Seeing New Zealand in pictures from home is one of the best ways to get inspired to plan a visit to this amazing country.
When we first started planning our trip to New Zealand, all we heard about was the fabulous South Island and how we should spend all our time down there.
I wasn’t sure I could travel halfway around the World and not see both the North and South islands of New Zealand. Luckily, these New Zealand photos will prove our point.
New Zealand in Pictures: The North Island
New Zealand’s North Island should not be overlooked.
Some of our most amazing memories came from our time spent on the North Island from surfing at Piha, climbing the Auckland Bridge, white water rafting on the Kaituna River, Dolphin Watching in Tauranga, experiencing the Maori up close and personal in Rotorua, to testing our strength and determination on the Tongariro Crossing in Taupo.
We also jumped out of a plane for the first time in Taupo.
These memories are unbeatable, couple them with beautiful countryside and we can honestly and firmly say that the North Island should not be missed on your next visit to New Zealand.
As a way of pleading my case, I have put together this post of my favorite New Zealand photos from our time on the North Island.
~Auckland is a huge, beautiful city~
~Piha Beach, 1 Hour North of Auckland~
~Learning to surf with Felipe at Piha Beach~
~Hot Water Beach on The Coromandel~
~Karangahake Gorge, The Coromandel~
~Cathedral Cove on The Coromandel~
~Rafting Waterfalls on the Kaituna River (we’re in the front!) Rotorua~
~Tamaki Maori Experience, Rotorua~
~Horse Trekking in the River Valley~
~Completing the Tongariro Crossing, 19.9km~
~Sunrise at the Tongariro Crossing~
~Experiencing a live volcanic field on the Tongariro Crossing, Taupo~
~ Leaping at the Emerald Pools on the Tongariro Crossing, Taupo~
~Emerald Pools on the Tongariro Crossing, Taupo~
~ Playing around at the Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata~
~Us at Bag End! Bilbo and Frodo’s hobbit hole~
~Looking through the Green Dragon Pub’s doors out into the Shire~
We took thousands of New Zealand photos during our 5 weeks traveling both the islands and while this is a small sampling, I hope it does some justice to the North Island.
If you were ever contemplating whether you should spend the time away from the South Island, just do it. You won’t regret it.
New Zealand in Pictures: The South Island
So now that I have shared with you our favorite photos from the North Island, it is time to take a look at our time in the South Island and show you our favorite New Zealand photos from the other island.
We really loved the North Island, but the South Island is spectacular for its own set of reasons. People are not wrong in telling others to spend time there. If you only have 2 weeks, yes, go to the South Island and make it count.
It is such an incredibly diverse place that it is easy to see why people fall in love with it and never venture North. From mountain vistas, cool towns, amazing wildlife and everything in between, it is a beautiful place in this great big world.
We spent the better part of 3 weeks in the South Island and made our way around to some of the best spots.
One of the best ways to see New Zeland is by road tripping. Check out: 8 Realities of Road Tripping New Zealand
~Nelson Lakes Park, Enjoying Lake Rotoiti~
~Wharf Jumping at Lake Rotoiti~
~Watching the sunset on the beach in Westport~
~Punakaiki Pancake Rocks~
~Ice Climbing on a Glacier in Franz Josef~
~Perfect day to visit Lake Hawea, so stunning~
~Dave taking the leap at the Blue Pools~
~Sunset in Queenstown~
~Birds Eye View of Queenstown~
~Visiting the Moeraki Boulders on a rainy day~
~Climbing the steepest street in the World, Baldwin Street in Dunedin~
~Seeing our first Yellow-Eyed Penguins~
~Beautiful Otago Peninsula in Dunedin~
~Our first Rugby game, Go Highlanders!~
~Seeing a Fiordland Penguin in The Caitlins!!!~
~Sea Lions at Cannibal Bay in The Caitlins~
~McClean Falls in The Caitlins~
~Permanent Waterfall at Milford Sound~
~Beautiful Milford Sound on a bright day~
~Mountain Majesty near Monkey Creek on the way to Milford Sound~
~Mirror Lakes in Fiordland National Park~
~Lake Pukaki is really that color blue. Amazing.~
~Whale Watching in Kaikoura~
As you can see, the South Island is mesmerizing and these New Zealand photos are just enough to do it justice.
The raw nature on display here is unlike anything we have ever seen and this puts New Zealand on the top of our travel list for favorite destinations. It’s that good.
Be sure to check out our New Zealand Travel Guide, we’ve got over 30 articles about our time in New Zealand.
The long and short of it, 5 weeks wasn’t enough, we’ll be back.
If you liked our photos and are interested in travel photography, be sure to check out our Ultimate Travel Photography Gear List.
More on New Zealand:
- 51 Epic Things to Do in New Zealand
- Best Time to Visit New Zealand: Month by Month Breakdown
- Two Week New Zealand South Island Itinerary
- Two Week North Island New Zealand Itinerary
- Blue Pools: New Zealand Best Kept Secret
- Karangahake Gorge: Off the Beaten Track in NZ
- Travel Recap- 5 Weeks in New Zealand
- 5 Things To Do In Queenstown
- Complete Queenstown Accommodation Guide
- New Zealand’s Moeraki Boulders In Photos