OK, so a sunset photograph is a bit of travel cliche, but we don't mind admitting we just love them. Sunsets are one of the most popular natural photography spectacles, with almost 2 million #sunset photographs on Instagram. 

Theories as to why we love sunsets so much range from their ability to remind us of our place in the universe and inspire us, to the fact that they're just plain beautiful. They may even make us happier and more satisfied with our lot, according to Psychology Today.

Whatever it is you like about a sunset photo, here's where we think you should head when you're in New Zealand. 

Some of the best sunsets are outside the main cities – so grab a hire car from Auckland airport on your way through and head out to our favourite spots.

1) Piha Beach, Auckland

Not far from Auckland CBD and on the west coast of the North Island is the small coastal town of Piha. It's well-known for its surf and even features in a related beach rescue television show. But back on dry land, it makes a fantastic place to catch an NZ sunset. 

Stroll along the beach and pick your spot, with or without one of Piha's stunning rock formations in your shot. Take a blanket and something warm to drink and you've got a very good start to your evening.

2) Sunset Beach, Waikato

Also on the west coast of the north island but further south, Sunset Beach is a popular spot throughout the summer. Around 1.5 hours north of Hamilton, it's wild and rugged, yet beautiful and untouched. Head over for a day of swimming, sandy walks, fishing or surfing, before settling down for the famous sunset. If you love it enough to stay, there are plenty of bachs for rent in the area, and you're not too far from the popular Hobbiton tourist attraction, if that also floats your boat. 

3) Raglan

Hotspot Raglan is famous for its surf. Many travellers head to Raglan for this alone, spending days in and out of the water. If you're not a pro yet, you can book onto a beginner's course to learn how you're supposed to stand up on one of those boards. 

At the end of a long day's surfing, rest and recuperate with Raglan's spectacular west coast sunsets. Take it one step further with a sunset cruise or by heading to one of the more remote beaches for a quiet end to the day.

If watching is more your thing, there are tons of coffee spots and restaurants to work your way around while you wait for the evening glow.

4) Bob's Peak, Queenstown

We could make a list of places to watch the sunset in Queenstown, but if you only have time to catch one, we think Bob's Peak is a good option. The energetic can hike to the top within around an hour, while those who like a more leisurely pace can make use of the gondola which departs at the base of the track. However you reach the summit, you'll be standing 450 metres above Queenstown with mountain and lake views awaiting.

Bob's Peak is so full of activities you could spend the whole day up there waiting for the sunset. If that's what you choose to do, alongside taking snaps of the wonderful views, have a go on the luge, test your nerves with a bungee jump, or make use of the mountain biking routes available. 

To accompany your sunset, stay for dinner at the restaurant or join a stargazing tour.

Get your Auckland Airport car hire booked ahead of time, so it's waiting for you when you touch down.