Here in New Zealand we have an abundance of glorious hidden holiday spots – there is no need to go to crowded tourist areas when you can experience the real New Zealand. Whether you’re looking for a cosy winter escape with snow covered mountains and iced lakes, lazy summer holidays lounging in the sun, or something totally different, here’s five special holiday hotspots you may not know about.
Aorangi Forest and the Putangirua Pinnacles
Wairarapa means ‘glistening waters’, and simply the name hints at the magical natural beauty that can be found when you explore a little off the well-worn tourist trail. The Aorangi Forest scenic reserve is home to the spectacular Putangirua Pinnacles and numerous walking trails through the stunning natural forests and lakes – you might even recognise them as the ‘Paths of the Dead’ in the Lord of the Rings film.
Where? Abel Tasman
Tucked away in the South Island’s glorious Abel Tasman national park is one of New Zealand’s many secret beaches. Anapai is only accessible by boat or by foot, which adds to the mystery and element of exploration involved in finding it! If you’re hoping to stay, good news – there is a small campsite! But it can get busy, so book in advance.
Where? West Auckland
An easy hour-long drive from central Auckland will land you in the breathtakingly wild Waitakere ranges. West Auckland has almost twenty thousand hectares of pre-historic looking black sand beaches, pristine waterfalls and lush native rainforest just waiting to be explored. Amidst the lush bush and excellent surf beaches you’ll find many bachs, holiday homes, rentals and camping spots to spend your holiday time.
If sparkling blue waters and golden sand dunes, without the crowds, inspire you, then Hokianga Harbour is the place for you. This spectacular hide-away offers swimming, sandboarding and walking, or you can just relax in the beautiful scenery. Towering forests including some of NZ’s tallest kauri trees add to this picturesque spot. It is drenched in history and a guided night walk to discover the fascinating Maori history will be a life-long memory.
Where? Central Otago
Gold mining and ice skating will captivate you at Naseby, a former goldmining town at the foothills of the Mount Ida range in Central Otago. Historic hotels, holiday park, cottages and private lodges are available and additional attractions are golf, trout fishing and hiking or biking the Goldfields Heritage trail.
You can skate on a natural ice pond in winter and all year there is the indoor curling rink. This fascinating location can be hot in summer but idyllic at any time of the year.
Where are your favourite secret holiday spots?