City and Country Exploring in New Zealand






Over the break I have traveled to many cities in New Zealand. Here are my personal impressions and recommendations for those who are interested in visiting those places. Fortunately I was lucky that the weather I have encountered were fairly pleasant. Sometimes the weather can be unpredictable, which makes traveling very difficult. Also for disclaimer, I have not traveled every single city or even every single major city in New Zealand, so please take my recommendations with a grain of salt.

  • Auckland
    This is the biggest city in New Zealand. Perfect fit for people who seek a vibe of large cultural mix and convenience of a city. You can get the most shopping and best eating experience there (with many different cuisines and museums). They have a good brunch culture as well as nice views on Mt. Eden and Cornwall Park. In the spring, there will be baby lambs! 
  • Bay of Islands – Paihia and Russell
    Just 4 hours up north of Auckland, the Bay of Islands is home to many dolphins and an incredible area full of culture. The water and weather were both beautiful – perfect place for a more comfortable budget – to go on cruises or enjoy (fine) dining. Since I am traveling on limited funds, I only took a single ferry for 12.50 per person from Paihia to Russell roundtrip and kayaked around the islands. The sunrise and sunset were quite peaceful.
  • Queenstown
    Stunning mountain views in the brisk cold air, Queenstown is a place that is unforgettable. The hut is for adventure and thrill seeking adventurers. Many activities of extreme sport can be done there. The city seems like it is only built as a hut for travelers. I loved the walk on the lakefront.
  • Arrowtown
    Beautiful autumn leaves!! This place is a must see for photographers interested in taking photos for autumn. The small town is wonderful for hikes, one of the places I wished I stayed longer for longer hikes.
  • Milford Sound
    Simply ineffable how amazing the views are at this location. Once in a lifetime MUST SEE for anyone who loves nature.
  • Invercargill
    I stayed there for two nights without really exploring the town. However, I have met the nicest people there who makes really, really good food. I would love to go back there and visit some rare birds and chocolate factory.
  • Dunedin
    Simple college town with stone-buildings – Dunedin felt like a part of my soul. I visited a glowworms cave at night. They looked unreal! I also visited the world’s steepest street.
  • Stewart Island
    Most Southern place I had been – very quiet and incredible place. Filled with nature – great for people interested in hikes and embracing what the world has to offer. Stewart Island is my favorite place I visited.