Are these really New Zealand’s most beautiful towns and cities?

Are these really New Zealand’s most beautiful towns and cities?

It’s that distinctive time of calendar year all over again when New Zealand towns and towns missing what a lot of may contact common excellent appears to be like, are named the most beautiful in the region.

Last 12 months, Foxton – probably finest acknowledged for creating a delicate consume identified as Foxton Fizz – was named the most wonderful city in New Zealand. In earlier a long time, Hamilton and Pukekohe have been in the jogging.

Kaitāia was named the most beautiful small town in NZ.


Kaitāia was named the most beautiful small town in NZ.

This year’s Preserve New Zealand Wonderful Awards also threw up a couple of surprises: Most visitors to the Considerably North probably aren’t there mostly to cling out in Kaitāia.

The winners make much more sense when you bear in head that these are sustainability awards developed to recognise spots which “provide a benchmark for environmental excellence”. This yr, finalists ended up judged throughout five groups – litter prevention and squander minimisation, local community beautification, recycling initiatives, sustainable tourism and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we choose a glance at the winners.

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Most gorgeous modest town: Kaitāia

Not a knock-out splendor at very first glance, Kaitāia is frequently used as a pit cease en route to the Considerably North, but judges reckon it’s a quite exclusive area.

The city was shortlisted for the public artworks and placemaking jobs the group has made under the Te Hiku Open Spots Revitalisation Venture.

Kaitaia residents have beautiful beaches such as Ahipara on their doorstep.


Kaitaia residents have beautiful beaches these kinds of as Ahipara on their doorstep.

A collaboration amongst neighborhood artists and iwi, the local community board and the Kaitāia Organization Association, the Te Ara Toi (Katāia Artwork) undertaking is intended to explain to stories, glow a light-weight on the area’s diversity, landscapes, flora and fauna, and produce lovely areas for individuals to satisfy up.

The town offers a elegance of a cultural centre in the form of Te Ahu: a museum, library, art area, cinema, theatre, café and tourist details centre in one particular. In the museum, you are going to find wooden carvings and greenstone-adorned weapons courting back again to the 19th century together with other artefacts, films, virtual tours and exhibitions that endeavour to clarify why Kaitāia is an “unsung chief in New Zealand’s history”.

If you’re a wine lover, you are also in luck. About 3.5km south you are going to come across Okaku Estate Winery, wherever you can flavor award-winning wines in a cosy cellar doorway close to the southern end of Ninety Mile Seaside. To the north, you’ll locate New Zealand’s northernmost vineyard Karikari Estate, with an al fresco having and ingesting area with sweeping views throughout the peninsula. And the Far North’s famously attractive seashores are just a shorter drive away.

Judges reported the Kaitāia local community and Significantly North District Council experienced worked together to procure $7 million.

“The local community partnered with an enthusiastic council to manage the projects themselves, and this has resulted in a waterfall impact across the total region. Nearby contractors have obtained training to bid on the council initiatives, guaranteeing the funding and careers keep in the group.”

You can reach the Mine Bay Māori rock carvings by boat or kayak.

Adore Taupo/Stuff

You can attain the Mine Bay Māori rock carvings by boat or kayak.

Most beautiful huge town: Taupō

Named New Zealand’s most wonderful huge city for the next 12 months in a row, Taupō’s win in all probability comes as considerably less of a shock to most.

Head into Taupō alongside the northeastern shore of the lake on a sunny working day and its good appears are plain: The seasonably snowy peaks of Tongariro Countrywide Park could have been positioned at the rear of the Singapore-sized “inland sea” only for our viewing pleasure.

Add to that thermal landscapes comprehensive with silica terraces, boiling mud and sizzling pools, the liquid electrical power surge that is Huka Falls, ancient forests and trout-filled rivers, and it is not challenging to understand why the city is named a finalist in the awards each and every 12 months.

Taupō’s attractiveness as a place goes way over and above surface area appearances even though. Rivalling Rotorua as the journey cash of the North Island, it boasts so quite a few ways to improve your adrenaline, website visitors can pretty a great deal keep on being on a lasting superior.

Skydiving, bungy jumping, swinging off a cliff over the Waikato on the suitably named Cliffhanger swing, jet boating and white water rafting are amid the a lot of strategies to (over)excite by yourself, whilst far more sedate actions incorporate canoeing, kayaking and taking a cruise to the 10-metre-higher Māori rock carvings in the vicinity of Mine Bay.

Taupō was commended for its work to divert waste from landfill.

Taupō was commended for its function to divert waste from landfill.

Ultra-scenic walks and bike rides abound (attempt the Aratiatia Rapids Going for walks/Cycling Observe and the walk around the perimeter of the Craters of the Moon geothermal region), as do sites to laze close to in the natural way warm drinking water. Taupō DeBretts Sizzling Springs are a fantastic solution if you’d like to adhere to your soak with a spa procedure or have young children to entertain (the heated slide is a winner), when Spa Thermal Park Very hot Spring underneath a bridge where the Waikato River satisfies the Otumuheke Stream is an fantastic free of charge possibility.

With its active geysers, vibrant silica terraces and a geothermal cave, Ōrākei Kōrako is effectively truly worth the 30-minute generate out if city: it is unquestionably a person of the finest geothermal points of interest in New Zealand.

In shortlisting the town, judges recommended it for upgrading the Good Lake Pathway, a generally flat going for walks and biking trail with magnificent sights across the lake to the triplet peaks of Tongariro National Park. It was also praised for a task that will see automobile-totally free pedestrian and cycle-welcoming zones released to the city centre.

Judges also congratulated the nearby neighborhood for operating with businesses to perform squander audits, ensuing in a 90 for each cent diversion from landfill.

“They have also produced a new natural burial zone which delivers persons in the Taupō District a greater choice in how they desire their remains to be returned to the earth, although also lessening environmental air pollution that is designed by the embalming system and/or cremation.”

Hastings won the Supreme Award in last year’s Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards.

John Cowpland/Alphapix

Hastings received the Supreme Award in last year’s Continue to keep New Zealand Attractive Awards.

Most beautiful small metropolis: Hastings

The motor area of the Hawke’s Bay financial state isn’t everyone’s first decision for a holiday getaway in the area. But with art deco architecture to rival Napier and just as many orchards and vineyards in its backyard, it can make just as a superior a foundation.

The Artwork Deco Hastings walk leaflet from the nearby i-Internet site will choose you past the cream of the crop of the outdated properties, which contain the Hawke’s Bay Opera House with its fantastic Spanish Mission-type facade. The city embraced the California-motivated type right after the identical 1931 earthquake that lowered much of Napier to rubble wrecked its own structures. Squint and you could almost imagine you had been in Santa Barbara.

With Hawke’s Bay wine country just beyond the town limitations, why would not you venture out? You could commit a content handful of days, if not weeks, eating and ingesting your way about the region’s vineyards, dining establishments, breweries, farmers’ marketplaces and seasonal fruit stands. If that tends to make you truly feel a little bit porky, discover the vineyards by bike or get a hike up Te Mata Peak.

Splash Planet is among the town’s key attractions.


Splash Earth is amongst the town’s important sights.

Judges commended Hastings for creating on its kid-friendly waste and litter avoidance strategies featuring mascots Luke the Litter Legend and Colin the Cheeky Chucker, and ongoing emphasis on beautification and sustainable tourism.

“Hastings has also established an eco-committee, initiated a New Zealand-very first assessment into the trees in their parks and reserves and has a ongoing target on sustainable tourism and group beautification.”

Most attractive substantial city: Wellington

Some might say Welly’s “world’s coolest little capital” title is no more time apt, but you can be fantastic-wanting with out becoming amazing. Instances in illustration: Paris Hilton and Tom Cruise.

With classy Victorian structures jogging down bushy hillsides towards a hook-shaped harbour in which wildlife this kind of as dolphins and whales can frequently be witnessed, Wellington is undeniably a very metropolis.

What customer hasn’t felt compelled to get maintain of their digital camera when standing atop Mt Victoria for the initial time, riding the Cable Vehicle to the Botanic Gardens, or winding their way previous the ruggedly excellent-seeking bays of the south coastline and Miramar Peninsula?

It’s ‘coolest little capital title’ has been called into question, but it’s still a pretty city (on a good day and from the right angle).


It’s ‘coolest minimal funds title’ has been identified as into question, but it is nevertheless a rather metropolis (on a excellent day and from the proper angle).

If you are a society vulture or like your espresso, craft beer or food stuff (and who doesn’t like to indulge in at least one particular of these items), Welly is a beaut of a town much too.

Stuff senior travel reporter Siobhan Downes reckons Wellington’s a beautiful city even on a poor day – if you take the time to scratch the surface.

Head down Hannah’s Laneway, she stated, and you are going to find a bean-to-bar chocolate factory, a gap-in-the-wall providing gourmand peanut butter, “a gem of a café that does the city’s finest brownies”, and a pizza joint creating reliable Neapolitan pies. Feel like cosying up in a wine bar, brewpub or classic cocktail spot? Stop by Ghuznee Avenue. Into vintage garments and homewares or outfits by Kiwi designers? Make a beeline to Cuba St (where by, it will have to be claimed, you will also locate some extremely seedy bars).

The judges famous that Wellington has acquired world wide recognition and US$1 million in prize dollars as one particular of 15 towns worldwide to win the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors obstacle, intended to recognise “the boldest and most ambitious urban improvements to emerge from the pandemic”.

Wellington’s profitable challenge was a “virtual twin” of the town intended to support citizens far better have an understanding of the impacts of local climate alter.

The Hold New Zealand Attractive judges noted that the project “was intended to be open up supply so that other councils, in New Zealand and globally, can utilise this technology as well”.

Supreme winner: Whakatāne

Selected from throughout all groups, the Supreme Cities and Cities Award winner is the judges’ select of the bunch.

A person of the sunniest spots in the state, the japanese Bay of A great deal town doesn’t draw the identical crowds as its western neighbours, but that’s not mainly because it isn’t wonderful. Just a little bit further more absent from the likes of Auckland and Hamilton.

Its relative remoteness is an advantage for holidaymakers who favor their times on prolonged, pohutukawa-lined beaches to commence without the need of a fight for a automobile park, and not to have to wait around for a desk in the best cafés.

Whakatāne was commended for its focus on biodiversity.

Bay of A good deal Tourism

Whakatāne was counseled for its emphasis on biodiversity.

A single of the sunniest cities in New Zealand, it’s a great put to get active outdoors. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals, small blue penguins and rare indigenous birds on a guided tour of Moutohorā Wildlife Sanctuary on Whale Island, swim or surf at 11km of Ōhope Seashore (which has been named 1 of the most gorgeous in New Zealand), kayak or stand-up paddleboard on Ōhiwa Harbour, or hit up a single of the quite a few mountaineering and biking trails.

Whakatāne is also 1 of the very best sites in New Zealand to location a kiwi – it markets itself as “the kiwi funds of the world”. Their calls can be heard from the city centre and they’ve been identified to trespass on homes subsequent to reserves. For the most effective probability of recognizing one, sign up for a night time strolling tour.

For a dose of tradition, head to Mātaatua Wharenui, aka ‘the house that came home’. The spectacularly carved assembly dwelling expended a long time overseas – together with 40 decades in the cellars of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum – and 70 yrs in Dunedin prior to last but not least producing its way house in 2011.The hour-extensive “express” tour begins with a pōwhiri and incorporates an award-successful electronic knowledge that brings traditions of the Ngāti Awa people to life in advance of concluding with cups of kawakawa tea and kūmara brownies in the wharekai (dining hall).

A dolphin cavorting in Otarawairere Bay, near Whakatāne.

Chris Hillock/Things

A dolphin cavorting in Otarawairere Bay, near Whakatāne.

Other highlights incorporate picnic-ideal Wairere Falls, the 16km Ngā Tapuwae o Toi (Footprints of Toi) walk with its clifftop views of the hidden gem of a seashore that is Otarawairere Bay, and biodiversity hotspot Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park.

The judges pointed out that biodiversity is a big target for the regional local community.

“The group underwent a tree audit and established tree procedures so that individuals have a greater knowing of the benefit of trees and how their lifespan impacts us. They have also shut the gaps in comprehending concerning rural places and the township, bringing a tighter cohesion to environmental initiatives. The local community have also made a Seed Library, and are receiving local little ones and youth associated in plantings – all over 4,800 per calendar year.”

Genie Mathena

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