New Zealand is named one of National Geographic’s top destinations for 2023

National Geographic has named New Zealand as one of its top 25 destinations for 2023.

The influential magazine has listed Aotearoa alongside some famous tourist hotspots, and some more obscure ones, as places to discover next year.

New Zealand is one of the five listed in the ‘adventure’ category alongside Choquequirao in Peru, Utah in the US, the Austrian Alps and Mexico’s Revillagigedo National Park.

The magazine said of NZ that the “country that brought you bungee jumping is bouncing back from the pandemic”.

* The ‘world cruise of world cruises’ is scheduled to visit 150 destinations including New Zealand
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* The 10 best adventure holiday destinations

It focusses on a “reenergised” Queenstown which is “welcoming adventure travelers from all over the world” but says the area’s many cycling tracks are “generating the most excitement”.

Mountain biking around Queenstown was a feature in the magazine's listing.

Mountain biking around Queenstown was a feature in the magazine’s listing.

“By 2025, the Queenstown Trails Trust aims to complete a network of recreational and commuting bike lanes and paths that will link up workplaces, schools, and other urban spaces.

“The network’s shining star: an 80.7-mile (130km) biking route called the Queenstown Trail, one of New Zealand’s Great Rides. Starting on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, the Ride pedals east from Queenstown to Gibbston. “

The backcountry Coronet Loop Trail was also highlighted for the more adventurous as it “snakes past waterfalls, river gorges, beech forests, and the historic remnants of a 19th-century Chinese gold mining settlement along the Arrow River”.

National Geographic’s four other categories, nature, family, community and culture, also saw a wide range of diverse destinations featured including Botswana, the Dodecanese Islands in Greece and Manchester in the UK.

National Geographic’s Best of the World 2023:


New Zealand

Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico

Utah, US

Choquequirao, Peru

Austrian Alps



Big Bend National Park, Texas, US

The Azores, Portugal

Scottish Highlands



Busan, South Korea

Appian Way, Italy

Charleston, South Carolina, US

Longmen Grottoes, Henan Province, China



Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US



Dodecanese Islands, Greece

Alberta, Canada


Manchester, UK

Trinidad & Tobago



San Francisco Crosstown Trail, California, US

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