Discovering New Zealand for the first time can easily change your life, your relationship, and leave you utterly inspired! Likely the reason why countless couples flock to the islands every year. The landscapes offer so much incredible variety and stunning photo opportunities too! So today our team would love to share with you the best places to elope in New Zealand…
Choosing New Zealand as your adventurous elopement location is an exciting decision! For example, if you are a nature loving adventure seeker than you’ll have an endless supply of things to do and see. Plus we would even dare to say it is the friendliest nation in the world! Next, a few more reasons as to why New Zealand is the best place to elope…
New Zealand is a place where beautiful landscapes meet adventure. For example, you can be bungy jumping in the morning and boarding a helicopter to land on a glacier for an afternoon hike. Or road tripping alongside the thousands of miles of gorgeous coastlines. Furthermore, if you head down the journey of eloping in Iceland you’re going to be overwhelmed by choices of locations! Maybe even choosing between having a hiking or adventure elopement. Having lots of experience throughout both the North and South Islands, we would love to share with you the 12 best places to elope in New Zealand!
Oh la la, since our first trip to New Zealand in Circa 2007, we have been enamored with Abel Tasman National Park! To illustrate, you can find this magical place at the top of the South Island. The area is famed for it’s incredibly pristine beaches, amazing rock formations, caves, 360 views, and countless hiking routes. But believe it or not, it is actually one of New Zealand’s smallest national parks! Which in turn, makes it less touristy! And if you’re a kayaker, take time to explore this area from the water too!!
Crave a New Zealand elopement location remote and exclusive? In the bottom of the South Island near Dunedin you’ll find a sweet offbeat area named Bull Creek. For instance, it is the kind of spot you go from rolling farmland to a rocky sandy bay. Maybe even rent a beach house nearby which may even make it one of the best places to elope in New Zealand
Within the Northwest area of the South Island of New Zealand, you’ll find one of our personal elopement locations… Motukiekie Beach stole our hearts on our very first scouting trip! We were on our way from Paparoa National Park to staying in Greymouth for the night and stopped watch the sunset here. For example, the cliffs and rock formations will blow your mind! Imagine yourself getting married on this gorgeous beach!!
Adore the idea of a hiking elopement to a crazy cool less touristy spot in New Zealand? Then Oparara Basin Arches and Cave area may be perfect for you to explore! For instance, if you’re game for a 25 minute hike one way and have proper hiking boots this is an ideal location to elope.
Within the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, you’ll find a super exciting hike to embark on named the Fox Glacier Valley Walk. You can expect the hike to be round trip around 2 hours. Also, there are several gorgeous points along the way so savor your time on this hike. But also be aware that this area often incurs landslides so getting up to the glacier is no longer possible.
Although we are not huge fans of eloping at New Zealand tourist hot spots, there is an exception… Cathedral Cove is hands down one of the most magical beaches in the North Island you can explore. Firstly, you need to be ready for about a 45 minute hike (one way). Secondly, you should only visit between low to mid-tide time.
Otherwise the archway floods and you cannot walk through without it being potentially dangerous. Thirdly, this area can be very popular so it is worth getting up early to do the hike especially if it aligns with the the low tide time. Fourth, bring snorkeling gear if you dare to do after you say I do because it’s a damn good beach (on Gemstone Bay and Stingray Bay) to do so on! Dare to call it one of the best places to elope in New Zealand?! You be the the judge!
Are you a big fan of waterfalls and a rainforest vibes? Then eloping in New Zealand at Coal Creek Falls would be perfect for you! Why? It’s offbeat and you only invest 30ish minutes one way hiking to it.
J.R.R. Tolkien fan and don’t want to go full on into the Hobbit world? Then paying homage to the legend having a New Zealand elopement on Mount Sunday would be oh-so beautiful! In just a short 30 minute hike you can find yourself there exploring during your New Zealand elopement!
For those of you that enjoy the idea of having the combination of 360 degree views and discovering a new glacier together… Than taking a helicopter to the top of Franz Josef Glacier maybe be the perfect adventure elopement in New Zealand! Pretty sure adding a helicopter always makes it as part of the best places to elope in New Zealand!
If you’re a geology lover than you will not be disappointed with eloping in New Zealand at the Putangirua Pinnacles! In fact, it can be found at the bottom of the North Island within the Aorangi Forest Park. There are multiple hiking options within the pinnacles, but we recommend the streambed route. But be aware of weather conditions before you embark on the 45 minute hike.
Eloping within the Swamp Forest Walk is for sure a place you’ll be alone and have privacy. Truly a place only locals visit, this Western New Zealand South Island gem will take your breath away because it is so different! Enjoy the lovely short walk of the historic swamp area, ferns, and moss covered trees. Next, make sure you take along your misquote spray as they can be annoying.
New Zealand is rich with wine country. So if you’re a vineyard appreciator than eloping at one of the many would be right up your alley! A personal fave would be the famed Craggy Range Winery who has a gorgeous estate! Say what, the best places to elope in New Zealand includes a winery?! #yesplease
Depending on the type of elopement you intend on planning in New Zealand you may require more in-depth elements of planning. So even before you begin dreaming about the best places to elope in New Zealand you need to think about some other aspects too. To illustrate, we would love to call out those topics below so you can begin your journey educated!
Having a budget is important if you do not have an endless supply of funds. You may even want to begin by listing out any “must haves” versus “nice to haves.” Then as you price things out you have a better idea of budget versus reality of what things cost. For instance, if you’re flying from North America to New Zealand, a large expense of your budget can be flights so it’s important to have an idea before you officially choose NZ as your elopement location. Furthermore, make sure you checkout our elopement budget guide as another starting point too!
Working with a team that is well versed with the New Zealand landscape, rules, regulations, and customs is important to having a flawless worry-free experience. The team would also connect you to local vendors (IE, hair, makeup, celebrants, transportation options, florist, stylists, dinner reservations, etc). Further, our team crafts custom experience driven elopements in NZ and always has open Q&A.
Above, we only highlighted 12 locations and there are thousands more to consider. Hiring a New Zealand elopement planner can take the stress from your shoulders. Why? Because they should be listening to your ideas, types of locations you’re drawn to and suggesting best places to elope in New Zealand specifically for you and your partner!
Once you have an initial plan in place of where you want to hold your ceremony and the the area you wish to explore it’s time to book your hotel! Often in the New Zealand countryside, you will find more guesthouses, cottages, or villas to rent versus branded hotels. Embrace the local culture after all it is all part of the experience!
Booking a New Zealand elopement photographer is an important part of reliving your epic day! For example, in hiring our team you not only get a planner custom crafting for you but you get a seasoned photographer familiar with the areas! Which translates to you being worry-free and focusing on the excitement of your adventure!
Lastly, hopefully one of these 12 best places to elope in New Zealand have left you inspired! Maybe even to the point of loving the idea of heading to New Zealand to elope? If so, we would love to hear to plan your elopement! After all, your adventure awaits!
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