by: Lizi Oldham
New Zealand offers an impressive array of iconic scenery that attracts tourists year round. Shy away from the crowds and you will find beyond the iconic sites, New Zealand is rife with visual spectacles worthy of their own infamy. Take a day trip and head off the beaten track, seek these unique areas and you will find peace, serenity and the chance to feel completely lost within nature.
Here are New Zealand's top six best-kept secrets:
New Chums Beach
Consistently named one of the world's top beaches, New Chums Beach is, for those lucky enough to have visited; a true example of nature at it's best. The beach is hidden away and accessible only by foot; the tranquil 30-minute walk in through native forest means the beach itself is rarely explored. This coupled with the pristine warm waters and white sands; make New Chums Beach a hidden gem.
The combination of stark landscapes, fledging vineyards and distant mountains of Bannockburn offer an intense visual overload. Originally a gold mining settlement, the area has been transformed into a stunning vineyard region. Explore the baron landscapes and historic relics of Bannockburn Sluicings.
The iridescent milky blue water of Lake Tekapo, set off against the dramatic Southern Alps is a mesmerizing sight like no other. Though Lake Tekapo is on the tourist route through the Mackenzie Country, it is often overlooked as nothing more than a photo opportunity. Stay a little longer and Lake Tekapo will cast its spell on you with its abundance of breathtaking activities, including star-gazing at the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve observatory.
Historic Akaroa is a charming seaside town, featuring dramatic scenery with a relaxed easy-going vibe. Just 75 kilometres from Christchurch, Akaroa is easily accessible, yet has the feeling you are a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The beautiful harbor, historic buildings and passion for spectacular cuisine make Akaroa, undeniably unique.
Situated 40 minutes north of Christchurch, The Waipara Valley is New Zealand's fastest growing wine region and a beautiful example of North Canterbury Scenery. With 79 wineries, wine lovers are spoiled for choice. Family owned and run Pegasus Bay is the perfect place for a long lunch, set within the rolling hills with a beautiful lake, world-class cuisine and spectacular service; it is bound to captivate.
Accessible only by boat, Mosquito Bay in the Abel Tasman really is the ideal beach paradise. Once there visitors can't help but feel alone and as remote as you can possibly get. Offering white sand beaches, balmy turquoise waters and total privacy; Mosquito Bay is one of New Zealand's biggest hidden treasures.
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