New Zealand, most famous as being the stunning backdrop of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is truly breathtaking and is amongst the most beautiful countries in the world. If soaking up the scenery is your thing make sure to visit these stunning natural wonders on your visit.
Franz Josef Glacier
Located on the West Coast of the South Island and walking distance from the Westland National Park. This enormous ice sheet expanded for miles beyond the existing coastline in the last ice age. Nowadays it has retreated substantially and continues to do so. As the ice melts you can literally take a trip back in time and admire the remains of our frozen past. There are many options of viewing this natural wonder. Get up close and personal with a guided tour or an ice trek, for those wanting a birds eye view helicopter rides are available over the glacier and offer an awe inspiring vantage point.
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
Located on the Northern West Coast of the South Island, Punakaiki is one of the most popular conservation areas in New Zealand. Famous for it’s Pancake Rocks, the 30 million year old formations are actually a collection of tiny fossilised marine creatures and plants, which landed on the seabed and were solidified by the immense water pressure. They went on to form hard and soft layers and were lifted above the seabed by earthquakes and were then moulded into the bizarre shapes seen today by the wind, ocean. A great way to check them out is to try the 20-minute loop walk around the rocks, which is sign, posted at the visitors centre.
Located at 1779 Waikaretu Valley Rd, Waikaretu, Auckland, Nikau Cave is one of New Zealand’s most breathtaking limestone caves. Step inside and feast your eyes on the visual buffet of stalagmite formations and thousands of glowworms. The cave is popular amongst families and a café is located on site with coffee and food available. This is a walk on the wild side and a reminder that some of the most beautiful things in the world are sometimes found in unlikely places.
Make sure you check out these natural wonders on your trip to New Zealand, there are many more but these three are among my favourites and the most beautiful. Where are your favourite natural wonders or destinations in New Zealand?