From the smallest towns like Wanaka on the South Island to the largest city Auckland, New Zealand can be found in the most remote corners including the Church Island area. Although churches in New Zealand are not more than 200 years old, they are still admired for being wonderful works of architecture, whether due to the colonial period.Rule or result of natural disaster. Some of these churches are located near lakes overlooking the snow-clad peaks of the mountains, which will truly make your visit memorable.
So, don’t think of these as any ordinary places to see in New Zealand because we can guarantee they are not!
10 Best Churches in New Zealand You Must Visit
This list of churches in New Zealand will definitely take you on a tour. Renowned for their architectural beauty and spectacular views, there is much more to these churches than meets the eye. Scroll down to find out how!
1. St. Mary’s Catholic Church
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Built in 1856, this church was built on land purchased by Father Antoine Garin for just 35 pounds! Later classified as a Category A historic building, the church was renovated in 2000 and the mountains in the background provide a spectacular setting. Adding to its charm is the white exterior color which blends well with the vibrant surrounding area and makes it one of the best places to be among all the churches in Nelson, New Zealand.
Place: 18 Manuka St, Nelson, 7010, New Zealand
2. St. Dunstan’s Church
Listed as a Category 2 historic place, St Dunstan’s Church was built in a simple Gothic Revival style, designed by Francis William Petre, who also designed many other churches in New Zealand. This sacred church was built by local craftsmen Thomas Wilkinson and John Holloway. Built from locally quarried stones, the church has been standing strong since 1903, despite the fact that the country has been affected by some major earthquake activities in the past.
Place: 61 Sunderland Street, Clyde, New Zealand
3. Rangiatiya Church
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This church in Otaki is the oldest Anglican church in New Zealand. Originally built in 1851 and later burned down by arsonists in 1995, it was rebuilt in 2003. The design of this church is inspired by English and Maori church design which makes it unique. If you want to see the excellent architectural work involved in its construction then you must visit it.
Place: 33 Te Rauparaha St, Otaki 5512, New Zealand
4. St. Patrick’s Basilica
Very popular for its style of architecture, St. Patrick’s Basilica or Oamaru Basilica was designed by Francis Petre and is considered one of his most famous works. The basilica’s classical portico and three domes stand out in their full glory in the Oamaru townscape and are particularly praised for the high quality of the stone carving and fine plasterwork.
Place: Reed St, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand
5. Burnside Church
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A typical example of New Zealand’s rural churches, it was originally built in 1875 as a chapel for a farm and its workers, and is beautifully preserved to this day. The bright pink color at the top adds to the beautiful look of the church and also resembles the estate churches of England.
Place: 2256 Lake Ferry Road, Pirinoa 5772, New Zealand
6. Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Joseph
Also known as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, this Catholic church in New Zealand stands on a site that was originally given by the Crown to Jean Baptiste Pompelier in the early 1840s. Receiving several modifications over the years, its form is similar to other churches designed by Walter Robinson. It has also been given Category I heritage status and the huge structure with seating capacity of around 700 people will definitely leave you in awe!
Place: 43 Wyndham St, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand
7. Church of the Good Shepherd
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Situated between Lake Tekapo and the mountains, the Church of the Good Shepherd offers a tranquil and soothing atmosphere to all. Over the years, it has become a favorite tourist spot and there are also night sky tours as the Milky Way makes for a breathtaking backdrop at night. This church was built as a memorial to the founders of the Mackenzie Territory and the builders were specifically instructed not to interfere with the natural surroundings of the site on which it stands.
Place: Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
8. Christ Church, Russell
Christ Church in Russell, New Zealand is one of the oldest existing churches still used for its original purpose. There is also a digital cemetery walk tour available on this site where they take you through the cemetery and share the stories of some of the interesting people buried in the graves. Construction of the original church began around 1835 and the latest restoration work was carried out in the year 2000.
Place: Russell 0202, New Zealand
9. Old St. Paul
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Located in New Zealand’s capital, this church is one of the country’s greatest heritage sites, built in the 1860s. An interesting story related to this church is how it escaped demolition despite the construction of a new St. Paul’s a few blocks away, which makes it even more fascinating to visit. A famous place for weddings, celebrations etc., it attracts tourists from all over for its wooden Gothic architecture.
Place: 34 Mulgrave St, Pipitia, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
10. First Church, Dunedin
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Located in the city center on Moray Place, the first church in Otago was designed by Robert Lawson in 1862. Another church listed as Category I among the country’s heritage sites, this church has stained glass windows dedicated to the war dead and the Otago Mounted Rifles. A large bell located outside the church was sent from Scotland in 1851. The inspirational design work used here is a must see.
Place: 415 Moray Pl, Dunedin, 9016, New Zealand
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FAQs about Churches in New Zealand
How many Christians are there in New Zealand?
As per 2018 census numbers, Christians constitute 37.31% of the population. This has decreased by 47.65 percent from the 2013 census.
Which religion is prevalent in New Zealand?
Many religions and cultures exist in New Zealand. Earlier it was Christianity, but now there are more people who do not believe in Christianity or any other religion than those who believe in Christianity. But you have different types like Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and others.
Which is the oldest church in New Zealand?
There is a church known as Russel and it was built in the 19th century. One of the oldest churches in the entire country.
Is New Zealand a religious country?
New Zealand can be seen as a country with many beliefs and there is no such thing as one particular religion.
What is the fastest growing religion in New Zealand?
Hinduism is the fastest growing religion in New Zealand. This is because in 2013 the number of Indians was 89,319 but in 2018 it increased to 123,534.
What is the culture of New Zealand?
Basically, if you notice this country follows western culture and some of it is also influenced by the Maori people. Again, there is a lot of multi-ethnic migration so there is no fixed culture.
How many members of Islam live in New Zealand?
The number of Muslims living in this country has also increased from 46,000 in 2013 to 61,455 in 2018.
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