Without doubt, New Zealand is a bucket list country that everyone must visit. This beautiful destination was made even more famous by the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Pristine white beaches, craggy mountains, beautiful fjords, glaciers and lush natural forests are just a few features of this small nation, located almost at the end of the earth.
While some people come to New Zealand to enjoy the clean white beaches and famous national parks, others come so they can spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Typically, these people are interested in finding unusual places off the beaten track, as well as and hiking trails, which make for wonderful ways to see the country. Just make sure you’re well insured and don’t take any unnecessary risks. Visit the https://insurance.airnewzealand.co.nz to find out more about getting covered.
For those looking for a combination of peace, quiet and adventure, here are some of the best tracks that New Zealand has to offer.
Though not exactly off the beaten track, this is possibly one of the most popular hikes in all of New Zealand. A world heritage listed site, the Tongariro crossing takes between eight hours and a full day to complete. Along the route, you’ll encounter awe inspiring scenery, including the Blue Lakes, Emerald Lakes and Mount Ngauruhoe - more popularly known as Mount Doom, thanks to the Lord of the Rings.
Located in Coromandel Peninsula, Cathedral Cove is truly far from the beaten path. It’s accessible only by foot, kayak or boat, which means you’ll have to go slightly out of your way if you want to see it. While getting there might be a challenge, the white- bleached sands, clear blue waters and beautiful rock formations will make the trip well worth it. Meanwhile, if you enjoy snorkelling, the Department of Conservation has a snorkel trail in the cove; if you’re lucky, you may just come across a stingray!
New Chums Beach, Coromandel
Also located on the Coromandel Peninsula, New Chums beach is a magical stretch of white sand that you can only reach on foot, or by boat. This beach is very secluded and you’ll have to carefully negotiate slippery boulders, seaweed covered rocks and thick vegetation before you arrive at your destination. The beautiful white sands and crashing waves will be reward enough for your perseverance.
Kidnappers’ Cape, Hawke Bay
Hawkes Bay in New Zealand’s North Island is famous for its wide range of vineyards and art deco architecture. However, what very few visitors know is that Hawke Bay is also host to one of the largest gannet populations in the world. For those who aren’t familiar, a gannet is a large bird that eats mainly fish and is found by the ocean. The gannet colony is managed by the Department of Conservation and the 13 hectares of land is accessible for visitors. So, if you enjoy looking at rock formations and bird watching, you’ll love Hawkes Bay.
Why visit mundane destinations when you can go to the edge of the earth? At the very tip of NZ, Cape Reinga is famous for being the spot where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea meet. Not only can you enjoy the breathtaking views from the Cape Reinga lighthouse, but there are sand dunes close by where you can hire boards and sand-board to your heart’s content.
The local indigenous people, the Maori, believe that Cape Reinga is the place that spirits of the dead travel to on their journey to the next life.
It’s safe to say that there is nowhere more off the beaten track than the trail leading to Volkner Rocks. Volkner Rocks are three rocks that jut out of the sea, situated next to White Island in the north east of NZ. Apart from the rocks, there is also a marine reserve in the waters, which is a popular diving site. So, once you’ve seen the rocks, you can then swim with the teeming marine life.
Almost everyone knows of Tongariro Crossing, Mount Cook and Fiordland, but there are other equally attractive places to visit in New Zealand. For instance, Te Urewera is a virtual hidden gem of a national park, home to beautiful lakes, stunning waterfalls and lush green forest. Best of all, very few people know of Te Urewera, so if you’re looking for peace and quiet, this is where to find it.
Have you been to Paradise? Most haven’t, because they don’t know it actually exists. However, Paradise is located in Mount Aspiring National Park, where the Dart River begins. The surrounding landscape was used as a location in The Lord of the Rings movie and also featured in the BBC’s ‘Top of the Lake’. Paradise and Glenorchy are a wonderful spot to visit, a short drive from Queenstown.