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Whilst most visitors to NZ head straight to New Zealand’s major cities such as Auckland, Rotorua and Wellington, it’s well worth getting off the beaten track. Visiting some of NZ’s picturesque townships, on one of many Grand Pacific coach tours, offers charm in spades and a wide array of activities and attractions. Also, be sure to check out NZ travel specialists to get even more interesting destination ideas.

Three charming New Zealand towns which are worth visiting:

Waitomo

If you’re planning on squeezing as many adventurous activities into your New Zealand vacation as possible make sure to visit Waitomo, a small town in the North Island which is famed for it’s series of underground caves as well as its black water rafting and caving tours. If you’re not afraid of getting wet you may be interested in the Legendary Black Water Rafting Company’s “Black Labyrinth” tour, an action packed three hour tour where you’ll get to take a leap off faith off an underwater waterfall before floating through a series of spectacular glow worm caves, on an inner tube. If you’d prefer to keep your feet above ground and are looking for a unique activity to try, you may be interested in booking a scenic llama trek with Greenmount Llama Treks.

Matamata

If you’re a die-hard fan of the Lord of the Rings films, which were filmed in NZ, it’s well worth visiting Matamata, another picturesque town located in the North Island as it’s home to the Hobbiton film set. Unlike many of the Lord of the Rings’ sets in New Zealand which have been disassembled, the Hobbiton film set has been kept in tact and boasts over 40 hobbit homes, which you’ll find nestled among a series of lush, green hills. Should you book a guided Hobbiton tour you’ll also get to explore a life size replica of the Green Dragon Inn, where you can enjoy a beef and ale pie, a meal which is sure to appeal to your inner hobbit.

Ohakune

Ohakune is located at the base of Mt Ruapehu, which boasts two world class ski fields, Turoa which is located just minutes from the township of Ohakune and Whakapapa, which is located within a short, half hour drive of Ohakune. If you’re a keen hiker, Ohakune also makes a great base to complete the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing track. If you’re tempted to visit Ohakune and are looking for a luxurious hotel to rest your head at the end of a long, adventure packed day, you may be interested in booking a stay at the Powderhorn Chateau, a log style chateau which is home to Ohakune’s most popular restaurants, the Matterhorn and the Powderkeg. If you’re looking for a unique photo opportunity whilst in New Zealand, make sure to get a photo in front of Ohakune’s giant carrot statue, which is located at the entrance to the township.

So if you plan to visit NZ in the near future, make sure to get off the beaten track and to visit at least one of the scenic townships listed above as there is far more to New Zealand than it’s major cities.