New Zealand is an incredible country full of stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and amazing experiences. From snow-capped mountains to turquoise waters, the scenery here is breathtakingly beautiful. There are so many things to do in New Zealand that it can be difficult to decide where to start your journey.
That’s why we have put together a list of 10 of the best activities and destinations for when you visit this gorgeous country.
From exploring the geothermal wonders of Rotorua to sailing around Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, there is something for everyone here. So let’s get started with our 10 best things to do in New Zealand.
1. Explore the Glowworm Caves
Witness a natural wonder by venturing into New Zealand’s impressive glowworm caves. The Waitomo Caves are home to thousands of sparkling glowworms that create an incredible illuminated display in the darkness.
Located on the North Island, these caves are filled with thousands of magical glowworms that light up the darkness like stars.
Visitors can explore this natural wonder while enjoying a peaceful boat ride on an underground river.
The beauty and serenity of these caves will stay with you long after your visit has ended. For those looking for an unforgettable experience in New Zealand, the Glowworm Caves should definitely be at the top of their list.
2. Take a Helicopter Ride
Get an aerial view of New Zealand’s stunning landscape with a helicopter ride. Fly over dramatic cliffs, lush rainforests, and snow-capped mountains for a truly unforgettable experience.
With so many spectacular landscapes and areas of natural beauty, there is no better way to get an unforgettable view of the country than from high up in the sky.
Your pilot will be more than happy to point out any interesting sights along the way and can even take you on a personalized tour that you create yourself.
Whether you want to fly over the glaciers of Franz Josef or explore the vibrant cityscape from above, New Zealand’s helicopter rides are simply incredible. Soar through stunning mountain ranges and witness some of nature’s most breathtaking sites with a thrilling helicopter ride.
3. Cruise Milford Sound
Experience one of New Zealand’s most scenic destinations on a cruise around Milford Sound, located in the Fiordland National Park. Take in the breathtaking views of sheer cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, and rugged coastline from the comfort of a luxury boat.
Milford Sound is a natural wonder situated at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. It is an amazing fjord lined with huge cliffs and awe-inspiring waterfalls that cascade down into the sea.
The best way to experience its natural beauty is by taking a cruise on a boat or kayaking around the sound.
You can also take scenic flights for bird’s eye views of this magnificent landscape, as well as go hiking along some of the coastal trails surrounding it. Be sure to take your camera so you don’t miss any of its stunning features! No matter how you choose to explore Milford Sound, it will be a memorable experience that you won’t soon forget.
To make your New Zealand trip even more special, be sure to include a visit to Milford Sound as one of your travel bucket lists.
4. Visit Rotorua
Enjoy some of New Zealand’s most unique natural wonders when you visit Rotorua. See bubbling mud pools, active geysers and an incredible array of native flora and fauna for an unforgettable experience.
Nestled between lush, rolling green hills and beautiful Lake Rotorua, this city offers a wide range of activities that all ages can enjoy.
For those looking for adventure, Rotorua is home to some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. With plenty of different terrains available, you’re sure to find something that will challenge even the most experienced biker.
If you’re more into relaxation, then make sure to check out one of Rotorua’s hot springs or geothermal parks. These natural wonders offer visitors a chance to take a dip in healing mineral waters or explore geysers.
5. Hike Fox Glacier
Challenge yourself with a hike up Fox Glacier, one of the most impressive glaciers in New Zealand. Marvel at its icy beauty as you go up to the top for stunning panoramic views across the Southern Alps.
Located on the west coast of South Island, Fox Glacier is a 13-kilometer-long river of ice that descends from high alpine snowfields down into the lush temperate rainforest.
The area around the glacier offers breathtaking views and is an ideal place for adventurers looking for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain climbing, heli-skiing, and even camping.
The region also has a rich Maori cultural heritage with many interesting stories and legends to explore.
For those looking for an even more unique experience, Fox Glacier Guiding Company offers guided tours of the glacier’s fascinating features – from its jagged crevasses to its deep blue pools.
6. Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour
Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour is a must-see destination for travelers visiting New Zealand. This sparkling body of water, which stretches from the Central Business District (CBD) to Devonport on the North Shore, offers plenty of activities and sights that will keep any visitor entertained. From scenic boat rides and tranquil kayaking trips to beach hopping and fine dining experiences.
The area was originally populated by Māori people as early as 1350 before being discovered by Europeans in 1820. During World War II, the harbour became a major naval base and port of call for Allied ships from around the globe and served as a gateway to Auckland city.
Even today, it still holds importance with many businesses and ports situated along its shores. With majestic views of Rangitoto Island, ferries regularly shuttle people across the harbour, beach walks at Orewa or North Head Park Reserve to explore black sand beaches.
7. Go Horseback Riding
Enjoy one of the most spectacular activities in New Zealand by horseback riding through its stunning landscapes. Take a leisurely ride along the beach or take on more challenging terrain – it’s up to you.
Picture yourself atop a majestic steed, meandering through expansive hills and lush green pastures with postcard-perfect views of snow-capped mountain peaks that stretch as far as the eye can see.
This is what you will experience if you opt for a horse riding tour in New Zealand – an experience like no other! With experienced guides leading the way and your trusty steed beneath you, bask in the beauty of the countryside while taking in all its wonders.
An unforgettable adventure awaits those who choose to explore this breathtaking landscape on horseback! So saddle up, take hold of the reins and get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience that you’ll never forget.
8. Visit Mt Cook National Park
Home to New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mt Cook National Park is a must-visit for any nature lover. From jumping off glaciers to trekking across alpine meadows, there are plenty of exciting activities to enjoy here.
9. Bungee Jumping
Take a leap of faith and try bungee jumping in New Zealand for a truly adrenaline-filled adventure. With jumps ranging from 10-200m, there’s an option to suit everyone – make sure you’re prepared for the thrill.
10. Visit Hobbiton Movie Set
Calling all Lord of the Rings fans! Take a journey to Middle-Earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, located on the Alexander Farm near Matamata in Waikato. This is where Peter Jackson filmed his iconic movie trilogy and it’s now open for visitors to explore and relive their favorite scenes from the films.
Discover 44 hobbit holes tucked away in 37 acres of green pastures complete with gardens and well-kept lawns. You can even go inside some of these delightful homes as they have been meticulously built to look exactly as they did during filming.
Thoughts and Conclusion
With so many amazing things to do in New Zealand, you won’t be short on ideas when it comes to planning your trip. So get ready to explore 10 of the best activities this stunning country offers.
You can also check out Best Things to Do Around Queenstown.