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15 Perfect Romantic Getaways in NZ

15 Perfect Romantic Getaways in NZ

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What’s the first thing you think of when you think of New Zealand? For me, it’s the gorgeous mountains, scenic valleys, and of course, Queenstown, my home!

Being such a dreamy country, New Zealand truly is the ideal place to spend time with a loved one, whether it’s on your honeymoon or simply a trip away together.

I’m always traveling across the country with my partner, and you can trust me when I say there are sooo many incredible (and romantic) locations dotted across both islands.

It was super tough to cut it down to 15, but I believe these are the very best romantic getaways to experience here in New Zealand – each one will have you making memories that will last a lifetime. So let’s get right on into it!

Best Places to Visit for a Romantic Getaway on the South Island, NZ

1. Queenstown

Bailey and her partner pose for a photo above the Remarkables Ski Field
Me and my partner at the top of the Remarkables Ski Field!

The stunning tourist haven of Queenstown is nestled among the Southern Alps and built on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, making it certainly one of the most photogenic towns on this list. In fact, it’s one of the most popular places for couples to visit and it’s also a top-rated wedding destination.

Queenstown is an adventurer’s paradise with skiing and snow sports available in the winter and water sports like jet boating and jet skiing in the summer.

It’s easy to list Queenstown as the first best romantic getaway in New Zealand. As such, you should definitely spend at least 3 days in Queenstown, but preferably a full week. Even living in Queenstown, we still take these day trips or quick overnights for an intimate staycation and date nights. There are a ton of romantic activities in Queenstown, but a few stand out as my absolute favorite!

If relaxing in a private cider-lined hot pool overlooking the Shotover River with complimentary drinks doesn’t scream romantic, I don’t know what does! Onsen Hot Pools is one of the best hot pools in Queenstown, it even won the World Luxury Spa Award five years running.

Located just 10 minutes out of Queenstown, you can choose between a variety of soak times and spa packages, as well as indoor or outdoor hot pools. We’ve been to Onsen a few times when we feel like treating ourselves, and it is always a relaxing experience!

However, one of my favorite things to do in Queenstown is go wine tasting! The famous Central Otago Valley is a robust wine region with dozens of award-winning wineries. You can easily go wine tasting from Queenstown whether you drive yourself or join a tour, which takes care of all the planning and transportation so you can simply enjoy your time together!

This bike and wine tour is my favorite option for a date day in wine valley, as it’s a combination of adventure and fun, beautiful scenery, and tasty wine. If you’re more of an active couple, you’ll love biking from winery to winery and moving at your own pace.

The tour provides a bike and transportation to Arrowtown, then you bike an 18-kilometer (11-mile) route back to Queenstown, stopping off at their recommended wineries along the way- you can see all the details and book your bike here!

Finally, a helicopter flight is a truly unique way to experience New Zealand’s beauty and this helicopter tour to Milford Sound from Queenstown is my favorite one! There is something so serene about seeing the Fiordland National Park from above, and sharing that experience with your partner is simply amazing!

I loved this 2-hour helicopter flight, as the pilot’s commentary was insightful and we had two landings, so it was even more immersive. While this is a bigger budget item at $1,116 NZD per person, we had so much fun and still talk about this experience today- you can book the same one online here.

If you’re planning a romantic vacation or perhaps your honeymoon in Queenstown, any of these activities will be a great addition to your itinerary! Queenstown is easily my favorite place in New Zealand, and I can’t recommend a romantic getaway here enough.

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Queenstown: Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa is my top choice for a romantic getaway in Queenstown. Located in Central Queenstown on Duke Street, you’re right in the action of the city, but the hotel is quiet and serene, so it’s still quite intimate.

The rooms take luxury to the next level with a gorgeous marble bathroom and a double spa bath, a separate rain shower, and fluffy bathrobes to cozy up in. There is an onsite restaurant, Left Bank, that has a great ambiance, and the award-winning spa makes Sofitel the best relaxing vacation destination!

Of course, there are plenty of great hotels in Queenstown to choose from. Read my blog about where to stay in Queenstown for more details on choosing the perfect accommodation for your romantic getaway in NZ!

2. The Gibbston Valley

Bailey walks the vines in the Gibbston Valley wine region
Just checking on the baby wine!
Bailey enjoys wine at Gibbston Valley Winery near Queenstown
The wine is so good!

The Gibbston Valley is one of the most famous wine regions in New Zealand making it a very popular romantic hideaway for couples. Isn’t there something so idyllic about sipping on world-renowned wine, surrounded by mountains and vines? Within a 20-minute drive of Queenstown, you’ll discover over 200 wineries in the Gibbston Valley, so there are lots of wine-tasting opportunities here!

With many vineyards to choose from, I have narrowed down my personal favorite wineries near Queenstown, which can be explored on a Gibbston Valley wine tour.

Gibbston Valley Winery has the largest wine cave in New Zealand and is the most well-known winery in the area. This winery is quite large, so we enjoyed taking this short tour of Gibbston Valley’s wine cave, which includes tastings and is only $20 NZD (so cheap!), just to get a little more insight into the wine we were tasting!

I also love visiting Peregrine Wines, not only is their vino top tier, but the architecture is incredible! I’ve never seen a tasting room quite as unique as Peregrine, and I’ve never tried a Rosé quite as good as theirs. Mt Rosa is another charming vineyard that I frequent, it is laid back and has some incredible views from the tasting room!

There are some fantastic wine tours of Gibbston Valley, so you and your partner can try a variety of wineries, have lunch provided, and have a designated driver! This half-day tour takes you to four boutique wineries so you can see a range of styles and taste plenty of wine.

I am a big fan of wine tours, simply because it lets me relax and enjoy wine tasting, which is exactly what you want on a romantic getaway to wine country! You can reserve this tour for $239 NZD per person.

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Gibbston Valley: Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa is a luxury accommodation featuring 24 stunning vineyard villas. Each villa is spacious with a deck area to enjoy the stunning scenery as well as a courtyard. There is an onsite restaurant, a spa, and access to some of the best wine you’ll ever try! This would be the ultimate romantic getaway for couples who love wine and the mountains (like I do!).

3. Wanaka

a couple at the top of Roys Peak in Wanaka
Yes, hiking can be the perfect activity on a romantic getaway in NZ!

Often compared to nearby Queenstown, Wanaka is a smaller less-busy version of its famous neighbor. But don’t worry it’s equally as pretty! Wanaka is home to #thatwanakatree and taking a stroll along the shores of Lake Wanaka to the tree is one of the most romantic things to do here – especially at sunset.

Even though Wanaka has that small-town feel, there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars, and fun activities to fill your days.

One of my favorite hikes is actually in Wanaka, and if you’re an adventurer like I am, you’ll have an incredible experience hiking Roys Peak at sunrise! While getting up at 4 am to hike doesn’t sound like a super fun time, seeing the sun peak over the valley as you reach the summit is certainly magical, and sharing that with your partner makes it even better!

Just like its neighbors, Wanaka has a plethora of beautiful wineries. I highly recommend a visit to Rippon Winery for a wine-tasting experience with the most spectacular view. You can even splurge on one of the best tours in Wanaka by taking this sunset cruise on Lake Wanaka complete with wine and cheese – this would be the ultimate romantic activity in Wanaka! Spend an hour cruising around the beautiful lake as the sun goes down, drink in hand, and take in all the views.

This sunset cruise was such a good time with high spirits and that golden-hour magic, I didn’t want it to end! You can book this tour for $60 NZD, which is a great price for a cruise, wine, and cheese- the views are complimentary, though!

If you’re visiting in the winter, Wanaka is the best place to stay for a ski vacation! All four of New Zealand’s ski fields are close to Wanaka, but Cardrona Alpine Resort is the closest (and the best, in my opinion!). Because Wanaka has fewer visitors, it is tranquil and relaxed, making for a cozy and romantic winter getaway in New Zealand!

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Wanaka: Alpine View Lodge has lovely views of the Southern Alps and is just 2 kilometers from Wanaka CBD. This cozy accommodation offers a hot tub and is both spacious and stylishly decorated. It is only a 20-minute drive from Cardrona Ski Field, making it a convenient luxury stay!

4. Lake Tekapo

The Milky Way over Lake Tekapo while stargazing
You can see the stars and Milky Way so well in Lake Tekapo!

With its bright blue water and stunning surrounding mountain scenery, there’s no doubt that Lake Tekapo is one of the prettiest towns on this list. It’s a popular stop-off on the drive between Christchurch and Queenstown, but in recent years, Lake Tekapo has established itself as a tourist destination in its own right.

What I really love about Lake Tekapo is that it has some truly unique activities. Every year, thousands of lupins grow on Lake Tekapo’s shore, making for a glorious display of pink and purple flowers with the backdrop of the shimmering blue lake- it’s quite dreamy! The best time to visit the lupin field is from mid-November through December, but you might be able to catch them from September to February.

Lake Tekapo is also famous for its stargazing, as it’s a dark sky reserve and you can see more stars than ever here! To get the ultimate stargazing experience, my partner and I visited the Mount John Observatory for this 2-hour guided tour with an astronomer.

We looked through a 16” optical telescope and our guide explained all that we were seeing, which really took the experience to the next level! Of course, this was a cozy and intimate experience, so if you are fascinated with the night sky- be sure to add this to your itinerary!

You can choose from a variety of amazing restaurants in Lake Tekapo, and there are even more things to do in this vibrant piece of New Zealand! Stop for a coffee date at Jack Rabbit Cafe, my favorite cafe in Lake Tekapo, or enjoy the hot pools at Tekapo Springs. This was once a hidden gem and is now getting more on the map, so you’ll be sure to find something unique and romantic here.

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Lake Tekapo: Mantra Lake Tekapo is one of the nicest hotels in Tekapo. It has an outdoor pool and is just a 2-minute walk from Tekapo town. It has a cozy vibe with fireplaces in the townhouse-style accommodation. Your townhouse even has a veranda to admire the views of the lake and stargaze at night (Lake Tekapo is located in a Dark Sky Reserve after all!).

5. Milford Sound

a couple sitting on the Milford Sound Swing
Just enjoying the views with my partner at the Milford Sound Swing,

Often dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World, Milford Sound is one of the most popular places to visit on the South Island, attracting about one million visitors annually! There are so many ways to experience Milford Sound, whether you take a cruise, hike around the fiord, or even take a scenic flight!

Unfortunately, most of the tourists to Milford Sound come just for a day, either from Queenstown or from Te Anau. The real magic here can be felt early in the morning or later in the afternoon – when you have the place pretty much to yourself. That’s why spending a night or two in Milford Sound is the perfect romantic getaway on the South Island.

By far the most romantic (and epic) way to experience Milford Sound is by taking an overnight cruise. This was on my bucket list for years, and when my partner and I finally went, it surpassed my expectations!

It was magical to see the fiord without the crowds of tourists, and we could truly feel how vast the landscape was. Plus, the overnight cruise was luxurious with a 3-course dinner, a rooftop hot tub, and rooms that overlooked the fiord.

While an overnight cruise in Milford can be a bit expensive, if you’re looking for a big-ticket romantic getaway in New Zealand, this will check every box! It is $1,149 NZD per person and should be booked in advance.

If you’re looking for a bit of a thrill and a unique view of Milford, taking a scenic flight from Queenstown is the way to go! To get the full Milford Sound experience, I recommend taking this flight and cruise tour, where you will have two 45-minute flights in a fixed-wing plane and a 2-hour nature cruise on the fiord.

Fiordland National Park is gorgeous, so seeing it from a birds-eye view and then up close is simply incredible! I took a scenic flight of Milford, and still reminisce on the views- you can book this tour in advance for $645 NZD.

However, if both of these options are a bit out of your budget, you can still take a scenic cruise along the fiord- in fact, this is what most people do! This 2-hour cruise is a small boat, so you can get into the tight spaces of the fiord and stay away from big crowds, making this an intimate experience.

Here you can see fur seals, dusky dolphins, and Fiordland crested penguins, as well as the incredible views of Milford! This small group tour is $153 NZD per person and leaves time to explore more of Fiordland National Park.

And if you get to stay the night in Milford be sure to take a stroll along the Milford Foreshore Walk after the crowds are going, you’ll have the whole fiord to yourself- it makes for a really lovely evening. You can also find the Milford Swing (built by a local worker for his girlfriend – how sweet)!

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Milford Sound: At the Milford Sound Lodge in the heart of Milford, you can book a luxurious river-view chalet that really makes you feel like you’re at one with nature. It’s the perfect accommodation if you’re after a peaceful romantic getaway. Plus, there is nowhere else to stay as close to Milford!

6. Marlborough Sounds

A seal in the Marlborough Sounds on the south island
Can you spot the seal?

With a whopping 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) of coastline, the Marlborough Sounds is certainly one of the most beautiful getaways in New Zealand. Located on the north end of the South Island, it’s not always on tourists’ radar, but there are some beautiful places to explore here. Marlborough Sounds is made up of three Sounds, Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru, and Pelorus which are all equally beautiful.

With this much water, obviously one of the best activities is to kayak around the headlands. Departing from Picton (where the ferry to the North Island is) you’ll spend a half-day paddling through Queen Charlotte Sound, stopping off at secluded coves and beaches. This relaxed kayak tour is the perfect romantic activity for outdoor lovers and a little taste of the South Island’s diverse scenery.

I also really enjoyed getting out on the water for a boat tour of the Marlborough Sounds. This half-day cruise took me all over the area and the Sounds are huge, so getting into the nooks and crannies was a truly unique way to experience it. Plus, I got to see a ton of wildlife, like bottlenose and dusky dolphins! On a nice sunny day, this is such a fun and charming way to explore New Zealand with your partner. This 3.5-hour cruise can be booked for $96 NZD.

You can also hike the Queen Charlotte Track, either as a multi-day or a single-day hike, if you consider backpacking to be a romantic getaway! I also can’t forget that Marlborough is a huge wine-producing region in New Zealand, so you can choose from an array of wine-tasting tours here too.

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Marlborough Sounds: Punga Cove Resort overlooking Endeavour Inlet on the Queen Charlotte Track boasts a large outdoor pool, two restaurants, and epic views. It has a relaxed and peaceful vibe and is a 2-hour drive from Picton.

Related Read: The Marlborough Wine region is not far from the Marlborough Sounds and it’s also great for a romantic getaway in NZ. There are many fantastic wine tours from Picton!

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7. The Catlins

A couple take a photo together at Koropuku Falls in the Catlins region on the South Island of New Zealand
Exploring the romantic Koropuku Falls!

The Catlins is an area of rugged, almost untouched natural beauty about an hour’s drive from the city of Invercargill. In fact, it’s one of my favorite places to spend a romantic weekend away in New Zealand. I love how secluded this area is, even though there are a ton of fun things to do in the Catlins!

The most notable part of the Catlins are the waterfalls, in fact, some of the best waterfalls in New Zealand are here. Mclean Falls is easily the most popular waterfall in the area, and I can see why, it’s stunning! You can reach the falls from a quick 15-minute hike and quickly find the water cascading over the cliff and down the river. Any of the hikes in the Catlins will make you feel like you’re in an enchanted forest, and it makes for a lovely secluded getaway with your partner!

Curio Bay is another beautiful part of the Catlins where you can find a petrified forest and yellow-eyed penguins!

The Catlins are a great place to camp, especially if you rent a campervan and are roadtripping New Zealand. You can easily get to the Catlins as you drive from Dunedin to Invercargill and find lots of unique stops along the way. While you’re certainly in close proximity with your partner the whole time, finding these romantic getaways keeps the adventure lighthearted and fun!

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in The Catlins: Seascape Accommodation at Kaka Point has stunning ocean views and is located a short drive away from Nugget Point Lighthouse. It has three modern apartments all with ocean views. In the small town of Kaka Point, there are a few restaurants and a nice beach.

8. Glenorchy

The Glenorchy Jetty at the start of te Glenorchy Boardwalk Trail
The Glenorchy Jetty!

Glenorchy is Lord of the Rings territory – did you know that many of the scenes from The Fellowship of the Rings were filmed in Glenorchy?! This little town with a population of 500 is a breathtaking 40-minute drive from Queenstown or there are tours from Queenstown to Glenorchy if you don’t have your own transportation or are looking for a more immersive experience.

This is a great romantic getaway because Glenorchy is so quaint and charming. Whether you go for a little stroll around the Glenorchy Lagoon or stop for a coffee at Mrs Wolly’s General Store, you can have a wonderful date day exploring all the things to do in Glenorchy.

Since Glenorchy is famous for all things Lord of the Rings, this is a perfect activity if you and your partner are die-hard fans of the films. There are a handful of great LOTR tours, but if you’re going to pick one I’d suggest this full-day tour. It is a small group (only 6 people) so it’s much more intimate and personalized! You’ll visit film locations, get to see the costumes and weapons used during the movies, have lunch, and do even more sightseeing in this beautiful area.

Plus, you’ll be driven around in a 4WD vehicle, so you can get off the beaten path and really explore Glenorchy! This 9-hour tour is $550 NZD- be sure to book this experience in advance as it’s popular!

If the LOTR films aren’t your thing, there is still plenty to explore in Glenorchy! The Routeburn Track is one of New Zealand’s Great walks and takes off from Glenorchy. You don’t have to hike the entire 32-kilometer (20-mile) track to see this beautiful trail, instead, you can explore a portion on a day hike! I love getting out into nature with my partner, so if you do too, you’ll really enjoy the Routeburn Track!

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Glenorchy: Kinloch Wilderness Retreat is the ultimate romantic getaway for couples! Located 26 kilometers (16 miles) from Glenorchy this retreat is the closest accommodation to the Routeburn Track and Greenstone Tracks. Choose their King Room for a luxurious and peaceful stay.

Best Places to Visit for a Romantic Getaway on the North Island, NZ

9. The Coromandel

a couple standing at Cathedral Cove in New Zealand
My partner and I on a romantic getaway at Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel.

Famed for its gorgeous beaches –  if you’re after a romantic beach getaway the Coromandel Peninsula is the place for you. It is located in the Waikato Region on the North Island, just over a 2-hour drive from Auckland. You’ll find warm weather most of the year and you’ll often find local Kiwis hanging out at the Coromandel’s white sand beaches, hiking, and camping!

There are plenty of fun things to do on the Coromandel Peninsula and some especially dreamy romantic areas that will make a lovely getaway!

Cathedral Cove is the most popular spot on the Coromandel because it’s so incredibly beautiful, and it was featured in The Chronicles of Narnia movies. You can’t drive straight to the cove, but you can reach it by taking a short hike, a boat shuttle, or kayaking! This small-group kayak tour provides a tandem kayak for you and your partner, so you can explore the waters and marine from Hahei Beach to Cathedral Cove. The sea caves and marine life were so impressive, and we had a really fun time experiencing it together.

You can also take a thrilling jet boat ride from the neighboring town of Whitianga to reach Cathedral Cove in an entirely new way! This is a super fun way to get to the cove, and you still get to take in the scenery of the area. I love that there’s a variety of ways to experience the cove, so there’s an option for any sort of traveler. You can check out the details of this jet boat tour to Cathedral Cove and book it here!

Hot Water Beach is another one of my favorite spots on the Coromandel Peninsula. Here, you can actually dig your own hot water pool because of the geothermal activity that lies beneath the beach! It is only possible at low tide, so we got up early to catch the sunrise in our little personal hot pool, and it was certainly a romantic and memorable activity.

However, if you you’re looking for an even more relaxing and romantic experience, visit The Lost Spring Geothermal Spa in Whitianga. Their hot pool resort is pretty much the definition of tranquil with the geo-thermal pools, spas, and an onsite restaurant.

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Coromandel: Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort is set on 25 acres of native bush. It’s a large resort with a spa, sauna, and pool facilities as well as an on-site restaurant. This is the perfect luxury stay to base yourself at while exploring the Coromandel

Why I Book Tours on Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! I almost always book all of my tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here

10. Northland

A couple kiss at Mermaid Pools in Northland, NZ
The famous Mermaid Pools that are now unfortunately closed!

Northland is one of the lesser-discovered areas in New Zealand which I find strange considering it’s home to Cape Reinga (the most Northerly point in New Zealand) and tons of stunning beaches. The largest city here is Whangarei and it also has some lively larger towns like Paihia and Kerikeri. It’s often nicknamed the ‘winterless North’ on account of its mild weather.

Exploring the numerous beaches is the best activity in Northland. I recommend visiting Matai Bay on the Karikari Peninsula and the Tutukaka Coast, home to the country’s most stunning beaches like Whale Bay and Matapouri. Because of all of the beaches, the best time to visit Northland (and New Zealand in general) is during the summer months.

You also can’t miss out on Ninety Mile Beach, which is one of the best places to visit on the North Island. This beach isn’t actually 90 miles long (it’s 89 kilometers/55 miles) but it’s an extensive and gorgeous part of Northland. What’s more romantic than long walks on the beach?

However, the most epic way to experience all the beaches in Northland is by seeing them from above on this scenic flight! You’ll get to explore the area between Paihia and Cape Reinga including flying over Ninety Mile Beach and then driving around the most northern part of New Zealand at Cape Reinga Lighthouse.

This tour is limited to 7 people, so you and your partner can have more of an intimate experience while doing something incredible. The views up here are nothing short of astounding, and experiencing it with your partner is the cherry on top.

I love Northland, and having a unique way to experience it makes it even more special. This 4.5-hour tour is $492 NZD per person, and while it’s a bit pricey, I can tell you that it will be such a memorable day that it’s worth it! You can book this tour in advance here to see all the beauty of Northland.

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Northland: The Duke of Marlborough is a beautiful place to stay in Russell and is set right on the waterfront. The rooms here are stylish and comfortable. Ask for a waterfront room to enjoy the views from your veranda. 

11. Muriwai Beach

Gannet colony at Muriwai Beach NZ
The coastline around Muriwai Beach is breathtaking!

Muriwai Beach boasts an impressive 47 kilometers (29 miles) of black sand beach. It’s a popular New Zealand surf destination and seeing as it’s just a 30-minute drive from Auckland, it’s very popular with holidaying Aucklanders.

I love visiting Muriwai Beach, you can walk along the black sand or for something a little more active, walk the Muriwai Beach Loop track. However one of the more impressive sights is the huge Gannet colony (sea birds) that live on the cliffs here! If you rent a car in Auckland, you can easily get to Mauriwai on your own, maybe pack a picnic lunch for a cute romantic afternoon!

There are also a handful of wineries near Murwai Beach, so I prefer taking a guided tour so I don’t have to worry about driving! You’ll get to visit Soljans Estate Winery and Westbrook Winery for tastings, then spend time walking on the stunning black beach. Even though this is a small group tour, you can move rather independently so it’s a nice and romantic date day. This 3.5-hour tour is $175 NZD and includes wine tastings, national park fees, and transportation- which isn’t too bad!

And if you’re looking for a further wine-tasting experience, you can take this 5-hour tour that includes stops at three wineries and lunch, although it doesn’t go to Muriwai Beach. But if you and your partner are more focused on wine tasting rather than beach exploration, this is a great option!

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Muriwai Beach: Exclusive Sanctuary on the West Coast is a large vacation rental with three bedrooms. There’s a large garden and patio area. Inside the unit, you’ll find two full bathrooms, a full kitchen, and a washing machine – perfect for a home away from home. Oh, and it is located only 600 meters from the beach!

12. Waiheke Island

Views of a beach on Waiheke Island
This beautiful gem only a short ferry from Auckland is my favorite!

Another fantastic wine region in New Zealand is Waiheke Island, accessible by ferry from Auckland City Center. The island’s gorgeous vistas and walking tracks make it a stunning destination on its own, but of course, the excellent wine grown here is an added bonus! This island is rather luxurious and has a handful of fun things to explore, so treat yourself to an overnight and have a few days of a romantic getaway!

Wine tasting is the big draw of Waiheke Island, so explore the absolute best wineries on this premium wine tour! You’ll visit 3-4 rotating wineries, so you’ll get to see a variety around the island. This is ideal if you don’t have a car (bringing one on the ferry can be expensive) and you can enjoy as much wine as you want.

If you don’t fancy being with a tour group the whole time, you can still visit the wineries with the hop-on-hop-off bus. I love these sorts of buses because they provide the convenience of a tour by driving you around, but also give you the freedom to choose what wineries to go to and how long you want to stay! This hop-on-hop-off bus is $76 NZD and will include 8 winery stops, but all other tasting fees and food are at your own expense.

Regardless of which type of wine tour you choose, it is the best way to explore Waiheke Island. Imagine you and your partner strolling around the gorgeous wineries on an island, it takes romance to the next level!

I’ve mentioned scenic flights a few times here because I love taking them with my partner, it is such a unique and intimate way to explore a place. Seeing Waiheke Island from above is no exception! This 30-minute scenic flight is quite inexpensive compared to others, and you get to see one of the most stunning parts of New Zealand. You can check out the details and book this scenic flight in advance for only $149 NZD.

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Waiheke Island: Cable Bay Views is a short walk from Mudbrick Vineyard and is conveniently close to the ferry terminal. The rooms are luxurious, and the sun beams onto your patio until late in the day. An added bonus is the gorgeous view from your bed, overlooking the vines.

13. Bay of Plenty

the view from the top of Mount Manganui in New Zealand
The view of Mount Maunganui Beach from the lookout hike.

The Bay of Plenty has a rich Maori history and is famous for its surf. The area is home to the cool town of Tauranga which is where I recommend spending your romantic getaway. In fact, a hike up Mount Maunganui from the town at sunset is one of my top things to do in this area.

A visit to Mataatua in Whakatane is a must-do in the Bay of Plenty and tells the story of Maori chiefs throughout history. You can also see gorgeous Maori carvings here!

However, as we’re talking romantic activities in the Bay of Plenty, this evening glow worm kayak tour is an essential addition to your itinerary! Glow worms are found all over New Zealand, and the best place to see them is on the North Island.

They live in cold, dark places, and the bioluminescent properties make them glow blue and green- it’s stunning! This tour makes for a romantic evening as you leisurely kayak through a cave and marvel at the natural wonders. You really won’t see anything like this elsewhere!

You also can’t visit the Bay of Plenty without exploring the bay itself! It is full of marine life, such as dolphins, penguins, seals, turtles, whales, and sharks, so a sightseeing cruise is the best way to experience it. This 7-hour cruise gives you plenty of time to explore the bay, see Mount Maunganui, and learn all about the area. Plus there’s an onboard bar with drinks to purchase, and you can opt to add a picnic lunch.

Seeing exotic marine life while cruising in a gorgeous bay, what could be more romantic? You can book this cruise for $175 NZD per person here.

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in the Bay of Plenty: Trinity Wharf Tauranga hotel boasts epic views over the Tauranga Harbour and it’s just a few minutes walk from the CBD. The rooms here are modern and comfortable.

14. Raglan

A lady stands on a rock at Raglan Beach during sunset
The sunsets in Raglan are so gorgeous! Imagine wine with your loved one here!

A small laid-back beach town that’s popular with Aucklanders. Raglan is only an hour and 45-minute drive from New Zealand’s largest city and boasts gorgeous black sand beaches.

A huge draw to Raglan is its epic surf scene. I actually took a surfing lesson here- so if you and your partner want to learn a new skill together, this is a fun adventure to take on. A 2-hour surf lesson is only $94 NZD and includes all of your equipment.

Surfing is popular here but that isn’t the only reason to visit Raglan. Many artists call Raglan home and there are a few galleries in town featuring photography, pottery, and jewelry making.

However, I think the most romantic thing you can do in Raglan is take a sunset cruise along Raglan Harbour! The sunsets in Raglan are incredible, so picture you and your loved one sailing around as the sky turns pink, orange, and purple over the ocean. Plus, with a bar on board and lively music, it makes for an incredible night out! You can book this sunset cruise for $60 NZD per person.

This has to be one of the most romantic things to do on your NZ getaway.

And if you’re looking for even more fun activities, check out all of the best things to do in Raglan while you’re there!

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Raglan: Three Streams Raglan Retreat is a bit out of town, which gives you a secluded and tranquil feel. This is a studio apartment style of accommodation that sits on 25 acres! It has a patio and garden view, so you can truly relax in this space for a romantic getaway!

15. Lake Taupo

a couple hanging out in some natural hot springs near Lake Taupo
We found some wild hot springs not too far from Taupo.

A popular spot for some of the best winter activities in New Zealand, this winter ski destination is equally stunning in the other seasons. The town of Taupo is built on Lake Taupo, which is the largest lake in New Zealand.

There are plenty of fun things to do and see in Taupo. Visit the gushing Huka Falls, which is fed by the longest river in New Zealand, so it’s quite impressive. You also can’t skip the thermal pools at Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa while in town. This is an adult-only hot pool and they take relaxation very seriously here!

An absolute must-do tour in Taupo is to visit the huge Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings. You can only see them from the water, so taking a boat cruise is the only way to do it. Might as well make this experience as romantic as possible and take a yacht tour of the rock carvings! Not only will you get up close to the 10-meter (32-foot) ancient carvings, but you’ll also get expert commentary along the way.

Plus, it’s a luxury yacht, so you’ll get a complimentary beverage and sail in style! They have morning, afternoon, and evening departure times, but I recommend the evening so you can see the golden hour on the boat! The evening cruise is $65 NZD and can be booked in advance here!

Recommended place to stay for a romantic getaway in Lake Taupo: Millennium Hotel at Lake Taupo has uninterrupted views of Lake Taupo. The resort features a plunge pool, sauna, and gym as well as 12 luxurious treats if you want to treat a loved one. The 39 hotel rooms are all spacious and stylishly decorated.

Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand

Bailey stands in front of a right green JUCY campervan
JUCY is one of my favorite campervan rental companies (read below for a discount code!)
Bailey stands behind her Mad Campers campervan cooking in the kitchen at Piha Beach
I also really like Mad Campers!

Let’s face it, you’re going to need wheels to get around New Zealand. Although a small country, buses between destinations are infrequent and expensive. Plus, some of the best experiences you can have in NZ are on road trips!

You have three options when it comes to getting wheels in New Zealand; a car, a campervan, or a motorhome. Here’s what you need to know about each and where to get them:

  • Car – A normal car is the cheapest rental vehicle you can get in New Zealand. It’ll get you around to all of the best destinations with ease. The only downside to a car is that you will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs during your travels (no camping.) The easiest place to rent a car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare cars, companies, prices, features, and more very easily.
  • Campervan – A Campervan is a large van that has a bed and a small kitchen in the back. It’s what most budget travelers use for traveling around New Zealand since it allows you to camp comfortably and for free (most) nights. Campervans are best for couples or solo travelers who are happy to live in a small space. You should also love the outdoors and camping…and be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime! My favorite campervan rental company is JUCY because they have a huge selection of campervans to choose from, plus multiple pick-up/drop-off locations. You can browse JUCY’s campervan selection online here. Alternatively, you can easily compare all campervans available in NZ on Motorhome Republic here.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE: I’ve managed to snag a discount code for 5% off for my readers if you book your campervan or motorhome through JUCY or Star RV! Simply click here to select your JUCY campervan, or click here to select your Star RV motorhome, and then use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off – it’s that easy!

Thanks for reading!

people enjoying a romantic dinner at Skyline in Queenstown
New Zealand is such a romantic place!

New Zealand is full of adventure, beauty, and hidden gems, making it the perfect romantic getaway! You and your partner will have no shortage of amazing activities to spark the flame, as you can see from reading this blog. Whether you’re looking for a fun date night or a weekend away, you’ll love a holiday in New Zealand, I know my partner and I sure do!

I hope this blog has helped you choose the perfect romantic getaway in NZ! It’s true, New Zealand really can be a romantic place and it is the perfect escape for couples looking for a little downtime. If you are planning more of your New Zealand trip, be sure to check out all of my blogs on the North Island or South Island. Some of my favorite activities are below:

One Week Queenstown Itinerary: How to Spend 7 Days in Queenstown

40 Best Hikes on the South Island of New Zealand

10 Things to Know BEFORE Ziplining in Rotorua +3 BEST Tours