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20 Killer Photos of New Zealand

Lake Wakatipu
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It’s one of the most stunning places on the face of the earth.

New Zealand boasts volcanoes, placid lakes, rolling hills, opulent beaches, remarkable mountain ranges and delicious food to boot. These 20 photos demonstrate 20 good reasons why New Zealand is one of my favorite places in the world. Just look and see for yourself.

1) Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island

Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is just off the coast of Auckland, and may very well be its best-kept secret. The climate is perfect for producing award-winning wines and incredibly tasty olive oils. The beaches that dot this tiny little island are also some of the most peaceful I’ve ever seen.

2) Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo is possibly one of New Zealand’s most well known lakes. Its turquoise color comes from leftover glacial sediment and, on a clear day, you can see Mt. Cook in the background.

3) Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

Hiking the Franz Josef Glacier was, singlehandedly, one of the greatest things I’ve ever done and possibly the most photogenic subject I’ve ever encountered. During my climb, I explored ice caves, drank glacial water, and pick-axed footpaths across the icy surface!

4) Bungy Jumping Over Queenstown

Bungy jumping in Queenstown

That’s me, bungy jumping over Queenstown. Queenstown is considered to be the adventure capital of the world. From skydiving, jetboating, paragliding and heli-skiing, the adrenaline junky deep inside of you is going to get a kick out of this place.

5) Lush Coastline, Northland

The lush coastline of Northern New Zealand

The far north region of New Zealand, known as Northland, sports some seriously lush coastline. Surprisingly, this photo wasn’t taken too far from a beach!

6) 100% New Zealand Beef

New Zealand Beef

New Zealand takes immense pride in their produce, especially their lamb and beef. I’ve written about this meal before, but it stands out so far in my mind that I simply have to include it. It was one of the greatest feasts I’ve ever eaten.

7) Sailing in the Abel Tasman National Park

Sailing in the Abel Tasman National Park

Somehow, one tiny country packs the best of every world. It’s not all rolling green hills, but also breathtakingly blue waters that just beg you to set sail.

8) Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes

New Zealand is home to a lot of beautiful beaches. This is one of them.

9) View from the Road: Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

Just like much of the rest of New Zealand, the road butting Lake Wakatipu is fresh and unspoilt. I took this photo from a small lookout area by the side of the road.

10) New Zealand Traffic Stop

Kiwi Traffic Stop

And in New Zealand, traffic police don’t stop vehicles. Sheep do.

11) Sunset in Omapere

Omapere Sunset

Looking out over the dunes of Omapere, we had arrived just in time. The setting sun cast ethereal shadows across the lush grass as the mist rose above the deep blue waves.

12) Vineyard Relaxation


New Zealand gets its reputation for killer wine because they do, in fact, produce killer wine. I spent the day here, drinking wine in the vineyard.

13) Landing in Queenstown

Landing in Queenstown

Flying into Queenstown is not an experience that is soon forgotten. The aerial view over the mountains is surreal and spectacular, like something straight out of a sci-fi film.

14) Low Tide, Abel Tasman National Park

Desert Beach, Abel Tasman

Undulating sand for miles and miles.

15) Locavore


New Zealand takes pride in their local foods. Here is a serving of zucchini bruschetta with homemade bread, a local cheese, and a housemade white wine grape jelly.

16) Waiheke Island Sunset

Waiheke Sunset

The sun sets on Waiheke Island, leaving trails of deep reds and yellows in the sand.

17) Ninety Mile Beach, Northland

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach, in Northland, is more than just a beach. It’s a community and an ecosystem. This is the rocky fulcrum of the beach itself, being visited by some locals.

18) Sail Away

Sail Away

…into the vast blue waters of The Land of the Long White Cloud!

19) Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

Another shot of the ever-stunning Lake Wakatipu, with streaking clouds above.

20) Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga lies at the northernmost tip of New Zealand. From this iconic lighthouse, you can see the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean crash together. In traditional Maori culture, it is believed that Cape Reinga is the jumping off point for spirits to enter the underworld.

Great work, New Zealand!

Did you love these photos? Check out the first part in this series, 20 Killer Photos of Australia!

About the Author: Jeremy Foster

Born in America, Jeremy, an IT specialist by trade, packed up his belongings and left home on an open-ended trip to Australia. Years later, he's still on the move and exploring other countries. He is now a mobile cocktail bartender and the head writer for travelFREAK! You can usually find him on either side of the bar, acting wanky and pretentious about booze.

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  • cheap flights Trip

    Amazing and very beautiful pictures…

  • Green Global Travel

    What a beautiful country! It never ceases to amaze me how such a small nation can be so diverse and endlessly breathtaking!

    • Jeremy Foster

      Pretty incredible, huh?

  • Freya

    Stunning photos ! I so want to go there one day

    • Jeremy Foster

      I hope you make it there!

  • Frank

    Some great photos! Love the one with the sheep.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Jeremy Foster

      That was such a surreal moment! I couldn’t believe it was happening!

  • acruisingcouple

    Stunning! Dan said he has been to about half these places, but unfortunately I am yet to make it to New Zealand. Hope to get there soon!

    • Jeremy Foster

      Ah, but only half! Guess you’re due back for another visit then!

  • Ron | Active Planet Travels

    Breathtaking photos! Haven’t been to New Zealand yet, but it’s on the bucket list. I’m really curious as to check out Desert Beach….does it fill up with water once the tides move in/out?

    • Jeremy Foster

      That’s not actually the name of it. I just can’t quite remember exactly where it was taken! I’ll do some more thinking and research and get back to you!

      • Ron | Active Planet Travels

        Awesome thanks buddy! I’ll be awaiting your response! :-)

        • Jeremy Foster

          I’ve changed the name in the article as that was a little bit misleading. I took that photo during low tide in Abel Tasman National Park. As the tide goes out it leaves those ripples in its wake!

          • Ron | Active Planet Travels

            Lovely, thanks for getting back to me! :-)

  • Agness

    We have recently accepted a few guest posts on New Zealand and I thought I’ve seen the real beauty of it, but NOPE I was wrong. Your photos are just incredible and show the different side of the country. Peaceful and charming! Lake Tekapo is definitely my favourite one!

    • Jeremy Foster

      I love Lake Tekapo! I hope you can make it there some day!

  • Jules

    Your photo are amazing! I’m going there in about 3 weeks and can’t wait. Drawing inspiration from your photos! :)

    • Jeremy Foster

      Have so much fun! You’re going to love it!

  • Turtlestravel

    Gorgeous shots! So glad you included your pic of Cape Reinga…that was a really special place for us. The sheep shot, as mentioned by others, is amazing. Our six weeks or so of camper-vanning wasn’t nearly enough to see all we wanted to see. The positive part of that, I suppose, is looking forward to future visits!

    • Jeremy Foster

      Yeah, Cape Reinga was one of my favorites. I, too, found it to be an incredibly special place. I hope you make it a second time to see everything you missed! Maybe I’ll see you down there! ;-)

  • todd

    Beautfiul…I live on South Island,,….there’s so much amazing beautiful scenery here from Nelson all the way down to Dunedin, Invercargill and everything in between, Mount Cook, Scarborough Reserve, Fjordlands, Wanaka, Queenstown, Otago, etc., etc., etc…..could go on forever….

    • Jeremy Foster

      I know exactly what you mean. I’m dying to go back!

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