Best of New Zealand top 3 lists of almost everything

This is my digital travel journal of our trip to New Zealand. Tons of pictures need some kind of structure so I came up with the idea to create top 3 lists of my favorite pictures and moments. There are five main categories: nature, food, accommodation, transport and urban life. Now enjoy my selection, I hope you like it!

Best of nature

Let's start with some of the greatest views New Zealand's nature offered us.

Favorite nature pics

3. Coromandel Peninsula, North Island
2. Abel Tasman National Park, South Island
1. Marlborough Sound, South Island

Best beaches to swim

3. Himatangi Beach, North Island

2. Rabbit Island, South Island

1. Stingray Bay, North Island


3. Mountains at Mount Aspiring National Park

2. Aoraki/Mount Cook New Zealand's highest mountain (3724 m)

1. Mount Ruapehu, New Zealands highest Volcano (2797 m)

Best outdoor activities

3. Rafting in the Kaitunoa River and the highest waterfall (7 meters). Sorry but there was no possibility to take pictures ;)

2. Kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park

1. Sailing at Lake Taupō

Best Walks

Due to the weather we had to cancel some walks we planned to do, but we still had some great hiking tours (even one on a Great Walk, that's what the most popular walks are called in NZ).

3. Auckland, North Shore Coastal Walk

On our first day in Auckland we decided to take the ferry to the suburbs and do some "little" walk on the beach (in the end we walked 30 kilometers on that day). We were wandering all the way from Devonport to Takapuna and back, most of the time on the beach as the tide was low.

2. Abel Tasman National Park

Another highlight was our walk on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. A little bit like the mountains in Bavaria and Austria except for the palms and the sea ;)

1. Lake Wanaka

Great short hiking trip (just 1 1/2 hours to the peak) with awesome view of lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring National Park. Luckily we started quite early and enjoyed the silence on the peak.

Greenest Green

3. Wandering around in Hamner Springs, South Island
2. On the ferry from Wellington to Picton, Marlborough Sound, South Island
1. Hokitika Gorge, South Island

Moments pictures can`t describe

3. Tunnel Beach, Dunedin: Just listening to the waves - we could have stayed there for hours

2. Watching the stars at night in Coromandel. We hoped to see them more often but only had one night in the beginning to watch them. They seem so much closer and brighter than the stars you can see in Europe.

1. Sound of silence, Doubtfoul Sound: the moment they turned off the engine for a couple of minutes and everyone was quiet to hear what silence really is.

Bluest Blue

3. Hokitika Gorge

2. Lake Pukaki

1. Not 100% sure where we took this picture ;) Maybe on our way from Dunedin to Twizel (Waitaki River)

Rainy days

We had great weather in the beginning of our journey and weren't expecting this to be a beach holiday but still had some bad luck (they told us it was the worst summer in twenty years). So we had to cancel some of our walks (Tongarino Alpine Crossing, Hiking at Mount Cook NP). However, we were brave enough to do some walks in the rain, as you can see

3. Doubtful Sound, South Island

2. & 1. Frank Josef and Fox Glacier - we didn't see much of both glaciers so I cannot say which pictures we took at which Glacier. Yes it was really rainy, but now we have proof that our rain jackets are working fine ;)

Cutest Animals

3. The cat of our hosts in Twizel visited us in our room.

2. Funny bird and her offspring.

1. Those sheeps...a little bit scary in the beginning but luckily they all went to another grassland when we arrived (second video).

Best hosts & accomodation

For most of the time during our trip we stayed at nice little B&Bs. This was the first time for us to try out this kind of accomodation (of course we have some experience with Airbnb, but this is quite different) and not the last time! We enjoyed staying at great places with really nice hosts! There are two lists, one for the hosts and one for the accomodation itself - but the winner takes it all ;)


This is really a hard choice, as we met so many nice people all around New Zealand. However, there are always some people who stand out from the crowd (in terms oh humor mostly). So where did we laugh most?

3. Anna & Theo (Hanmer Springs): funny couple who immigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands. We had a really good time together listening to their travels stories all around the world.

2. Susan & Bill (Te Anau): Susan and Bill not just offered us a nice place to stay but also two great evenings sitting by the fire and drinking port together. We covered a lot of interesting topics such as Trump, (German) cars and cultural differences.

1. Jo & Kurt (Coromandel Peninsula): this was our second accomodation and first B&B in New Zealand and I must say, Jo and Kurt made it pretty easy to fall in love with the country. Kurt immigrated from Germany to Australia at age 20 and came to New Zealand with his wife, Jo. Both are really kind people and I hope we can stay at their B&B again!

Book and say hi from Kathrin & Peter


3. Applepy Huts, South Island

2. Fox Glacier Lodge, South Island (sorry for the messy picture but the place was really cozy with our own whirlpool and oven - just the right place after a long rainy day at Franz Josef and Fox Glacier)

1. Te Kouma B&B, Coromandel Peninsula, North Island (this was the view from our bed - nice, isn't it?)


Food, Restaurants & Cafés

We were a bit disappointed in the beginning that the food was too "English", meaning fat and not healthy. We expected to get more fish, vegetables and fruits and the only thing we got was Fish&Chips ;) After our first visit of a local supermarket we found out that grocery-shopping is a rather expensive thing to do in New Zealand, so we decided to eat in restaurants for most of the time. As I'm not the biggest fan of taking pictures of my food, there is a lot of text and just few pictures.


3. Sumner Beach, Christchurch, South Island
2. Our first Fish&Chips in Devonport, Auckland, North Island
1. Best Fish&Chips at the end of the world in Jackson Bay (basically just three houses and a few batches). Many thanks to Ralphi who gave us this tip. Jackson Bay, West Coast, South Island

Start your day right: best breakfast

3. This is a tough one, as in all of our B&Bs we had great mornings and breakfasts with homemade stuff. We had one of our breakfasts at Hamner Springs, where our hosts offered us fresh pancakes, eggs and cake. Anna and Theo had breakfast with us, which was really nice to have another chat with them.

2. Teichelmann's Bed&Breakfast, Hokitika, West Coast: homemade eggs benedict, a banana cake for every couple and the best English breakfast tea.

3. Tui Lodge, Turangi, North Island: awesome breakfast which included scrambled eggs, fruit salad and Rhabarber compot.

Best Burger

3. Twizel, Mount Cook National Park: great burgers but unfortunately no picture ;)

2. Crab Shack, Wellington, North Island: not just great burgers but also a crowded place to spend the evening and watch people (picture on the right).

1. Last kitchen, Fox Glacier, South Island (picture on the left)

Best food

3. Wanaka, South Island: great place on the lakeside with fantastic and healthy food (picture on the left).

2. Devonport, Auckland, North Island: nice café where Peter enjoyed his flounder and I ate pumpkin salad (picture on the right).

1. Jellyfish Café and Bar, Mapua, South Island: best fish (red snapper) I had in my life! During all the joy in our mouth there was no time to take a picture, sorry!

Worst food

3. Of course there were some meals we would rather forget as soon as possible. Our sausages mixed with seaweed for example we bought in a small shop in Coromandel. Luckily we didn't take any pictures.

2. White sausage which Peter enjoyed during our flight from Singapore to Auckland.

1. Asian instand food we bought at a supermarket in Dunedin which tasted like plastic (it was not fantastic and Peter ate all of it 🤢).

Cafés, Coffee and Tea

One thing a really like while I'm traveling: sitting in cafes and letting the time go by. Luckily we found some places where we enjoyed great coffee, tea and hanging around.

3. Great coffee and tea but not the best service (no Wi-if when we needed it the most) in Thames, Coromandel, North Island
2. Takapuna Beach Café, North Island: awesome coffee, best view and great service in the suburbs of Auckland.
1. It was quite hard to find a café in Christchurch as most of them closed at 5 pm or earlier. Luckily we found Café Bunsen at the Arts Centre where we spent some hours planning our next stops.


Greatest moment on a boat

3. Kayaking at Abel Tasman

2. Sailing at Lake Taupō

1. Doubtful Sound

Best transport

3. Gravel road to the Coromandel Walkway, where our guide Michael drove us. He stopped everywhere we wanted to take a picture and explained a lot about the nature and animals. Fun fact: he has a motorhome in Milan where he spends the winter and prefers the Croation coast to all the beaches in New Zealand. Guess I will never understand why ;)

2. Water taxi at Abel Tasman Nations Park: the video shows how the boats get into the water which was pretty much fun. The ride on the taxi itself was also nice!

1. Ferry from Wellington to Picton where we saw the magnificent Marlborough Sound

Greatest pictures on TranzAlpine

Urban Life

Even if the cities weren't as impressive as the nature we explored, we found some nice urban places as well

Favorite Cities

3. Auckland
2. Wellington
1. Dunedin

Best of Auckland

This is where our journey started.

3. Peter and the skyline of Auckland
2. Sunset at Auckland
1. Auckland at night, shot at the ferry from Devonport

Urban Life in Pictures

3. Dunedin, South Island
2. Dunedin, South Island
1. Coromandel, North Island

From behind

Last but not least, a short selection of from behind pics

Tunnel Beach, South Island
Devonport, Auckland, North Island
Wanaka, South Island
Lake Tekapo, South Island
Lake Tekapo, South Island
Our accommodation in Te Kuma, Coromandel, North Island
Te Kuma, Coromandel, North Island

This was our trip to New Zealand Dec 16 - Jan 17. We hope to return one day to do all the walks we missed this time! We booked our trip at a local travel agency in Munich which we can recommend:

In case you're interested: All the pictures were taken by iPhone 6/6s and a Olympus omd em10 and this website was created with Adobe Sparks pages (which you can use for free on your tablet, phone or computer!) on my iPad during and after our trip.

Created By
Kattl Kriesch

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