Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Site in Paihia, Waitangi & Haruru

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Occupying a headland draped in lawns and bush, this is NZ's most significant historic site. Here, on 6 February 1840, after much discussion, the first 43 Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi with the British C…
Top Choice Landmark in Waipoua Forest

Te Matua Ngahere

From the Kauri Walks car park, a 20-minute walk leads past the Four Sisters, a graceful stand of four tall trees fused together at the base, to Te Matua Ngahere (The Father of the Forest). At 30m, he has a significa…
Top Choice Landmark in Waipoua Forest

Tāne Mahuta

Near the north end of the park, not far from the road, stands mighty Tāne Mahuta, named for the Māori forest god. At 51.5m, with a 13.8m girth and wood mass of 244.5 cubic metres, he’s the largest kauri alive, and h…
Top Choice National Park in Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass National Park

Straddling the Southern Alps, known to Māori as Ka Tiritiri o Te Moana (Steep Peak of Glistening White), this vast alpine wilderness became the South Island's first national park in 1929. Of its 1144 sq km, two-thir…
Top Choice Bird Sanctuary in Oamaru

Blue Penguin Colony

Every evening the tykes from the Oamaru little penguin colony surf in and wade ashore, heading to their nests in an old stone quarry near the waterfront. Stands are set up on either side of the waddle route. General…
Top Choice Viewpoint in Cape Reinga & Ninety Mile Beach

Cape Reinga

State Hwy 1 terminates at this dramatic headland where the waters of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meet, breaking together into waves up to 10m high in stormy weather. Cape Reinga is the end of the road both lite…
Top Choice Volcano in Auckland

One Tree Hill

This volcanic cone was the isthmus’ key pā and the greatest fortress in the country. At the top (182m) there are 360-degree views and the grave of John Logan Campbell, who gifted the land to the city in 1901 and req…
Top Choice Museum in Nelson

World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum

Nelson is the birthplace of NZ's most inspiring fashion show, the annual World of WearableArt Awards. You can see 70 or so current and past entries in this museum's several sensory-overloading galleries, including a…
Top Choice Museum in Auckland

Auckland Museum

This imposing neoclassical temple (1929), capped with an impressive copper-and-glass dome (2007), dominates the Auckland Domain and is a prominent part of the Auckland skyline, especially when viewed from the harbou…
Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Stewart Island (Rakiura)

Ulva Island

A tiny paradise covering only 269 hectares, Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara is a great place to see lots of native NZ birds. Established as a bird sanctuary in 1922, it remains one of Stewart Island/Rakiura’s wildest corn…