These Are New Zelands Most Underrated Tourist Spots

New Zealand, a country known for its jaw-dropping landscapes, vibrant culture, and adrenaline-pumping activities, also harbours some of the most underrated tourist spots in the world. These hidden gems offer unique experiences away from the crowds, immersing visitors in the country’s natural beauty and cultural richness.

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Ulva Island: A Haven of Native Wildlife

Nestled in the Stewart Island/Rakiura area, Ulva Island stands out as a sanctuary for native wildlife. This predator-free island is a haven for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. Visitors walking through the lush rainforest can encounter rare species such as the South Island Saddleback, Yellowhead, and the Stewart Island Robin in their natural habitat. The tranquillity and untouched beauty of Ulva Island offer a glimpse into New Zealand’s ancient past, making it a must-visit for anyone seeking peace and natural beauty.

The Catlins: Coastal Splendor and Wildlife

The Catlins, a coastal region in the southeastern corner of the South Island, is a mosaic of rugged coastlines, cascading waterfalls, and dense forests. This area is a paradise for wildlife watchers, with opportunities to see rare yellow-eyed penguins, New Zealand fur seals, and sea lions.

The Nugget Point Lighthouse offers breathtaking views of rocky islets, while the Purakaunui Falls and Cathedral Caves are natural wonders that showcase the area’s diverse landscapes. The Catlins’ remote beauty and rich biodiversity make it an exceptional destination for those looking to connect with nature.

Karamea: The Gateway to Natural Wonders

Karamea, located at the northern end of the West Coast, is often overlooked by tourists, yet it serves as the gateway to some of New Zealand’s most spectacular natural wonders. The Oparara Arches, a series of limestone arches in the Oparara Basin, offer an otherworldly experience. The Honeycomb Hill Caves are another marvel, housing an extensive collection of Moa bones. Karamea’s remote location contributes to its charm, offering a serene escape and opportunities for hiking, caving, and exploring untouched landscapes.

Forgotten World Highway: A Journey Through Time

The Forgotten World Highway, stretching between Taumarunui and Stratford, is a journey through some of New Zealand’s most remote and picturesque landscapes. This 150-kilometer route takes travellers through rugged terrain, dense native forests, and past historic sites that tell the stories of the area’s early settlers.

The winding highway leads to the Republic of Whangamomona, where visitors can step back in time and experience New Zealand’s pioneering spirit. The Forgotten World Highway is not just a road; it’s an adventure through the heart of the country’s untamed wilderness.


New Zealand’s most underrated tourist spots are treasures waiting to be discovered. From the wildlife sanctuary of Ulva Island to the historical journey along the Forgotten World Highway, these destinations offer experiences that are both unique and deeply enriching. They invite travellers to explore beyond the popular tourist attractions and delve into the heart of New Zealand’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. For those willing to venture off the beaten path, the rewards are unparalleled, offering memories that will last a lifetime.

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