Hike In Mt Aspiring National Park
Mt Aspiring National Park is a South Island must see. Whenever I visit Im in awe of the stunning sceneryit feels like classic New Zealand with its rugged mountains, snow-capped glaciers, turquoise rivers, and gushing waterfalls. Its beautiful in both summer and winter.
My favourite hike is from Raspberry Flat car park to Aspiring Hut .
Its mostly flat and is gorgeous the whole way as you walk next to the Matukituki River towards Mt Aspiring, snow-topped even in summer.
Another easy but adventurous hike is part of the Siberia Experience in the other side of the park near Makaroa. The half-day trip involves a scenic flight to a remote valley, self-guided 7km hike, and jet boat ride back.
Our most adventurous South Island activity was climbing a waterfall in Wanaka.
Wildwire has a Via Ferrata route which makes rock climbing accessible with a trail of cables and iron rungs.
Although we chose the easiest route and felt safe in the hands of expert guides, it was still nerve-wracking clambering up rock faces next to the waterfall and venturing over narrow swing bridges.
We eased into it, though, and it was an exhilarating experience with beautiful views.
Walk The Milford Track
As one of New Zealands Great Walks, the Milford Track has a reputation for the incredible landscapes you will pass on the way. Its so spectacular, it was once coined the finest walk in the world by poet Blanche Baughan around 100 years ago.
Its a multi-day hike that will take you around 4 days to complete, and walker numbers are restricted to protect the environment.
The 53.5km track will take you through Fiordland National Park, starting at Lake Te Anau and finishing at Sandfly Point in Milford Sound showcasing some of the countrys finest scenery on the way!
Lord Of The Rings Tour Wellington
When heading over from the South Island, we hopped on a ferry to Wellington and had the chance to spend a few days there.
Wellington was the location for the main studios when filming Lord of the Rings.
We had the chance to see the miniatures and one of the coolest things was to see the sets showing the perspective of how they made the Hobbits look small compared to the wizards.
It was all done by perspective manipulation. Wizards were in a tiny part of the room hunched over while the Hobbits stood in a place with high cielings.
If you cant make it to New Zealand, check out the Hobbit Houses of Charlevoix in Michigan!
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View New Zealand’s Most Photogenic Waterfall
What Is It? The nearly 80-foot-high Whangarei Falls that plunges over basalt cliffs is considered to be New Zealands most photogenic waterfall.
Why Do It? As its easily accessible, offers a beautiful setting and flows all year-round , its really a must-see when in the Whangarei region, located just 10 minutes from Whangareis city center or a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Auckland.
Good to Know: The two viewing platforms above the waterfall offer spectacular views of the falls as well as a birds eye view of the forest below. The classic curtain waterfall is part of the Hatea River and is one of the most popular swimming spots in the area its also a lovely place for a picnic.
What Is It? If youre the very adventurous type, bungee jumping off the Sky Tower in New Zealands largest city is a must.
Why Do It? This observation and telecommunications tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, not to mention that its an iconic landmark in the Auckland skyline. Of course, that also means that a jump from here is not for the faint of heart. SkyJump is the outfitter offering New Zealands highest jumping point where the brave plummet nearly 630 feet at over 52 miles per hour off the tower.
Good to Know: If youre not up for this heart-pounding thrill, you can just enjoy the incredible views that stretch for 50 miles on a clear day and dine in the towers revolving restaurant.
Curious About More Things To Do In New Zealand
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Those Kiwis Love Their All Blacks
If Canada has hockey and America has baseball, New Zealand has rugby, but more specifically, it has the All Blacks. The All Blacks, so-called for their all-black uniforms, are the national rugby team of New Zealand, bringing international recognition to a sometimes overlooked country. They won the last two Rugby World Cups in 2015 and 2011, and they are a major source of Kiwi pride. Known as the best team in the game, the All Blacks are also known for performing the Haka, the traditional war dance of New Zealands native Maori people, before games. Never heard of the Haka or the Maori people? That brings me to my next point
Eat Crayfish In Kaikoura
In Maori, the word Kai means food and Koura means crayfish so its easy to guess what Kaikoura is famous for. You can feast on fresh crayfish from one of the many seafood caravans that dot the highways. The most famous is Nins Bin, run by a local family who have been selling crayfish here since 1977. Picture: Graeme Murray
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Immerse Yourself In Mori Culture
There are many ways to get acquainted with New Zealands indigenous culture, from spending the night in a marae and being welcomed with a pwhiri, to simply learning about Mori heritage at Te Papa.
Whichever way you chose to learn about New Zealands past, youll come away with a new respect for the land and its people.
But perhaps the most accessible way to learn about and have an authentic experience of Mori culture is in Rotorua, at the Tamaki Maori Village.
Here you can witness the power of a Haka, learn about ancient traditions and eat a hangi . Its a truly unique experience and one of the most memorable things to do in New Zealand.
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 will you 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 of the helicopter for 10 minutes to 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 lots of spectacular ice in different shades of blue and you will go through ice caves and arches. There will be waterfalls, rivers and quaint snow formations along your way!
Price: $499 NZD
READ MORE:Discover Franz Josef and Fox Glacier
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A Bungy Jump From Auckland Harbour Bridge
New Zealand is the home of bungy jumping, so why not take the plunge at the very spot that started it all? The founder of the extreme sport, AJ Hackett first hurled himself from the Harbour Bridge in 1987. He was arrested as soon as he had his feet were on the ground. Hackett was released a few hours later, and the rest as they say is history.
Experience Maori Culture At Whakarewarewa Village
Maori are the indigenous Polynesian people of Aotearoa New Zealand. The easiest way to learn about their history and customs is to visit one of their villages. Whakarewarewa is a Maori village, placed in the beautiful thermal area, among pools and springs in Rotorua. The village is owned and operated by locals, who still live there. They will guide you through the village and their lifestyle, and you will also see a Maori cultural performance . Could you believe that they still cook in hot springs? Tickets are available online. You can also book an experience with a traditional meal.
In addition to Whararewarewa village, you may visit also other Maori places and villages:
- Tamaki Maori village famous for award-winning 3,5-hour evening experience with dinner, welcoming ceremony, and dances. You can find tickets here.
- Mitai Maori village best value evening experience in Rotorua, with dance, hangi, music, and chance to see glowworms. Buy tickets online.
- Te Puia Offering both day and evening experiences. You can also visit a kiwi house and Mori Arts and Crafts Institute. Book evening experience with dinner or just a day excursion.
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Dig Your Own Spa At Hot Water Beach
Grabbing a spade and digging your very own hot water pool in the sand is somewhat of a Kiwi institution.
Located in the Coromandel, not far from Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach has become one of the most popular things to do in New Zealand. For locals as well as visitors!
The beach is a spectacular place to visit any time, but 2 hours before and after high tide youll find families, couples and friends brandishing gardening tools as they head towards the beach.
Soak in the warm water and relax as you enjoy the stunning scenery that surrounds you.
Trek The Tongariro Northern Circuit
One of the most popular and satisfying adventure treks in New Zealand is the expansive Tongariro Northern Circuit, a 43 km round trek which winds around an active volcano. The trek is usually completed in 4 5 days depending on individual fitness levels and whether or not you also pause to do some of the side treks.
The route takes in some jaw-dropping scenery ranging from heather covered moorland to pristine lakes. The trail is nicely punctuated by huts set up along the way at which you can stay the night and there are a few campsites where you can pitch up your tent.
Whilst trekking is a safe and accessible activity which anybody can enjoy, make sure to check ahead for weather conditions and pack appropriately for your New Zealand adventure.
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Surf Tairwhiti Gisborne Beaches
Known for good consistent surf, the East Coast area has surf beaches for everyone from grommets to experienced riders. The Roberts Road end of the Tairwhiti Gisborne beach is good for beginners and surf lessons, while further along at Midway the waves are a little more powerful. Check with local surf shops and clubs to find the best out-of-town spots for your level of experience.
Hike To Wellington Lookout
In the center of Wellington, theres a hill known as Mount Victoria. This is one of the most popular things to do in Wellington for a lovely afternoon out and a great view of the city.
There, they filmed the first scene from The Lord of the Rings, where Frodo and the Hobbits hide from their first Wraith.
Its a great way to get. out of the city.
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Immerse Yourself In The Maori Culture
The Maori were the first settlers in New Zealand well before the first Europeans, bringing with them a fascinating Polynesian culture. There are opportunities to learn about the Maori culture from the cultural shows and traditional Hangi dinners in Rotorua in the North Island to learning how to carve greenstone on the West Coast of the South Island.
For more ways to immerse in the Maori culture, check out these 10 Places to Experience Maori Culture in New Zealand.
Search For Gold In Arrowtown
Arrowtown was once flooded with gold miners searching for their fortune in the Arrow River. These days visitors flock to the petite town for another kind of gold. The trees in and around Arrowtown create a spectacle every Autumn with their leaves turning every shade of yellow and orange a glowing golden landscape.
Once you pull yourself away from these bucolic scenes youll find a well-preserved town centre with boutiques well worth a browse. And nearby, you can tempt your taste buds at some of the regions finest wineries.
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Immerse Yourself In Maori Culture
Not far from Rotorua is the Tamaki Maori village, which gives visitors a unique opportunity to take a peek into the native culture. Immerse yourself in the customs and cuisine of the indigenous people of New Zealand. You will receive a traditional welcome and get a chance to experience Maori traditions, which will momentarily transport you into another era.
Discover Tutukakas Ocean Treasure
Head to the North Island of New Zealand, and youll find the worlds most pristine beaches. Golden sand, turquoise waters, and lush greenerythis nation has got it all! To make the most out of your Tutukaka experience, we recommend going to a trusted tour operator like Dive! Tutukaka.
Their expert team of marine biologists, naturalists, tech & wreck specialists, as well as award-winning photographers, will ensure that youll have the best time underwater. Their services include diving, diving lessons, snorkeling, a tour to The Poor Knights Island, and many more.
All these you can enjoy while conveniently staying in this charming boutique accommodation called Lodge 9.
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Go Sailing In Abel Tasman
One cannot appreciate the beauty of a coastline until you see it from afar. Take a sailing trip for the best views of the rugged coast.
A sailing trip is a fun and relaxing way to spend the day.
We sailed along the coast of Abel Tasman National Park exploring secluded beaches and witnessing unique rock formations. But most importantly, we had the opportunity to captain the boat!
Its no secret that we love Abel Tasman. We went skydiving, kayaking, sailing and we flew a stunt plane there. If you want to a good view take a cruise and hiking day trip in Abel Tasman National Park.
Nice Recommendation Earlier Than You Journey To New Zealand
This publish is from Gino on his journey weblog that he runs along with his spouse, Kristine, My Subsequent Flight Residence. Its not your typical What to see in New Zealand or bucket checklist adventures, its an important checklist of recommendation that it is best to heed earlier than visiting.
Ill let Gino clarify additional:
I bear in mind getting pumped to go to New Zealand and having a properly ready itinerary for our journey. The totally different actions were going to do and the sights we willt wait to discover are all particularly notated on my telephone. However as quickly as we landed on the airport, some sudden issues began unraveling.
I wrote this New Zealand journey information for individuals visiting this lovely nation for the primary time. So that theyll have a better time than we did. In any case, you may by no means be too ready. Earlier than you get too excited planning tips on how to discover Center Earth, listed here are some necessary issues I want I knew earlier than our NZ journey.
So, having been myself, I extremely suggest this checklist of issues to know earlier than travelling to New Zealand, take pleasure in: 25 Issues to know earlier than visiting New Zealand
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Splash Down The Rere Rockslide Near Gisborne
You won’t find any major watery theme parks in New Zealand, but you don’t really need them when there are exciting natural equivalents, like the Rere Rockslide near Gisborne. Grab a bodyboard or inflatable ring to slide down the smooth, slick rocks about 40 minutes west of Gisborne. The nearby Rere Falls are also worth visiting.
Dive At The Marine Reserve Of The Poor Knights Islands
South of the Bay of Islands but on the same coast of the peninsula, the Poor Knights Islands, north-east of Whangarei, are considered to be one of the best diving spots in the whole world. They are a natural and marine reserve, and a huge variety of underwater plant and animal life call them home, thanks to the warm ocean currents that flow here. The islands are the remains of ancient volcanoes, so underwater caves, arches, tunnels and cliffs provide added interest for divers. If you don’t dive, snorkeling can also be done here, but definitely not fishing, due to the islands’ protected status.
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Visit That Wanaka Tree
Visiting a tree in a lake may not be your idea of an unforgettable experience, but it sure leads to some of the most magical photos of New Zealand!
Be warned, it does get busy when everyone wants to take the same photograph, but itll be one to treasure when you snap the winning shot.
That Wanaka Tree can be found in the western corner of the Wanaka waterfront just follow anyone with a camera! Despite the trees climb to Instafame, Wanaka is still a tranquil Alpine town to visit like a more serene version of Queenstown next door.