20 Killer Photos of New Zealand

It’s one of the most stunning places on the face of the earth.

New Zealand boasts volcanoes, placid lakes, rolling hills, opulent beaches, remarkable mountain ranges and delicious food to boot. These 20 photos of New Zealand demonstrate 20 good reasons why it’s one of my favorite places in the world.

Just look and see for yourself.


Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island

Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is just off the coast of Auckland, and may very well be its best-kept secret. The climate is perfect for producing award-winning wines and incredibly tasty olive oils. The beaches that dot this tiny little island are also some of the most peaceful I’ve ever seen.


Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Lake Tekapo is possibly one of New Zealand’s most well known lakes. Its turquoise color comes from leftover glacial sediment and, on a clear day, you can see Mt. Cook in the background.


Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

Hiking the Franz Josef Glacier was, singlehandedly, one of the greatest things I’ve ever done and possibly the most photogenic subject I’ve ever encountered. During my climb, I explored ice caves, drank glacial water, and pick-axed footpaths across the icy surface!


Bungy Jumping Over Queenstown

Bungy Jumping Over Queenstown

That’s me, bungy jumping over Queenstown. Queenstown is considered to be the adventure capital of the world. From skydiving, jetboating, paragliding, and heli-skiing, the adrenaline junky deep inside of you is going to get a kick out of this place.


Lush Coastline, Northland

The lush coastline of Northern New Zealand

The far north region of New Zealand, known as Northland, sports some seriously lush coastline. Surprisingly, this photo wasn’t taken too far from a beach!


100% New Zealand Beef

New Zealand Beef

New Zealand takes immense pride in their produce, especially their lamb and beef. I’ve written about this meal before, but it stands out so far in my mind that I simply have to include it. It was one of the greatest feasts I’ve ever eaten.


Sailing in the Abel Tasman National Park

Sailing in the Abel Tasman National Park

Somehow, one tiny country packs the best of every world. It’s not all rolling green hills, but also breathtakingly blue waters that just beg you to set sail.


Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes

New Zealand is home to a lot of beautiful beaches. This is one of them.


View from the Road: Lake Wakatipu

How to work in New Zealand with a working holiday visa
Not your average view while on the road...

Just like much of the rest of New Zealand, the road butting Lake Wakatipu is fresh and unspoilt. I took this photo from a small lookout area by the side of the road.


New Zealand Traffic Stop

Kiwi Traffic Stop

And in New Zealand, traffic police don’t stop vehicles. Sheep do.


Sunset in Omapere

Omapere Sunset

Looking out over the dunes of Omapere, we had arrived just in time. The setting sun cast ethereal shadows across the lush grass as the mist rose above the deep blue waves.


Vineyard Relaxation


New Zealand gets its reputation for killer wine because they do, in fact, produce killer wine. I spent the day here, drinking wine in the vineyard.


Landing in Queenstown

Landing in Queenstown

Flying into Queenstown is not an experience that is soon forgotten. The aerial view over the mountains is surreal and spectacular, like something straight out of a sci-fi film.


Low Tide, Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman

Undulating sand for miles and miles.




New Zealand takes pride in their local foods. Here is a serving of zucchini bruschetta with homemade bread, a local cheese, and a housemade white wine grape jelly.


Waiheke Island Sunset

Waiheke Sunset

The sun sets on Waiheke Island, leaving trails of deep reds and yellows in the sand.


Ninety Mile Beach, Northland

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach, in Northland, is more than just a beach. It’s a community and an ecosystem. This is the rocky fulcrum of the beach itself, being visited by some locals.


Sail Away

Sail Away

…Lake Wakatiputhe vast blue waters of The Land of the Long White Cloud!


Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

Another shot of the ever-stunning Lake Wakatipu, with streaking clouds above.


Cape Reinga

Cape Reinga
Photo: Jeremy Scott Foster

Cape Reinga lies at the northernmost tip of New Zealand. From this iconic lighthouse, you can see the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean crash together. In traditional Maori culture, it is believed that Cape Reinga is the jumping off point for spirits to enter the underworld.

About the Author

Jeremy Scott Foster

Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.
  1. What a beautiful country! It never ceases to amaze me how such a small nation can be so diverse and endlessly breathtaking!

  2. Stunning! Dan said he has been to about half these places, but unfortunately I am yet to make it to New Zealand. Hope to get there soon!

  3. Breathtaking photos! Haven’t been to New Zealand yet, but it’s on the bucket list. I’m really curious as to check out Desert Beach….does it fill up with water once the tides move in/out?

    1. That’s not actually the name of it. I just can’t quite remember exactly where it was taken! I’ll do some more thinking and research and get back to you!

        1. I’ve changed the name in the article as that was a little bit misleading. I took that photo during low tide in Abel Tasman National Park. As the tide goes out it leaves those ripples in its wake!

  4. We have recently accepted a few guest posts on New Zealand and I thought I’ve seen the real beauty of it, but NOPE I was wrong. Your photos are just incredible and show the different side of the country. Peaceful and charming! Lake Tekapo is definitely my favourite one!

  5. Your photo are amazing! I’m going there in about 3 weeks and can’t wait. Drawing inspiration from your photos! 🙂

  6. Gorgeous shots! So glad you included your pic of Cape Reinga…that was a really special place for us. The sheep shot, as mentioned by others, is amazing. Our six weeks or so of camper-vanning wasn’t nearly enough to see all we wanted to see. The positive part of that, I suppose, is looking forward to future visits!

    1. Yeah, Cape Reinga was one of my favorites. I, too, found it to be an incredibly special place. I hope you make it a second time to see everything you missed! Maybe I’ll see you down there! 😉

      1. Just for your reference, that’s Lake Pukaki in the photo with Mt Cook in the background. Lake Tekapo is back up the road about half an hour and yes, your are correct, has stunning turquois water from the glaciers.

  7. Beautfiul…I live on South Island,,….there’s so much amazing beautiful scenery here from Nelson all the way down to Dunedin, Invercargill and everything in between, Mount Cook, Scarborough Reserve, Fjordlands, Wanaka, Queenstown, Otago, etc., etc., etc…..could go on forever….

  8. Have to say love the pictures but think the photos you have said are Lake Wakatipu are actually Lake Hawea.
    The first is heading towards the west coast from Hawea, just past Glen Dene Station the second looks like your looking back at Hawea from the look out.
    The only reason I’m commenting is because I think Queenstown gets so much publicity when in fact the drive from Wanaka to Franz-Joseph is absolutely stunning in comparison. Love the ariel shot of you landing in Queenstown.

  9. Amazing photos! New Zealand is such a beautiful country. By the way the food looks so delicious. 🙂

  10. How lucky you were to visit such a stunning country .I love to visit New Zealand myself but with all the problems i am dealing with ,I don’t think that i will ever get a chance to go.That is a big shame

  11. your blog always on my top of mind while doing research for my upcoming journey with family. i planned to visit new zealand on 26 june 2017 or november 2017. due to i have to choose between 2 schedule time, i really want to hear your opinion. is it possible to travel from north (auckland) to south (queenstwon) for 2 weeks? my flight schedule from Jakarta, Indonesia only available arrived on Auckland, and i really want to go to hobbit place 1st since i loved LOTR movies ehehe. but as much i read about new zealand, south island is the best destination for us who love nature and adventurous. do you have ittinerary when you traveled to new zealand? i want to read up carefully. thanks you in advance

  12. Jeremy you are making New Zealand even more attractive and fascinating.
    I really can’t wait to visit all these breathtaking sites.
    As a mountain girl the Franz Josef Glacier remains my favorite.

  13. When my husband and I travelled there the beauty of NZ doesn’t even look real. Everywhere you look reminded me of a painting…We flew from Sydney to Queenstown and started our journey from there across the entire North and South islands and would do it again if I had the chance. Never thought I would ever get th chance to travel there! (Feeling very lucky and fortunate ?

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