21 September 2020 | Written by Jaimee Beck

Why New Zealand is the perfect alternative to Wales

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Why New Zealand is the perfect alternative to Wales

Wales, known for its rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, epic mountains and plentiful sheep – not unlike our very own slice of heaven! In fact, we’ve found New Zealand alternatives to Wales’ most popular holiday destinations so you can have your very own Welsh adventure without the international travel.


Wales: Snowdonia National Park
NZ alternative: The Southern Lakes

Photo credit: valdisskudre

Snowdonia National Park in northwest Wales is famous for its mountains and glaciers. The park boasts an extensive selection of trails, over 100 lakes, and Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. You could easily mistake it for New Zealand’s Southern Lakes district, where blue waters reflect snow-capped peaks, golden hills and some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails around. Head to the Southern Lakes at any time of year for breathtaking scenery and adventure sports.

Base yourself in: Queenstown, Wanaka or Fjiordland


Wales: Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula
NZ alternative: The Coromandel

Photo credit: Sammy Leigh Scholl

Three Cliffs Bay beach, with its wild shoreline of golden sand and limestone cliffs, is one of the most photogenic beaches in Wales. It’s popular with holidaymakers who visit for kayaking, swimming, hiking, or just to relax on the sand and poke around the rock pools. Visit the Coromandel for the same chill, coastal vibe – from Cathedral Cove to Hot Water beach there’s no shortage of dramatic cliffs, clear water and lazy days on the sand.

Base yourself in: Hahei, Whitianga or Cooks Beach.


Wales: The Brecon Beacons
NZ alternative: Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve

Photo credit: Matt_Gibson

Wales’ Brecon Beacons National Park is almost entirely free from light and noise pollution, making it an amazing stargazing spot. Also known as ‘Waterfall Country’, visitors are drawn to Brecon Beacons’ wide open spaces, craggy peaks and scenic waterways. Our New Zealand Alternative? The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve! Similarly green and wild during the day, the Aoraki Mackenzie is the Southern Hemisphere’s only Dark Sky Reserve, making it the only place you can see Magellanic Clouds (satellite galaxies to the Milky Way) all year round. You might even see the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights!

Base yourself in: Canterbury or Wanaka


Wales: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
NZ Alternative: Piha

Photo credit: activetraveller.com

Just like Kiwis, the Welsh love a good surf beach, and ‘Fresh West’ is the spot everyone heads to for the best and most consistent waves in the country. It’s the venue for the Welsh National Surfing Championships and non-surfers might recognise it as the location of Shell Cottage in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But New Zealand has its own film-famous surf beach – Piha!

Home to some of New Zealand’s best surf and Lion Rock, Piha was a filming location for award winning film The Piano. With its black sand beaches, a plethora of bush walks and historical sites, and its location on Auckland’s West Coast, Piha is a favourite for weekend getaways.

Base yourself in: Piha


Wales: South Wales Vineyards
NZ alternative: Marlborough

Photo Credit: Whitecastlevineyard.com

The rolling green hills and picnic ready lawns of Wales’ vineyards are rising in popularity as weekend escapes for Welsh locals and Brits looking for a scenic cycle trail and the perfect picnic spot. While White Castle and Glyndwr vineyards produce a tasty drop, we think our very own Marlborough wine region is an even better alternative. With so many vineyards in close proximity it’s the ideal place for a cycle tour in the sun. Relax on a boat tour around the Marlborough Sounds, sample the local seafood or simply take in the views with a glass of wine in hand.

Base yourself in: Marlborough


Found your ideal Welsh holiday right here in New Zealand? Time to find your home away from home…

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