The most Instagram-worthy places in New Zealand
The Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest
Known to locals as one of the best forest trails in the country for bike-riding, horse-riding and hiking, you'll want to visit this mountainous playground just to get lost in it. Dive deep into its beauty and your own thoughts as you navigate over 5600 hectares of stunning New Zealand scenery. With a range of exotic tree species including the towering California Coast Redwoods, panoramic views and access to glistening clear-water lakes, you're guaranteed to capture a postcard-worthy post for your social media.
Address: Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3074
Nowhere does a dramatic landscape like New Zealand, and this location delivers the drama – and then some. Where else in the world can you see two oceans colliding and lap up views from the northern most part of the island? At the Cape, the Pacific Ocean joins the Tasman Sea for a jaw-dropping display of natural beauty and power. You should also try and get a photo with the lighthouse at the edge of the Cape, a striking feature surrounded by vast ocean and wilderness.
Apart from getting the most magical shot for your social media, the Cape is thought to be touched by magic and the supernatural. Travel to the tip of the Cape to look upon a gnarled pohutukawa tree, estimated to be over 800 years old. According to Maori legend, the spirits of deceased Maori soar from this tree into the ocean to return to their spiritual home.
Te Paki Sand Dunes
If you decide to head towards the northern peak of Cape Reinga, you should consider a small diversion for a big payoff. Just a short drive away from the main road heading to the Cape, there's the Te Paki Sand Dunes, a 10km long coastal strip of towering sand dunes. Reaching heights of up to 150m, you'll get awe-inspiring photos of what appears to be vast stretches of desert – but you're only a short trip away from the green pastures of the North Island. When you're not busy getting the perfect photo, why don't you rent one of the sandboards (you can rent one there!) and go flying down the dunes? What's better than a scenic landscape shot? A high-octane action shot.
The North Island isn't all nature and vast stretches of land. If you want to look upon the hub of Wellington and drink up panoramic sights of the thriving city, trek the 196m up Mount Victoria. You'll get to take a snap of the Cook Strait ferries sailing into harbour, or watch the planes coming and going. For the best photo, try and go at either sunrise or sunset. The skyline will be alive with colour and you'll get a shot that most definitely won't require any filters whatsoever.
Located in the Wairarapa region, the largest conservation park in the North Island, the Putangirua Pinnacles near Cape Palliser are perfect backdrops for a moody, mesmerising Instagram post. An eroded geological structure, there's an element of history and drama to this must-see location - which is an opinion obviously shared by Peter Jackson who used the setting for scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies.
Address: Aorangi Forest Park, 5772
Roys Peak, Lake Wanaka
So popular is the famous photo you can get at this peak, that you can now expect to queue for it. But believe us, it's worth the wait. Nothing can prepare you for the breath-taking moment you step on the peak and look out across the expansive exquisiteness of the South Island. With stunning scenery as far as the eye can see from this vantage point, you'll quickly realise why an estimated 73,000 people visited last year alone. Expect to rake in all the Instagram likes as you pose as King or Queen of the 5177ft summit.
Fiordland National Park
Wherever you point your camera here, your guaranteed to take a frame-worthy photo. With fiords, waterfalls and snow-capped peaks all competing for your attention, the area is a visual masterpiece. So much so that in 1990 it was listed as a United Nations World Heritage site. Also inside the national park is what Rudyard Kipling labelled 'the eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound. Beats uploading another photo of your brunch.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
In the central city of Christchurch you can escape amongst 52 acres of luscious gardens. Founded in 1863 with the planting of a single English oak tree, the gardens have grown to become a place of ever-changing, ever-growing beauty. Take a selfie nestled in the roses, admire the natural hues of New Zealand throughout the year and enjoy the romance of rambling beauty.
Address: Rolleston Ave, Christchurch City Centre, Christchurch 8013
Stroll along the serene path and take the ultimate #NoFilter photo at this stunning ancient forest. The lake is famous for its breath-taking reflection of the snow-capped Mount Cook in its mirrored waters. If you're into your wildlife, you could even try and snap a shot of the long-finned eels who dart around lake.
To feel like royalty, a visit to New Zealand's only castle is a must. Larnach Castle in Dunedin is built up on the ridge of the Otago Peninsula, and invites visitors from all over to come in and admire the tower, ballroom, historic stables and outbuildings. You can even get the full treatment and settle in for a high tea.