Off the beaten path towns in new zealandThere are so many reasons that New Zealand is so popular with travelers, from the weather to the culture, the beaches to the people — it’s a fantastic place to visit.

However, if you want to find somewhere off the beaten path or a bit of a hidden gem. Here are five of the best lesser-known towns to explore.

Best Kept Secret Places in New Zealand

Golden Bay

Head over the famous Takaka Hill to discover the most beautiful golden beaches which you will not want to leave, come the summer months.

The water is calm, which makes it perfect for families to enjoy a paddle, and you can head to the town to explore some quirky stores and the local cinemas. It’s also a fantastic base for taking day trips to places such as Te Waikoropupu Springs, where you will get to experience some of the clearest waters!


Akaroa is right near Christchurch, so it often gets overlooked with visitors passing by without a second glance, however, it really is a beautiful place to visit.

It is a historic French and British settlement that just so happens to be nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano! Stunning architecture, amazing galleries, wonderful cafes and overall a very quaint town that is perfect for a day trip.


Best kept secret places in new zealand

Apparently, 60% of travellers say they gain at least two kilos on holiday and as Kaiwaka literally translated to “food canoe”, you are likely to gain even more! This is certainly not a tourist area, and that is what makes it so great — it’s full of real Kiwis going about their lives. Make sure you head to the Kaiwaka Cheese Shop, La Nonna Italian Bakery and Jaques Four Square to really get your fill!

Bruce Bay

If you are driving from Fox Glacier to Queenstown, you absolutely must stop off at the coast of Bruce Bay, or Mahitahi as it is also known to explore. Not only will you be treated to some stunning views, but the area is a nesting ground for some native penguin species, the Hector’s Dolphin and even some Southern right whales!

Read more: Adventures from Australia & New Zealand, Eastern Asia, and the Caribbean Islands.

The Kauri Coast

If you are a nature lover, you need to take a trip to one of the best kept secret places in New Zealand – the Kauri Coast. It’s a remarkable showcase of native forestry, where you will find the Tane Mahuta, the world’s largest Kauri tree, which is more than 2,000 years old. The Trounson Kauri Park is a beautiful spot for a walk and a rare place in which you can see kiwi birds in the wild!

There is something very exciting about finding somewhere that not everyone else knows about. After all, the more tourists that visit a place, the higher the prices of things, the more overcrowded, and the less special. What makes these lesser-known towns perfect for visiting is that they are much quieter than the usual tourist traps and you get to experience somewhere a little more unique!

Do you know of any other great lesser-known towns best kept secret places in New Zealand? Let me know in the comments!