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I’m always surprised when other travellers tell me they’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand. For many, it’s their dream destination. Because I grew up here, I sometimes forget what an amazingly beautiful country New Zealand is. When you’re surrounded by towering mountains, lush rainforests and crystal clear lakes your whole life you can end up taking it for granted. So, what is it that people love about New Zealand? For me, it’s got to be the relaxed nature of the people, the uncrowded cities and the great cafes and restaurants. It’s always refreshing to come home to what I consider “normal”. New Zealand is just home to me so to gain a little perspective I asked my travel blogging tribe to enlighten me on what it is they love about New Zealand.


Why do people love New Zealand?


Bay of Islands
Source: Chris of Amateur Traveler

“I enjoyed the beauty of the islands and also the exposure to the Maori culture.” -Chris Christensen at AmateurTraveler


“Simply put, New Zealand has the friendliest people in the world. I love the scenery, the things to do, the outdoor culture, and more, but in the end it comes back to the people.” – Michael Hodson at Go See Write


“It’s an easy country to live in and run a business, we are usually ranked #1 in the world for ease of setting up a business, and the tax system is very straightforward too. The coffee is good, better than most places in the western world – this is amazing because until I left for the first time in the early 1980’s I’d never even seen a cappuccino! It’s small and compact, it’s easy to get around, and has huge variety of scenery within a day’s drive.” – Elisabeth Sowerbutts at Lis’s Travel Tips


Kayaking in the South Island
Source: Simon Flood at LADventurers

“New Zealand was a place, prior to travelling, I knew very little about. I thought Australia would be the highlight for me on my first ever RTW trip. It turned out it wasn’t. New Zealand upstaged Australia in every way possible. It had everything. Every single town/stop off has something for you and every single thing is different. There honestly isn’t a thing I can think of that New Zealand doesn’t have.” – Simon Flood at LADventurers


“New Zealand is exactly on the other side of the world from where I grew up, and since I was a child I really wanted to visit just for that reason. Nowadays it is not only the remoteness but the many varied and simply stunning landscapes that attract me. I’m a very outdoorsy and adventurous kind of person, so I love all that New Zealand has to offer to the active traveller. On top of that, in the years that I have lived in London I have made quite a few kiwi friends , and their laid-back no-nonsense culture suits me really well. When I’m in NZ, I just love being in the mountains, cycling around the lakes, or being active outdoors in general. It’s got a very creative and quirky vibe, friendly, down-to-earth people, and great coffee. What more could you ask for?” – Christina Hegele at Sandalroad


Source: Kate of CanuckiwiKate

“Tough question after 4 years of living here! I think my list of what I DON’T love would be much shorter. I love the diversity of scenery compacted into one little far away package – you’ve got beaches for days in the winterless north, a multitude of volcanoes and unique geothermal activity, remarkable mountains strengthening ‘the backbone’ of the south island, rugged coastlines, mighty fiords that soar into the sky and plunge hundreds of metres below the sea – it baffles my little mind! But I think the thing that has kept me here, has been the kiwi way of life. It’s a bit slower, relaxed, and often led by the “she’ll be riight” kind of mantra, and New Zealand has just got this unified pride that links the whole country. Air New Zealand has Grab a Seat, which makes it easy to jet set away each beautiful little corner for something different.” – Kate Clarke at CanucKiwiKate


“It seems behind the times in a good way. I ran into few crowds, and prices are great.” -Carole Meyers at TravelsWithCarole


“For families, especially those with younger children, it’s an easy, safe, friendly yet adventurous destination. There are no nasty insects, diseases or vaccinations needed. It has diverse attractions and a great outdoor lifestyle in a fairly small and compact area. And with two such different islands, it’s like two destinations in one.” – Stuart at FamilyAdventureProject

Beautiful Place of Tairua
Source: Annabel of GetInTheHotSpot

“The laid back people, quirky charm and wild scenery. New Zealand is so varied you can see beaches, volcanoes, rainforest and even desert in one day. It’s a safe, easy place to travel with friendly, creative people and endless walks for nature lovers like me.” -Annabel at GetInTheHotSpot


“I love the landscape, around every corner is a different view designed to blow your mind.” -Michael at NomadsOnTheRoad


In front of a biplane.
Source: Larissa of Changes In Longtitude

“What we love about New Zealand: It’s not Australia. But seriously, the incredibly clean air, the unspoiled nature, the sweeping views when driving along the Southern Scenic Route, the relaxed carefree attitude of the people.” -Larissa at ChangesInLongtitude


“New Zealand has great opportunities for making long hikes and going camping. It’s one of the reasons I’d love to go back one day as I didn’t do nearly enough of this during my first visit!” -Nienke at TheTravelTester


“I love that the country has such incredible variety in a relatively small amount of space. You can see fantastic mountains (and ski on them), then hit up the surf or go explore some jungles. From hikers to city lovers – New Zealand really has got something to offer everyone.” -Laurence at FindingTheUniverse


“Having only been in the country a little over six weeks… I can tell you why I have already fallen in love with this wonderful country. Growing up New Zealand was just a shape on the map. Along with Australia, China and Japan they were exotic faraway lands that we learnt about in our Geography lessons along with tectonic plates and weather systems. The idea that I would ever visit such a magical place never crossed my mind.” – Charli at Wanderlusters


If you’ve been to New Zealand, tell me what it is you loved about it.


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Showing 14 comments
  • TammyOnTheMove

    I have ever been, but my brother toured NZ in a mobile home once and loads of my friends studied English or went to uni there. I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t like it to be honest. So note to myself: I must go one day.

  • Jen Kirk

    We just finished 33 days touring both islands in a camper van with our 6-year old and, simply put, it was the most extraordinary month we’ve had traveling. It is an absolute “must visit” destination for any traveler. We are now spending a few weeks in Wellington and have fallen for this city hard.

  • Lillie - @WorldLillie

    Thanks for this! People are so obsessed with New Zealand, and I needed a list like this to get more fully why. Maybe I’ll make that trip finally happen! So far from Boston, though…

  • Travel with Bender (Erin)

    I cant wait to visit. I know who Im coming to when I do!

  • Larissa

    BTW, that biplane ride we took (photo above) was near Twizel. We flew over the Tasman Glacier, the turquoise lakes and the area that served as the Pelanor Battlefields in the Lord of the Rings movie.

  • Jenna

    Definitely on my list. I certainly have heard about the nature but hadn’t heard Michael’s point before about the people being so friendly. Good to know!

  • Reply

    My friend Matt Kyhnn of Backpacking Matt moved there several years ago after a stint in the UK and then back in the US. I know it’s a great fit for him with all of the clean air, the mountains and the outdoor activities. I can and will get there one day!

  • RunawayBrit

    I have never been to New Zealand, but I want to go solely because it is probably the furthest away from home that is possible to travel to.

    The landscape looks amazing and the Kiwis I have met are always so easy-going and lovely.

    I will get there one day, I hope.

  • Shaun Hoobler

    Great post, I believe people love New Zealand for its amazing culture, but also for the stunning natural landscapes that it provides. All in all, it is truly a beautiful country to discover.

  • Jenny

    I agree with the things said in the post, beautiful land and friendly people. What more could you want. NZ also seems to just have the right attitude about things. A friend once sent me an email with “I love NZ” as the subject line. It was a news article about someone riding their bicycle around the South Island with no clothes on. They were stopped by the police and given a warning.. for not wearing a helmet.

  • Micki

    Oh, I have to agree with Larissa completely. New Zealand was just wonderfully, beautifully unspoiled. We loved it!

  • wandering educators

    we haven’t been yet, but my brother keeps going back and telling me i’m missing it!! time to head there…

  • marty

    hi all
    I am a kiwi – it was nick named Godzone some years back.and yip its a pretty good place to live.
    Sure we have a few headaches the odd dickheads and that, but you can get away really easily most of the year.
    Bear in mind every kiwi wants to do this around the holidays so it can get a bit manic with 4M kiwis trying to have a summer holiday.
    It can get a bit basic out of main centres and yes the tourist areas will fleece you a bit.
    On the whole we just like to get out and do stuff and we have some awesome places to go and do it too.
    see you all soon I guess

  • Chitra

    We visited NZ in February – we thought the North Island was stunning….that is until we landed in Queenstown. Natural beauty abounds, the people are friendly, the food is great and a sense of adventure is ever present . It was the best holiday we’ve ever had together (maybe it was the time in our lives, we’re in our 30s). Go!

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