Another Top 10 Best Places for International Students to Visit in New Zealand

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Awesome and FREE Kiwi Experiences

North Island

  1. Whangarei – Whangarei Falls
  2. Rotorua – Kuirau Park
  3. Gisborne – Captain Cook Statue
  4. Napier – Visit Cape Kidnappers
  5. New Plymouth – Paritutu Rock

The city of Whangarei is a great place to go if you want to enjoy the more relaxed side of New Zealand life. No holiday to this city by the sea is complete without a visit to ‘the most photogenic waterfall in New Zealand’. There are plenty of free sights to see and beaches to visit if you want to live a laid-back lifestyle for a few days.

Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland and there are plenty of hotpools, geysers, steaming pools, mud pools and terraces. Take a stroll through Kuirau Park to take-in these sights for free. The Waiotapu mud pool is also free to view and its bubbling will keep you entertained without hitting your wallet. To access the full wonderland and witness the Lady Knox geyser and colourful geothermal area you will have to pay for an admission ticket. While in Rotorua you can also visit the suburb of Ohinemutu. Here you can go to the Tama-Te-Kapua marae (Maori meeting house) and learn more about New Zealand’s indigenous people and culture.

In Gisborne, take a moment to learn about some NZ history right on the beachfront. Visit the Captain Cook statue to find out more about our original British settler, his ship the HMS Endeavour and his story, which is tightly intertwined with the birth of the New Zealand we know today. You can also visit the Cook Landing Site National Historic Reserve (1769) and the obelisk that stands here was erected on the 8 October 1906. It is now a national historic reserve and the sea has receded so much that it is hard to imagine the ship landing in the spot.


Napier and Hastings are great regional areas for a stress-free NZ experience. There are many things to do in the centre of town and even more nearby. The world-famous gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, 20km out of Napier in the town of Clifton, has up to 15,000 birds between November and February. The spectacular cliffs and thousands of screeching gannets form an impressive combination of sights and sounds.

New Plymouth
With the majestic Mount Taranaki standing tall in the background, New Plymouth and its rolling green fields and hills are always great to explore. If you’re in town you can’t miss a trip to Paritutu Rock. This standout feature was left behind by a volcano that was active millions of years ago. You can explore the rock and the nearby Sugar Loaf Islands above and below the water.

South Island

  1. Punakaiki - Pancake rocks
  2. Westland - Tai Poutini National Park
  3. The Catlins – Nugget Point
  4. Oamaru - Blue Pengiun Colony
  5. Golden Bay – Farewell Spit Lighthouse

Who knew that nature could look so strange? Kiwis certainly do! Punakaiki has some of the weirdest rock formations you will ever see, but the pancake rocks must be seen up close to be believed! This short walk is another of NZ’s many unmissable trips. Make sure you take some time to see the blowholes too!

The Tai Poutini National Park is the ideal place to venture if you are an avid explorer. Here you can listen to the sounds of ancient glaciers cracking and moving down sparse valleys. A hike through the bush to the viewing platforms is the best way to view the Fox and/or Franz-Josef glaciers for free. But you can also journey onto the glaciers if you would prefer by paying for a guided glacier walk.

If you’re looking to spot some penguins, there are plenty of yellow-eyed ones to see at Nugget Point in the rugged surrounds of Otago’s Catlins. Walk 15 minutes from the carpark to Roaring bay in the afternoon to spot them returning from their daily fishing trips. Alternatively, you can head 20 minutes from the carpark to the lighthouse for dramatic views of ‘the nuggets’, rocks spearing the sea in the shape of gold nuggets off the coast. On the way, there try to spot the seal colonies that call Nugget Point home.

There are even more weird rocks and penguins to spot on the way to and in the largest town in North Otago. There are incredible geological landforms to discover all along the way. Stop by and see the Moeraki builders and elephant rocks in Waitaki before you get to see the wildlife in Oamaru. This South Island area is home to more than just yellow-eyed penguins, little blue penguins also frequent the town at sunset. Come for the penguins, stay for the elegant limestone buildings, 19th century architecture and steampunk museum.

Golden Bay
The Farewell Spit is a 35km long (above and below sea-level) West-East body of golden sand, the longest sandspit in New Zealand, and is located at the top of the South Island. Four-wheel drive tours will get you to the lighthouse and sand dunes, however you can tour a small portion of the spit for free. Wildlife is abundant on the South side of the spit, and sea birds feed constantly as the tides can recede up to 7 kilometres. The Northern side is bounded by the Tasman sea, has steeper dunes and is constantly exposed to high winds.

Who are iStudent Complaints and what can we help you with?
iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand.
As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

Why did we do this blog?
Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this blog so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.