7 Best Ecotourism Destinations in New Zealand, Part 2

#4 Queenstown South Island

You really have to visit a place where there is a range of mountains called The Remarkables! These snowcapped mountains tower over the beautiful Lake Wakatipu. It is easy to see why this is one of New Zealand’s most popular eco-tourist destinations.

There is plenty to do and see in Queenstown. For the active visitor there is a huge range of activities including hiking, skiing, zip lining, bungee jumping and mountain biking. This is still an area of unspoiled beauty, but there are plenty of excellent places to stay with lots of hotels and restaurants in the area.

#5 Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, South Island

These glaciers are some of the most easily accessible in the world. They are located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Visitors can take guided hikes to see the spectacular scenery. There are also aerial tours if you want to see the glaciers from above.

#6 Abel Tasman National Park and the Abel Tasman Coast Track, South Island

This area is a hiker’s paradise. You can take a 3-day hike along the 51 kilometer trail from Marahau to Separation Point. The scenery is simply spectacular. Visitors will experience the dramatic landscape and view huge variety of different animal and bird species. There is a good choice of accommodation for those who want to walk the complete trail. Many people also explore the area by kayak.

You can choose from a simple camp ground or indulge yourself and stay in a luxury lodge.

#7 Kaikoura, South Island

If you want to experience marine wildlife up close and personal one of your best bests is to visit Kaikoura, South Island. Here you can take tours and have an excellent chance of multiple sightings of many species of marine animals. You are likely to see whales, dolphins and seals. You can either take a boat tour, or some animals will be visible from the hiking trails as well. Another great option is to take a kayak out and go exploring.

When you have experienced the wonder of watching the wildlife there is still plenty to do in Kakikoura. There are plenty of excellent places to eat and drink. All you have to do it sit back, relax and take in the unforgettable view.

7 Best Ecotourism Destinations in New Zealand, Part 1

New Zealand is one of the top destinations in the world for the eco tourist to visit. We recently convinced a friend that owns a busy New Jersey fence company to visit New Zealand on his most recent vacation.  He said it’s one of th most beautiful places he’s ever been (and nothing like New Jersey!) Here are just some of the best ecotourism destinations in this stunningly beautiful country.

#1 Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve

If you enjoy diving, you will adore the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve. This amazing place is an internationally recognized site which may be given World Heritage status. The Poor Knights Islands are located 23 kilometers off the Tutakaka Coast. The Islands have volcanic origins which are thought to date back some 11 million years.

This is a perfect location for exploring the water as it has a huge variety of underwater species in a dramatic environment with drop offs, arches and tunnels. This is a truly spectacular place to dive. The fish seem to have got used to interacting with the divers. This has been a Reserve for over 20 years and the fish seem to have adapted to the idea of sharing their environment with con

However, this isn’t just a place which can be enjoyed under the water. There is a Reserve above the water too. Life has evolved differently here. The Poor Knights Islands have developed many of their own eco systems. Things have evolved differently here and it is fascinating to observe.

The Islands have a huge importance to many different species. The Buller’s Shearwater birds fly here from North America. Remarkably it is the only place in the world where they will nest. You will find many native species here. You can be lucky enough to observe native parrots, cuckoo and kingfishers on the Islands.

If you look out to the ocean you may also catch sight of the migrating dolphins and whales.

 #2 Tongariro National Park

New Zealand was always way ahead of its time in eco-tourism. It was one of the first countries in the world to establish a system of national parks. The land was donated by the Maori people and Tonagriro National Park was established in 1887. This was the fourth park in the world to receive such a designation. It is now a mixed cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage site.

If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies you will definitely want to visit here as many of the scenes were filmed here.

If you are looking for a challenging hike, then take a walk up Mount Doom. It is a strenuous 7-hour hike which is well worth it if your level of fitness is up to the challenge. If you want even more of a challenge, then think about tackling the Northern Circuit. This requires a time commitment of 3 or 4 days if you are talking the whole trail. The scenery is breathtaking.

#3 Fiordland National Park

This World Heritage Site has to be on your wish list if you visit New Zealand. To describe the scenery as dramatic really doesn’t do it justice. This is one of the most amazingly beautiful places to visit in New Zealand. The landscape was formed by glaciers millions of years ago. When it was awarded World Heritage status it was described as a “superlative natural phenomena.”

There are excellent opportunities for hiking as well as cruising on the fjords and lakes in Fiordland National Park.

Visitors can take a cruise around Milford Sound. You will see the landscape largely unchanged from the time in 1851 when Captain Stokes was the very first European to see this stunning fjord.

The interestingly named Doubtful Sound Fjord can only be accessed by water. It is well worth the excursion to see the stunningly beautiful fjord.

Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapori are also well worth a visit if you have time in Fiordland National Park.

 

Top 4 Attractions for Eco-Tourists in New Zealand

There are so many amazing places to see in New Zealand. Here is our pick of the top 4 attractions for eco-tourists to visit in New Zealand.

Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve, South Island

The surface may not be particularly spectacular, but under the water there is a magnificent world formed by volcanic remains which are thought to be 14 million years old. Poor Knights Islands are a paradise for divers and those seeking an eco-friendly tourist destination in New Zealand.

The Islands are protected and not publically accessible – not only are they protected by law, but by an ancient Maori curse. The waters are one of the world’s best diving sites. If you want to explore one of the best underwater areas in the world you should have Poor Knights Island Marine Reserve on your bucket list.

Tongariro National Park

New Zealand was a pioneer in recognizing that a national park system was needed to help maintain the great natural spaces in the world. Tongariro National Park was given this designation in 1887. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Area which is one of a very limited number to be given this award for landscape and culture.

This is a very diverse landscape with active volcanoes, snow topped mountains and desert plains. Tongariro National Park is a wonderful place to not only see a diverse range of landscape, but to catch sight of many different types of wildlife. You may even see the short and long tailed bat which is the only native species of New Zealand.

There is a wonderful choice of different hikes. You can start with the relatively easy Tongariro Alpine Crossing which is suitable for day hikers. If you are an experienced hiker and enjoy something rather more challenging, you should experience the Tongariro Northern Circuit.

Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, South Island

Fiordland National Park is another World Heritage Site in New Zealand. This is one of the most easily accessibly glaciers in the world. There are three fjords to explore – Milford, Dusky and the wonderfully named, Doubtful Sounds. The scenery is breathtaking. You can explore on foot and there are a variety of trails for walkers of all experience levels. Another excellent way to explore Fiordland National Park is by kayak. You get a very different view from the water.

Queenstown South Island

This is one of the most popular eco-tourist destinations in New Zealand. Not only is it an area of outstanding natural beauty, it is the center for many outdoor activities. The contrast between the tranquility of Lake Wakatipu and the dramatic snowcapped Remarkables mountains makes a very striking vision. This place is not to be missed if you visit New Zealand.

The adventurous can enjoy a variety of activities in Queenstown. These range from white water rafting to bungee jumping, rock climbing to mountain biking. There is also an excellent zip line to enjoy. If you want to relax after a day of activity there are lots of good hotels and restaurants.

If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings movies you will particularly enjoy it here. It is a good place to explore some of the locations which were used for the movie.