New Zealand Is the Most Beautiful Country on Earth. Here’s Photographic Proof.

It’s hard to overstate how beautiful New Zealand is! Here are 15 of its most awe-inspiring sights.

Every country has unique and awe-inspiring natural attractions, from towering mountains and glacial lakes to dramatic canyons, iconic coastlines, and sweeping valleys. However, some places have been blessed with more than their fair share!

New Zealand is one of them. This magical country boasts landscapes of unbelievable beauty and diversity. Moreover, they’re all within a stone’s throw of each other. Here are 15 of its most stunning natural attractions.

1. Mount Cook

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Also known as Aoraki, Mount Cook stands 3,724 meters tall, making it the highest mountain in New Zealand. It’s an iconic sight in an area of South Island renowned for its aesthetic appeal.

Approaching Mount Cook along State Highway 80, you drive alongside Lake Pukaki, a bright turquoise body of water reflecting snowcapped mountains from its surface.

2. Milford Sound

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Milford Sound is New Zealand’s answer to Norway’s fjords. The landscape is spectacular.

Enormous cliffs covered in native bush rise vertically from dark blue waters, and dozens of waterfalls drift and tumble from the top. Whether you go on a cruise or join a kayak tour, exploring Milford Sound on the water is an unforgettable experience.

3. Wanaka

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Wanaka is a small town on the banks of its eponymous glacial lake. The friendly, laidback atmosphere here is second only to the natural beauty.

Lake Wanaka glistens in the sun and epic mountains tower above it. Roy’s Peak is the most famous. A popular hike takes you to the summit, where you enjoy some of New Zealand’s best views (shown above).

4. Mount Taranaki

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

On the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island lies an active volcano called Mount Taranaki.

On a clear day, you can’t miss it. Standing 2,518 meters high, its perfect conical form, capped in snow, is visible from miles away. In bad weather, though, the clouds drift in, and you wouldn’t even know it’s there.

5. Abel Tasman National Park

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Abel Tasman National Park is an oasis of sun-kissed coves, golden sands, and lush rainforest. It is located in the northwest of the South Island, close to the popular city of Nelson.

It’s a haven for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts that’s home to the famed Abel Tasman Coast Track. One of New Zealand’s “Great Walks,” this 37-mile (60 km) trek takes three to five days and gives you access to one of the country’s most iconic coastal landscapes.

6. Te Waikoropupu Springs

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Otherwise known as Pupu Springs, this sacred Māori site just north of Abel Tasman National Park boasts some of the world’s clearest water. A lovely loop walk through a peaceful forest leads to the spring itself, where you’ll be blown away by the pool’s clarity and color.

7. Arthur’s Pass

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Arthur’s Pass National Park is a rugged part of New Zealand full of epic mountains, hiking trails, waterfalls, and cheeky native birds, called Kea. The drive there, which many people refer to as Arthur’s Pass, is one of the best road trips in the country. Spectacular scenery greets you around every twist and turn.

8. Hokitika Gorge

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The entire West Coast of South Island deserves a spot on this list. It’s scenic, wild, and windswept, and there are incredible attractions the whole way along it.

Picture-perfect Hokitika Gorge is one of the region’s best-known landmarks. Located a short drive from the town of Hokitika, its bright turquoise waters snake between limestone cliffs.

9. Haast Pass

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Haast Pass is the route that leads inland from the southern end of the West Coast of South Island. It’s another rugged, diverse, and breathtaking landscape.

The route winds between bush-covered cliffs, next to gorges, past raging waterfalls, and over fast-flowing glacial rivers. Countless trailheads lead from the side of the road, too, making this a fantastic place to hike.

10. Cathedral Cove

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

North Island’s Coromandel Peninsula is a popular vacation spot for Kiwis and a go-to destination for tourists. Around its verdant, mountainous interior lies a golden coastline strewn with beautiful landmarks, including the inimitable Cathedral Cove.

This iconic arched cavern cuts through the rocky headland, creating a spectacular natural tunnel over the beach.

11. Marlborough Sounds

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Marlborough Sounds is a swathe of forested hills, coves, and islands emerging from the Pacific Ocean in the northeast of South Island. It’s a paradise for boat lovers, with many locations accessible only by water.

Keen hikers and mountain bikers love it here. Trails cross-cross the area, including the Queen Charlotte Track – a 44-mile (70 km) route through coastal forest and around countless coves.

12. Franz Josef Glacier

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Franz Josef township and its eponymous glacier are unmissable attractions on the West Coast of South Island. While rapidly receding, this river of ice and the surrounding valley remain sublime sights.

A few hours earlier, you could have been exploring the Hokitika Gorge. Now, you’re standing at the foot of mountains, breathing crisp alpine air and gazing at glaciers.

13. Waitomo Caves

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Most of New Zealand’s natural beauty sits above ground. Go to Waitomo, though, and the magic’s beneath your feet.

A vast underground cave network with rivers flowing through it makes this landscape a hotspot for spelunking. However, the star attraction is the glowworms – native insects that cast a magical luminescence across the ceiling of this subterranean world.

14. The Catlins

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The Catlins are a quiet and underrated New Zealand destination tucked away in the southwest of South Island.

Its untamed and uncrowded nature is part of the appeal. Expect remote and rugged coastlines, windswept sandy beaches, outstanding wildlife opportunities, and verdant hills hiding innumerable rivers and waterfalls.

15. Nelson Lakes National Park

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Welcome to one of South Island’s most photogenic spots. Located at the start of the Southern Alps, Nelson Lakes is a mountainous region with two fabulous alpine lakes: Lake Rotoroa and Lake Rotoiti.

With a pier overlooking the water and towering peaks stretching into the distance, both provide fantastic photo opportunities! The main reason to visit is to go hiking, though. Trails for all abilities lead you deep into another remarkable place in New Zealand.


These 12 Stunning Destinations Are Criminally Underrated

Wroclaw, Poland
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Some of the world’s best travel destinations fly under the radar. Here are 12 such places that deserve more attention from tourists.


20 Best Babymoon Destinations Around the World

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Wondering where to spend your long-awaited babymoon? Here are 20 destinations around the world that could be ideal.


Author: Danny Newman

Title: Writer and Content Creator

Expertise: Travel, Digital Nomadry, Outdoors, Blogging

Danny Newman is a writer, content creator, and digital nomad from the UK. He founded the travel and lifestyle blog What’s Danny Doing, a popular resource for people seeking more adventure, self-discovery, and purpose. A nationally syndicated writer, Danny’s work features in dozens of online publications, including and news sites across the US.