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Cape Reinga (Northland)
Although actually surpassed by Surville Cliffs to the east, Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) is generally considered New Zealand's northernmost point. It's certainly a memorable headland, topped with a lighthouse overlooking the swirling meeting point of the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. The cape is fringed with golden sands including Ninety Mile Beach and glorious Tapotupotu Bay, the best camping spot in the area.
New Chums Beach (The Coromandel)
Beautiful beaches are ten a penny in a country with more than 18,000 kilometres of coastline. We think the best beaches are those you have all to yourself, which is not entirely uncommon at the Coromandel Peninsula's New Chums, reached by a half-hour coastal path (rocky in places) from Whangapoua car park. Absolute paradise.
Marokopa Falls (King Country)
Half an hour's drive from the must-see Waitomo Caves, a short stroll through nikau palm forest leads to a viewpoint over Marokopa Falls – arguably the most beautiful cascade in the country. On the way is Mangapohue Natural Bridge, a staggering limestone gorge leading to a huge arch, the remains of an ancient cave system. Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park is a little cracker.
Orakei Korako (Taupo)
Impressive displays of New Zealand's fiery volcanic zone are found in geothermal reserves around Rotorua and Taupo. Of these, our pick is Orakei Korako – a hidden valley reached by a two-minute boat ride across Lake Ohakuri – where colourful silica terraces, bubbling mud pools, geysers and sacred Ruatapu Cave can be surveyed from a highly enjoyable bush walk with lookout points all over.
Mt Ngauruhoe (Tongariro National Park)
The three volcanoes clustered together in the heart of this national park are a remarkable sight from most angles, but Ngauruhoe takes the cake for the classic conical shape that earned it a star turn in The Lord Of The Rings. Size it up and snap it on the approach road to Whakapapa Village, then take the short Ridge Track for an even grander view.
Lake Tekapo (South Canterbury)
A ten-minute detour off the highway, Mt John summit offers an eyeful of Tekapo –one of the most beautiful lakes in the country – as well as the surrounding alps and golden tussock of the Mackenzie Country. Park at the summit car park and visit the cafe, then wander around the hilltop. Then return after dark for mind-boggling tours of the night sky offered by Mt John Observatory.