Destinations New Zealand

New Zealand’s Best Views: 7 Unmissable Lookouts

Best views in New Zealand

Few places on Earth are as naturally breathtaking as New Zealand. Equal parts humbling and empowering, its majestic beauty is a reminder of how lucky we are to call this planet home. 

The South Island offers an abundance of mountains, lakes, fiords and rugged coastline, while the North Island is brimming with beaches, caves and national parks. Views like these are best enjoyed from a bird’s-eye perspective – so bring your camera and hunt down our pick of the best views in New Zealand. 

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Mount Victoria, Wellington 

View from Mount Victoria, Wellington 

Easily accessible from Wellington’s city centre, this scenic lookout offers one of the best views in New Zealand with 360-degree coastal and city views, 196m up Mount Victoria. Take a 2.5km walk from the CBD to the start of the Southern Walkway, then hike a further 25-35 minutes to the lookout. Alternatively, you can drive or catch a bus straight to the summit. Whichever way you choose, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views across the harbour, Wellington and its surroundings. 

Te Mata Peak, Hawke’s Bay 

View from Te Mata Peak, Hawke’s Bay 

Spectacular Te Mata Peak stands nearly 400m above sea level and offers panoramic views of the Ruahine, Kaweka and Maungaharuru Ranges and Cape Kidnappers from its peak. On a clear day, the Ruapehu volcano in the centre of Tongariro National Park is also visible. Hike and bike through forests and limestone valleys or drive to the summit. 

Knights Point, Haast 

View from Knights Point, Haast 

For panoramic views of New Zealand’s wild coastline, you can’t beat Knights Point. Take in ocean and rainforest views, maybe even spotting seals in the distance at Arnott Point. The lookout also provides information about early travellers and marine mammals. Many people stop off when passing through Haast but you could also build this lookout into a coastal hike itinerary.  

Ben Lomond Summit, Queenstown 

Best view in New Zealand, from Ben Lomond Summit, Queenstown 

This striking mountain track rewards hikers with 360-degree views over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding ranges, including the Remarkables. Brave a heart-pounding, full-day trek to Ben Lomond’s 1,748m summit or take the Skyline Gondola from the base.  

Roy’s Peak, Wanaka  

Best view in New Zealand, from Roy’s Peak, Wanaka  

At Roy’s Peak, it’s just as much about the scenic hike as it is the stunning lookout at the end. Zigzag along a steep track from the carpark (about a six-minute drive from Wanaka) to the conservation area, continuing through wild tussock grasslands. The hike covers 16km (1.3km climb) and promises beautiful views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding peaks, including Mount Aspiring.  

Peter’s Lookout, Lake Pukaki 

Best view in New Zealand, from Peter’s Lookout, Lake Pukaki 

If you’re driving through the Lake Pukaki area, make a note to stop at Peter’s Lookout. About 10km from State Highway 8, this scenic spot affords views across Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook. Easy parking, tables and benches also make this a great picnic pitstop.  

Milford Sound, Fiordland 

Best view in New Zealand, Milford Sound, Fiordland 

You don’t have to walk far to enjoy incredible views of Milford Sound. An easy 400m return track takes you up several steps to an elevated lookout that offers panoramic vistas of the famous fiord, home to seal colonies, penguins and dolphins.  

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