We have so many natural beauties in New Zealand that choosing the top ten is difficult. However, here are the top ten New Zealand natural wonders you must see before dying.
MILFORD SOUND, FIORDLAND – Natural Wonders of New Zealand
Okay, we get it. You’re probably sick of hearing about Milford Sound, but it’s just beautiful! When it comes to natural wonders, this is right up there with the best in the world, let alone New Zealand! This site, carved out by glacial action thousands of years ago, is sometimes referred to as the world’s eighth wonder, and it’s simple to see why. Proceed there. Now!
CHAMPAGNE POOLS, WAI-O-TAPU
Rotorua is home to a number of natural wonders. We might have been talking about the pink and white terraces that drew visitors worldwide if Mt Tarawera hadn’t erupted in 1886. They were unfortunately damaged, but we were still left with some spectacular sights in Rotorua, including the Champagne Pools in Wai-o-Tapu. The vibrant colors and smell (there’s a lot of sulphur in Rotorua) make this a must-see on every New Zealand trip.
WAITOMO GLOWWORMS, WAITOMO – Natural Wonders of New Zealand
The glowworms in the Waitomo Caves are a sight to behold in New Zealand and worldwide. The unusual Arachnocampa Luminosa (sounds like a Harry Potter spell!) can only be found in New Zealand. Thousands of these gorgeous glowworms can be found beneath the ground at Waitomo. To properly appreciate these natural treasures, take a boat trip into the underground caves. Waitomo Caves is one of our exclusive GO Play partners, so if you rent a car from GO Rentals, you can also save 10%. Boom!
Here are Ten Fascinating Facts About Them
PANCAKE ROCKS, PUNAKAIKI
Punakaiki is located on the West Coast, slightly north of Greymouth. Every day, visitors rush to the small village to view the natural wonders of the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. The incredible Pancake Rocks have formed over the last 30 million years. They form due to significant limestone erosion, resulting in a distinctive feature resembling a stack of pancakes. Water is driven through blowholes in the rocks as the tide surges in, creating a magnificent natural water show.
MOERAKI BOULDERS, DUNEDIN – Natural Wonders of New Zealand
The Moeraki Boulders, another of New Zealand’s magnificent natural rock formations, may be located on the South Island’s east coast, just north of Dunedin. These beautiful spherical stones are approximately 60 million years old and may be seen throughout Koekohe Beach. The Moeraki Boulders are steeped in Maori tradition and have a fascinating history. The history of how they came to be is open to interpretation, ranging from Maori tradition to geology. We all know that they are spectacular and should be on your list of natural wonders in New Zealand.
THE BLUE POOLS, HAAST PASS
Water dominates our list of the top ten natural wonders. It’s somewhat unsurprising given the sea all around us and some spectacular lakes. However, the incredible Blue Pools, located along the Haast Pass between the West Coast and Wanaka, have made our list. A short bush walk will take you to the pools, and the clarity of the water will undoubtedly make you double take. Although the pools are quite deep, you can see everything down there, including the brown trout swimming around. We’ve seen a few brave folks jump into the pools from the bridge, but the water is cold, so you might want to reconsider!
TANE MAHUTA, WAIPOUA FOREST – Natural Wonders of New Zealand
Tane Mahuta – the Lord of the Forest is one of the few natural wonders on our list that does not involve water. Tane Mahuta is a massive Kauri tree found in the Waipoua Forest on the upper North Island’s west coast. The famous tree is entrenched in Maori tradition and is estimated to be 1,250 to 2,500 years old. The gigantic Kauri is 13.77 meters in circumference and 51.2 meters in height and may be reached via a short loop walk.
TONGARIRO ALPINE CROSSING
A national park is a fairly big deal for a natural wonder. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, on the other hand, is regarded as New Zealand’s best one-day trek and one of the best in the world. The abundance of natural treasures you will meet on the 19.4km day walk makes this so spectacular. This tour is full of natural wonders, from towering volcanoes to the turquoise-colored Emerald Lakes. Of course, the national park is also home to Mt Doom, which was made famous in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are many natural beauties for the price of one here!
SPLIT APPLE ROCK, TASMAN BAY
We’re back on the rocks! Also, water. A visit to the Abel Tasman National Park near the southern tip of the South Island will reward you with yet another natural wonder of New Zealand. Split Apple Rock is a type of geological rock formation. The rock is made of granite and is shaped like an apple that has been chopped in half. It’s a popular tourist attraction, and there are several ways to see it – our favorite is via kayak, which you can rent in the park. At low tide, you can also wade out to the rock. The break in the apple was a natural event, but it is unknown when it occurred, adding to the mystery surrounding the rock.
LAKE MATHESON, WEST COAST
With so many lakes to choose from, selecting one for a list of natural wonders was difficult. It comes down to this: not only is the rock itself a natural wonder. What is mirrored in the lake is also a natural wonder of New Zealand. Lake Matheson provides a stunning reflection of Mount Cook and the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers on a clear day. Not bad for such a small lake. It’s a great short walk around the lake that takes around an hour (you may want to leave more time for all the shots!).