Top Attractions in New Zealand

First visit: February 2013
My Country #29

Trip to New Zealand & flying with the King of Sweden on my 100th flight in Business Class

Earlier this month, I was able to explore New Zealand, thanks to Singelresor. We flew with Emirates to Christchurch where we explored the South Island; then took the ferry boat to North Island and after visiting Wellington, Rotorua and Auckland, flew back home. As I had enough Emirates Skywards miles, I decided to upgrade my flight from Dubai to Stockholm in Business Class where I also had the chance to see King Gustav of Sweden as he was seated in front of me! I've flown 99 times in business class prior to this flight so this flight was actually my 100th time to fly in business class. Here are some reviews of the hotels we stayed at, as well as the top attractions we visited while in New Zealand, the land of the Kiwis!

Review: Radisson Blu Skycity Hotel, Arlanda Airport
Review: Copthorne Airport Hotel Dubai (Emirates Economy Class Transit Hotel)
Review: Ibis Hotel Christchurch
Review: Quality Inn Nelson
Review: Ibis Hotel Rotorua
Review: Amora Hotel Auckland
Top Attractions in New Zealand
Review: Emirates Business Class Lounge, Concourse A Dubai Airport (DXB)
Review: Emirates Business Class Lounge, Concourse B, Dubai Airport (DXB)
Review: Emirates Business Class, Dubai to Stockholm

Me exploring the Hobbiton movie set

Earlier this month, I was able to explore the beautiful country of New Zealand, thanks to Singelresor! With its breathtaking landscape and rich Maori culture, there's no doubt that exploring this far, far away land should be on top of your travel list. Unfortunately, our visit to the Milford Sound was cancelled due to an avalanche causing the roads to be closed. I guess that's another reason for me to come back to New Zealand in the future! Here are some of the places we visited and which I would highly recommend to my fellow travelers.

Cathedral Square in Christchurch: Here you can see the Chalice sculpture, a project to commemorate Canterbury's 150th anniversary and of course the ruins of the Cathedral after the 2010/2011 earthquake.

Moeraki Boulders: It was actually high tide during our visit but seeing these massive boulders was definitely worth it.

University of Otago: This is the country's oldest university and has been consistently ranked among the top universities in New Zealand.

A boat trip to Otago Peninsula: During our boat trip, we were able to see lots of albatross, seals and dolphins.

Baldwin Street: This is the steepest street in the world and surely not to be missed.

Dunedin Railway Station: Make sure you go inside the station as it is just as beautiful as the exterior.

 A visit to the town of Gore, the world capital of brown trout fishing

Te Anau Glowworm Caves: I've never seen such caves before and was really amazed by these creatures. Definitely a must do when in New Zealand.

Bungee Jumping: Well, none from the group did try it but for those thrill seekers, this will surely give you an adrenaline rush!

Taking the cable car for a fantastic view of Queenstown

Taking a scenic cruise of Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw, the only coal fired steamship in operation in the southern hemisphere.

Queenstown Gardens: If you love gardens, this is surely a must visit in Queenstown.

Queenstown Fallen Soldiers Memorial

This view of Lake Wanaka is simply breathtaking.

Fox Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier: This is a 12 km long glacier and a walk to the viewing point from the entrance would take about 45 minutes so make sure you have enough time during your visit.

View of Mount Tasman (left) and Mount Cook (right): It was such an experience being able to see the two highest mountains in New Zealand specially because seeing Mt. Cook is not always possible because of the weather.

Pancake Rocks at the Paparoa National Park

Seal Colony at Westport

Wine tasting: A visit to New Zealand will not be complete without booking a wine tasting tour.

A stroll along the Trafalgar Street in Nelson: Make sure you visit the beautiful Christ Church Cathedral too.

Taking the ferry boat from the South Island to the North Island: Nothing beats this experience as you get to see the beauty of nature that New Zealand is famous for.

A visit to Mount Victoria lookout giving you fantastic views of the city of New Zealand's capital, Wellington.

A visit to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Here, you get to see lots of interesting things including the exhibition of eight ordinary New Zealanders captured frozen in a moment of time on a monumental scale. Entrance is free.

The Beehive: The architecture of this Executive Wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings is simply unique.

Old St. Paul's: This is one of the finest examples of timber Gothic Revival architecture. Make sure you visit before 5pm as it closes by that time.

Old Government Buildings: Built in 1876, it is the country's largest and grandest wooden building. The building was originally built to resemble an Italian stone palace.

Tongariro National Park: This is the country's oldest national park.

Huka Falls: It is not the height but the current that makes this falls special.

Wairakei Geothermal Power Plant: This is pretty much like the ones they have in Iceland although I was told by our guide that they (New Zealanders) were the first ones to have it.

Mud Pools in Waiotapu

The Agrodome Sheep Show: This is one of the most entertaining shows I've seen lately. Plus you get to see all the kinds of sheep altogether on stage.

Rotorua Museum

A visit to Te Puia geysers and Maori Cultural Center: This is definitely a must when in Rotorua.

 Enjoying a hangi dinner and a Maori show

The silver fern is unique because you can only see them here in New Zealand.

A visit to Hobbiton Movie Set: Whether you are a fan of the movie or not, this is surely one of the coolest things you can do in New Zealand.

A stroll along the waterfront in Auckland

A visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum

Kelly Tarlton's Sealife Aquarium

A visit to the Sky Tower and having a dinner at Orbit, their rotating restaurant!

Gannet colony in Muriwai Beach

Once a very important tree, the Kauri Tree is New Zealand's largest and most famous native tree and a visit to any Kauri Park is recommended during your spare time.

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