New Zealand is far from imagination and visiting this places is not less than haven. If you are planning to have a vacation in New Zealand, this guide best things to do in New Zealand will help a lot. You will find solutions of your all query like, what must places to visit in New Zealand? What must to do activity when one is in New Zealand?
I have formulated the list of more than 40 incredible things to do in New Zealand, which will surely make your visit unforgettable.
Top 40 Things to do in New Zealand, you will enjoy and get lots of info.😊 Don’t forget to have a look to these smart gadgets before traveling.
Raglan, North Island
While famous for its appearance in the iconic surf film, The Endless Summer, Raglan is so much more than just a perfect wave. Raglan, a small town on the North Island’s west coast, is surrounded by raw nature providing dozens of activities like exploring to Bridalveil Falls, hiking to the summit of Mt Karioi, and surfing Manu Bay.
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Besides the adventures, Raglan has a magical atmosphere because unlike much of New Zealand, it’s not touristy. Locals live. Slow paces life and are always willing to stop for a long, spontaneous conversations. Houses and accommodation sit along a hillside above the town with beautiful views of the coastal inlet.
The town is very pedestrian friendly and I highly recommend walking into town for dinner followed by heading to the beach to watch sunset. Raglan is great for foodies too.
Raglan Roast has amazing coffee and gelato, The Shack is a breakfast hotspot, and Rock It Raglan, located in the middle of a meadow surrounded by forest, has seasonal, local plates that you can’t miss.
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Tongariro National Park, North Island
Tongariro National Park is an absolute must-see in New Zealand. Located in the middle of the North Island, this national park is famous for being the filming location for Lord of the Rings’s Mount Doom, properly known as Mount Nguaruhoe.
This volcano can be seen from many access points in the National Park but if you really want to experience breathtaking views, you have to hike Tongariro Mountain Crossing. It’s a strenuous 13 mile day hike that takes you past the black sandy slopes Mt Doom, along lava formed ridges, through a barren plateau reminiscent of a lunar landscape, and beside pure emerald green lakes.
As this is a point-to-point hike, you must hire a car shuttle to take you back to your car when you reach the end of the trail. While not for the feint of heart, the mountain crossing is a moment you’ll never forget.
The Shire (Matamata, New Zealand)
Must Visit The Shire Arguably most famous in pop culture for movie sets used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, Hobbiton is a quaint village imagined after J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth in Matamata, New Zealand. Built on 14 acres out of the 1250 acres that is the Alexander Farm, Hobbiton has 44 hobbit holes, a double-arched bridge, a mill, the Green Dragon Inn, and of course, the Party Tree.
Martin Freeman, who played Bilbo Baggins, once said the sets looked like people – or perhaps in this case, Hobbits — really lived and worked there. There are many daily tours available for this place, however make sure you book well in advance as they usually have their hands full of tourists. 👉👉 Love to know about the amazing experience about my top 20+ Most Breathtaking Backpacking Adventures on the Earth.
There’s a guided tour of The Shire that lasts about two and half hours, complete with an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet of western, local, and of course Hobbit dishes.
You’ll also find The Shires Rest Café which serves food and refreshments, as well as a shop adjacent to it that sells souvenirs and other merchandise.
Driving down the windy mountain road surrounded by hundreds of little waterfalls with Keas flying above, it seems like this part of south island is a gateway to paradise. The peaks stand tall like they are posing for a photo and they always look perfect from every angel and in every light.
A sightseeing tour by boat through the sound will give you an intimate view over the valleys created by ice ages thousands of years ago and you can hear fellow passengers constant oohs and woows during the tour. You will pass the roaring Bowen falls which also powers the village and if you are lucky, seals, dolphins and even pinguins can be spotted.
Hiking the Milfors track is considered to be the finest walk in the world that will lead you through native rain forests and waterfalls, over alpine passes and glacial valleys.
If this 53km hike feels a little too much there is also a chance to view this from a birds perspective. A plane ride will provide you with snow covered summits, waterfalls and a mesmerizing view over the fjord that will make you want to punch your arm once or maybe twice.
For the ultimate experience you can also kayak the fjords. Be surrounded by almost vertical walls with just the sound of your paddle strokes and the echoes of birds singing.
Remember to bring a dry bag and pack your camera and capture the magic moment of being level with the sea and looking up at the unrealistic scenery that will surely blow you away.
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Located two and a half hours away from Auckland, the Waitomo Caves are famous for being filled with glowworms.
While the main glowworm cave is an unusual attraction, most people don’t realize that the other Waitomo Caves are as impressive! Visiting the Waitomo Caves is a full day out, and there is plenty to see and do once you are there.
Every fan of
Lord of The Rings wants to visit the lush pastures of The Shire at The Hobbiton
Movie Set. Even if you are not a fan, if you are in Auckland this should be on
your list of things to see. And, if you’ve not seen the trilogy watch it on
your flight over. If you don’t, well you were warned. You will get called out
in jest by the guide, and everyone will look at you like you have three heads!
Museums and Galleries – things to visit in New Zealand
There are various museums and galleries to learn about the native culture and history. The Aukland Museum, Te Papa, Canterbury Museum, Otago Museum, and the Omaku Aviation Heritage Centre are among the top choices to visit. The Bill Richardson Transport World is also a great place to visit and learn about world travel.
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New Zealand is also home to several zoos and wildlife preserves that offer exciting opportunities to observe the local fauna. The Orana Wildlife Park, Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park, Hamilton Zoo, and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve are all great choices for an unforgettable experience. The Buried Village of Te Wairoa is also a great destination for visitors to learn about the history of New Zealand.
There are also numerous shops, restaurants, and other ventures that offer ample opportunities to explore the local cuisine, crafts, and other aspects of life on the island. Howick Historical Village, Arataki Honey Vistor Centre, and Mrs. Wolly’s General Store are among the top destinations.
The North Island Wineries and Wilderness also offers a unique experience. Clooney Restaurant, One Tree Gill, Casito Miro, and Bick Bay Glass House Kitchen are also destinations that will complete your New Zealand dining experience.
Local Flora and Fauna
New Zealand also offers hundreds of opportunities to explore the countryside, see the local flora and fauna, and test your limits. Bungy jumping, rappelling, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and other exciting activities can be found throughout the island.
Spelunking is also a popular sport to engage in and can be done at various locations. Some of the top places for spelunking are The Waitoma Caves and The Te Amau Glowworm Caves. Mount Eden and Karekare Beach are also exciting destinations for outdoor activities.
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Taking a sightseeing cruise is also a must do while visiting the area. These cruises offer opportunities to see animals such as dolphins, whales, seals, and penguins. Black Cat Cruises and A’Karoa Harbour Native Cruises are two top choices for these types of excursions.
There is also a guided kayak cruise, available through Kaikoura Kayak Tours, that gives participants an up close and personal experience of swimming with the dolphins. There are also numerous other tour options available too. These include rail tours, off-roading adventures, and helicopter rides.
New Zealand also offers additional points of interest that will complete any sightseeing trip. The Sky Tower, Manukau Heads Lighthouse, and Holy Trinity Cathedral offer exciting opportunities to learn about the local architecture, history, and religion of the people.
Take a tailor-made helicopter ride in Siberia Valley, South Island
A sprawling expanse of natural beauty in Mount Aspiring National Park, the Siberia Valley is New Zealand wilderness at its best. Experience a private helicopter excursion through the spectacular Siberia Valley.
This is perhaps the most remarkable way to experience this area of natural beauty, since you combine crystal-clear aerial views with an ability to cover vast distances at speed.
Sit back and be transported through the plunging ancient river valley, flanked by mountains on either side. Waterfalls, high alpine lakes, enormous and sharp drops and mountain ranges receding into the distance make this one of the finest helicopter flights in the world.
Decide with your private guide and pilot where you’d like to go, and enjoy a spectacular picnic lunch perched atop a mountain, or stretch out by the side of a lake. This experience is fully customizable to your interests and wishes. Perhaps you’re in search of a romantic spot for a proposal?
Board the TranzAlpine train (things to do in New Zealand)
Considered TranzAlpine train is one of the greatest journeys of the world, this picturesque East – West Coast route takes around five hours, and crosses 223km. Guests can opt to do the route in one go, or stop off on-route, enjoying the natural bounty available at each location.
The route stretches from ocean to ocean, passing by breathtaking river valleys, farmlands and the beautiful Canterbury Plains. You’ll be glued to the windows as you wind around the turquoise blue meanders of the Waimakariri River, whose perfectly clear color comes from the icy glaciers that feed it.
Wind through Springfield, with views of snow-capped mountains, pause at hiker’s haven Arthur’s Pass, and contrast the rugged Southern Alps with the verdant vegetation – lush and temperate – of the Otira Valley.
What’s more, families will be pleased to hear they can stop off at the fishing village of “Moana”, where they can .
By the time you reach Greymouth on the West Coast, you’ll have found your perfect hopping off point for discovering other gems, from the iconic Franz Joseph Glacier, to the so-called pancake rocks, to the spectacular Hokitika Gorge.
Hunt for greenstone in sacred rivers
Your guide will take you to Arahura, a sacred river only accessible by Maori, where you’ll learn how to find pounamu (greenstone). You will even learn how to carve it according to traditional designs (and perhaps even have a go yourself!), for an ultra-special souvenir.
Greenstone has many meanings to the Maori people, and can be worn to bless the wearer with safe travel. Afterwards, head to the Hokitika Gorge to see the striking blue waters piercing the lush green forest.
Walk along the iconic swing bridge to marvel at this magical gorge. Venture across the West Coast Treetop Walk, a high-rise walkway that winds through the canopy of ancient rainforest, home to a symphony of birdlife.
Climb to the top of the 40-metre tower for stunning views that stretch all the way out to the Tasman Sea.
Enjoy an ATV expedition to Ben Lomond High Country Sheep Station
Take an ATV expedition to Ben Lomond High Country Sheep Station, a 13,500-hectare expanse of forests, lakes, rivers and grazing lands (as well as mining huts and tracks leftover from the gold mining era).
Admire the rugged landscape, learn about the history of gold mining in the region and take in panoramic alpine views. It is owned by John Foster who has specialised in the farming and production of the finest merino wool for many years.
Your ATV vehicles will take you through the river route with its gold mining history and the mountain pass overlooking the rugged land sculptured by gold mining and sheep farming. Above the tree line, panoramic views open up in alpine style.
Several river crossings later at Moonlight Lodge you will catch up with John Foster himself. He will give you an insight into the art of farming and tell great yarns of the early settlers and the mining history that made this land rich.
Swimming with dolphins, Kaikoura, New Zealand
If you’ve ever dreamed of swimming with dolphins, Kaikoura, New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to do it as it is an ethical way to swim with these sweet creatures. Flanked by snowcapped mountains, this charming seaside town is home to a rare breed of the mammal known as the Dusky Dolphin.
Only one company in town operates tours, and it is an absolute bucket list experience for anyone seeking a unique adventure in New Zealand. You’ll get suited up in a thick wetsuit before jumping into freezing water where the wild dolphins will surround you and make your dreams come true!
Experience Glamping in New Zealand One must-do activity when visiting New Zealand is to experience glamping. Guests can make once-in-a-lifetime memories in at some of our most unique tree houses, yurts, tiny homes and more.
All of our accommodations are located in the heart of nature and are surrounded by various outdoor activities; such as hiking, fishing, canoeing, bird watching, wine tasting, to name a few. New Zealand is home to some of our most popular places to glamp.
Guests can enjoy working alpaca farms, onsite private waterfalls, a simple bubble bath in an outdoor tub with breathtaking views of the ocean. Possibilities are endless and there is so much to be enjoyed glamping in New Zealand.
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