New Zealand’s Top 10 Instagram Spots

Check out New Zealand’s most photographed mountains, lakes and beaches


1. Milford Sound

Milford Sound sits within Fiordland National Park in New Zealand’s South Island. The park is part of Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Despite its name, Milford Sound is actually a fiord, not a sound. It is also the only fiord in New Zealand that is accessible by road. However, its remote location, bounded by steep cliffs and dense rainforest, means its special features such as waterfalls remain unspoilt.

2. Hobbiton Movie Set

This movie set is a must-visit for any Lord of The Rings fan. Experience the magic of the real Middle-earth in the heart of the Waikato region, where you can step into the lush pastures of the Shire exactly as shown in the trilogies.

3. Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is nestled in the heart of New Zealand's South Island. The lake lies at the foot of the Southern Alps, which rise to a height of 3 kilometres. The lake is accessible from both Christchurch and Queenstown, and is just an hour’s drive away from Mount Cook.

4. Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui is a holiday paradise where you can surf, swim, play golf, shop, dine or simply relax and soak up the atmosphere. Located across the harbour from Tauranga, the Maori town is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, with New Zealand’s best beach on one side of its peninsula, and the sheltered waters of Pilot Bay on the other.

5. Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is home of the highest mountains and the longest glaciers. It is alpine in the purest sense with skyscraping peaks, glaciers and permanent snowfields, all set under a star-studded sky. Apparently, Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mount Cook first to develop his climbing skills in preparation for the conquest of Everest.

6. Lake Wanaka

Wanaka’s lakes and mountains and proximity to Mt Aspiring National Park, makes it the ultimate base for outdoor activities. But it’s not just the outdoor enthusiasts who have plenty to do, stroll the streets and be inspired by galleries, stylish shops and be spoilt for choice with a great selection of cool cafes and restaurants.

7. Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro National Park is New Zealand's oldest national park and a dual World Heritage Site. The Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered a world-renowned trek.

8. Takapuna Beach

Takapuna encompasses the best of everything – a relaxed beach, designer shopping, a thriving hospitality scene with a huge variety of cafés, restaurants and bars, Sunday markets, live shows - with simply stunning views out across the Hauraki Gulf to the iconic Rangitoto Island. Walk the historic ‘lava’ trail along the beach foreshore, paddle board or kayak at the beach or choose to relax by Lake Pupuke, Auckland’s only freshwater lake.

9. Lake Wakatipu

Shaped like a lightning bolt, Lake Wakatipu is the third largest lake in New Zealand. Because of its unusual shape, Lake Wakatipu has a 'tide', which causes the water to rise and fall about 10cm every 25 minutes. Maori legend links this phenomenon to the heartbeat of a huge monster named Matau, who is said to be slumbering at the bottom of the lake.

10. Lake Pukaki

Lake Pukaki is a shimmering blue jewel that was the setting for ‘Lake-town’ in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The craggy peak draws serious alpinists and mountaineers from around the world, and the surrounding region is a popular destination for stargazing, winter snow sports, cycling, summer hiking and walking, and romantic getaways.

Aditi Kashyap

20 Dec 2017, 10:00 AM

Aditi is the Associate Editor at Vanilla Luxury. She loves to travel and has an obsession with rooftop bars and chasing sunsets. Follow her adventures on Instagram @heydeets.