Auckland, New Zealand, North Island, South Island 20

Scenic Highlights of New Zealand 2016

We did some intense travelling around New Zealand the past one month, thanks to all the family and friends who came to visit us from Bangladesh, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Thailand and Croatia! In this post I provide a glimpse of the scenic highlights from our travels around New Zealand with them – from the remote pristine beaches of Northland, almost at the top of the North Island to the bottom of South Island where I got to fulfil my number one bucketlist in New Zealand – scenic cruise around Milford Sounds, Fiordland. In between, we also went to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula, Waiheke Island, Hobbiton, and to several places all around Auckland. The gorgeous summer days also allowed for plenty of beach time, kayaking, swimming, and paddleboarding around our own backyard at St Heliers beach 🙂

While I get my act together and start browsing through the hundreds of pictures and stories from our travels the past one month, here are the scenic highlights from New Zealand travels with guests. Only pictures here, but information and recommendations on the actual destinations and what we would recommend when travelling with children will follow over the next few weeks.

I have put the picture in chronological order as each set of guests arrived. Enjoy!

Coromandel Peninsula and visiting cathedral Cove





Karikari Peninsula, Northlands


Stunning views of Karikari Beach


picking shellfish (tuatua) from the beach


Pristine beaches, all to ourselves 🙂

I dropped off my father and cousin to the Airport and stuck around for another hour till the next round of guests arrived – from Bangladesh, New York and Thailand. We went to Waiheke Island the day after they arrived and the next ten days involved plenty of wining, fine dining and beachtime but the highlight of their trip for me was going to Queenstown and then to Milford Sounds from there. We had the worst of weather during those three days but that did nothing to diminish the stunning beauty of this 8th wonder of the world!

Waiheke Island


Wine tasting at Waiheke Island

At Palm Beach, Waiheke Island

At Palm Beach, Waiheke Island

Queenstown and Milford Sounds

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Queenstown, South Island

Queenstown, South Island

Wanaka Tree, Lake Wanaka

Wanaka Tree, Lake Wanaka

Ilaan and parents at Milford Sounds

Ilaan and parents at Milford Sounds

Few days later, I dropped Ibtesam and Ilaan to the airport and few hours later my good friend from College arrived with her hubby and two kids from Boston. We did plenty of local travels around Auckland – went to my all time favourite place Waitakere ranges regional park. We swam in the kitekite waterfalls, climbed dormant volcanoes and enjoyed paddleboarding at Mission Bay. SO much to do just in Auckland!

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park and Mount Wellington (dormant volcano)


Stunning view of Piha Beach, Waitakere Ranges


Selfie with College Bestie Aybike at St Heliers Beach

Enjoying bushwalk at Waitakere ranges regional park

Enjoying bushwalk at Waitakere ranges regional park

Kitekite falls, Waitakere Ranges

Kitekite falls, Waitakere Ranges


Aiden paddleboarding at Mission Bay


Mount Wellington Domain

And that was just a tiny glimpse of all that we did the last one month! I will be honest, am totally exhausted now and it feels nice to be sitting here with no trips planned for the next few weeks.  The countdown to leaving here has started, hard to believe we have spent nearly a year living and travelling around this beautiful country. In 28 days we head to Australia for 2 months, followed by 5 days in Bali and then onwards to Bangladesh.  I try and think about what were some of our best moments and highlights of travelling around North and South Island, but it is so hard to pinpoint down to a few! We feel super happy and grateful that so many of our friends and family came from afar to share a glimpse of our life here in New Zealand. It made all the travelling extra special to do it whilst spending time with loved ones 🙂

The Selim Family Raasta

Linked to Travel Photo Thursday and Weekend Travel Inspiration

TPThursdayBadge.jpg weekend-travel-inspiration

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  • IamVagabond says: February 26, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Lovely read and lovely family !! Images are great as well especially Wanaka Tree. Wow !
    Reminds me of Hawaii National Parks at

  • Charles McCool says: February 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    I am planning to visit New Zealand in about a year and look these inside reports on what to do. Thank you.

  • Anda says: February 27, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Oh, Samiya New Zealand looks so beautiful and peaceful! I know of many people who moved there lately and your post proves they had a good reason to do that.

  • Cat says: February 27, 2016 at 5:15 am

    New Zealand is always on our list to travel to. So scenic and sunny all the time. Thanks for sharing your beautiful moments 🙂

    • says: February 27, 2016 at 5:34 am

      I wouldn’t say it’s sunny all the time Cat 🙂 But definitely beautiful all the time, even in the pouring rain!

  • Jim says: February 27, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Samiya, great photos! I’m always happy when family and friends come to visit because it gives us a reason to get out and rediscover all the wonderful things around us.

    • says: February 27, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks Jim 🙂 I know what you mean, this last month of guests has allowed us to enjoy NZ all over again as we did when we first arrived here a year ago!

  • Claire Algarme says: February 27, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Great photos! I’ll be going to Auckland in June so I bookmarked this post so I can refer to this when I put together my itinerary. 🙂 Dropping by from the SU for Travel Bloggers FB group!

    • says: February 27, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      That’s great that you will be coming to Auckland, will you be here long? June is a good time to enjoy the winter fun stuff like the hotsprings, geysers etc in Rotorua. Also in Northland region it is still warmish and the beaches there are stunning!

  • Jill says: February 27, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Beautiful photos! It looks as if you have had a wonderful trip!

  • Cathy says: February 28, 2016 at 3:54 am

    New Zealand has been on my wish list! Such natural beauty and so many outdoor activities! I love it!
    Pinned, tweeted and Stumbled this- great to keep for future reference!

    • says: February 28, 2016 at 4:06 am

      Thanks Cathy 🙂 It really is a beautiful country! very happy to have travelled here for a year, we leave in 4 weeks!

  • Dean says: February 28, 2016 at 4:14 am

    NZ is a beautiful little country and you are very lucky to have had so much time to explore it slowly. Your photos are great as usual and now you get to move to NZ’s big brother, Australia.
    Just remember to start saying G’day instead of Hey, Bru!

    • says: February 28, 2016 at 6:11 am

      Thanks for the heads up Dean 🙂 Will start practicing my G’Day 😀

  • Ruth - Tanama Tales says: February 29, 2016 at 12:59 am

    All this in a month? Really? This looks like the best January ever! Now, I want family and friends to visit me to have an excuse to go to some amazing places ;0) Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  • Linda Bibb says: February 29, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Your photos are wonderful, Samiya. They gave me a good idea of what I might see in NZ. Isn’t it wonderful when friends visit? We have a blast showing visitors around our stomping grounds.

    • says: March 1, 2016 at 12:06 am

      Thanks Linda! We do enjoy having guests and exactly for that reason 🙂

  • Elizabeth (Wander Mum) says: March 1, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I’m not surprised you were exhausted… especially have a conveyor belt of friends and family – fantastic that they all came and got a glimpse of your life out there. You have brought back memories of my trip New Zealand…such a beautiful country. Milford Sound was a big highlight for me. #theweeklypostcard

  • budget jan says: March 1, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Wanaka is in a gorgeous part of the south island, but then the whole south island is spectacular I think. The tree in lake Wanaka is my favourite shot.

    • says: March 2, 2016 at 12:48 am

      It was one of my personal favourites too 🙂 And yes the entire south island is so amazing!

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