Paddle Out To The Mine Bay Mori Rock Carvings
One of New Zealands most underrated, yet significant sights is that of the Mine Bay Mori rock carvings. The carvings were a labour of love led by Matahi Brightwell and his team of four to create the 10m high depiction of his ancestor Ngatoroirangi.
Located on the side of a low promontory, the carvings are only accessible by navigating the calm waters of Lake Taupo.
To get there you can paddle out in a kayak, take a boat tour, or even fly in by helicopter or floatplane! Whichever way you experience the beauty of these rock carvings, it will leave a lasting impression on you.
Unique Things To Do In New Zealand
by Melissa Giroux | Last updated Feb 23, 2022 | New Zealand, Oceania, Travel Tips
Add these 12 unmissable experiences in New Zealand on your bucket list! Heres a list of fun things to do in New Zealand including travel tips!
Its not a secret New Zealand is an AMAZING country. With its dramatic landscapes, super kind Kiwis and a lot of fun experiences to try, you cant get bored in New Zealand.
Climb The World’s Steepest Street In Dunedin
Dunedin is the second largest city on the South Island and an attractive place for many reasons. One of the quirkiest things you can do here is visit Baldwin Street, which the Guinness World Records has officially named the steepest street in the world. Located in the North East Valley, it would just be a regular residential street except for the fact that it’s really, really steep.
Why is it so steep? That’s because of Dunedin’s unique colonial history. Much of the city was planned on paper from London, with cartographers and town planners drawing the lines of streets onto a map of the land, without factoring in just how hilly of a city Dunedin is.
If you visit Baldwin Street, don’t bother taking your car up it. There’s a dead end at the top, and in the winter the streets of Dunedin can be treacherously slippery with ice.
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Cheer Along At An All Blacks Rugby Match
Kiwis are passionate about their Rugby and the national team, the All Blacks, remain one of the all-time world greatest teams. Such is the profile of the game in New Zealand that the most universally famous Kiwi in modern memory is perhaps Jonah Lomu who was perhaps the greatest player in the history of the game. Lomu tragically and prematurely passed away in 2015 aged only 40 years old.
The national side usually plays at Eden Park in Auckland and if you are lucky, there will be a home match on during your stay in New Zealand. If you do manage to get game tickets then be sure to get there before the game begins so you can watch the All Blacks perform the legendary Haka, an ancient Maori war dance reimagined for a 21st-century occasion.
Here is another little fact for you. Did you know that the haka is considered so important in Maori and Kiwi culture that is taught in school to all pupils? Australia and the US could both learn a lot about reconciling the indigenous population with the mainstream population by taking a few silver ferns out of New Zealands book.
There is one item every traveller NEEDS. Some travellers dont even know they need it, but those travellers need it more than anyone.
What is this forgotten essential of the backpacker-life? SPOILERS! Guess youll just have to click the button to find out.
Unique Things To Do In Auckland
New Zealands largest city offers beautiful year-round weather, pristine sandy beaches, and a whole glut of amazing things to see and do.
Set around two large harbours, the citys coastal setting is augmented by lush rainforest and endless hiking trails. But theres no shortage of man-made attractions here either, including several prominent cultural venues, acclaimed annual festivals and buzzing nightlife spots. Needless to say, Auckland is a city whose appeal is quickly apparent to anyone who visits. Here are 20 of the most unique things to see and do.
Delve into the past at an Auckland museum
Housed in one of the countrys finest heritage buildings, Auckland Museum is one of New Zealands most important museums and war memorials. Constructed in the 1920s in the neo-classicist style, the museum sits on a grassed plinth in a large public park and is widely considered to be a cultural and spiritual touchstone for the many races that inhabit the nation. Visitors can enjoy an incredible collection of exhibits and displays including many priceless Mori treasures such as weapons, clothing, coins and medals.
Parnell, Auckland 1010 / Fri-Mon 9am-5pm Tues-Thurs 10am-5pm
Quay Stree, Viaduct Harbour / Mon-Sun 10am-5pm
Admire Auckland from up high
Victoria Street West / Mon-Sun 9am-10pm
Attend a top-class festival
Western Springs / March each year
All across Auckland
Visit a charming neighbourhood
Set sail around Auckland
Head to the beach
Join a city walking tour
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Relax On The Shores Of Lake Taupo
On any road trip on the North Island, its hard to miss Taupo. This small town sits on the shores of Lake Taupo which is New Zealands largest lake and here you can enjoy lots of amazing activities. In fact, Taupo is actually home to New Zealands highest skydive at 18,500 feet. Personally, Ive never seen a skydive that high before! For another adventure activity, you can go white water rafting down the Tongariro River which is considered one of the best places to go.
When it comes to picking a great place to stay in Taupo be sure to pick a hotel with a natural hot tub. These tubs simply use the thermal water from the ground which is filled with minerals great for your skin.
See Glowworms At Waitomo Caves
Waitomo is famous for one thing and one thing only. Worms.
And no Im not talking your average run of the mill earthworm.
Im talking magical glow worms. Waitomo Caves is one of North Island New Zealands most iconic tourist hot spots.
Here youll find thousands of glowworms unique to New Zealand radiating luminescent light through the caves.
For an extra fun adventure, go black water rafting, the most fun you can have in the dark, through the caves.
Have you ever wanted to visit North Island New Zealand?
Hopefully, this post has convinced you that it should be right at the top of your bucket list!
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Take A Scenic Flight Over A Glacier
After seeing Fox Glacier, book a helicopter ride to see Franz Josef Glacier from above. Franz Joseph Glacier is close to Fox Glacier, so you can see both in a day! What is great about This highly rated tour is that after a thrilling flight, youll land on Franz Josef Glacier and then take a guided hike to ice formations, ice walls, ice tunnels, and ice caves. Youll also witness a calving glacier for a thrill of a lifetime.
We feel that helicopter rides are one of the best ways to take in the beautiful scenery and the South Island of New Zealand has some of the best scenery in the world. So if there is one place to book a scenic flight in New Zealand, it is here. However there are plenty of beautiful places around the country to take a scenic flight, so dont limit yourself to the glaciers.
Unforgettable Experiences In New Zealand
A friend once told me: New Zealand is one of those places that youd want to go for a long time to make it worthwhile. Its true one week isnt enough to appreciate New Zealands vastly diverse landscapes and heart-racing activities.
During our two weeks in New Zealand, we spent less than S$2,500 without breaking the bank or scrimping on epic adventures. We booked through Klook, and got to enjoy discounts for some of our activities.
Besides savings, the booking process is also quick and fuss-free. We received our confirmation of activities either instantly or within a couple of days, and didnt have to worry about long queues or sold-out tours. This saved us a lot of hassle, considering New Zealand is very popular with travellers both on and off-peak!
North or South Island debate aside, weve found that both have similar and unique elements that are winners on their own. While some prefer the South for its mountainous beauty, I quite like the North for the Maori culture and warmer weather.
North or South, youll find sheep everywhere in New Zealand anyway.
One things for sure, though: New Zealand will definitely make you feel like returning to the country over, and over again.
Updated by: Alexis Ang
Do you agree with our list? Which New Zealand Island do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was brought to you by Klook.
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See Glaciers Up Close
New Zealand has more than 3,000 glaciers around the country, and if you plan on traveling around the South Island, youll have the opportunity to get quite close to several.
Franz Josef, Fox Glacier and Hooker Glacier are three of the most accessible glaciers in New Zealand, and the best part is you can view these natural wonders totally free.
If you want to get up close and personal with the glaciers, you could take a helicopter ride and fly over these massive sheets of ice. It was our first time in a helicopter when we went up over Franz Josef and Fox Glacier and it was nothing short of amazing. We had smiles on our faces the whole time as we cruised top of the glaciers.
If you have the budget for it, we highly recommend taking the ride. We flew with Helicopter Line, but you can compare prices and tours here.
Go On A Scenic Overnight Cruise At Milford Sound
Dubbed as the 8th Wonder of the World, there is no doubt Milford Sound is a must-not-miss destination for anyone wanting to explore the best of New Zealand. Situated in Fiordland National Park and nestled in between towering cliffs, you can just imagine how scenic the view is from your room on an overnight luxury ship.
Milford Sound is a hidden treasure tucked away in Fiordland National Park, which is then sitting on Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Judging by this alone, you would already know why its a must-visit attraction for those visiting the South Island. Fun fact: this fiord is the only one in the country that is accessible by road. But due to its remote location and natural protection in the form of high cliffs and lush greeneries, Milford Sound remains unspoiled.
There are just too many things to experience here that will leave your day busy. The truth of the matter is, one full day isnt enough to completely soak up on the beauty that this fiord has to offer. Luckily for us, Fiordland Discovery offers overnight cruise tours so that we can make the most out of our visit here in Milford Sound. Jump on board the luxurious nine-cabin Fiordland Jewel and spend two days journeying this little piece of paradise.
Hows that as the kick-off party to your dream New Zealand adventure?
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Star Gaze At The Southern Cross In Tekapo
The sky above the southern town of Tekapo is an International Dark Sky Reserve, making it one of the best places in the world for some serious star gazing.
This reputation has meant that several stargazing tours have popped up in the area allowing you an even more memorable experience with the stars.
Be guided through the solar system as you soak in a hot tub, learn how to take astrophotography, or peer through a powerful telescope. The sky is the limit!
Christchurch Visit The Antarctic Center
If you already knew about the Christchurch winters and stillmissed it, dont worry! A visit to the International Antarctic Center guarantees snow-full time as similar as that of the experiences in Antarctica.
Fun element: Simulated 4D cruise and feeling of being proud survivor of an Antarctic Storm.
Cost: NZD 59 for an Adult. Various passes are also available.
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South Island: Mount Cook Alpine Salmon Sashimi
Hows this for breakfast?
Anyone who adores salmon sashimi should prime their wallets. Mount Cook Alpine Salmon is a small shop that sells freshwater king salmon that was raised in New Zealands Southern Alps.
While there are smoked salmon and whole fillets, the sweetest buy was the sashimi. A 500g box of these thick, fatty salmon costs NZ$38 , and we were lucky enough to score a one-for-one deal. Thats 1kg of fish. An overkill in hindsight, but YOLO!
Opening Hours: 9AM 5PMHow to get there: Drive along Tekapo-Twizel Rd to Lake Pukaki Information Centre. The shop is beside the centre.
Try White Water Rafting
This is a great thing to do with your family or friends when in Rotoruas Kaituna River! This is actually one of the things to do in North Island that I made sure to check and it surely turned out to be an extraordinary experience!
We went through steep native bush canyons and over 14 rapids and 3 waterfalls, including the world-renowned 7-meter Tutea Falls which is the Highest Commercially Rafted Waterfall in the World! Truth be told, this was my first white water rafting activity of all time and it was absolutely a great first. .
TIP: Another place where you can do this is in Tongariro River near Taup.
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Summing Up The Top Of The Top Things To Do In New Zealand
Well, that barely scratches. Here we have 13 unmissable things to do in New Zealand and yet theres still so much more.
New Zealand is truly a marvel: a little lifeboat of whimsy and harmony so far away from everything else. And the sunsets and sunrise and in between suns. Oh, its so good!
Its really hard not to fall in love with New Zealand. If youve only got enough time and money for a short trip to New Zealand, then make the most of it with the amazing things to do. If you can extend it into a full backpacking New Zealand adventure though, Id highly recommend it.
Theres so much majesty to unearth and only scratching the surface doesnt do it justice. So go find your own top things to do in New Zealand.
And remember to slow down and watch the sky.
Updated: February 2020 by Ziggy Samuels at Zigz Writes Things.
International Things To Do
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See The Windswept Trees At The Slope Point
Aside from a few sheep, no humans or other animals live here. The slope is the southernmost spot of New Zealands South Island.
The wind here is so intense and relentless that the trees are twisted, warped and forever bent along the direction the wind blows!
The views and the atmosphere are truly mystical here. It will make you believe that you are at the edge of the world.
Queenstown Is A Natural Playground Providing An Incredible Backdrop For A Range Of Sights To See And Things To Do For Adventurers Of All Persuasions
Each of the seasons has its own special vibe in Queenstown, and the great thing is that most activities can be accessed all year round. World-renowned for its adventure, Queenstown is home to a huge choice of adrenaline activities including jet boating, bungy jumping, white water rafting, skydiving and even indoor thrills all guaranteed to get your blood pumping!
When the cooler months arrive Queenstown transforms into a world class winter resort, with four ski areas and a range of activities, bars, restaurants and ways to relax and unwind.
You can even combine a round of golf at one of Queenstowns gorgeous clubs one morning with a tour of some of our wineries and cellar doors in Gibbston and further afield to discover why Central Otago Pinot Noir is famous on the world stage.
If youre looking for a slightly slower pace theres plenty of recreational activities including hiking and biking trails to explore, guided tours, boat cruises, scenic flights or spa and wellness options to help you get away.
Explore great special offers on activities and discover things to do in Queenstown below.
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