Top 12 Things to Do in New Zealand

Top 12 Things to Do in New Zealand

It's no exaggeration to say that New Zealand is one of the world's most breathtaking destinations. New Zealand is a very remarkable travel destination because of its breathtaking scenery, friendly people, and plenty of exciting activities.

But there is only one issue. It might be difficult to choose among the many incredible things to do in New Zealand.

Beyond that, what's the best way to track out the country's most offbeat attractions? How can you enjoy the greatest possible vacation by avoiding crowded attractions and discovering hidden gems? So, if you're looking for suggestions on things to do when visiting New Zealand, this is the right resource for you!

This is our list of the greatest sites to visit and unusual things to do in New Zealand, including how to escape the crowds at the most popular spots and how to locate those that aren't on the map.

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Boogie Board Down Sand Dunes at 90-Mile Beach

For the young and young at heart, Ninety Mile Beach is just waiting for an adventure. Miles (deceivingly only 55 of them) of pure white sand await at the northern tip of New Zealand`s north island.

Popular activities include surfing the left-hand breaks or bodyboarding down the giant sand dunes. Either one will get your heart pumping and your soul singing!

Just a word of warning – you`ll need to keep an eye out for unexpected traffic on the sand… This beach is actually an official highway!

And while it may be tempting to take a trip down the scenic route yourself, it`s probably best to leave the driving to experienced guides. Most car rental companies won`t cover you if the worst should happen.


Sailing in the Bay of Islands

One of New Zealand's greatest strengths is its accessibility. The best tourist attractions aren't just for the rich and resourceful. Everyone can enjoy the breathtaking nature of this wilderness.

This is no more true than in the lush surroundings of the Bay of Islands. What appears to be an affluent haven of perfect beaches, uninhabited islands, and secluded coves is accessible to all.

This part of New Zealand's North Island hides some of New Zealand's most interesting and important historical sites. Rent a boat or kayak and fully immerse yourself in this paradise.

Paddle to Hole in the Rock on Piercy Island or look for New Zealand marine life. Dolphins, whales, seals, and penguins love this part of New Zealand just as much as we do!

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Volcanic Island Climbing

Rangitoto Island is New Zealand's youngest volcano, erupting from the sea only 600 years ago. A picturesque nature reserve, the island is uninhabited except for the native birds that thrive here.

A daily ferry service will take you to the island where you can spend the day exploring the many routes offered, including the most popular route to the summit. This short, steep run offers breathtaking views of Auckland and its islands.

One of the most unique ways to experience Rangitoto Island is on an evening kayak trip. This tour allows you to watch the sunset from the top before returning to Waitemata Harbor under the stars.


Taste New Zealand's finest wines on Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is a popular day trip destination from Auckland and is easily accessible by ferry.

The island's beaches are also noteworthy, but the award-winning wines produced here will draw in visitors again and again. About 30 vineyards are competing for space on the 92 square meters. km, and it's not hard to understand why it's earned a reputation as a playground for wine lovers. A popular pastime is wine tasting in some of the more popular vineyards or staying for a few days in a beautiful holiday villa on the island.


Snacking at your favorite trade show in New Zealand

Zappo makes some of the best ice creams in the world. This is one of the best things to do in Auckland.

Did you know New Zealand is home to the only colossal squid display in the world? Wellington`s Te Papa Museum houses the 470kg specimen that was captured in Antarctic waters in 2007.

It`s a much-loved New Zealand icon and now another of the country`s icons – Giapo – has recreated the squid into an edible work of art! Giapo has long been famous for creating the most incredible ice cream in the world, and their latest creation – the Colossal Squid – is no exception.

A visit to Giapo`s Auckland store is always an experience in itself, so head downtown to sample an amazing range of flavors (which includes many vegan varieties!) and tick this New Zealand must-do off your list!


Walk up Auckland`s Highest Volcanic Cone

A surprisingly short walk will have you at the top of Auckland`s highest volcanic cone, Mount Eden. Catch your breath (it`s a fairly steep walk) as you take in the expansive views of Auckland City and its busy harbor. The 50m deep crater is a crater that has never been seen before. This is a sacred place, so don't walk around and watch it from above.

See relics of an ancient Maori village, and on the way back visit the Gardens of Eden, a peaceful oasis in the midst of the bustling city.

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Kayak around Cathedral Bay

Also called Te Wanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve, Cathedral Bay is considered one of the best places to visit in New Zealand. The isolated location of the Coromandel Peninsula in the North Island adds to its irresistible charm.

You can`t drive to the secluded cove, you only have the option of walking or taking to the seas.

Boat tours will allow you to explore the caves and cliffs while learning about the history of the area, while kayaking allows a more intimate experience with the opportunity to `park up and enjoy the beach when the desire arises.


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 you`ll find families, couples, and friends brandishing gardening tools as they head toward the beach. Take a dip in the warm water and relax while admiring the stunning scenery around you.


Hang Out at the Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton isn`t normally at the top of visitors` wish lists when planning a trip to New Zealand, but there`s one very good reason you should be adding this underrated North Island town to your itinerary.

The Hamilton Gardens are an award-winning attraction, world-renowned by garden enthusiasts, but little known to everyone else. The thing that really makes them stand apart is the elaborate themes they`re designed around. Walking through the gardens is like taking a tour around the world – while being much more achievable!

Be immersed in the zen-like space of the Japanese garden, smell the pungent aroma of gardenias in the Chinoiserie Garden, be transported to Italy in the Renaissance garden, and learn about Māori food production techniques in the Te Parapara garden. There is so much to see and do within the garden complex, you could easily spend the majority of the day there.

And the best part is that the gardens are completely free to enter! If you`re visiting New Zealand with kids, they`ll love the complementary activity sheets and the destination playground at the end, not to mention the onsite café serving up all their favorite treats.


Unleash Your Inner Movie Geek at Hobbiton

One of the most popular attractions on the north island, Hobbiton is also one of the most unique things to do in New Zealand! Where else can you step inside a movie set and instantly be transformed into the real middle earth?

Wander around the shire, the real-life movie set that was featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. Take your time to appreciate the effort that has gone into making every detail in this fairytale land a magical place.

It's certainly an experience like no other, whether you`re a fan of Peter Jackson films or not!


Visit the Glowworm caves at Waitomo

The Waitomo caves have a reputation for being one of the best places to see glow worms in the world. Arachnocampa Luminosa (a type of firefly native to New Zealand) can be found in many places across the country, but Waitomo Caves is the most accessible and has an impressive collection.

Dive into an ancient cave beneath the green hills of the Land of Kings and admire the spectacle created by these glowing creatures.

If you're brave enough, you can zipline into a cave where only fireflies light the way before climbing an underground waterfall in the dark. Or, for a more relaxing experience, sit back and enjoy the show on a guided boat trip.


Visit the bubbling mud pools in Rotorua

Rotorua is literally a hotbed of geothermal attractions. Powerful geysers, colorful volcanic lakes, and bubbling mud pools can be found sprouting from otherwise innocuous-looking parks around the central North Island town.

Among the most popular places to view these otherworldly natural attractions are Hell`s Gate Geothermal Park and Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.

Wai-O-Tapu offers a stunning self-guided walk through a unique volcanic landscape, as does the ever-popular Hell`s Gate. However, the latter also offers the chance to soak in a therapeutic mud bath after your exploration.

If you`re looking for a more budget-friendly way to enjoy the geothermic wonders, never fear! There are plenty of simmering basins and bubbling sediments to be found right in the heart of the city. For a spectacular view in a quiet setting, head to Kuirau Park. If you're visiting New Zealand with kids, they'll love playing in the park's expansive playground.

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