New Zealand is one of those places that leaves you speechless, not just certain parts but quite literally the whole country casts a spell on you. It’s a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, with so many breathtaking sights it’s difficult not to fall in love with New Zealand. Despite being small, (compared to its neighbour Australia) it’s incredibly diverse and many of the most beautiful Instagrammable places in New Zealand are easy to access. It really is an Instagrammers dream.
Here is our guide to the most Instagrammable place in New Zealand, starting in the North near Auckland, and working your way down to Queenstown area. Nearly all of these places are easy to get too in regards to walking/hiking, although some we’ve added in for a little extra fun to get too! How many can you tick off?
North Island: Most Instagrammable Places in New Zealand
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
We are diving straight in the deep end! The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is known as one of the best day hikes in New Zealand (there are many stunning hikes). On this 19.4km hike, you’ll have amble photo opportunities to get the perfect gram. After all you are walking up an active volcano! In our opinion, the Emerald Lake offers the best photo spot.
Hobbiton is one of the most famous tourist spots in all of New Zealand due to the films The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Even though we aren’t huge fans of the films, it was one of the best days we had on our trip! The attention to detail, props and the overall ambiance of the place is unlike no other. You do have to book a tour, however it is worth it ten times over. We suggest booking the first tour of the day, meaning no other tours are in-front of you, making it the best opportunity for photos and getting the perfect gram shot without others in the background.
Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Penninsula
There are two ways of getting to Cathedral Cove, either by boat or walking. The walk is about a 45min-1hour walk from Hahei carpark, but it absolutely stunning, and we highly recommend choosing this option, or at least walking one way. It can get very busy, so try to avoid weekends and midday.
Ferry Landing Beach, Coromandel Penninsula
This location is very much a locals secret, we only found it as one of our followers on Instagram suggested it to us! There is also a swing here, which offers another perfect photo opportunity. As it’s a local secret, you’ll most likely be the only ones on the whole beach, and it’s a short drive from the popular Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach.
Point Halswell Lighthouse, Wellington
The capital was such a pleasant surprise for us, it probably helped that the weather was wonderful during our whole time here but the whole coastal drive to the east of the city centre is stunning. The Point Halswell Lighthouse is located at the most northern tip of the bay and is one of the most picturesque and cute lighthouses we’ve seen.
The Airplane in McDonalds, Lake Taupo
This one is a little different to all the others, as it’s located at Lake Taupo’s McDonalds! But hey, you can’t deny that it’s pretty cool, and a great opportunity to get a cool Instagram shot. Tip: After your long hike on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, this is a great place to recharge and take your photo 😉
Wairakei Terraces, Lake Taupo
The whole area around Lake Taupo has hot thermal springs meaning it’s the perfect place to relax and pamper yourself in one of the many thermal pools. Our favourite was the Wairakei Terraces just North of Taupo. There are many pools to choose from, and the colour is honestly this blue, making it one of the most Instagrammable places in New Zealand!
This geo-thermal wonderland is formed by pools of colourful bubbling water that are heated by volcanoes. Due to this, you cannot get too close to them, as they are obviously very hazardous. It doesn’t mean that a good Instagram shot isn’t on the cards. Just look at those colours, they also change daily depending on the time of year and the bacteria. Oh and make sure to hold your breath, as it gets VERY smelly!
South Island: Most Instagrammable Places in New Zealand
Lake Rotoiti, Tasman
We never planned on heading here, but after seeing one photo on Instagram I was sold! Honestly, how could you not be?! The lake, the view of the mountains and the perfectly placed jetty, it really is a photographers dream! During our time photo-shooting, a storm rolled in, which was even more incredible. Make sure to suit up into your best gram clothes and rock that shot!
Rob Roy Glacier Track, Wanaka
To get to the start of this hike you have to drive a good 30km one way along a dirt track road with fjords and blind corners, but you should we able to get there in a 2wd. However, once there you’ll realise it was all worth it, as you’re surrounded by stunning mountains and gorgeous rivers. The actual walk is 10km return, but this photo opportunity is only 1km in on the track if you don’t want to go the whole way.
Wanaka Tree, Wanaka
#ThatWanakaTree is one of the most photographed shots in all of New Zealand, it even has it’s own hashtag on Google Maps! Sunset is the best time to capture the tree in all of its glory, but because of that it is also the busiest. If you’re wanting a shot like the one above, make sure to bring a tripod and set up early to secure a good spot!
Hokitika Gorge, Hokitika
I know what you’re thinking, that water cannot be real! Yup, it sure is that blue! The colour of the water at Hokitika Gorge is just breathtaking, you honestly think you’re in an edited photo yourself. In addition, it’s only a 15 minute walk to this incredible spot, so no long hikes! Note: Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be swarmed by thousands of sandflies like we did.
Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki
Beautiful rock formations created by waves during storms over millions of years. Sunset is the best time to shoot, getting the reflection of the sun off the rocks creates a beautiful photo opportunity. The walk itself is a short circuit, with blow holes, impressive cliffs and views of stunning beaches. Even if it’s not a nice day, it’s still worth a look.
Lake Matheson, Fox Glacier
There aren’t many places in the world where you get a view like this! Fox Glacier in the background and Lake Matheson in the foreground, wow! Make sure to do the Lake Matheson walkway, as this photo is taken halfway round at the Reflection Island Lookout. Try and go on a clear day, as it’s unlikely you’ll see the mountains in the background if it’s cloudy.
Roaring Billy Falls, Haast Pass
There are many stops along the Haast Pass, Roaring Billy Falls is less known but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stunning. As it’s less crowded than many of the other sights along this route, there is more chance of getting the perfect Instagram shot! I wish I brought my bikini down, as I missed a pretty great shot for Insta here! Don’t make that mistake, and pack a bikini incase you’re brave enough to venture in the ice cold water!
Blue Pools Walk, Haast Pass
This magnificent walk will be one of the highlights along the Haast Pass and most popular. Don’t be fooled by the crystal clear blue water, it’s absolutely freezing! Trust me I know, as I jumped off the bridge and into it, initially I wanted to swim to the middle of this photo to get the perfect Instagram shot, but physically couldn’t! It was SO cold! So I challenge you to get a photo like this swimming in it 😉
Onsen Hot Pools, Queenstown
This was one of our first experiences arriving in New Zealand, and is still one of our most memorable! Surrounded by stunning mountains, sipping an ice cold beer in a jacuzzi, it couldn’t get much better! For me, this is probably one of the most Instagrammable places in New Zealand, although it’s a paid experience it’s worth it. It was so hard choosing a photo, as there are so many I could have used. Get your best bikini on and flaunt it!
Mirror Lakes, Fjordland National Park
There are SO many stunning stops on the way to Milford Sound from Queenstown, which is doable in a day. This is definitely one of the most photogenic spots on the way. It may not necessarily be the perfect Instagram shot if you’d like to be in it (although you can get creative!).
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Have you been to any of the most Instagrammable place in New Zealand? Or are you planning a trip soon?
Let us know in the comments below!
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