarapa

Aotearoa is the Maori (indigenous people of this land) name for New Zealand.   It means “Land of the Long White Cloud.”  The structure completed near Carterton in 2005 is a full scale working model of the original Stonehenge situated in Salisbury Plains, England.  Aotearoa Stonehenge is perfectly placed to record seasons; celebrate winter solstice and Matariki (Maori New Year).  Situated on private property, bookings are essential so please visit www.astronomynz.org.nz/stonehenge for more information.

#97    Cross Country Skiing – Queenstown/Southern Lakes
New Zealand has world renowned ski fields and breath-taking scenery.   Lake Wanaka has New Zealand’s only dedicated cross-country skiing area, with over 50 kilometres of tracks way up in the Pisa Range.  Cross country skiing can take some mastering but it is an experience like no other on the ski field and the views along the mountains and over the lake are well worth the hard work.  For more information please see www.snowfarmnz.com

#96    Writers Walk – Wellington
This self-tour of the capital city is for those with an avid interest in the arts.  The tour encapsulates musings cast in stone by writers who, at some point in their lives, have called Wellington home.  These include Katherine Mansfield, Robin Hyde, Denis Glover, Bruce Mason and Vincent O’Sullivan.  Look out for James K Baxter’s sculpture, which appears to float on the surface of the Te Papa pool.  For more info see www.wellingtonnz.com/sights_activities/wellington_writers_walk

#95    Hundertwasser Toilets – Kawakawa, Northland
These need to be seen to be believed!  Situated in the picturesque town of Kawakawa; these public conveniences were designed by world renowned artist, ecologist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser – the only structure he completed in the southern hemisphere.   Made of recycled coloured glass bottles and old bricks, featuring brightly coloured archways and sculptured columns with a tree growing in the building itself – this is not to be missed if you are visiting Northland! www.eventfinder.co.nz/venue/hundertwasser-public-toilets-kawakawa

#94    Golf in Alpine Splendour – Queenstown/Southern Lakes
Queenstown Golf Club’s 5th hole is said to be one of the most photographed in the world.  Framed by Lake Wakatipu and the majesty of the Southern Alps it can be difficult to concentrate on your drive!  The world class Millbrook Resort and golf club is a short drive from Queenstown and offers similar awe-inspiring views along with luxurious accommodation.  Please visit www.queenstowngolf.co.nz or www.millbrook.co.nz

#93    Port Waikato – Auckland
Situated on Auckland’s West Coast, this is where New Zealand’s longest river meets the sea.  A classic Kiwi beachside town, the beauty and serenity of this area is second to none.  Parts of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy were filmed here and the nearby Nikau Glow Worm caves offer something different.   Peaceful coastal walks on black sand dunes and prime fishing round out this quintessential Kiwi experience. Visit www.portwaikato.com

#92    Central Otago Curling – Alexandra/Maniototo
Parts of Central Otago are seen as thoroughfares to the Queenstown/Southern Lakes District.  However some of these towns and settlements offer a unique beauty and culture all of their own.   The Scottish sport of curling is a big hit in Central Otago and well worth a go!  It involves hurling 20 kilo stones fitted with a handle down a 35 metre strip of groomed ice.  Similar to lawn bowls the aim is to get closest to the markers. www.curling.co.nz

#91    Volcano Treks – Auckland
A little known fact about our biggest city is that much of the urban area sits on dormant volcanoes!  Two of the most popular cones to visit are Mt Eden and One Tree Hill.  Mt Eden is the highest and offer stunning views over the harbour and city.  One Tree Hill was one of the largest Maori settlement complexes in the country at one point and is claimed to be the largest pre0histroic earth fort in the world.  These are both easily accessible by foot or car. See www.tourism.net.nz/region/auckland

Please keep a look out for the next article in our series.  With thanks to AA Travel.

Ref: www.aatravel.co.nz