Top 5 spots to explore in New Zealand

Aotearoa – it’s dramatic, stunning and right next door. With unique Maori culture, dazzling alpine scenery, pristine beaches and geothermal wonderlands, every corner of New Zealand is a showcase of extraordinary natural beauty.

Aotearoa (New Zealand)

We have teamed up with our Kiwi sister company,, to bring you five must-see holiday spots guaranteed to whet your appetite for a trans-Tasman getaway. With over 11,000 holiday homes from one end of the country to the other, you'll have no trouble finding the perfect holiday home (or "bach" as they're called in New Zealand), for your adventures.

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Hit the restaurants, shops and galleries in buzzing Auckland. You’ll find boutiques and cafes all along Ponsonby Road, or in the Britomart Precinct down by the harbour. Head up the Sky Tower for an overview of NZ's biggest city, stretching between two harbours. Out west, there are rainforest walks and wild coast, or drive north to Rodney, for golden beaches and little vineyards. Waiheke Island is a favourite weekend holiday spot. Catch the ferry to Waiheke and you'll find vineyards with spectacular sea views, great local cuisine and lovely beaches.

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Rotorua is a place unlike any other, with rich Maori culture, and stunning geothermal landscapes, geysers and bubbling mud, giving it a mysterious and elemental feel. Rotorua is surrounded by lovely lakes and forests, with a network of world-class mountain bike trails through the Redwoods, and beautiful tracks to hike or run. For a quieter break, try trout-fishing, and luxurious thermal springs. There are loads of family attractions, from animal parks to the Luge, and crazy adrenaline pursuits – take your pick!

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Queenstown Lakes

The Queenstown Lakes region offers a spectacular alpine setting - perfect for snow-sports, biking and hikes. In winter, the five ski-fields in the area draw snow-lovers from across the world. In summer, bike the Queenstown Trail, 120+km of gorgeous track, beside rivers, lakes, vineyards and mountain scenery. Queenstown is the ultimate place to challenge your fears, with bungy jumps, jet boating and more. There are quieter ways to appreciate the sublime environment - play a round on a championship golf course, tootle round world-famous wineries, or relax at a day spa.

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Bay of Islands

With golden sandy beaches, and azure seas studded with islands to boat to, the Bay of Islands is an idyllic spot to sail, swim and try game-fishing or dolphin-watching. Explore early colonial sites in pretty Russell, then dine in one of the many restaurants strung around the foreshore. Head to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, for an insight into Maori and colonial history. Go the extra mile to the Far North, and visit the lighthouse at Cape Reinga, with the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean meeting dramatically below.

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Nelson/Golden Bay

Nelson is famed for its sunshine, vineyards and beautiful coast. The Abel Tasman National Park has pristine bays to hike or kayak around. Mountain-bike the Dun Mountain Trail for great views, or cycle the Great Taste Trail, with gourmet stops at vineyards and cafes. There’s delectable local seafood, and Nelson is a craft brewing mecca. Mosey round the many art galleries, studios and museums - The World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum is a favourite. The region’s stunning scenery was featured in the Lord of the Rings – it’s a magical place, hobbits or not.

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