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New Zealand'sTop 10 Destinationsto Experience 2017 Badge Which are New Zealand's must-visit destinations? You decide.


An annual celebration of New Zealand's must-visit travel destinations for 2017 - and beyond.


Each year, Experience Oz + NZ joins with the public to pore over New Zealand's most acclaimed - and underrated - travel destinations (and their epic experiences) to determine the most essential to visit if "money were no object." Each slice of the Land of the Long White Cloud helps encapsulate the best of what makes New Zealand great - from stunning glacial environments to vivid turquoise lakes, to bubbling geothermal phenomena, and much more.

In New Zealand's Top Destinations to Experience 2017, we take a detailed look at the natural and man-made wonders that annually make New Zealand one of the most desirable travel destinations on Earth. Cast your vote for the chance to win an epic adventure to one of the winning destinations!

View aims, criteria & more below.




Each year, we ask voters to consider a number of key criteria when choosing New Zealand's top travel spots, including:

ExOz Logo New ZealandNorth IslandVote Now Badge The geothermal, cultural and sunny seaside icons on NZ's northern half.

North Island Destinations


Compact and easy to navigate yet surprisingly diverse, New Zealand's North Island features some of the sunniest spots in the country, along with some of its most significant Maori cultural attractions and experiences. Add in some of NZ's biggest cities, a propensity for geothermal wonders, and a terrain that jumps from alpine beauty to seaside relaxation in an instant, and the North Island's regions and experiences check all of travel's requisite boxes.

North Island

While it might be New Zealand's largest city, that's hardly the main reason to visit Auckland - the city itself is brimming with charm, and provides easy access to numerous natural delights within easy reach.

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Bay of Plenty
North Island

Wonderful beaches, famously fresh food and a range of delectable, locally-produced wines make the Bay of Plenty the ideal spot in New Zealand for those looking to both escape and relax.

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North Island

The Coromandel is a stunning and popular getaway destination those looking for some "fun in the sun" on the coast, while its inland areas offer plenty of walking and hiking entertainment as well.

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North Island

With pristine beaches and coastline through to equally impressive hinterland overflowing with farms and vineyards, there's enough diversity in the Gisborne region for travellers of all kinds.

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Hawke's Bay
North Island

An essential spot on NZ's wine trail, Hawkes Bay is brimming with fresh produce to go along with wonderful scenery; if you're after an equal feast for your mouth & eyes, it makes for a great choice.

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North Island

Vibrant waters dotted with numerous specks of land make for a majestic seascape, while distinctive rock formations and excellent historic attractions help round out the region's many offerings.

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North Island

Thermal reserves combine with bubbling mud pools, hot springs and spouting geysers to form one of the most unique, impressive and active landscapes in the country both at and around Rotorua.

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North Island

Spectacular national parks, outstanding hiking, and stunning scenic tracks are just some of the incredible highlights that sum up what experiencing the Ruapehu region is all about.

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North Island

A signature mountain and charming boutique-style townships which dot the landscape - all nestled alongside a coastline famous for its large surf swells - captured the 2014 #1 spot.

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North Island

From the glorious Lake Taupo itself, to its many kinds of geothermal and volcanic wonders, to its balance of Maori culture and adventure activities, 2015's #1 voted winner delivers.

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North Island

Delighting nature lovers and Lord of the Rings fans alike, Waikato and its key city of Hamilton offer a wide array of greenery, adventure experiences and quality food all in one location.

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North Island

Renowned for both its vineyards and breathtaking scenery, the Wairarapa is ideal for those looking to go off New Zealand's beaten track while enjoying mouth-watering food.

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North Island

With a blend of architectural styles that combine the old and the new along with a creative and culinary scene and beautiful harbour, underrate Wellington as a travel destination at your own risk.

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ExOz Logo New ZealandSouth IslandVote Now Badge The dramatic landscapes, culinary delights and adventure hubs of South Island experiences.

South Island Destinations


Famed for its dramatically mountainous landscapes and for its status as one of the world's true capitals for outdoor adventure, New Zealand's South Island provides some of the country's most memorable experiences both during its peak of winter and throughout the rest of the year. The intrepid traveller will find few better playgrounds on Earth from which to cycle up mountains or ski back down them, gaze up at towering peaks, free-fall from vast heights with a parachute or bungy cord attached, and much more, while laid-back travellers will find themselves gawking at the raw, physical beauty of the scenery.

Central Otago
South Island

With panoramic vistas, award-winning wineries, fruit-filled orchards, snow-capped mountains, historic townships, three Great NZ Cycle Trails, Central Otago offers amazing exploration by two or four wheels.

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South Island

Canterbury combines the mountainous with the marine and the alpine with the adventurous, with a focus on activities that would keep even the most avid of explorers entertained for a long time.

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South Island

Clutha prides itself on its combination of friendly locals, postcard worthy waterfalls and rich gold mining heritage, offering a picturesque locale for a much-relaxed Kiwi experience.

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South Island

Situated on the coast and surrounded by beaches and inlets, Dunedin combines the natural coastal beauty of NZ coastline with some of the best examples of Victorian architecture this side of the equator.

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South Island

Your #1 voted New Zealand destination to Experience in 2016, the awe-inspiring, glacially-carved majesty of the Fiordland region has long struck a chord with travellers with wanderlust the world over.

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Hanmer Springs
South Island

This is a location where healing, massage and rejuvenation are paramount - and also one that offers the opportunities for thrills and adventure on both land and water for those looking to kick things up a notch.

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South Island

Famed for its encounters with marine life and nestled between two mountain ranges, Kaikoura is small on size but big on character, with a stunning contrast between its mountain backdrop and the vivid blue of the sea.

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South Island

A landscape that's signature New Zealand at its finest - one worthy of postcards that is renowned for its mixture of vivid turquoise lakes, wide-open golden grasslands, snow-capped mountains and brilliant, starry night skies.

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South Island

The versatile Marlborough region does perhaps the best job in New Zealand of combining together culinary delights such as wine with some wonderful adventure and hiking opportunities alongside outstanding scenery.

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South Island

The sunny Nelson-Tasman region combines national parks with golden beaches, and creativity with outdoor fun, to form a diverse and highly enjoyable part of New Zealand for visitors and locals alike.

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South Island

Referred to as the “Adventure Capital of New Zealand”, Queenstown is often the first port of call for those visiting New Zealand for the first time with a nearly endless amount of things to see and do.

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South Island

Showcasing some of the country's best natural beauty and 19th century architecture all wrapped into one destination, the Waitaki region is filled with interesting surprises around every corner.

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South Island

A favoured holiday destination of New Zealand locals, the Wanaka region is centred around the pristine waters of its namesake lake, which makes for a gorgeous panorama that sets the scene for amazing things to come.

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West Coast
South Island

The West Coast of New Zealand's South Island is a place of scenic contrasts, where its snow-capped Southern Alps meet the wild waters of the Tasman Sea and features immense glaciers and amazing geological formations.

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Previous Winners


Past winners of New Zealand's Top 10 Destinations to Experience


About Experience Oz + NZ

About Us Placeholder

Experiences are better than things

Experience Oz + NZ is an Australian online travel publisher and direct booking agent of TicketMates Australia, a long-running booking agent for tours and attractions experiences in over 50 regions all over Australia and New Zealand.

It's our belief that the role that experiences can often play as the driving force for travel in general is underrated, whether it be exploring incredible natural wonders, gaining insight into history and culture, or simply enjoying entertainment with friends and family. It's these experiences - not the flights, nor the hotel - which people will be sharing with others for years to come.


Why Experiences?

"Experiences create conversation and storytelling; they can be shared with friends, and unlike possessions which can be replaced, memories made of your experiences cannot. They can lead to a healthier life, you don't need to upgrade them, and they get better over time. Things may last longer initially, but it's the memories of your experiences which will linger for the years and decades to come."

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- The Experience Oz + NZ team on Experiences, Not Things

Browse and book thousands of New Zealand's top experiences in these top destinations and others all over the country.

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