It's one of New Zealand's most remote locations, but if the number of Instagram photos shared from Milford Sound is anything to go by, its distance is no deterrent to visitors. The southern fiord has topped the list of New Zealand's most Instagrammed locations in 2017.
The annual list, released exclusively today to the Herald on Sunday, shows that the Sounds - which is almost four-hours' drive from Queenstown - is the most popular place to share photos from, based on the number of images geo-tagged to specific locations in 2017.
And while last year's list featured the urban landscapes of Queen St and the Sky Tower, this year it's mostly about natural beauty. Other pretty-as-a-picture spots that made the 2017 top 10 take in locations around the country, from Mount Maunganui, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Takapuna Beach in the North Island, to Aoraki Mt Cook and stunning lakes Wanaka, Wakatipu and Pukaki in the South.
"The photography skills of visitors and New Zealanders on Instagram are quite amazing – although they do have some pretty good backdrops to work with!" says Andrew Fraser, director of marketing at Tourism New Zealand.
"This is another fantastic list of top spots to take a photo in New Zealand. It shows the great variety of New Zealand landscapes that we have on offer which are all within easy reach," Fraser says.
"We see on our @purenewzealand Instagram account the impact that New Zealand images shared to the platform can have on people planning a trip to New Zealand. Often we receive comments like 'I saw this place on Instagram and now I'm here experiencing it' – a true testament to the importance of the Instagram community in showcasing New Zealand to the world."
Most Instagrammed New Zealand locations of 2017
1. Milford Sound
2. Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata
3. Lake Tekapo
4. Mount Maunganui
5. Aoraki Mount Cook
6. Lake Wanaka, Central Otago
7. Tongariro Alpine Crossing
8. Takapuna Beach, Auckland
9. Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown
10. Lake Pukaki
Follow @nzhtravel on Instagram for more great photos from New Zealand, and beyond.