The Best Destinations to visit on your New Zealand Honeymoon

The flowers are in full bloom around Lake Tekapo

If you like the idea of honeymooning in New Zealand, but you’re wondering which destinations to visit on your New Zealand honeymoon, don’t worry. Read on and you’ll find plenty of inspiration in this list

the Lindis in the Ahuriri Valley

A New Zealand honeymoon is bound to deliver on breathtaking locations and unforgettable experiences no matter where you go. Still, to be sure that you make the very most of your very special trip, here are some suggestions for the best destinations to visit on a New Zealand honeymoon.

Of course, no two couples are the same, and therefore no two perfect New Zealand honeymoons are the same. Some couples opt for adventure and excitement, while others look for romantic comfort and quiet seclusion. But whatever people prioritize when planning a New Zealand honeymoon, these options often rise to the surface as the cream of the crop. 

Queenstown, Central Otago 

It may not be identical to the beating pulse of romance, but nowhere sets the heart a-flutter like New Zealand’s adventure capital. 

Nestled among the stunning surroundings of the Remarkables mountains and majestic Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a ready-made honeymooners dream. Whether you want to make memories taking the plunge together on a tandem skydive, bungy jump, jet-boat ride or canyon swing, enjoy world-class wine and dining over candlelit meals together, or simply escape and soak up the romantic atmosphere and stunning surrounds from your own private onsen spa, Queenstown has it all. 

Throw in Queenstown’s proximity to other honeymoon-worthy destinations and cute photo-opp stops like Milford Sound, the Gibbston Valley wine region and Lake Wānaka, and it’s easy to see why many couples include Queenstown on their New Zealand honeymoon itinerary.

Cloudy Bay Winery in Queenstown

Paihia and Russell, The Bay of Islands

Combining all of natural beauty, rich cultural history, peaceful seclusion and convenient proximity in one, the Bay of Islands is an absolute gem of a New Zealand honeymoon destination.

The Bay of Islands lives up to its name, with over 140 subtropical islands smothered with sandy beaches, remote bays, secluded coves and forested hills. Find a private cabin in the woods, or base yourselves in the towns of Paihia or Russell (connected by ferry) and you can enjoy any number of activities out into this beautiful landscape: whether sailing, snorkeling, fishing, diving, kayaking, cycling or hiking take your fancy, you’re bound to find plenty of options among the local operators. 

You can also visit the site where the historic Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 near Paihia, or see the tiny settlement of Okiato (4 miles south of Russell), which was New Zealand’s first capital city, between 1840-41.

New Plymouth, Taranaki

Although it might not land on many “must-do” New Zealand tourism lists, New Plymouth and the Taranaki region quietly goes about its business as one of the coolest and most rewarding New Zealand travel destinations.

It’s ideal for honeymooners, too. New Plymouth is a vibrant, walkable city with a thriving art and cultural scene. Some of New Zealand’s top artists are resident here, and there are several high-quality galleries and attractive public sculptures, as well as plenty of great bars, cafes, restaurants, green spaces, and fabulous hiking trails starting directly from the city. 

Outside New Plymouth, Mount Taranaki is an eye-catching dormant volcano that dominates the landscape. It offers endless outdoor adventure, as well as perfect honeymoon-photo opportunities. If escaping to a rugged coastal hideaway or world-class surf break are more your kind of honeymoon, then the beaches of Taranaki’s west coast and Cape Egmont are truly spectacular choices.

Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie Basin 

There are romantic, starry-night skies, seemingly created for lovers and honeymooners … and then there’s Lake Tekapo.

Situated at the heart of a UNESCO-designated Dark Sky Reserve, Tekapo (or Takapō) enjoys some of the clearest, most dazzlingly full night skies of anywhere in the world. It’s why NASA and other leading research institutions have come to carry out research at the nearby Mount John Observatory over the years. 

Depending on your own version of romance, this makes Tekapo arguably the most romantic destination in New Zealand. But even if cuddling up under the stars isn’t your version of romance, then the serene views provided by the glacial-blue lake, its iconic slate-stone church, and the surrounding panoramas of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and the Southern Alps could get you over the line. If nothing else, there’ll certainly be no shortage of sensational photo backdrops.

Mackenzie Country

Matakana, Northland

A quiet gem located just 40 minutes north of Auckland, Matakana is often (tragically) overlooked by holidaymakers and honeymooners in New Zealand.

Matakana is a vibrant small town mixing historical charm with humming local community life. It's perhaps best known for its famous farmers market, which brings visitors and locals face-to-face with local producers of some of the best produce in the country. There’s a number of small boutique fashion shops, locally made homeware stores, art galleries, bookshops, cafes, restaurants and bars crammed into the town center, guaranteeing plenty of atmosphere. 

Not only is the town itself worthy of inclusion on any New Zealand honeymoon itinerary, though, Matakana is also the gateway to the beautiful beaches, small fishing villages and protected regional parks of the east coast, as well as the superb Matakana wine region. With dozens of boutique vineyards, cellar doors and olive groves, this is an ideal destination for both casual tastings and more upmarket, special-occasion (hint: honeymoon!) kind of meals out.

Tākaka, Tasman District

Essentially a quiet country town, Tākaka has gained a reputation as a creative, artistic hub and magnet for alternative lifestyle-choosers over the decades. That gives it a vibrancy and dynamism bigger than its mere population might suggest – and it’s also what makes it a potentially intriguing destination to visit on a New Zealand honeymoon.

Perhaps more importantly, though, is it’s location: it is a gateway onto the golden sands of Golden Bay and Farewell Spit in one direction, as well as being on the edge of the world-renowned Abel Tasman National Park, with its pristine turquoise waters and secluded coves and caves, in the other. Needless to say, stunning beaches and natural beauty abounds in both directions (as well as immediately around you). So you can’t really go wrong here, whether you chose to head out for honeymoon excursions or simply stay in to enjoy each other’s company (and the setting).

Awaroa Inlet

Hokitika, West Coast

The wild, wild West Coast of the South Island is loaded with rugged, romantic scenery. A good place to blend this with the comforts of civilization in the humming West Coast town of Hokitika.

Situated at the mouth of the Hokitika River, this friendly historic town is renowned for both its uber-hospitable locals and its rich heritage of pounamu (greenstone) craftsmanship, which dates back centuries through Māori habitation in the area.

Another good thing about Hokitika for honeymooners is its proximity to some otherworldly landscapes (and unmissable photo opportunities) in Westland’s “Glacier Country” of Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. Whether you want to do a scenic helicopter flight and romantic champagne picnic up on the glacier face, or simply walk and take in the stunning surroundings, this is a great destination to visit on any New Zealand honeymoon.

Lake Taupō, Waikato

Few New Zealand honeymoon destinations can boast as many different options in one place as this particular area of the central North Island.

An enormous crater lake from a gigantic (dormant) volcano, Lake Taupō is New Zealand’s largest inland body of water and a symbol of the region’s rich volcanic activity and heritage. You can enjoy sailing, kayaking, water-skiing, jet-boating, fishing, or relaxing on the lakefront; or take a boat to see the awe-inspiring, 40-foot high Māori rock carvings up close (you can only access them by boat).

The township of Taupō is fun, quiet and easy to get around, with the full range of accommodation options to suit any honeymoon style or budget – whether a luxury glass-roofed dome under the stars, or a cozy lakefront cabin. 

Don’t miss the chance to visit Tongariro National Park, a region of otherworldly landscapes best known for its world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike, and for featuring as Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings.

Havelock, Marlborough 

You won’t find Havelock on many “best X to do in New Zealand” lists…and that’s just the way the locals (and we) want to keep it.

This tiny township at the tip of the South Island flies under the radar despite being the “Greenshell Mussel Capital of the World” and the gateway to the spectacular Marlborough Sounds, as well as having produced no fewer than two Nobel Prize winners (most famously Ernest Rutherford, “splitter of the atom”).

Enjoy the charms (and of course the mussels!) of Havelock itself, go fishing or kayaking, and take the famous Mail Boat Cruise, which lets you join the local postman on their (boat) run to deliver mail to the farthest flung inhabitants of the boat access-only bays and coves of Pelorus Sound. You could even find a secluded romantic hideaway somewhere among this incredible network of bush-covered fiords and jagged coastlines, dropping sharply into a mirror-like sea.

Do you like the sound of having any or all of these destinations to visit on your New Zealand honeymoon?

Click here to find out more about planning your honeymoon in New Zealand with First Light Travel. They already have a number of fantastic New Zealand honeymoon itineraries to choose from. Or, you can message their NZ honeymoon experts directly and they will help you put together (and book) your own, personalized dream New Zealand honeymoon.


David Mckenzie
David Mckenzie
: 21 Nov 2023 (Last updated: 4 Jan 2024)

Download Our Free NZ Travel Guide

Get our free guide which is full of actionable tips and information about how to make the most of your time in New Zealand.

Blog archives

Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price