There’s no getting away from it. No matter where you go in New Zealand, people are out with their phones, cameras, tablets – anything that will take that perfect shot and deliver you the most likes, shares, comments and double taps!

Instagram has changed the way we see the world. For those who are not able to travel, Instagram has opened up a whole new world of visual experiences. Everyone has a different take on the world and seeing some of the most popular destinations around the world through the eyes of thousands of different people creates a visual experience like no other.

During the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the globe, Instagram behaviour has changed significantly. With people no longer able to travel domestically or internationally, there has been a much bigger focus on your own backyard and appreciating the beauty in the places where you live. This has also meant a shift in the popular destinations for Instagrammers here in New Zealand.

Virtual Tours

One of the biggest trends of the ‘lockdown’ has been a search for ‘virtual tours’. Without the ability to travel, visual media such as photos and videos have been a way for people to find an escape. Whilst there is no substitute for experiencing a new destination, exploring new places through visual media is a pretty cool way of getting excited about your next real adventure. Virtual tours help people to plan and to see the beauty in places across the world.

Here in New Zealand, the lockdown period has meant that many of our busiest cities and tourist attractions have been unusually quiet, providing photographers with the chance to capture images and videos they would not usually get the opportunity to shoot due to all the people. Some of the amazing photos in our top ten showcase some of the amazing destinations right here in New Zealand that you should add to your itinerary for 2020 now we have moved to Alert Level 2.

New Zealand is right up there when it comes to the sheer number of Instagram images but the big question is ‘where are the most Instagrammed locations in New Zealand?’. The last time we looked at the data was 2017 so let’s see where are the most popular locations in 2020.

Without further ado, here we go with the top ten most Instagrammed locations in New Zealand:

1.      Mount Maunganui

A big mover at position one! The Mount. What a stunner of a place this is. If we have one tip if you’re down this way, make sure you take the hike to the top of Mount Maunganui. Sunrise is the perfect time to take the trip to the summit but anytime is a great time. The Mount is easily accessible for those who live down in Mount Maunganui and for many, climbing to the summit was the perfect lockdown escape. Here is one of our favourite pics from 2020:

 

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2.      Wanaka

Another big mover as Wanaka jumps from 10th place up to number two in our list. Wanaka has been a staple for Instagrammers all over the world so it’s no surprise to find it near the top of our top ten of most Instagrammed destinations. From that famous tree to the view from above at the top of Roy’s Peak, there is no doubt that Wanaka more than earns its place in the top ten. Wanaka is another really accessible place with locals able to explore their own backyard with no tourists in town – the photos have been amazing. Check out this absolute cracker from Roy’s Peak:

 

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3.      Queenstown – Skyline

Another busy destination, Queenstown locals have been getting out and about during the lockdown and whilst the Skyline Gondola has not been operating for the first two months of the lockdown, it hasn’t stopped people making the climb to the top to admire the stunning views. Queenstown is one of the destinations here in New Zealand that is really going to need our support – if you have some holiday saved up and you want to get away, Queenstown offers it all including stunning views like this one:

 

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4.      Takapuna Beach

With so many people living and locked down in Auckland, it’s no surprise to find Takapuna Beach maintaining its place in our top ten. New Zealand is not short on stunning beaches and whilst Takapuna certainly has a lot to offer with stunning views across to Rangitoto and beyond, you perhaps expect the likes of Piha, Tunnel Beach in Dunedin or Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel to feature. Then you see photos like this one and realise why:

 

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5.      Tekapo

Despite its tiny population, Lake Tekapo still makes it into our top five most Instagrammed locations in New Zealand.  Let’s not forget, before COVID-19, we had an absolutely amazing summer season here in New Zealand and there were lots of photos taken before lockdown as well as during the lockdown period. Whether it’s photos of the stunning turquoise waters, the bright and vibrant lupins or the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, there’s certainly plenty to keep the camera hungry occupied.

 

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6.      Milford Sound

Usually found atop a list like this, Milford Sound has felt the pinch of the lockdown and has to settle for sixth place on the list. As travel starts to open up again, expect to see the number of Instagram shots from Milford Sound start to ramp up again. Whether it rains or shines, Milford Sound always provides a spectacular backdrop for some pretty amazing Instagram photos.

 

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7.      Abel Tasman National Park, South Island

The only destination in our top ten to retain the same position as 2017 is the Able Tasman National Park – one of the most picturesque locations in New Zealand. Located at the northern tip of the South Island, this place is truly awe-inspiring. From the golden sandy beaches to the crystal clear waters – here’s a photo that captures things perfectly:

 

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8.      Hobbiton Movie Set

Ahh Hobbiton. If you’ve never paid a visit to this amazing place, add it to your list. There are some pretty amazing photos from the set of one of the world’s most famous movie franchises set right here in New Zealand but there is nothing like being there yourself. As all businesses here in New Zealand struggle to come to terms with no international visitors, now is the best time to back your backyard and go and explore Hobbiton – this is what you can expect:

 

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9.      Mount Taranaki

A new addition to our top ten for 2020 is the magnificent Mount Taranaki. This absolute gem is located in the southwest of New Zealand’s North Island, near New Plymouth. It’s another destination that has benefitted from the lockdown and the fact that people have been put exploring their own backyards with plenty of new images added every day throughout the lockdown. Here is one of our favourites:

 

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10.      Tongariro Crossing

The final destination making into the top ten of most Instagrammed destinations is the Tongariro Crossing. This ever-popular destination benefitted from a busy summer season before the lockdown took charge but hopefully as we head into Alert Level 2, people will get back out and explore arguably one of New Zealand’s most popular walking tracks. Here is one of our favourite pictures from 2020:

 

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So there you have it, New Zealand’s most Instagrammed destinations! Some absolute crackers in there we’re sure you will agree. Where do you take most of your Instagram shots in New Zealand? We’d love to find out? Tag us on Instagram #GOExploreNZ or drop us a comment below. We’d also love to see you supporting the #backyourbackyard campaign to get more Kiwis exploring our own beautiful country – hopefully some of these photos have provided the inspiration to get planning your next trip.

If you are looking for the perfect rental car to take you to some of these amazing destinations, don’t forget we have fantastic deals running all year round on car rental in New Zealand – check them out!