It's hard not to be swept up by New Zealand's sensational scenery. For postcard-perfect views (minus the crowds), make your way to these wonderful hidden gems. Revealed by Tourism New Zealand, these are the best-kept secret spots you need to see for yourselves…
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Waitaki, South Island
New Zealand's famed natural beauty is everywhere in Waitaki. A ninety-minute drive north of Dunedin takes you to a land of diverse landscapes – think huge Paleolithic boulders scattered across quiet beaches, bright blue lakes and soaring fossil-covered limestone cliffs. Adventure-seekers will be in their element in Waitaki, with a range of bike and hiking trails offering a fantastic way to see the area.
After seeing it all, head towards Waitaki's Oamaru and check out its beautiful Victoria-era buildings, carved from local white stone.
Hokianga, North Island
Wanting to 'escape from the rest of the world'? Lose yourselves – and everyone else – in the beauty of Hokianga (three hours northwest of Auckland). One of the most remote and undeveloped parts of the north Island, this coastal gem is blessed with impressive 150m-high sand dunes, pristine rainforest and New Zealand's largest kauri tree, the 'Lord of the Forest'.
For a spellbinding experience, join a twilight tour of the Waipoua Forest and learn about the Māori people, and their centuries-old connection to the land.
The Catlins, South Island
Don't leave New Zealand without discovering one its lesser-known beauties, The Catlins (90 minutes south of Dunedin). There's dense forest, pristine waterfalls and spectacular wildlife to see here. And you really, really should.
Animal-lovers, visit rugged Nugget Point for fur seals, Hooker's sea lions, blue penguins and Hector's dolphins. Or for something totally unique, check out the 180-million-year-old petrified forest that's visible at low tide. One word – amazing.
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