Regions of New Zealand

New Zealand’s islands are divided into several regions for governing and tourism. There are nine regions on the North Island and seven regions on the South Island. While not as distinct as states, each region does have some autonomy.

New Zealand Regions
Regions of New Zealand (Map data courtesy of Statistics New Zealand)

As hikespeak expands in New Zealand, it will become easy to search by region. Here is a list of regions and their highlights:

Northland Region – The northernmost region on the North Island has few towns and cities, but lots of pristine beaches, kauri forests, and waterfalls. Northland boasts the world’s largest kauri tree, found in Waipoua Forest. Popular destinations are Bay of Islands and Ninety Mile Beach.

Auckland Region – Located at the north end of the North Island, just south of Northland, the Auckland Region contains the city of Auckland, which is New Zealand’s biggest city, with a population close to 1.5 million, or about a third of the country’s population.

Waikato Region – The Waikato Region (south of the Auckland Region) is incredibly diverse and contains many of the North Island’s top attractions. The Coromandel Peninsula is a popular vacation spot for Kiwis, with Hot Water Beach and great coastal areas. The Lord of the Rings Tourism Park, Hobbiton, is located near Hamilton. Waitomo has several caves that can be explored on tours. Taupo, at the south end of the region, has geothermal features around beautiful Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake by surface area.

Bay of Plenty Region – This region is based around the large bay south of Coromandel Peninsula. There are beautiful beaches around the city of Tauranga, and inland, the region is home to Rotorua, which has incredible geothermal features.

Gisborne Region – This region covers the remote east end of the North Island.

Taranaki Region – This region on the west coast of the center of the North Island includes Mount Taranki (Mount Egmont), a standout volcano in Egmont National Park.

Manawatu-Wanganui Region – This large region includes two national parks, Whanganui National Park and Tongariro National Park. This region stretches south toward Palmerston North.

Hawke’s Bay Region – This region covers the southeast coast of the North Island and includes the art-deco city of Napier (and its surrounding wineries) and Te Urewera National Park, which surrounds Lake Waikaremoana.

Wellington Region – The southernmost region on the North Island surrounds the city of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.

Tasman Region – This is the northernmost region of the South Island, starting at Farewell Spit above Golden Bay. The region includes Kahurangi National Park, Abel Tasman National Park, and Nelson Lakes National Park.

Nelson Region – This small region contains the lovely city of Nelson on the north coast of the South Island.

Marlborough Region – This region at the northeast end of the South Island includes the city of Picton, where your ferry will land if you boat over from Wellington.

West Coast Region – This region covers most of the west coast of the South Island. Paparoa National Park, Westland National Park, and Mount Aspiring National Park are all in this region. Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier, the most accessible glaciers in the Southern Alps, are both on the west coast.

Canterbury Region – This region on the east coast of the South Island includes Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island. The region covers the east side of the Southern Alps, where you can visit Arthur’s Pass National Park and Mount Cook (Aoraki) National Park.

Otago Region – This region is toward the south end of the Sough Island and includes the mountain city of Queenstown and the coastal city of Dunedin. This is a popular wine region with plains leading up to dramatic mountains.

Southland Region – This region covers the remote and rugged south end of the South Island and includes Fiordland National Park, which contains some of New Zealand’s most famous hiking tracks.

 

View New Zealand tracks, campgrounds, and lodging in a larger map
Or explore hikes in New Zealand on the Oceania Hike Finder Map
hikespeak
Devils Punchbowl Falls Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Devils Punchbowl Walking Track Arthur's Pass Village Hiking Track Devils Punchbowl Waterfall New Zealand Devil's Punchbowl
Devils Punchbowl Falls is a star attraction in Arthur's Pass National Park. The dynamic waterfall plunges 131 meters into a canyon near Arthur's Pass Village. The area's Māori named the waterfall Hinekakai, taking inspiration from its beautiful threads of water. Visitors can reach the waterfall on a 2-kilometer (1.4-mile) round trip walk beginning from Arthur's Pass... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: March 10, 2017
Otira Valley Track Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Arthur's Pass Village Hiking Track New Zealand
Just over the north side of Arthur's Pass and 5 kilometers from Arthur's Pass Village, you'll find Otira Valley Track, which ascends a trough-shaped valley off the west side of the pass. The track ends at Otira River Footbridge. Under normal circumstances, a bridge would be an odd place to end a hike (since a bridge lead to something on the other side). The route beyond... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · Arthur's Pass Village · Creeks · Free Trails · New Zealand Department of Conservation · New Zealand National Parks · Arthur's Pass National Park
Distance: 3.8 kilometers / 2.35 miles · Elevation change: 125 meters / 410 feet
By: Published: Last updated: December 29, 2016
Bealey Chasm Walk Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Bealey River Hiking Track Bealey Valley Track Footbridge Arthur's Pass Village New Zealand
North of Arthur's Pass Village, Bealey River passes through a narrow gorge, creating a mix of tumbling white water and blue pools. A footbridge on Bealey Valley Track crosses over this point on the river, called Bealey Chasm. Visit the chasm on a short walk beginning from State Highway 73. Bealey Chasm Walk starts with a short section of Arthur's Pass Walking Track and... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · Arthur's Pass Village · Creeks · Free Trails · New Zealand Department of Conservation · New Zealand National Parks · Arthur's Pass National Park
Distance: 0.65 kilometers / 0.4 miles · Elevation change: 12 meters / 40 feet
By: Published: Last updated: March 17, 2017
Old Coach Road Walk Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Greyneys Shelter Arthur's Pass Hiking Track New Zealand
This mostly unremarkable woodland walk explores the forest a few kilometers south of Arthur's Pass Village. Much of the track follows an old coach road that went to Arthur's Pass so the walk provides a history lesson on the area's earlier travelers. The easy walk is 1 to 1.4 kilometers long, starting and ending at Greynes Shelter Campground. With just 15 meters of... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · Arthur's Pass Village · Free Trails · New Zealand Department of Conservation · New Zealand National Parks · Arthur's Pass National Park
Distance: 1.4 kilometers / 0.9 miles · Elevation change: 15 meters / 50 feet
By: Published: Last updated: March 10, 2017
Millennium Walk Avalanche Creek Waterfall Arthur's Pass National Park Hike Avalanche Creek Falls Arthur's Pass Hiking Track New Zealand
Millennium Walk is a very short hike from the visitor center for Arthur's Pass National Park to a viewing platform alongside Avalanche Creek Waterfall. This walk is 500 meters round trip with only a few meters of elevation change, covered over stone steps at the end of the walk. If you stop by the visitor center in Arthur's Pass Village, this short walk to the waterfall... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: March 17, 2017