New Zealand is packed with fun activities and extreme things to do! It is so hard to make a list of ONLY 10 things, but I will try my best!
Here are the best things to do in New Zealand in no particular order:
1. Visit Hobbits
It is time to step into the lush pastures of the Shire!
You will be taken around numerous hobbit holes, mills and gardens. Your guide will tell you stories about the movie production and you will finish the tour in the famous Dragon Inn with a glass of beer. How does that sound to you? I recommend visiting even if you are not a crazy Lord of the Rings fan, we simply loved it!
Price: The price for the tour is $79 NZD for an adult. Check all the options here
There are some details that you should keep in mind though, so please read my guide of the North Island to see the details.
2. Immerse yourself in Maori culture
Maoris are indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, they arrived in New Zealand by canoe between 1250 and 1300 from Polynesia.
It is time to say “Kia Ora” (Hello) to Maori culture! Their culture is fascinating and I recommend visiting one of the cultural performances where you will be able to see the best of their diverse traditions, dances, food and songs. You will participate in all the activities yourself and, of course, you will learn how to dance the Haka dance!
3. Skydive in Taupo
If you have never done skydiving, this might be THE place to do it! Lake Taupo area is one of the world’s most scenic drop zones!
You will reach the speed of 200 km/h in just 6 seconds! That’s faster than any car and most amusement rides!
You will jump from over 15 000 feet (~ 4 500 m). The guys are super professionals, so you shouldn’t worry and just enjoy your flight! My instructor did over 6 000 jumps so I could absolutely rely on him.
Price: They have different packages – check the prices here, the cheapest one was 280 NZD
4. Take a cruise of Milford Sound
Milford Sound is a fjord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. Even if it’s located quite remotely, I highly recommend taking a cruise there!
During the cruise, you will get the chance to see seals and penguins in the wild, sometimes you can even spot dolphins too! You will get verrrrrry close to many beautiful waterfalls and go all the way to the Tasman sea with the cruise chip.
Price: $95 NZD for a cruise only option, check the other options here.
5. Hike the Tongariro crossing
Tongariro crossing is described as one of the most beautiful treks in New Zealand!
You will walk through active volcanoes, emerald lakes, alpine vegetation, lava flows, volcanic rocks and craters and you will see a lot of stunning views! And yes, you will get to take that going-into-Mordor type of picture! 😉
You have to be somewhat lucky with the weather to do this one though. All the info on how to organize the trek can be found here:
6. Heli hike or fly over a glacier
New Zealand is home to thousands of glaciers and some of them are so spectacular, it would be a crime not to visit them!
Nowhere else in the world you will see glaciers advancing so close to the sea!
The scenic flight over the Franz and Fox Glacier was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! You will have the opportunity to step out the helicopter for 10 minutes and walk on that perfect untouched snow!
If you want to discover the glacier by foot with a knowledgeable guide, I definitely recommend doing a hike on the glacier!
You will see spectacular ice, lots of ice of different shades of blue, you will go through ice caves and arches. There will be waterfalls, rivers and quaint snow formations on your way!
7. See glowworms in Waimarino
Yes, you read it right – there are worms glowing in the dark out there and I recommend you to see them!
The whole experience is absolutely magical – witnessing this natural phenomenon and riding a kayak inside a narrow high-sided canyon will make you feel like a discoverer on a forgotten land!
Price: $130 NZD per person
8. Try zorbing in Rotorua!
Zorbing is a super fun activity of rolling downhill inside a ball made of transparent plastic.
You can go downhill in a gentle slope inside an orb or you can race your friend who will be in another orb!
If that sounds amusing (trust me, it is!), you should definitely give it a try!
Price: between $40 to $70 NZD depending on the track, check the prices (here).
9. Hot Water Beach Coromandel
Coromandel is a peninsula that is close to Auckland but it is relatively unvisited by foreigners. Most of the tourists skip it and go to Rotorua instead. This is a pity as the peninsula is simply fantastic! Untouched nature, beautiful beaches and wild forests are waiting for you there!
Coromandel Hot Water Beach is very special, too. At first, I was surprised to see locals digging the sand with their shovels, but then I got it –
There is bubbling thermal water just beneath the surface!
They were digging a hole because there are some thermal springs beneath and they can basically created a hot bath for themselves!
This is one of those experiences that should definitely be on your bucket list!
10. Hike Mt Cook
Last but not least, you should definitely see and hike Mt Cook (Aoraki) – the highest mountain in New Zealand! This is one of the most jaw-dropping mountain ranges I have ever seen in my travels and you should totally add it to your to-do list for the country.
If you want to do the hike, you can simply ask at the information center and they will help you with treks recommendations. We did the 4-hours one but there are lots of other options!
There are so many things to do in New Zealand – doing a bungee jump in Queenstown, whale watching in Kaikoura, visiting one of the New Zealand’s wineries and many more – the list is endless! I tried my best to choose the best of the best TOP 10 activities that are nothing short of epic.
Starting from pristine beaches and finishing with enormous glaciers and everything in between, New Zealand will take your breath away!
While you should do much more than that, this is a good place to start! I hope you took some notes because this is what most people have in their New Zealand bucket list!
If you need tips on more epic things to do in New Zealand or recommendations on how to organize a road trip with a day-by-day itinerary and prices and accommodation tips, I’ve got you covered!
Which one would you do?
What would you add to the list?
Let me know in the comments,
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