New Zealand Scenic Views Highlights

In one way or another, New Zealand is always suggesting you 'go up and see the view'. We might be talking about a gentle hill above a rural town or the cloud-piercing enormity of Mount Cook (Aoraki). The land is rarely flat, and where it is there's always a mountain range or volcano close by to provide full-strength panorama.

Auckland City - Auckland

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Lion Rock at Piha Beach, Auckland, New Zealand
Lion Rock at Piha Beach
Photographer: Scott Venning

Special places to find in and around Auckland City.

Katikati Murals - Bay of Plenty

In Katikati, visitors and residents see local history every day, just by walking the main street.

Banks Peninusla - Canterbury

Banks Peninsula and Akaroa, early attempted French settlement site. Charming seaside tourist town with French influences.

Canterbury Plains - Canterbury

Hobbits Frodo and Sam had to walk through the vastness that was Erewhon in the Lord of the Rings - an easier way to view this magnificent film scene is via a hot air balloon.

Lindis Pass and Misty Mountains - Canterbury

You don't have to be a Lord of the Rings fan to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the landscape.

Wentworth Valley Waterfall - The Coromandel

Wentworth Valley in the Coromandel offers several walks and scenic views.

Larnach Castle - Dunedin

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Larnarch Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand
Larnarch Castle, Dunedin
Photographer: Kieran Scott

Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle, is ornately decorated and furnished, and open for viewing every day.

Taiaroa Head, Otago Peninsula - Dunedin

Taiaroa Head on the Otago Peninsula is home to the only mainland breeding colony of Royal albatross in the world.

Moeraki Boulders - Dunedin

The famous Moeraki boulders lie scattered along a beach 40 kilometres south of Oamaru.

Mount Hikurangi - Eastland

Mount Hikurangi is the first point on mainland New Zealand to see the sunrise each day.

Lake Manapouri becomes River Anduin - Fiordland

A perfect place to stop for a breather and take in the scenery—you could also pose for the odd publicity still with the backdrop of Eregion in the distance.

Te Mata Peak - Hawkes Bay

Te Mata Peak offers panoramic views of the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru ranges and Cape Kidnappers.

Pohangina Anticline - Manawatu & Rangitikei

Running along the Tararua and Ruahine Ranges, the 50km Pohangina Anticline is growing rapidly in geological terms.

Molesworth Station - Marlborough

The high country farm known as Molesworth Station is New Zealand's largest cattle station.

Lindis Pass and Misty Mountains - Mt Cook

You don't have to be a Lord of the Rings fan to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the landscape.

Golden Bay - Nelson

Image Soure: Tourism New Zealand. Golden Bay sand flats, Nelson, New Zealand
Golden Bay Sand Flats, Nelson
Photographer: Graham Charles

Take a trip to Golden Bay over Takaka Hill. Check out the lookouts, points of interest and sacred places.

Takaka Hill - Chetwood Forest - Nelson

You won't find any of Saruman's black crows when you visit Nelson, but you could find a few solid gold rings.

Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach - Northland

Cape Reinga, the northernmost point of New Zealand has great views of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean merging.

Whangarei - Northland

Various scenic options around Whangarei - a leisurely centre for exploring Northland and the Twin Coast Discovery Highway.

Paradise in Queenstown - Queenstown

A region that can boast being Paradise - amongst other things.

Mount Tarawera - Rotorua

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand ( Mount Tarawera, Rotorua, New Zealand
Mount Tarawera, Rotorua
Photographer: Hiroshi Nameda

Mount Tarawera, sacred volcano, famous landmark, and playground, plays an important role in the history of the region.

Nugget Point Lighthouse - Southland

Spend a day admiring the sky, sea and seals of Nugget Point.

Stirling Point - Southland

Points, Hills and Local Oddities - explore Stirling Point, Bluff Hill, Fred and Myrtle's Paua House!

Three Sisters Beach - Rock Formations - Taranaki

Spectacular rock formations and views - the Three Sisters and Elephant Rock.

Huka Falls - Taupo

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Huka Jet at Huka Falls, Waikato River, Taupo, New Zealand
Huka Jet at Huka Falls
Waikato River, Taupo
Photographer: Huka Jet

The Huka Falls is New Zealand's most visited natural attraction.

Waikato River - Taupo

Be there when the spillway opens at the Aratiatia Rapids.

Volcanic Plateau - Taupo

If you're a fan of the movie The Lord of the Rings, you can relive the feeling of complete isolation as you immerse yourself in the land of Mordor.

Matamata - Home of Hobbiton - Waikato

The Waikato town of Matamata played the set for Hobbiton, the home of Bilbo and Frodo in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings.

Mt Iron - Wanaka

Climb the flanks of Mount Iron or Mount Roy for spectacular views of surrounding valleys, peaks, rivers and lakes.

Cardrona Valley - South of Rivendell - Wanaka

You don't have to be a Lord of the Rings fan to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the landscape.

Wanganui City Heritage Walks - Wanganui

Heritage walks in Wanganui City; brochures provide a brief on each location plus drawings of historical sights.

Queens Wharf - Wellington

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Wellington Harbour, New Zealand
Wellington Harbour
Photographer: Ian Trafford

Exploring Wellington's waterfront on foot, visit Queens Wharf, Te Papa, Chaffers Marina, and Oriental Bay.

Mount Victoria and Kaitoke Regional Park - Wellington

The home of The Lord of the Rings movie director Peter Jackson and the location for some of the films scenes.

Paparoa National Park - Pancake Rock - West Coast

Paparoa National Park, famous for its Pancake Rocks and packed with variety and stunning landscapes.


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