New Zealand is a wonderland of incredibly beautiful, diverse ecosystems and geography. It’s an otherworldly, exciting destination that’s home to turquoise waters and sandy beaches, lush forests and gorges, glaciers and geysers. Plus, if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, you’ll be sure to find many places to explore. Check out why you need to pack your bags and visit New Zealand!

Did you know? New Zealand was the last inhabited landmass discovered by mankind. As a result, it has the shortest human history of any major land area! Check out our full list of New Zealand travel tips below.

1. Learn about Maori Culture (and see glow worms!)

New Zealand travel tips

According to Maori legend, the great chief Kupe sailed from their mythical homeland of Hawaiki and arrived on New Zealand’s shores first. Of the four million people who currently live in New Zealand, fourteen percent are descended from the Maori.

Visit Mitai Maori Village in Rotorua for an indigenous cultural experience including Maoria tattoo art, displays of weaponry and combat, and the beauty of the poi dance. Plus, if you take a cave tour in Rotorua, you might see some glow worms in secret grottos!

2. Explore Hobbiton and Hobbit Holes

New Zealand travel tips

Rotorua is home to acres Waikato farmland, also known as Hobbiton. You can visit this scenic region and explore Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, and The Shire’s Rest. It’s a must for Lord of the Rings fans and nature lovers alike, with vast emerald hills and an abundance of sheep!

3. Hike up Glaciers

New Zealand travel tips

Take a glacier walk, hike, or scenic flight for aerial sightseeing above Fox Glacier, one of the most stunning sights in New Zealand! It is one of New Zealand’s many examples of untamed, natural beauty and is a must-see for adventurers and wanderers. Bonus New Zealand travel tip: It ends within a temperate rainforest!

4. Soak in Hot Springs and Geysers

New Zealand travel tips

The Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland is New Zealand’s most vibrant geothermal destination. The landscape has been affected by geothermal activity where volcanic features can be easily viewed, including turquoise colored springs, bubbling mud, and huge volcanic craters!

5. Discover Milford Sound (Piopiotahi)

New Zealand travel tips

Despite its name, Milford Sound is a fiord, an inlet surrounded by rainforest and sharp cliffs. Piopiotahi is the Maori name for this unbelievable natural feature. It is located in remote Fiordland National Park and is a well-kept secret among travelers! Completely untouched, it never fails to stun wanderers with its gorgeous landscape, rushing waterfalls, and enchanting views.

The beauty you’re sure to discover in New Zealand is endless. For more information on how you can wander these unforgettable places and more, click here to get started on our Global Choice Program. Global Choice gives you the opportunity to choose which area of New Zealand you want to live in and the school you wish to attend. Areas include Wellington, Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch, Whanganui, and Bay of Plenty!