You’ve never seen views like the ones in New Zealand. The Oceania nation is known for its stunning landscapes and geography. But in an already-beautiful spot, there are certain spots that are guaranteed to blow your mind... or at least take your breath away.
From incredible night sky views to breathtaking mountain vistas, here are five views you can see only in New Zealand.
Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve
This area on New Zealand’s South Island has long been prized for its incredible night views. The area’s first known residents, the Māori, were said to use the night sky for navigation. But the stars weren’t just used to get around the island. Star lore and astronomy played prominently in their culture and everyday lives.
In the 1980s, specific lighting controls were put into place to prevent light pollution, conserve energy, and help maintain a healthy environment for the area’s wildlife. It’s helped to keep the area pristine, and made it an international destination for stargazers. Visitors can come to enjoy some of the most incredible sky views in the world.
Curio Bay is a bit off the beaten path, located in the Catlins, a rugged, beautiful area on New Zealand’s South Island. The area has long been known as a surfing destination, but it has more to offer than just great waves.
The wildlife is out of this world. Visitors might just spy a yellow-eyed penguin or a peek at some endangered Hector’s dolphins while walking around the incredible rocky shoreline.
You won’t find a lot of action or nightlife in this area, but you will be treated to gorgeous beach views, enchanted forests and beautiful sunsets. It’s the perfect quiet escape if you want to enjoy world-class views and enjoy some time away from the rest of the world.
Also known as Māori Rahotu, the Mitre Peak is the pinnacle of a famous mountain located on the shores of Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South Island. It’s also one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in the world.
Mitre Peak rises to over 5,500 feet above sea level. The juxtaposition of this massive peak against the shores of Milford Sound make it a sight unlike any other. While Mitre Peak itself is dangerous to climb, it’s not hard to see why it’s so highly photographed from nearby viewpoints.
Also known as Roy’s Peak, this spot in Wanaka, New Zealand, is another hotspot for photography, offering panoramic views of the Matukituki Valley.
Of course, you’ll have to work for the view. Getting uphill requires a several-hour journey with little shade or water sources along the way. However, for those who want to get the view but don't feel like putting in that time or work, you can hire a helicopter to fly around the region.
On New Zealand’s west coast, you’ll find a natural formation that just might make you hungry. Located at Dolomite Point near Punakaiki, the so-called Pancake Rocks are one of the biggest destinations on the west coast.
These rocks are the result of years of nature’s work. Over time, bursts of water through blowholes have eroded the limestone in a very striking way. Pro tip: Visit at high tide, when you can see some of the impressive blowholes in action!
If the idea of seeing incredible sights motivates your travels, then New Zealand should be at the top of your travel bucket list. With awe-inspiring views in otherworldly settings, you can see things here that you won’t see anywhere else.