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Regions of New Zealand

New Zealand is divided into 16 regions spread over the two main islands, North Island and South Island.  Each region offers unique opportunities for your destination wedding.


NZ Regions

Auckland Bay of Plenty Canterbury
Gisborne Hawke's Bay Manawatu-Whanganui
Marlborough Nelson Northland
Otago Southland Taranaki
Tasman Waikato Wellington
West Coast    


Auckland is the largest and most populous city in New Zealand. It’s the country’s main hub for transportation, and has a population of 1.5 million. There are a number of beaches along the coastline as well as hiking trails that take you through parks and along beautiful coastal scenery. Great food, wine and shopping opportunities can easily be found in Auckland.

Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty comprises 259 km of open coastline on the north-eastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Known as one of the top vacation spots for the local New Zealanders as well as for travellers who have come from overseas, Bay of Plenty has a beach lifestyle and plenty of sun.


On the east coast of the South Island is where New Zealand’s largest region, with an area of 45,346 km2, is located – Canterbury. It’s got the Southern Alps to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. It’s a big outdoorsy place to visit, with ample of nature and adventure opportunities. It’ also New Zealand’s oldest city, so expect to find plenty of culture and history here, too.


Gisborne is a scenic region in northeastern New Zealand. There are beaches with excellent surfing opportunities as well as many rivers that meander through the town. It’s known as being the only districts in New Zealand that encourages people to ‘freedom camp’. It’s a great holiday destination for those who are after a bit of downtime.

Hawke's Bay

A favourite for adventure, cycling and outdoor adventures, Hawke’s Bay has everything from white water rafting to golf opportunities. And what’s more, it’s also famous for producing award-winning wine. It’s located on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island food, wine, architecture, beaches and wildlife.


You’ll find Manawatu-Whanganui in the southern half of North Island. The area is known for its parks and conservation efforts, and there are a number of volunteer community projects. Visitors to Manawatu-Whanganui enjoy hikes in the fresh air and scenic picnics.


You’ll find Marlborough on the north-eastern side of South Island. Famous for producing fantastic wines, the Marlborough region is ideal for a vineyard wedding. Sauvignon Blanc is their most famous product, so drink up while you’re there and stock up when you leave. There are also kayaking, hiking and other relaxed, outdoor activities to enjoy. Don’t be shocked if you see an abundance of natural wildlife, either.


Located on the eastern shores of Tasman bay on South Island, Nelson is widely considered as a cultural centre in New Zealand. It’s also the sunniest region in New Zealand. Nelson is a geographically diverse place, with beaches juxtaposed against forests and mountains. Therefore, Nelson offers everything from beach to mountain weddings for your special day.


Northland is the most northern of New Zealand’s administrative regions. Sometimes called the place where New Zealand began, Northland is a cultural hub, offering an abundance of Maori culture. A subtropical climate, Northland offers a vibrant marine life and plenty of lush greenery to explore. The landscape is famously punctuated with huge kauri trees. Being the most northern part of New Zealand, it’s also the warmest.


Otago is famed for amazing scenery and an abundance of outdoor adventure activities – not to mention thriving wildlife. Cultural heritage can also be seen here, which includes heritage attractions as well as museums. It’s located on the south of the South Island, and has a population of around 211,300. Wedding photos in Otago frequently feature historic churches and their adjacent lush grounds.


If you’re more about getting back to nature, then a stunning lake wedding in Southland may be in order. As the name suggests, it’s located in the south – in fact it’s actually New Zealand’s southernmost region. Here it’s all about rugged coast and rolling hills. It also includes Stewart Island, which is a small island just off the south coast of New Zealand.


Taranaki is famous for the huge geographical feature, Mount Taranaki – an active but dormant stratovolcano. It’s the 10th largest region in New Zealand and is popular with active holidayers. It offers excellent surfing, gardens, events and of course Mount Taranaki itself.


Tasman is a district filled with parks, reserves and beaches. It’s a popular holiday spot because of its abundant natural beauty. Located on the western side of the north end of South Island, Tasman borders the West Coast Region, Marlborough Region and Nelson City. The Tasman District offers stunning beach and garden weddings.


Located on the upper North Island, Waikato includes Waikato, Hauraki, Coromandel Peninsula, the northern King Country, a part of the Taupo District and certain areas of the Rotorua District. The scenery is made up of rolling green hills, limestone outcrops and underground caverns, which adventure seekers love to explore. The region is famous for being the film set of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings.


Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and sometimes known as ‘the capital of cool’. It’s the second most populous urban area in the country, although still offers ample greenery and scenery in its outskirts. Wellington Harbour is a huge natural harbour and a popular spot to take photographs. Go out of town a bit and you can tie the knot surrounded by fields and forests.

West Coast

Known to the locals as “The Coast”, West Coast offers rivers, rainforests, glaciers and many other geographical wonders that people love to explore. It’s located on the west coast of South Island, and has just 31,000 people living in it. The Franz Josef and fox glaciers are popular tourist attractions – they’re giant rivers of ice. Don’t forget to visit the pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki, too.

Find out more about getting married in the New Zealand in our New Zealand Wedding Guide or browse our New Zealand Wedding Directory to start planning your dream wedding.

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