The 10 most beautiful views in New Zealand

Here are 10 top outlooks that prove New Zealand is one of the world's most beautiful countries.

1 QUEENSTOWN GARDENS

You're enveloped in awesome scenery in Queenstown from the moment your plane descends, but there's no easier way to admire it than on a stroll around these gardens on a little peninsula that juts into Lake Wakatipu. Snowy alpine ridges are all around, reflected in the water. Autumn is particularly glorious. To see the magnificence from above, take the Skyline gondola up Bob's Peak to a panorama fit for the gods. See queenstownnz.co.nz

2 WAI-O-TAPU

sunjul29traveller10 New Zealand Scenery Traveller 10 ; text by Brian Johnston SUPPLIED?https://visuals.newzealand.com Champagne Pools,?Rotorua Licence:?Worldwide. Usage:?Worldwide usage in unpaid digital and print media to promote New Zealand as a visitor destination. Expiry:?30 Jun 2020 Please Credit: Graeme Murray

If this landscape takes your breath away, it will probably be due to the stench of sulphur. This isn't scenery on a grand scale, but it's certainly peculiar, unfolding a series of green, yellow and rust-red thermal pools that bubble and steam and occasionally explode into geysers. The best spot for gawking is the Artist's Palette lookout towards Primrose Terrace Boardwalk in one direction and Champagne Pool in the other. See waiotapu.co.nz

3 MOUNT VICTORIA

Buildings stand illuminated at dawn in Wellington, New Zealand, on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. New Zealand?inflation?picked up in the second quarter amid higher fuel and construction costs while the impact from a weaker currency was less than expected. Photographer: Birgit Krippner/Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

The ferry crossing from downtown Auckland to the charming seaside suburb of Devonport is nice enough but, once you get there, a walk along Victoria Road and up Mount Victoria brings you to cloud-scudded views over Auckland harbour towards its skyscrapers, as well as towards volcanic island Rangitoto and the city's North Shore. It's a big reward for a small effort. See aucklandnz.com

4 FOX GLACIER

sunjul29traveller10 New Zealand Scenery Traveller 10 ; text by Brian Johnston SUPPLIED via journalist Fox Glacier (credit Tourism NZ).jpg

Photo: Tourism New Zealand

Wedged deep in the alpine landscape of Westland National Park, Fox Glacier is most spectacularly admired from the air. Sightseeing helicopters land on the glacier's surface, while heli-hiking options allow several hours to explore the spectacular ice formations of the glacier such as crevasses, ice caves and icefalls. The latter are giant tumbles of fractured ice that glitter in the sun like some fabulous palace of a fictional snow queen. See glaciercountry.co.nz

5 KAURI CLIFFS

The golf course at Kauri Cliffs (credit Kauri Cliffs).jpg sunjul29traveller10 New Zealand Scenery Traveller 10 ; text by Brian Johnston SUPPLIED via journalist
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For proof that man can add to nature in the creation of mind-boggling outlooks, head to famed lodge Kauri Cliffs, which sits between rainforest, cattle-chewed hills and rugged coast, off which a scattering of islands float. The golf course is one of the world's most scenic and the seventh hole has perhaps the most splendid outlook. Even if you aren't a golfer, walk the chain of greens along the clifftops, and sea gaze. See robertsonlodges.com

6 FIORDLAND

sunjul29traveller10 New Zealand Scenery Traveller 10 ; text by Brian Johnston SUPPLIED?https://visuals.newzealand.com Milford Sound,?Fiordland ? Licence:?Worldwide. Usage:?Worldwide usage in unpaid digital and print media to promote New Zealand as a visitor destination. Expiry:?Does not expire Location: Milford Sound,?Fiordland Please Credit: Tourism Holdings

You've got to be out on the water to best appreciate the staggering landscapes of soaring cliffs, waterfalls and the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps, particularly awesome from the deck of a cruise ship (or a smaller tour boat) in Milford or Doubtful sounds. You can also hire kayaks and paddle under waterfalls. Pray for a clear day, although moody mist can be very atmospheric. Scenic flights are also available. See fiordland.org.nz

7 COROMANDEL PENINSULA

sunjul29traveller10?New Zealand Scenery Traveller 10 ; text by Brian Johnston SUPPLIED?https://visuals.newzealand.com Licence:?Worldwide. Usage:?Worldwide usage in unpaid digital and print media to promote New Zealand as a visitor destination. Expiry:?30 Jun 2020 Karangahake Gorge,?Coromandel Please Credit: Graeme Murray

Wedged between the Hauraki Gulf and Pacific Ocean east of Auckland, the rugged, wave-battered, rainforest-draped Coromandel will smack your gob whether you're hoofing through Karangahake Gorge, scrambling up The Pinnacles or wandering the Coastal Walkway, which offers 10 kilometres of magnificent green hills and turquoise bays. The best view of all might be from Mount Paku in the seaside town of Tairua, a scenic collision of river, ocean, islands and mountain ranges that could be a model for heaven. See thecoromandel.com

8 GIBBSTON VALLEY

Gibbston-Valley-Aerial-View
pic supplied by Destination Queenstown

Head out of Queenstown towards the Central Otago wine region and the road meanders through rolling hills with stands of poplar trees, neatly pegged vines and distant views of lakes and snowy peaks. The first cellar door at Amisfield Estate capitalises on its views with a terrace; small wonder one of its wine ranges is called Arcadia. Further up the valley, the Kawarau River gorge and rugged, rocky hills unfold. See queenstownnz.co.nz

9 BANKS PENINSULA

sunjul29traveller10 New Zealand Scenery Traveller 10 ; text by Brian Johnston Shutterstock? *** REUSE PERMITTED *** New Zealand landscape, Banks Peninsula

Photo: Shutterstock

Just as you think New Zealand can't get any lovelier you arrive on this peninsula south-east of Christchurch, a dramatic collision of deep inlets, brown hills and volcanic extrusions that plunge down to the sea. At Akaroa, a bay of improbable milky blue invites another look from a watery perspective, with names such as Elephant's Head and Cathedral Cave hinting at the spectacle of coastal formations that awaits. See christchurchnz.com

10 MOUNT JOHN

sunoct15trav10 Traveller 10 Astronomical Sites ; copy by?Brian Johnston Stargazing at Lake Tekapo in New Zealand. Credit: Tekapo Tourism

This isn't really a mountain, more a grassy knoll rising little more than 330 metres above Lake Tekapo, but boy does it pack a punch with its outlooks over the Mackenzie plains, deep blue lakes and the fangs of snow-covered mountains. And there's a bonus: Mount John sits inside the world's largest Dark Sky Reserve, and its observatory allows night views too, of a great swath of Milky Way. See earthandsky.co.nz

Brian Johnston travelled as a guest of New Zealand Tourism, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Relais & Châteaux.

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