12 Best Cities to Visit in New Zealand

New Zealand is a country that has something for everyone. With its diverse landscape, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy no matter what time of year you visit. And with so many different places to see, it can be hard to narrow down your list of potential destinations. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the 12 best cities to visit in New Zealand, whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure or a relaxing getaway. So without further ado, here are our top picks for the best places to visit in New Zealand.


Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and is home to a third of the country's population. The city is located on the North Island and is built around two large harbours. Auckland is a diverse and multicultural city, with residents coming from all over the world.

The city centre is compact and easy to get around on foot. There are plenty of things to see and do in Auckland, from exploring the many markets and shops, to visiting the museums and galleries. The waterfront area is also worth a visit, with its restaurants, cafes and bars.

Auckland is well-connected to the rest of New Zealand, making it an ideal base for exploring the country. From here you can easily reach other popular tourist destinations such as Rotorua, Taupo and Wellington.


Christchurch is the gateway city to New Zealand's South Island and is renowned for its English heritage and picturesque surroundings. Christchurch is a must-visit for any traveler to New Zealand.

The city center of Christchurch was severely damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, but has since been rebuilt and now boasts a modern, vibrant feel. The central city is home to many cafes, restaurants, and shops, as well as a number of interesting sights such as the Cardboard Cathedral and the Transitional Cathedral. Christchurch is also a great base for exploring the surrounding Canterbury region, which is known for its beautiful landscape and outdoor activities.


Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is located at the southern tip of the North Island. The city is Wellington is a vibrant and lively place with plenty to see and do. Some of the must-visit attractions in Wellington include Te Papa Museum, Wellington Zoo, and the Carter Observatory. Wellington is also home to some of the best restaurants and cafes in New Zealand, so be sure to sample some of the local cuisine while you're here.


Dunedin is located on the South Island of New Zealand and is the second-largest city in the country. The city has a population of just over 120,000 people and is known for its strong Scottish heritage. Dunedin was founded in 1848 by Scottish settlers and was named after Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.

Today, Dunedin is a vibrant university town with a lively student population. The city centre is compact and easily walkable, with plenty of cafes, bars, and shops to explore. Dunedin is also home to some of New Zealand’s best museums and art galleries, as well as stunning Victorian architecture.

If you’re looking for a relaxed place to explore on New Zealand’s South Island, then Dunedin is definitely worth a visit!


With its bubbling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua is like a living, breathing science experiment. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Zealand and it’s easy to see why.

Rotorua is located in the North Island of New Zealand and is known for its Maori culture and thermal activity. The city offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors including the Te Puia Maori Village, the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, and the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour. There are also numerous hiking and biking trails in the area.

If you’re looking for an adventure, Rotorua is the place for you. The city is filled with adrenaline-pumping activities like ziplining, whitewater rafting, and bungee jumping. And if you want to take things at a slower pace, there are plenty of opportunities for relaxing hot springs experiences.

No matter what your interests are, Rotorua has something for everyone. So why not add it to your list of must-visit cities in New Zealand?


Aerial view of Lake Taupo, Taupo / New Zealand

Taupo is a beautiful city located in the North Island of New Zealand. It is known for its stunning scenery, as it sits on the edge of Lake Taupo. The city has a lot to offer visitors, including hiking and biking trails, geothermal parks, and plenty of opportunity for watersports. Taupo is also home to the world-famous Huka Falls, which are definitely worth a visit.


New Zealand is a country of incredible natural beauty, and Queenstown is one of its most popular tourist destinations. Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown offers stunning views of the Southern Alps and is known for its adventure sports and outdoor activities.

Queenstown is a great place to start your New Zealand adventure. The town has a lively atmosphere with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. There are also plenty of activities on offer, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and biking in the summer. Whatever time of year you visit, Queenstown is sure to impress.

Fiordland National Park

New Zealand is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the world. Fiordland National Park, located in the southwest of the country, is a prime example. The park spans over 1.2 million hectares and is home to towering mountains, pristine rivers, and picturesque fiords.

Visitors to Fiordland National Park can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, kayaking, and wildlife watching. The park is also a popular destination for photographers and filmmakers; many iconic scenes from Lord of the Rings were filmed here.

If you're planning a trip to New Zealand, be sure to add Fiordland National Park to your list of must-see places.

Mt. Cook National Park

Mt. Cook National Park is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand. The park is home to Mt. Cook, the tallest mountain in New Zealand. Visitors can hike to the top of Mt. Cook or take a helicopter ride to get a bird's eye view of the park. Other activities in the park include skiing, snowboarding, and mountaineering.

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand. It is situated in the Southern Alps and surrounded by mountains. The lake is very clean and clear, with a brilliant blue colour.

There are many activities to do around Lake Wanaka, such as hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and canoeing. The town of Wanaka is also a great place to explore, with plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes.

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Zealand. The park is located at the top of the South Island and is known for its stunning scenery, golden beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Abel Tasman National Park is a great place to go hiking, camping, kayaking, and swimming. There are also many beautiful walks through the forest that you can take.


With its diverse landscape and plethora of activities, New Zealand is a country that should be on everyone's travel bucket list. And while there are many great cities to visit throughout the country, we've narrowed it down to our top 12. So whether you're looking for breathtaking scenery, outdoor adventure, or simply want to relax and rejuvenate, any of these cities would make for an unforgettable trip.