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Scott from Chicago asked

New Zealand's best kept secrets for a backpacker?

What are the best kept secrets in New Zealand? I'm saving up to go backpacking there and thinking of locations and things to do where you won't find a lot of tourists. 

New Zealand

3 Answers
answered by
Anna-Fee from Freiburg im Breisgau

I think it very much depends on the time you go to NZ and also how you behave in NZ as a traveller. I've been there from February to April 2014 and I hardly ever came across a lot of tourists.

So here are some things and areas I was lucky to experience with particularly few tourists spoiling my pictures: 

Northland: Make sure you rent a car since there's no (good) public transportation. What I did was go up on the East coast and down on the West coast. There are some breathtaking and deserted beaches, sometimes you have to walk for 10 min to get there. I slept in my car on beaches or public campsites and at times I really felt like the only person in this universe sitting on the roof of my car and looking at the star-spangled sky. Don't be lazy when it comes to stopping and checking out places, I'm happy I did that a lot instead of rushing up and down the coast. 

Cape Reinga: That's probably on the list of many NZ travellers but when you go there at sunset, you'll be almost alone. It's a magical place!! You'll find a campsite just 30 min away at Tapotupotu Bay (at the beach!), just follow Tapotupotu Road until the end.

The Catlins: This is also a great area and again it's best if you have a car. I particularly liked Slope Point and the Nugget Point Lighthouse which is like the southern counterpart of Cape Reinga. 

Otago Peninsula: This is the perfect place to watch animals like seals or albatrosses. It's a beautiful piece of land, it doesn't really matter where you go. 

Ok, I hope I could help you. Make sure you see all the touristy stuff, too! There's a reason why some places are so popular and right so! My favourites were the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, doing the Ben Lomond Track in Queenstown, the Abel Tasman National Park and Wellington. You can check my other New Zealand answers for more information. 


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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Northland (attraction)
  2. Cape Reinga (attraction)
  3. Tapotupotu Bay (attraction)
  4. The Catlins (attraction)
  5. Slope Point (city)
  6. Nugget Point Lighthouse (attraction)
  7. Otago Peninsula (attraction)
  8. Tongariro Alpine Crossing (attraction)
  9. Ben Lomond Track (attraction)
  10. Abel Tasman National Park (park)
  11. Wellington (city)
likes (2) thanks
answered by
Chad from Los Angeles

I'm not sure how many secrets are left, but I can just give you some of the coolest things I've done in NZ. Some may be secrets, others probably not.

Checkout the steepest road in the world, Baldwin St in Dunedin. Then hit up the obvious, Queenstown followed by Milford Sound, then hike the Franz Josef Glacier. I'm sure there's a lot more secret spots, but just in case you haven't seen the ones I listed, they're definitely well worth it.

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Baldwin St (attraction)
  2. Dunedin (city)
  3. Queenstown (city)
  4. Milford Sound (city)
  5. Franz Josef Glacier (attraction)
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answered first by
Amy from New Zealand

Blue Lake, Nelson

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Blue Lake (attraction)
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