Did you know New Zealand is one of the first countries to see the sunrise? From the stunning coastlines of the North Island to the alpine landscapes of the South Island, I’ve put together a list of the top, most worthwhile spots to watch the sunrise.
1. Tapeka Point, Russell
Once the capital of New Zealand, Russell is a small town rich in history and culture. You can see sunshine from Paihia to Waitangi. The coastal headland overlooks sandy bays, a great spot for photography, and the Bay of Islands.
2. Wainui Beach, Gisborne
Gisborne was the first New Zealand city to see the sunrise over the horizon. Home to one of the most frequented beaches on the east coast, Wainui Beach is a great vantage point to soak up the first rays of the day.
3. Pinnacles, Coromandel
If you don’t mind an early morning hike, then head to the top of Pinnacles in Coromandel to watch the sunrise. In addition, if you want to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the night in Pinnacles, you can ultimately spend the night in the hut of the Department of Conservation.
4. Mount Eden, Auckland
Auckland is a beautiful city in New Zealand. The view for dawn lovers of this city is the 196-meter high peak of Mt Eden. It is the tallest volcano in the town, offering remarkable 360-degree views of Auckland City and Waitemata Harbour, offering spectacular views of sunrise and sunset.
5. Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
The most popular activity among locals is the pre-dawn Hiking to the top of Mount Maunganui. Enjoy nature and you will be greeted with the first Sun of the top of Maunganui.
This place is trendy on Instagram; photographers and art lovers alike recommend going there once in your life!
6. Saint Clair Beach – Dunedin
Finding a spot on the waterfront at Saint Clair Beach in Dunedin early in the morning is well worth it. Watching the sunrise over the horizon and the endless waves and white sand beach is truly a wonderful experience!
7. New Brighton Pier – Christchurch, South Island
New Brighton Pier, overlooking Pegasus Bay, is Christchurch’s best sunrise spot.
8. The Wanaka Tree, Lake Wanaka
This is the best hunting spot for professional and amateur photographers. A single tree rises out of the water, just offshore, providing plenty of opportunities for unique, otherworldly photos.
9. Oban, Stewart Island
Oban is the most significant settlement on Stewart Island, with a population of nearly 400. Halfmoon Bay is one of Stewart Island’s best-kept secrets, with many locals flocking to observe the sunrise at one of New Zealand’s southernmost points.
10. One Mile Car Park, Queenstown
Just a five-minute walk from Queenstown’s town center, One Mile Car Park looks out over Lake Wakatipu, offering a stunning panorama of The Remarkables. You are sure to be mesmerized by the sight of the sun rising above these beautiful and iconic peaks.