With national parks, stunning coastlines, mountains, lakes and glaciers, there are just too many natural landmarks in New Zealand to choose. Whether you’re a hiker, surfer or a kayaker, New Zealand has landscapes you’ll love.
From the spectacular natural beauty of Mount Cook to the ethereal beauty of Milford Sound, New Zealand’s natural landmarks are precious treasures.
- 20 Incredible New Zealand Landmarks
- Natural Landmarks in New Zealand
- 1- Mount Cook
- 2- Tongariro Alpine Crossing
- 3- Hobbiton
- 4- Huka Falls
- 5- Moeraki Boulders
- 6- Mount Eden
- 7- Milford Sound
- 8- Rotorua Hot Springs
- 9- Franz Josef Glacier
- 10- Lake Wanaka (Wanaka Tree)
- 11- The Remarkables
- 12- Craters of the Moon
- 13- Cathedral Caves
- 14- Lady Bowen Falls
- 15- Lake Wakatipu
- 16- Split Apple Rock
- 17- Waitomo Glowworm Caves
- More New Zealand Landmarks
- Natural Landmarks in New Zealand
20 Incredible New Zealand Landmarks
Natural Landmarks in New Zealand
1- Mount Cook
Holding the title as the tallest mountain in New Zealand, Aoraki/Mount Cook is an awe-inspiring natural landmark.
Located in the Canterbury region, approximately 300 km southwest of Christchurch, Mount Cook is a special landmark for the Maori people and showcases the Kiwi spirit of adventure.
Towering over glaciers, icebergs and turquoise lakes, Mount Cook is a spectacular place for hiking and adventuring.
From the famous Hooker Valley Trail to the Tasman Glacier view track, there is a fantastic range of walks that vary in length and difficulty.
So whether you want to take in the natural beauty of New Zealand, or explore the alpine mountain ranges, Mount Cook is the ideal landmark to visit.
2- Tongariro Alpine Crossing
One of New Zealand’s most popular hiking treks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an incredibly scenic natural landmark.
Part of the Tongariro National Park – New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage Site, this amazing destination is rich in culture and heritage.
Located in the Central North Island region, you can explore this spectacular New Zealand landmark for yourself on a hiking expedition.
Venture across volcanic peaks and astounding mountain ranges, pass through emerald lakes and discover some of the most unique terrain on earth.
The Tongariro Alpine crossing is 19km long and takes approximately 8 hours. Make sure you have appropriate hiking gear and pack plenty of warm clothes as the weather can change dramatically.
Whether you’re a Lord of the Rings fan or not, you’re going to love the amazing Hobbiton Village.
Made especially for the Lord of The Rings Trilogy, this incredible landmark allows you to step straight into Middle-Earth and the lush green pastures of the Shire
Experience the thrill of the hobbit holes, visit the Green Dragon Inn and discover where Frodo and Bilbo’s adventures first started.
Learn about how this amazing village came to be and learn some interesting facts about the movies and cast.
Open daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm this is a must-visit attraction for the whole family.
4- Huka Falls
One of New Zealand’s most visited natural landmarks, Huka Falls are a collection of captivating waterfalls in the heart of Taupo.
Connected to the Waikato River, the Huka Falls are incredibly powerful and erupt from a natural gorge at a rate of 220,000 litres per second.
Experience the awe-inspiring falls and gushing water shooting out at over 8 metres to create a beautiful blue and green pool.
At the falls, there is a footbridge that acts as a viewing platform where you can see the cascading falls and amazing natural wonder.
Be sure to pack your camera as this landmark makes for some seriously amazing photos!
5- Moeraki Boulders
An unmissable landmark on any New Zealand holiday, the Moeraki Boulders are renowned as one of the country’s top natural attractions.
Showcasing 50 unusually large, spherical boulders, these mysterious natural stones were formed over 65 million years ago.
Lying on the shores of Koekohe Beach, the golden sands and pristine water make for the perfect backdrop to these incredible boulders.
Rising two metres and weighing several tones, the Moeraki Boulders are a sacred landmark for the Maori people.
The Moeraki Boulders are located on New Zealand’s South Island between the towns of Moeraki and Hampden.
Just 40 minutes from Omaru, simply follow the scenic route along State Highway 1 towards Hampden.
6- Mount Eden
Located just 5km from downtown Auckland, Mount Eden is a wonderful New Zealand landmark that offers a great place for a short hike.
At just 196m tall, the hike should take approximately 20 minutes from start to finish.
Mount Eden is the highest volcano in Auckland and has been dormant for over 15,000 years. Today, the grassy mountain boasts a 50 m deep crater and 360-degree views over Auckland.
Mount Eden is a sacred landmark to many New Zealanders and holds deep cultural significance to the Maori people.
The crater is known as Te Ipu Kai a Mata’aho, meaning the Food Bowl of Mata’aho.
7- Milford Sound
Located within the Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is a world-famous landmark that attracts visitors from all corners of the globe.
Known for its towering peaks, dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls and expansive waters, the Milford Sound is an undeniable natural wonder.
A remote and unspoiled region, Milford Sound is best seen by a scenic boat cruise.
Onboard a Milford Sound cruise you can get up close and personal with the scenic beauty and fascinating wildlife including penguins, dolphins, seals and native birdlife.
Alternatively, you can explore the Milford Sound by kayaking, hiking, or by a scenic flight.
8- Rotorua Hot Springs
Rejuvenate your mind, body and soul in the incredible region of Rotorua.
Renowned for its geothermal activity, Rotorua’s natural geothermal pools are one of the most visited landmarks in all of New Zealand.
And it’s no surprise, considering their amazing healing and holistic benefits.
Rotorua has many hot springs to choose from, ranging from natural hot pools and spouting geysers to Polynesian spas.
So whether you want to unwind in nature, or be pampered at an indulgent day spa, there are so many options for all.
9- Franz Josef Glacier
Experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on a journey to the Franz Josef Glacier or Fox Glacier.
Located 4.5 hours from Queenstown, the Franz Josef Glacier is a magnificent natural landmark renowned for its bright blue ice, dramatic crevasse and towering mountain peaks.
There are a number of ways to explore the amazing Franz Josef Glacier including a spectacular heli-hike and scenic air safari where you can even land on top of the glacier!
Take in the vast natural beauty, the astonishing glacier peaks and dramatic waterfalls cascading down. After visiting the glacier, you can unwind at the nearby hot pools and spa.
10- Lake Wanaka (Wanaka Tree)
Located in New Zealand’s South Island, Lake Wanaka is a picturesque landmark renowned for its serene beauty.
Snow-capped mountains meet shimmering waters and peaceful villages set the scene for a truly relaxing holiday hotspot.
While visiting Lake Wanaka, be sure to check out the iconic Wanaka Tree.
Said to be the most photographed tree in the world, this scenic attraction offers the perfect backdrop for capturing photos as well as enjoying a peaceful lakeside picnic.
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11- The Remarkables
Whether you’re a snow bunny or ski enthusiast, if you’re visiting New Zealand in Winter, you must visit The Remarkables.
Located 30 minutes from Queenstown, the Remarkables are an amazing alpine landmark that offers the ideal playground for skiers, and snowboarders alike.
And, with a great range of terrain on offer, there’s something available for all ski levels and abilities. Plus, there’s even a ski school to teach you everything you need to know about skiing and snowboarding.
Perfect for beginners, or those who want to hone their skills, the Remarkables ski school is one of the best in all of New Zealand.
Carve up the slopes, take in the stunning views over Queenstown and prepare to experience apres ski at its very best on your visit to the Remarkables.
12- Craters of the Moon
An absolute must-visit on your New Zealand itinerary, Craters of the Moon is a geothermal landmark part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone.
Renowned as the largest geothermal field in New Zealand, the Craters of The Moon offers a picturesque 45-minute walk that wraps around the spectacular cratered valley.
Often covered by clouds of steam, this walk makes for some amazing photos.
Come and experience one of the most unique natural landmarks on earth and prepared to be amazed at this iconic New Zealand attraction.
13- Cathedral Caves
A series of alluring sea caves that have been formed over thousands of years, the Cathedral Caves are a popular New Zealand Landmark.
Located on the shores of Waipati Beach, Cathedral caves are home to over 200 metres of tunnels that reach heights of up to 30 metres.
These impressive sea caves got their name from the electrifying acoustics and grandeur that resemble a real-life Cathedral.
During your visit, you can explore the caves, test out your singing voice and hear the incredible sounds as they echo through the caves and out to sea.
Only accessible at low tide, the Cathedral Caves opening hours rely on Mother Nature, so be sure to check the tide forecast before you arrive.
14- Lady Bowen Falls
If you love waterfalls, Lady Bowen Falls is the place for you!
Sitting within the world-famous Milford Sound, Bowen Falls is a must-see landmark when visiting New Zealand.
At 162 m tall, the Lady Bowen Falls is the highest waterfall in the Milford Sound and also provide the sole source of hydro-electric power and water to the region.
During a rainstorm, the falls quadruple in volume and make for an exhilarating natural attraction.
You can witness the thunderous falls for yourself on a boat journey into the Milford Sound or a scenic hike – you can even feel the mist as you approach the foreshore!
15- Lake Wakatipu
Located in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world,, Lake Wakatipu is a natural landmark that has some serious wow factor
Surrounded by deep valleys and towering mountain ranges, Lake Wakatipu is the crown jewel of Queenstown’s natural beauty.
With its powdery blue waters and wondrous grandeur, Lake Wakatipu is a popular destination for swimming, boating, fishing and cruising.
You can even take a ride on a vintage steamship, the T.S.S Earnslaw.
Or if you want to take in the scenic beauty from the shore, we recommend watching visiting the Lake at the sunset and enjoying a romantic picnic with your special someone.
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16- Split Apple Rock
Sitting within the shimmering waters of the Tasman Bay, the Split Apple Rock is a unique New Zealand landmark.
A large boulder resembling a giant stone apple that’s been cut in half, the Split Apple Rock is estimated to be around 120 million years old.
Located 60 metres out to sea, the rock sits in shallow water at low tide, and is accessible by wading, swimming or kayaking. In fact, there are a number of kayaking tours that take you to this amazing natural landmark.
Not only will you get the chance to see Split Apple Rock up close and personal, but you’ll also be able to discover the beauty of the Abel Tasman National Park.
Shimmering seas, meet golden sands and lush headlands set the scene for a truly amazing holiday destination.
17- Waitomo Glowworm Caves
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a world-famous landmark located on the North Island of New Zealand.
Discover an ancient world 30 million years old and be captivated by the thousands of glow worms illuminating every inch of the caves.
Renowned as one of New Zealand’s top attractions, you can take an unforgettable boat ride through the underground caves and prepare to be amazed at this unique landmark.
Learn about the natural history of this region and discover how the glowworms have become a part of New Zealand’s fascinating culture.
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18- Auckland Sky Tower
Standing 328 metres over New Zealand’s capital city, the Auckland Sky Tower is one of the most recognised landmarks in the entire country.
Boasting 360-degree views of up to 80 kilometres away, you can take in the sweeping vistas of Auckland city as well as mountains, volcanoes and historical landmarks in the distance.
Also offering 3 fantastic dining options, guests can choose between Celebrity Chef Peter Gordon’s The Sugar Club, Auckland’s only 360-degree revolving restaurant, Orbit 360 dining, or the casual Sky Cafe.
Or if you’re chasing some adrenaline, you can even base jump off the top of the Sky Tower with the SkyJump attraction!
Feel the ultimate rush as you fall 192 metres off New Zealand’s tallest manmade structure.
19- Larnach Castle
Located on the breathtaking Otago Peninsula, Larnach Castle is a New Zealand landmark that offers so much holiday fun.
Showcasing historic architecture, award-winning gardens, unique dining experiences and luxury accommodation, Larnach Castle is the perfect landmark for the whole family.
Explore the amazing flora and fauna, enjoy indulging in some delicious New Zealand cuisine and spend your day exploring the luxurious castle and its surroundings.
Open daily from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, the Larnach Castle is at the heart of the Dunedin holiday experience.
20- Skyline Queenstown
Located right in the heart of New Zealand’s adventure capital, Skyline Queenstown is an incredible landmark to visit.
Hike or ride the scenic gondola to the top of the skyline to be greeted with panoramic views over Queenstown and the surrounding mountain ranges.
Once at the top you can dine at the amazing Stratosfare restaurant, ride the thrilling luge down the mountain, or even bungy jump off the edge of a cliff!
A must-visit New Zealand landmark, Skyline Queenstown has something for all.
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