New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to see the light each morning, bearing witness to some of the most beautiful sunrises. From the stunning coastlines of the North Island right through to the alpine landscapes of the South Island, Tourism New Zealand has come up with a list of the top, most insta-worthy spots to see the sunrise.
1. Wainui Beach, Gisborne
Home to one of the most frequented beaches on the east coast, Gisborne is one of the first spots in New Zealand to see the sun pop up beyond the skyline. Wainui beach in particular is a great vantage point to soak up the first rays of the day.
2. Pinnacles, Coromandel
You will need to be up early to reach the summit of the Pinnacles in the Coromandel to see the sunrise. Or for adventure loving travellers, why not get a head start with an overnight stay in a Department of Conservation hut. No matter how you do it, it’s worth it.
3. Mount Eden, Auckland
They call Auckland the “City of Sails” but with a whopping 50 volcanoes, you could just as easily call it the “City of Volcanoes”. At 196 metres high, Mt Eden is the tallest volcano in the city, affording remarkable 360-degree views of Auckland City and Waitemata Harbour, offering spectacular views of the sunrise as well as sunset.
4. Tapeka Point, Russell
Russell, once the capital of New Zealand, is a small town with loads of history. A short ferry ride from Paihia, Tapeka Point offers sun lovers views of Paihia to Waitangi. The coastal headland looks over sandy bays, a great spot to take pictures and look out over the Bay of Islands.
5. Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
A pre-dawn hike to the top of Mount Maunganui might be just the way to start the day, just as the locals do. There is a reason this place is one of the most Instagrammed in New Zealand and the sunrise has got a lot to do with it! Get the blood pumping by doing the summit walk before day breaks and enjoy views of inner harbour, ships coming into port and Matakana Island.
6. The Wanaka Tree, Lake Wanaka
This beautiful and tranquil inlet offers stunning views across Lake Wanaka and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. There is a single tree that grows out of the water, just off-shore, providing many opportunities for unique, slightly other-worldly photos.
7. One Mile Car Park, Queenstown
Just a five-minute walk from Queenstown’s town centre, One Mile Car Park looks out over Lake Wakatipu, offering a stunning panorama of The Remarkables. You are certain to be mesmerised by the sight of the sun rising above these beautiful and iconic peaks.
8. Port Hills, Christchurch
You can hike, mountain bike, ride the gondola or simply drive up to the top of this mountain – whichever way you get up there, you won’t be disappointed. With vast views from Lyttleton Harbour to the distant Southern Alps, you can see the entire city of Christchurch from up here and enjoy incredible sunrises as well as stunning sunsets.
9. New Brighton Pier, Christchurch
Another spot in Christchurch that definitely makes the cut is the New Brighton Pier, looking out over Pegasus Bay.
10. Oban, Stewart Island
Oban is the biggest settlement on Stewart Island with a population of almost 400. Halfmoon Bay is one of Stewart Island’s best kept secrets with many locals flocking to watch the sun come up at one of New Zealand’s most southern points.