Anyone who has visited New Zealand will tell you that it is a dream destination. The kiwi homeland has much to offer, so much in fact that you’ll never see it all in a single visit.
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1. Hundertwasser Toilets
Most will agree that the Hundertwasser toilets are a work of art, and they’re right. Located in Kawakawa in New Zealand’s far North, the toilets literally are a work of art. Designed by famous Austrian expat artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1975, the mosaic toilets are made of colorful recycled glass and plastic. They are a much photographed Kawakawa landmark, in an otherwise unassuming little town.
2. Weta Studios
Are you Lord of the Rings fan? Do you want to learn every possible fact and piece of trivia about it? If so, then Weta Studios is the place for you. The studios are located in Petone, a suburb of Wellington, and is a unique spot for tourists to visit and take a tour. The team at Weta Studios create special effects for films like Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and many others. Pieces from their films can be seen all over Wellington. For example, you’ll find the Gandalf statue on the High Street, and one of Gollum in Wellington’s Airport. Once you enter the studio museum, you’ll be amazed. There’s movie memorabilia galore, and even a gift shop in which you’ll find miniatures of every fan’s favourite Stoorish Hobbit, Gollum.
3. Tongariro Crossing
Tongariro crossing is considered to be one of the best one-day treks in New Zealand. It is situated on the North Island and will take you through a World Heritage site and some volcanoes. While there, you can see some of New Zealand’s impressive natural tourists attractions – Mount Ruapehu, Rangipoe Desert, and the famous Ketetahi Hot Springs.
Mount Ngaurauhoe can also be spotted from here. It was used as a stand-in for Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
4. Te Papa Museum
History buffs and those who are curious about New Zealand’s culture and history should make sure they visit the National Museum in Wellington. Here they will find historical documents, and cultural and other artefacts. There are Maori carvings, huge whale skeletons, and written tales of local legends. To see it all properly, you’ll need 3 or 4 days to spend, but honestly, it is worth it!
5. Yellow-Eyed Penguins
New Zealand is home to a lot of penguins, and who doesn’t love a penguin? Very few people know that New Zealand’s South Island is famous for its colony of very rare Yellow-Eyed Penguins. These tall, big birds, with a bright yellow stripe that runs through the eye, can be found on Stewart Island. If you’re keen and brave, this otherwise deserted island is definitely worth a visit.
6. Pupu Springs
Pupu Springs is located on the South Island’s Golden Bay, and it is considered one of the clearest springs in the world. The spring’s water is so blue and clean that you can see all the way to the bottom of this plant-filled water source. The water is also clean enough to drink. The springs have cultural significance for Maori tribes, as they are believed to be the home of the taniwha (water spirit) Huriawa, and are therefore treasured.