20 of the Most Incredible Landscapes In New Zealand


20 Incredible Landscapes You Can Only Find In New Zealand! Lake Tekapo is fed by glacier runoff, which helps transport silts that give the lake its special color and enable the shore to grow its unique lupines. Click through to see the whole post.

New Zealand is one of the world’s most unique locations with some of the most beautiful landscape pictures in the world.  The combination of natural geography and an incredibly friendly culture help make it one of the most attractive destinations on the globe.  Even though tons of people want to visit, many don’t because it is located so far away from where most of us live, and the cost to get there can be high.

Have you ever wondered what Old Zealand is, and what inspired the New one? Old Zealand (or Zeeland) is actually a state in the Netherlands, and the first westerner to arrive in new Zealand named it after this Dutch state.  It’s ironic because he thought he was naming an Island south of Argentina, the Dutch never really established a presence in New Zealand, and the geography of the two Zealands are as different as you can imagine.

See for yourself with these 20 New Zealand landscape pictures below!

20 of the most Incredible Landscapes in New Zealand

Milford Sound, Fiordland

Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand

Milford Sound is a fiord in the southwest of the South Island.  This narrow waterway cuts between humungous cliffs.  

The combination is perfect to explore via boat.  It is acclaimed as one of New Zealand’s most famous tourist destinations and it is easy to see why.   

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

View at beautiful Emerald lakes on Tongariro Crossing track, Ton

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a perfect day hike in the North Island’s Tongariro National Park.  This park is famous for volcanic activity, its beautiful Emerald Lakes, and Maori religious sites.

Mt. Cook, South Island

Sunset and dusk over mt. Cook in South Island, New Zealand. Its a famous scenic destination.

Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand and a climber’s paradise.  Even those that don’t climb visit Mount Cook in droves.

Lake Tekapo

View of lupines near Lake Tekapo which grow only in summer season.

Lake Tekapo is fed by glacier runoff, which helps transport silts that give the lake its special color and enable the shore to grow its unique lupines.

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula

Cathedral Cove at sunrise, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

It is self-explanatory why this formation was named Cathedral Cove, as the beautiful rock formations pay homage to the world’s best cathedrals.  The pristine beach makes the experience even more powerful.

Hoho Rock, Cathedral Cove

Hoho Rock at sunrise, Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Hoho Rock is also located in Cathedral Cove.  I assume that it is called Hoho rock because it looks like an enormous Santa hat, but that may just be my love of Christmas showing.

Fox Glacier

line of people walking along a glacier

Yes, New Zealand has glaciers! These glaciers can be explored by hiking, or even helicopter tour.

Devil’s Bath in Waiotapu Thermal Reserve, Rotorua

Devil's Bath pool in Waiotapu Thermal Reserve, Rotorua, New Zealand

This bubbling pool is the result of volcanic activity.  Tour the area and you will discover steaming holes in the ground, bubbling mud, and imposing rock formations.  You can see why the geothermal activity in the area caused it to be named the Devil’s Bath.

Hills Near Cape Farewell

hills near cape farewell. sheeps are grasing at the foot of the hill

The rolling green hills of this beautiful headland are an amazing place to peacefully watch the grazing sheep.

Orakei Korako Geothermal Area

Orakei Korako geotermal area, New Zealand

Orakei Korako is another geotermal area that is also known as “The Hidden Valley.” Obvioulsy forces from the center of the earth are currently at work here, though I didn’t see any Orcs crawl out of the bog!

Otira River Arthur’s Pass National Park 

Lichen on the banks of Otira river Arthur's Pass National Park New Zealand

Yes, that is the natural color of the lichen (a red plant that grows on rocks). Another unreal location that does not need photoshop enhancemenet.

Winery Near Blenheim

winery near blenheim new zealand. picturesque panoramic view in autumn color

As if the landscapes weren’t varied enough already, but local wineries offer perfect displays of the autumn colors.

Paragliding in Arrowtown, New Zealand

Paragliding in the Crown Range, New Zealand

New Zealand truly is the ultimate adventure destination, and this is just one reason why!  You can paraglide through mounains and rolling hills.

Hooker Lake

exploring the vast landscape of new zealand

Hooker Glacier is the source for Hooker Lake, and is also home to another enormously popular day hike.

Queentown, South Island

View of Queenstown, New Zealand at dusk from Skyline.

Queenstown, New Zealand, sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, and its location on the edge of the Southern Alps make it a prime location to set off for adventure sports (paragliding, skiing, snowboarding, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and bungee jumping to name a few).

Alpine Turqoise River

Pristine alpine turquoise river meandering through forested landscape in a sunny autumn day aerial view. Pristine clean nature pure water environment concept.

Another New Zealand landscape that appears too good to be true, but isn’t.

Moeraki Boulders on the Koekohe beach

Moeraki Boulders on the Koekohe beach, Eastern coast of New Zealand. Sunset and long exposure

The Moeraki Boulders are formed by unique rock formations and constant waves eroding them smooth.  Their out of this world appearance may be why they are at the center of a number of Maori legends.

Mount Roys, Wanaka

Sheep licking salt, Mount Roys, Wanaka, New Zealand

Another one of New Zealand’s most popular hikes, but it is also known as being one of the most difficult hikes in the world as it tends to go straight up!

Waimangu Geothermal Area

Incredibly blue and highly acidic Inferno Crater Lake at Waimangu geothermal area, New Zealand

The geothermal activity helps give the water its color, but don’t drink the water as it is highly acidic.

Nugget Point Lighthouse

Light house in New Zealand!

Nugget Point is another headland jutting out into the ocean.  These rocky beaches are an excellent place to see wildlife like fur seals, pied shags, sooty shearwaters, yellow-eyed penguins, and spoonbills (yes, I had to google what most of those were).  The yellow-eyed penguins are the best!

Did you guys love the landscapes in New Zealand?

Read Next: Visiting the Glow Worm Caves in New Zealand


Thank you for sharing!

20 Incredible Landscapes You Can Only Find In New Zealand! The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a perfect day hike in the North Island's Tongariro National Park. This park is famous for volcanic activity, its beautiful Emerald Lakes, and Maori religious sites. Click through to see the whole post!


  1. This post comes incredibly handy as I am planning for my 2016 trip to New Zealand. I am especially excited about all the adventure activities (especially paragliding and skydiving) I can do in Queenstown, and also adding Milford Sound, Tongiriro Alpine Crossing, and Cathedral Cove to the list after reading this post!

    Thank you so much Clarissa. I have pinned and saved this post for future reference :)

    • Hey Sophia! I am so happy that this post was helpful to you! We have an upcoming post on all the outdoor adventures you can have in New Zealand which may give you some more ideas. I am also sooo excited for you to go to New Zealand next year. It is an incredible country and you will love it. I look forward to reading about your trip on your blog!

  2. Clarissa, New Zealand is #1 on my list of places to visit. We have 2 big trips planned for the first half of 2016 so probably can’t afford it unless something really cheap would come up. Boy your photography is absolutely phenomenal! It makes me want to go and cancel our other trips! Glad I found you on Facebook!

  3. I knew New Zealand was supposed to be beautiful but wow, that is next level. I go to Australia soon and want to spend some time in New Zealand too and if I wasn’t already sold then this article has definitely made me want to go. Queentown especially looks like my kind of place!

    • If you love adventure then you will love Queenstown! And definitely go if you have the chance Craig! You won’t regret it.

  4. Ok, I tried googling Alpine Turqoise River but for some reason I am having trouble figuring out where it is. Help? I am currently traveling New Zealand and was able to add a couple of places to see in here from this. Thanks! :)


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