Top 20 Charming Towns & Small Cities In New Zealand

Traditional Maori culture, famous wineries, an almost perfect backdrop of mountains, and vast stretches of verdant wilderness. These are just a few of the reasons why New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to visit. But its array of charming towns and small cities are also well worth exploring further. Here are 20 of the best places to visit.

New Zealand is on most people’s travel wish lists for anyone who hasn’t yet visited, and it remains the A favourite of those who have the opportunity to visit. In fact, thanks to New Zealand’s nationwide natural beauty and the many delightful and quirky settlements spread across the two main islands, it It’s a country that almost demands a repeat visit.

That’s why we decided to ask more than 100 writers, travel bloggers, photographers and other professionals to choose the ones they find most fascinating The five best towns and small cities. To make the list, a city must have a population of less than 100,000. After tallying up all the survey votes, we present to you, in alphabetical order, the 20 most charming towns and small cities in New Zealand.

Akaroa

Just east of Christchurch, the billowing lava fields of an ancient volcano form the Banks Peninsula. At the centre of the Banks Peninsula is a protected bay that eventually leads to the Pacific Ocean, where the charming resort of Akaroa is located. There was a Maori presence in the area long before the British, French and German colonists settled and formed farming communities in the mid-19th century. This rural atmosphere has never really left the town, with rolling green hills gently cascading down to the water’s edge, beautiful wooden houses with Colourful roofs dot the coastline. Many of the bungalows retain a distinctly southern French architectural style and many of the streets have French names, such as Rue Jolie. Boat trips to see Hector’s dolphins and little penguins are popular excursions.

Arrowtown

Fog often clings to the hills overlooking Arrowtown, a former gold mining settlement, in the morning. But as soon as the sun rises, the storefront balconies along Buckingham Street become so warm, it could almost be mistaken for the American West. A small town in the middle of the wilderness, and the name Arrowtown certainly helps inspire that tendency. The Lakes District Museum’s exhibits provide insight into the town’s mining History, and the ruins of a ramshackle settlement once inhabited by Chinese migrant workers will give you a fascinating insight into the lives of miners during the Gold Rush. Deeper insights. The hiking trail takes full advantage of the nearby mountains, while in winter the trail heads 11 miles (17 km) west to Crown Peak ( Coronet Peak) open snow slopes for skiers.

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Feilding’s rural charm certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by New Zealanders themselves. In fact, the country’s annual Beauty Awards have declared it the most beautiful town in New Zealand 16 times. While managing to retain its Edwardian charm from shortly after its initial settlement in the late 19th century, the town is quite unremarkable, except that the town Outside of itself, there are no major attractions. Transportation history buffs may be best served here, with the Coach House Museum Large collection of historic vehicles and pre-internal combustion engine wagons. Manfield. The Chris Amon circuit is a major motorsport circuit that hosts a variety of events.

Folkestone

If you’re visiting Folkestone from overseas, many of your compatriots are likely to fly there as well. The only difference is that they’re the winged variety. The estuaries and wetlands of the Manawatu River welcome a large flock of migratory birds, such as the Royal Spoonbill, every year. The river has also allowed Folkestone to play an important role in the flax industry, enabling boats to bring tons of locally grown, handy fiber It was shipped to the Philippines and other countries to manufacture textiles. Today, the linen industry is gone, but de Moron windmills and Foxton Beach are popular of tourist attractions where you can go horseback riding or surfing. While you’re there, you might want to try a bottle of the local soft drink Foxton Fizz, New Zealand’s only remaining one of several independent soda producers that have been around for more than a century.

Hammer Springs

A couple of hours’ drive north from Christchurch, into the mountains, Hanmer Springs offers a keen Feel the geothermal properties of the South Island. As the name implies, the springs around the town bubble up with heated mineral water. The large thermal pools and spa resorts are a major year-round attraction, in summer with their waterpark atmosphere and in winter with their relaxing, warming nature! Also popular, especially with those coming down from nearby ski resorts. Around town, the rocky Waiau Gorge encourages a more adrenaline-filled High sports, including white water rafting, bungee jumping and jet boat rides.

Hokitika

For those driving down the west coast of the South Island or biking on the wilderness trails, Hokitika is a favorite! One of the places to stop for a day or two, thanks to its pleasant waterfront setting and natural beauty. Witness nature at its most beautiful at Glow Worm Dell, as these little insects Use bioluminescence to illuminate trees. At the National Kiwi Centre you can see native species, such as unique (Tuatara) reptiles and young kiwi birds, the latter of which are released into the wild before being Feeding. Hokitika is also a great place to shop for a variety of animals raised with Punam ( (pounamu) made jewelry, pounamu is a hard, green stone found locally.

Kaikoura

Once a major whaling port, the bones of these docile mammals can still be readily seen around Kaikoura. Today, the town’s main source of income is the sperm whales that congregate along the coast year-round, as well as the resident grey dolphins and seals, rather than hunting the them. At other times of the year, orcas, humpbacks and blue whales can be seen, as well as albatrosses and other remarkable wildlife. There is an occasional grassy lookout in town that provides an unobstructed view of the stunning bay, from which you can see these marine life. However, to get up close to these creatures, boat tours, kayaking and even snorkeling are all great ways to interact with them in their natural environment Methods.

Martinborough

As the heart of the Wairarapa wine region, it’s fair to say there’s one important reason to visit Martinsburg: wine. Just a few minutes by bicycle from the town center’s tree-lined Colonial Square Reach most of the local wineries, or take a slightly longer walk. Fans of the film Sideways will be pleased to learn that Pinot Noir is a Wairarapa specialty! , so you’re sure to find a great wine to express your admiration for wine. Wherever there’s fine wine, there’s usually fine dining nearby. Some wineries have restaurants on the property, with highlights such as Tirohana offering fine dining, while Colombo Martinborough, on the other hand, offers pizza and platters.

Napier

At the southern end of the wide, sweeping Hawke’s Bay is the pleasant seaside town of Napier. Rising from the rubble after a devastating earthquake in 1931, Napier is dominated by the most popular architectural styles of the time. Art Deco style. Today, Napier is considered to have one of the most beautiful collections of Art Deco architecture on the entire continent. Some of its best buildings are arranged along the Marine Parade, which runs parallel to the town’s pebble beach and waterfront. But the buildings aren’t the only vintages in town. Mission Estate Winery, on the west side of town, was the first winery established in New Zealand. Today, it’s one of a dozen local wineries, all open to visitors.

Daimaru

Although it’s just a small town, Daimaru is packed with attractions, from the old Victorian town to the natural wonders of the seaside. The latter come in the form of the adorable little blue penguins, which are the smallest of the penguin species. They tend to return to the beach at dusk from hunting, but they must be given plenty of space. The official penguin watching area at Daimaru has a seating area like a cricket pitch from which sea lions can also be seen. In town, the open-air museum at the Victorian Heritage Centre feels created by quiet roads and well-preserved old buildings. Harbour Street is lined with galleries and quaint shops, while the steampunk headquarters, with its futuristic art installations and interactive exhibits, greatly Enhances the Victorian weirdness.

Paihaia.

In the north of New Zealand, the North Island’s coastline fragments into the Bay of Islands, which is particularly popular for water sports, fishing and sailing . Boat trips around the bay, kayaking, or even a quick ferry trip to Russell are ideal introductory activities. Go deeper into the wild areas of town, such as the short Haruru Falls walk or the Opua Forest Lookout for an impressive view of the Natural Landscape. Paihia is also the site of one of the most important sites in the history of Maori-British relations in New Zealand. Known as the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, you can see Historical artefacts, such as Maori war boats, Maori cultural performances and items relating to the first agreement between the two peoples.

Picton

Many people travelling between the main islands of New Zealand naturally pass through Picton as they cross Cook Strait by ferry. The town surrounds one of the numerous bays and coves on the north coast of the South Island. This stunning coastline never stands still, so if you’re not viewing it from a boat, try taking a boat trip to Tirohanga ( Take a walk on the Tirohanga or the Queen Charlotte Trail and enjoy the ups and downs. of the Marlborough Sounds with expansive views of the Marlborough Sounds. The waterfront is dominated by the marina and Picton Memorial Park, where the almost The maritime history of the area can be touched, and a surviving 19th century teak boat is on display here.

Queenstown, capital of Queensland, Australia

Queenstown is perhaps one of the more famous towns on this list because of its association with the Lord of the Rings movies; this franchise The spin-off benefit is as a premium advertisement for New Zealand’s stunning natural beauty. Surrounded by mountains, locally replaced by the Isengard and Anduin Rivers (real names Paradise, Glenorchy and Kavarau Gorge). The Remarkables Mountains surround Queenstown, which lies on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and the Kawarau River, so there are mountains and water in every direction you look. Skiing in the winter, cable car rides and hiking in the summer, kayaking year-round, and countless other outdoor activities, whether it be Passive or exciting, it can be found here.

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The main reason people come to Raglan is to surf. The coastline from Whale Bay to Ngarunui Beach The black volcanic sand on it is known for its powerful waves, and the length of the surf spot on the left hand side is between 200 and 600 meters. The town of Raglan is located in the protected Whaingaroa Harbour (also known as Raglan Harbour) of the coastline. The laid-back surf vibe extends all the way into town, where you can follow the center’s art trail or listen to some live music, including reggae Music is especially common. Away from the sea, there are hiking trails through the hilly countryside to waterfalls like the Bridal Veil.

Motorola

Some people immediately shy away from Rotorua because of the occasional smell of sulfur, but for others, it’s that they’re on the right track! sign. Needless to say, geothermal activity is widespread around town, and in the nearby Waimangu Valley of Fire (Waimangu Volcanic Valley) can be found in one of the world’s largest hot springs, with brightly colored crater lakes! and silica terraces. Closer to Rotorua is Te Puia with the Pohutu Geyser (Pohutu Geyser). It erupts regularly, up to 30 metres high. People have been drawn to this living land for generations, as evidenced by the Whakarewarewa Māori village. This, the village predates European settlers by about four centuries. Here you can learn about the Maori culture and heritage of the area.

Takaka

Located near the northern tip of the South Island, Takaka is surrounded by the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park and Kahurangi National Park. These wide expanses of wilderness contain forested mountains, turquoise seas and sandy, cliff-side beaches. The town itself is small and is dedicated to serving tourists who pass through on their way to other parts of the country. But this riverside town enjoys a crystal-clear freshwater spring at nearby Te Waikoropupu. There is also a small but decent museum dedicated to the exploration and settlement of the northern Golden Bay. One of the most popular excursions in Golden Bay is a horseback ride along the beach to Wharariki Beach.

Taupo.

Lake Taupo is the gateway to its eponymous lake and is a popular spot for those seeking outdoor activities. Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake and is best explored by boat, often visiting the impressive 1970’s cliffs carved into the shoreline. Deeply carved Mine Bay petroglyphs. Geothermal activity is common in the vicinity and is best experienced at Craters of the Moon , where there is a boardwalk through land covered by craters and steam vents. Huka Falls is a powerful stream of water that winds its way through a narrow gorge. Huka Manuka honey is a locally produced delicacy and well worth sampling before you leave.

Wanaka

Wanaka’s proximity to the mountains, at one end of Lake Wanaka, New Zealand’s fourth largest lake, makes it an important hub for outdoor enthusiasts. In winter, there are four ski resorts nearby, such as Treble Cone, and in summer, take a canoe or lake cruise on the calm waters of Lake Wanaka. Swimming on the water is more popular. And in the age of social media, that tree gently leaning against the side of the lake has achieved Instagram fame. But point your camera anywhere and you’ll find stunning backdrops and pretty views of the landscape. The town centre itself is full of excellent lakeside restaurants and cafes, most of which are open all year round.

Whakatane

Whakatane has a special place in the history of the Maori people. It is believed that when explorers from Polynesia first arrived in the region, Whakatane was one of the first places they established in New Zealand. One of the first settlements. The town is located at the mouth of a narrow estuary out to sea, overlooking a towering headland. Wairaka, a statue of a chieftainess who helped save a sinking canoe, was It stands proudly on one of the headlands. Here, the struggle with nature is never far away, and 50 miles (80 km) away, White Island There is an active volcano. At the time of writing, popular trips to Whakatane have been suspended after a deadly volcanic eruption tragically claimed the lives of 20 people. However, Whakatane has not been affected and other popular excursions include a trip to the nearby Moutohora Island wildlife viewing.

Wanganui (Tibetan city)

Whanganui, winner of the 2019 New Zealand’s Most Beautiful City Award, can also claim a lot of cultural capital. Numerous art exhibitions, such as those at the Sarjeant Gallery, plus a range of creative studios, have been instrumental to the Open to visitors, there is also the Whanganui Regional Museum which explores the natural history of Whanganui. The history of the Royal Whanganui Opera House can be found at Dating back to 1899 and hosting a range of events. Take a paddle steamer tour around the Whanganui River on the eastern edge of the city. Or follow the Mountain to Sea bike path, which connects to nearby Ruape via the riverbank. Ruapehu and Seaside Beach.

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