10 of NZ’s Most Incredible Natural Landmarks for International Students to See
These naturally occurring marvels are amazing to visit and offer a true view of the beauty that is the New Zealand landscape.
1. Aoraki/Mount Cook
Located in the stunning Mount Cook National Park, NZ’s highest mountain stands out among the other icy peaks at 3,724 metres tall. It is one of 1,500+ peaks around the world that are over 1,500m and is known as an ‘ultra-prominent peak’.
2. Browne Falls
The unofficial highest waterfall in the country, these 619m and 836m falls are in Fiordland National Park and can be seen (and heard) for many km’s.
3. Moeraki Boulders
These spherical boulders lie on a stretch of Koekohe beach that is protected in a scientific reserve. The boulders are known as septarian concretions, and they contain angular cavities called ‘spetaria’, which are cracks in the rock. The boulders can be up to three meters in diameter.
4. Tāne Mahuta
The largest Kauri tree standing today is said to be between 1,500 to 2,500 years old. The tree is also known as the ‘Lord/God of the Forest’ (it is named for the Māori god of forests and of birds), and it can be found in the Waipoua Forest in Northland. The tree is 50m+ high and 13m+ wide and the Waipoua Kauri forest is home to 75% of NZ’s Kauri tree.
5. Te Waikoropupū Springs
These spiritually significant springs discharge 14,000 litres of water per second. The visibility of the water was 63 metres in 1993 and it was estimated to be close to 81 metres in 2018, near the theoretical maximum for pure water. The spring is in Golden Bay and cannot be touched, but the viewing platforms are easy to access.
6. Ruatapu Cave
One of two geothermal caves that exist worldwide, this cave is also known as the ‘Sacred Hole’. The cave extends 35m to the bottom to a hot pool known as 'Waiwhakaata' (Pool of Mirrors). The cave can be found in orakei korakao geothermal park & cave close to Taupō.
7. Steaming Cliffs, Lake Rotomahana, former location of the pink and white terraces
The former location of the world-famous pink and white terraces (which were destroyed in the Mount Tarawera eruption of 1886). The 800-hectare lake is located 20km South-East of Rotorua, it is the deepest lake in the Rotorua. The lake is a wildlife refuge and the steaming cliffs can be seen on the shore of the lake.
8. Huka Falls
The Waikato River is New Zealand’s longest river and Huka falls funnels the water from a river gorge down an 11-metre drop into the raging waters below. The speed of the rapids and crashing of the water are a feast for your eyes and ears. Huka Falls is just a five-minute drive north of Taupō, off SH1 on Huka Falls Road.
9. Craters of the Moon
Follow the walkways around the geothermal wonderland that is the Craters of the Moon – a 45-minute walk through a NZ’s largest geothermal field and a 3km walk from Huka falls.
10. Tokangawhā / Split Apple Rock
Located approximately 50m off the coast of NZ’s South Island the rock can be reached at low tide by wading. It is located between Kaiteriteri and Marahau and was formed naturally due to erosion splitting a weak point in the granite rock.
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