Top 10 Instagram spots in New Zealand in 2015

New Zealand's most geo-tagged spots on social media platform Instagram have been named, with Waiheke Island taking out top spot.

Instagram has zoomed in on a list of the top 10 most-shared spots in New Zealand.

New Zealand’s top 10 Instagrammed visitor attractions for 2015 are based on the number of images geo-tagged to specific locations.

Topping the list with the most shared images from local and international visitors is Waiheke Island. Whether it is snapping a shot looking back to the mainland, a platter and a wine at Stonyridge Vineyard or landing in a bay on an Auckland Seaplane, Waiheke Island provides more than a few options when it comes to getting that memorable shot. Having recently been named in Lonely Planet’s world’s top 10 regions to visit in 2016, Waiheke Island is definitely a desirable place to be next year.

Just three hours south of Auckland, Mount Maunganui comes in at number two. The seaside town is picture perfect from the top of ‘the Mount’- the best vantage point and a popular walk for tourists and locals alike. At the entrance to Tauranga Harbour, Mauao / Mount Maunganui – with its internationally recognised surf breaks, warm ocean waters and white sand beaches - has long been a favourite Kiwi beach holiday destination. 

Rounding out the top three is The Hobbiton Movie Set – a Mecca for film fans who travel from far and wide. The 12-acre location sits within gentle rolling hills on a quiet country road near the farming town of Matamata. It is an easy three-hour drive from Auckland and within easy access of other popular tourist destinations including Rotorua, Waitomo, Tauranga and the city of Hamilton. Hobbit holes aplenty, the Green Dragon Inn and the Party Tree make Hobbiton truly deserving of the third place spot on the list.

Standing at 328 metres high in the heart of Auckland city, the mighty Sky Tower sits at fourth on the top 10 Instagram spots. With 360-degree views of Auckland from the twin Waitemata and Manukau harbours across to the Waitakere Ranges in the west, there’s no surprise this place gets its fair share of geo-tags.

To the north - and easily seen from the top of the aforementioned Sky Tower - is Takapuna Beach, fifth placeholder on Instagram’s list. Only a 15-minute drive from downtown Auckland, Takapuna Beach is a great place to cool off in under the summer sun. With the Takapuna shops just a stone’s throw away, taking a stroll along the beach with an ice cream always makes for a great photo op.

Coming in at sixth, and the first entry from the South Island, Lake Tekapo is a photographer’s dream. The beautiful turquoise lake is surrounded by snow-capped peaks including Mt John, home of the Mt John Observatory and a grandstand view of the night sky in a world renowned dark sky reserve. On Lake Tekapo’s shores sits the Church of the Good Shepherd, one of the most picturesque little church buildings on the planet.

Back to the North Island and on Auckland’s famed west coast, Piha is a dramatic black sand beach just a 45-minute drive from downtown Auckland. Majestic Lion Rock stands guard over the wild coastline and its renowned surf break – a photo opportunity that can’t be missed which is why it sits at seventh on New Zealand’s top Instagram spots list.

Looking across Lake Wanaka toward the Southern Alps you can’t help but be in awe. The glass like lake and towering mountains are an Instagrammer’s dream.  The famous tree known as ‘That Wanaka Tree’ has been shared on social media so often that it has its very own hashtag (#ThatWanakaTree) which could give a hint as to why the Wanaka lakefront comes in at number eight. 

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, ninth on the list, is a must do for any visitor to Wellington. Showcasing a bicultural experience across five areas - Art, History, Pacific, Māori, and Natural Environment, Te Papa is a special place that delivers an unforgettable experience for all visitor ages.

Skyline Queenstown completes the top 10 most geo-tagged spots in New Zealand on Instagram. The view over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu from the top of the gondola is outstanding – and one of the most accessible in the land so it’s no surprise this spot is on the list. Once you are up there you won’t want to come back down but for an extra thrill, you can ride the luge, bungy, paraglide, or do the downhill on Ziptrek’s zipline.

Instagram’s New Zealand Top 10 is:

  1. Waiheke Island
  2. Mount Maunganui
  3. Hobbiton Movie Set
  4. Auckland Sky Tower 
  5. Takapuna Beach
  6. Lake Tekapo 
  7. Piha Beach
  8. Wanaka lake front
  9. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  10. Skyline Queenstown