50 Fun and Exciting Things to Do in New Zealand | 2023 (with Photos)

Fun and Exciting Things to Do in New Zealand

New Zealand, a dream destination for many, is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences that cater to every traveler's taste.

With awe-inspiring landscapes, unique wildlife, and rich Maori culture, this island nation offers endless adventures and attractions.

In this guide, we'll explore 50 fun and exciting things to do in New Zealand, from the tranquil Hamilton Gardens to the adrenaline-pumping skydiving over Lake Taupo.

Delve into the picturesque settings of Mount Cook National Park, unwind at the soothing Hot Water Beach, or embrace the thrilling jet boat rides.

Get ready to embark on a journey through Middle Earth and uncover the hidden gems of this enchanting country, as we take you through our list of fun and unique things to do in New Zealand.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Sky Tower

Top Choice Hotel

SkyCity Grand Hotel

Our Top Choice Restaurant


Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Roxy Niteclub.

Best Time to Visit

Mild temperatures, November to April, avoid winter months.

Average Temperature

Mild, temperate climate with moderate temperature fluctuations.

Transportation Options

Buses, trains, ferries, bicycles, ride-sharing, rental cars, walking.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Auckland, New Zealand is a vibrant city that offers a diverse range of experiences. Start your day by taking a walk along the stunning waterfront, soaking in the breathtaking views of the city skyline and the sparkling Waitemata Harbour.

For an authentic taste of the local culture, head to the bustling streets of the Ponsonby neighborhood, where you can explore boutique shops, vibrant cafes, and trendy bars. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Auckland Domain, a large public park featuring picturesque gardens and the impressive Auckland War Memorial Museum. Immerse yourself in the city's rich history and learn about the indigenous Maori culture through interactive exhibits and captivating storytelling. Auckland truly has something for everyone, whether you're a nature lover, food enthusiast, or history buff.

What You'll Need to Bring

Passport, suitable clothing for the weather, comfortable walking shoes, a power adapter compatible with New Zealand's electrical outlets, a camera or smartphone for capturing memories, a map or guidebook for navigating the city, a refillable water bottle, sunscreen and a hat for sun protection, a reusable bag for shopping, a travel insurance card, some cash and/or a credit card for expenses, a guide to local customs and etiquette, a language translation app or dictionary, and a sense of adventure and curiosity.

What Not to Miss

  1. Sky Tower
  2. Auckland War Memorial Museum
  3. Waiheke Island
  4. Auckland Harbour Bridge
  5. Devonport Village
  6. Auckland Botanic Gardens
  7. Piha Beach
  8. Rangitoto Island
  9. Viaduct Harbour
  10. One Tree Hill Domain

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded areas during rush hours.
  2. Unmarked hiking trails.
  3. Walking alone at night in certain neighborhoods.
  4. Leaving valuables unattended in public places.
  5. Drinking tap water without filtration.
  6. Feeding or approaching wildlife.
  7. Neglecting to check weather conditions for outdoor activities.
  8. Ignoring local customs and etiquette.
  9. Trusting unauthorized tourism operators.
  10. Making disrespectful comments about the indigenous Māori culture.

1. Explore Auckland, New Zealand's Largest City

Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, offers a plethora of things to do for travelers with a New Zealand bucket list.

From visiting the iconic Sky Tower, offering panoramic views of the city, to exploring Waiheke Island with its stunning vineyards and wine-tasting experiences, Auckland has it all.

The city is also home to beautiful beaches such as Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, where visitors can dig their hot tub during low tide, and soak in the natural hot springs.

The North Island's vibrant Maori culture can also be experienced in Auckland through various cultural experiences and performances.

2. Visit the Beautiful Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens, located in New Zealand's North Island, is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the country.

Showcasing an array of themed gardens, including a Japanese Garden and a traditional Maori garden, the gardens provide a unique insight into the rich history and diverse cultures of New Zealand.

Visitors can also take a relaxing stroll along the picturesque garden paths, marvel at the stunning views, and enjoy a delightful picnic amidst the breathtaking beauty of the gardens.

3. Learn Maori Culture with a Maori Cultural Experience

Mitai Maori Village

New Zealand is home to a unique and fascinating Maori culture.

By participating in a Maori cultural experience, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history, traditions, and customs of the indigenous people of New Zealand.

From traditional performances and storytelling to learning about Maori art, visitors will leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Maori way of life.

Some popular locations for Maori cultural experiences include Rotorua and the Bay of Islands on New Zealand's North Island.

4. Swim with Dolphins in New Zealand's North Island

Swim with Dolphins

For an unforgettable adventure, visitors can swim with wild dolphins in the pristine waters surrounding New Zealand's North Island.

The Bay of Islands, a popular destination for this activity, boasts crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life.

Swimming alongside these playful and intelligent creatures in their natural habitat is a truly magical experience and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any nature lover.

5. Drive Along Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach, located on the west coast of the North Island, is a breathtaking stretch of coastline perfect for a scenic road trip.

Visitors can drive along the vast expanse of white sand, marvel at the stunning views of the sea, and enjoy the thrill of exploring this remote and untouched landscape.

Along the way, travelers may encounter unique natural phenomena such as dunes and rock formations, making for a truly memorable journey through New Zealand's beautiful and diverse landscapes.

6. Discover Wellington, the Capital of New Zealand


Wellington, the vibrant capital of New Zealand, is nestled between rolling hills and a stunning harbor, making it a picturesque destination for visitors.

Discover the city's rich history and artistic heritage by visiting its numerous museums, art galleries, and cultural centers.

The iconic Cable Car offers stunning views of the city and harbor, while a visit to the nearby Zealandia Ecosanctuary provides a glimpse into the country's unique wildlife.

Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of the city's lively waterfront, where you can enjoy delicious cuisine, shopping, and entertainment.

7. Enjoy a Wine Tour in Hawke's Bay

The Winemaker's Private Wine Tours

Located on North Island, Hawke's Bay is renowned for its world-class wineries and beautiful vineyards.

Embark on a wine tour to explore the region's diverse range of wines, including Chardonnay, Syrah, and Merlot.

Enjoy wine tastings at award-winning wineries, take in the stunning views of the vine-covered hills, and learn about the region's rich viticulture history.

A visit to the bay is a must for any wine enthusiast exploring New Zealand.

8. Take a Flight over Mount Cook National Park

Scenic Flight over Mount Cook National Park

Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Mount Cook National Park from above with a scenic flight.

Soar over the park's majestic mountains, including the towering Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest peak, and marvel at the breathtaking glaciers and pristine alpine landscapes.

A scenic flight offers a unique perspective of the park's diverse and dramatic terrain, providing an unforgettable experience for visitors to New Zealand's South Island.

9. Hike through Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park

Located at the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island, Abel Tasman National Park is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Explore the park's stunning golden beaches, clear turquoise waters, and lush native forests by hiking along its well-maintained trails.

Discover the park's diverse wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and native birds, as you traverse its picturesque coastline.

For a more adventurous experience, try sea kayaking or take a water taxi to explore the park's secluded bays and coves.

10. Experience Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park, situated on New Zealand's South Island, is home to the awe-inspiring Milford Sound.

This spectacular fjord, carved by ancient glaciers, features dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life.

Embark on a boat tour or kayak excursion to explore the stunning beauty of Milford Sound, or take a scenic flight for a bird's-eye view of the breathtaking landscape.

Hiking enthusiasts can also tackle the world-renowned Milford Track, a multi-day trek through the heart of Fiordland National Park that showcases the region's unparalleled beauty.

11. Relax at Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula

Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula

Located on the picturesque peninsula of Coromandel, Hot Water Beach is a unique and popular attraction for visitors to New Zealand's North Island.

At low tide, dig your hot tub in the sand and relax in the naturally heated mineral water that rises from beneath the earth's surface.

The Hot Water natural phenomenon draws visitors from around the world, making it a must-visit destination when exploring the peninsula.

12. Visit the West Coast's Paparoa National Park

Paparoa National Park

Paparoa National Park, situated on New Zealand's West Coast, is known for its diverse landscape, including lush rainforests, rugged coastal cliffs, and fascinating limestone formations.

Hike through the park's trails to explore its unique flora and fauna, and discover the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, where the sea crashes against the coast, creating spectacular geysers of water.

This stunning park offers visitors a chance to experience the wild beauty of New Zealand's South Island.

13. Explore the North Island's Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park, located in the central North Island, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of New Zealand's most iconic day hikes.

This challenging trek takes hikers across an otherworldly volcanic landscape, passing vibrant emerald lakes, steaming vents, and dramatic mountain peaks.

The park also offers numerous other hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as opportunities for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months.

14. Admire Lake Taupo and Its Māori Rock Carvings

Lake Taupo and Its Māori Rock Carvings

Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand, is a stunning natural attraction on the North Island.

The lake's crystal-clear waters are surrounded by picturesque mountains and forests, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking.

A must-see attraction is the impressive Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings, which can only be accessed by boat or kayak.

These intricate carvings, created by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell, depict Māori cultural figures and tell the stories of New Zealand's indigenous people.

15. Soak in the Natural Hot Springs and Hot Pools

Cow Stream Natural Hot Springs

New Zealand is home to numerous geothermal hot springs and hot pools, offering visitors a chance to relax and rejuvenate in naturally heated waters.

Ranging from luxurious spa experiences to rustic natural hot pools, these geothermal attractions can be found throughout both the South and North Islands.

Popular destinations include Rotorua, Hanmer Springs, and Tekapo Springs, where visitors can enjoy a soothing soak while admiring landscapes around the hot pools.

16. Witness the Beauty of New Zealand's East Coast

Eastern Beach

New Zealand's East Coast offers breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches, and charming coastal towns.

From the North Island's Bay of Plenty, with its white sand beaches and abundant marine life, to the South Island's dramatic coastline, dotted with quaint fishing villages and rugged cliffs, there's plenty to explore along the coast.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit iconic destinations like Napier, with its unique Art Deco architecture, and the picturesque Otago Peninsula, home to an array of wildlife, including penguins, seals, and sea lions.

17. Embark on a Thrilling Jet Boat Ride

Queenstown Jet Boat

For an adrenaline-pumping adventure, take a jet boat ride through New Zealand's stunning waterways.

These high-speed boats are designed to navigate shallow waters and tight turns, providing an exhilarating experience as you zip through narrow gorges, past towering cliffs, and over crystal-clear rapids.

Popular jet boating locations include the Shotover River in Queenstown, the Waikato River near Taupo, and the Waimakariri River in Canterbury.

Hold on tight as you experience one of New Zealand's most exciting outdoor adventures!

18. Visit Picturesque Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island

Just a short ferry ride from Auckland, Waiheke Island is one of the most popular New Zealand attractions for those looking to escape the city and immerse themselves in nature.

Boasting stunning beaches, lush forests, and a thriving arts scene, Waiheke Island offers a unique blend of relaxation and culture.

Explore the island's numerous walking and cycling trails, or sample award-winning wines at one of its many vineyards.

With its idyllic landscape and laid-back atmosphere, Waiheke Island is a must-visit destination when exploring New Zealand.

19. Experience Whale Watching in Kaikoura

Whale Watch Kaikoura

Kaikoura, located on the coast of New Zealand's South Island, is renowned for its abundant marine life and dramatic coastal scenery.

Embark on a whale-watching tour to encounter majestic sperm whales, as well as orcas, dolphins, and seals, all in their natural habitat.

The nutrient-rich waters off Kaikoura's coast attract a diverse range of marine species, making it one of the best places in the world for whale watching.

Don't miss this unforgettable experience to witness these magnificent creatures up close.

20. Savor Wine Tasting in the Marlborough Region

Wine Tasting in the Marlborough Region

Marlborough, located at the top of New Zealand's South Island, is the country's premier wine-producing region.

Known for its world-class Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough offers visitors the opportunity to sample a variety of exceptional wines while enjoying the region's stunning landscapes.

Embark on a wine tour to visit some of the area's renowned wineries and cellar doors, and learn about the winemaking process from expert guides.

Paired with delicious local cuisine and picturesque vineyard views, a wine tasting in Marlborough is a must for any New Zealand itinerary.

21. Go Sea Kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman Kayaks

Abel Tasman National Park, situated on New Zealand's South Island, is renowned for its golden beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush native forests.

One of the best ways to explore the park's breathtaking coastline is by sea kayaking.

Paddle through tranquil bays, around granite headlands, and past seals basking on rocky outcrops.

Sea kayaking offers an intimate and environmentally friendly way to discover the park's hidden gems, as well as its unique marine life, including dolphins, penguins, and seabirds.

22. Discover the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch

International Antarctic Centre

Located in Christchurch, the center offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the world of Antarctic exploration and research.

This interactive museum features a range of engaging exhibits, including an Antarctic storm simulator, a penguin encounter area, and the Hagglund Ride, which replicates the experience of traveling in an Antarctic all-terrain vehicle.

Learn about the history of Antarctic expeditions, the scientific research conducted on the frozen continent, and the importance of preserving this unique environment.

23. Witness the Glow Worms in Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Deep beneath the rolling hills of New Zealand lies the enchanting Waitomo Caves, home to a mesmerizing natural phenomenon: glow worms.

These bioluminescent creatures create a dazzling display as they light up the cave's dark interior.

Embark on a guided tour through the labyrinthine caverns, culminating in a silent boat ride beneath the twinkling glow worm canopy.

This magical experience is a must-see when visiting New Zealand.

24. Bungee Jump off the Auckland Harbour Bridge

AJ Hackett Auckland Bridge Bungy & Climb

For thrill-seekers looking to test their limits, bungee jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge is an exhilarating adventure not to be missed.

Plummet 40 meters (131 feet) towards the sparkling Waitematā Harbour, experiencing a heart-pounding free fall before the bungee cord springs you back up.

Boasting amazing views of the Auckland skyline and the iconic Sky Tower, this unforgettable adrenaline rush is a unique way to experience New Zealand's largest city.

25. Enjoy the View from the Sky Tower in Auckland

View from the Sky Tower in Auckland

The Sky Tower, an iconic symbol of Auckland's skyline, offers visitors breathtaking 360-degree views of the city and beyond.

At 328 meters (1,076 feet) tall, it is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

Take a high-speed elevator to the observation decks, where you can marvel at the panoramic vistas, spot local landmarks, and even catch a glimpse of the distant islands in the Hauraki Gulf.

For an added thrill, try the SkyWalk or SkyJump, which allow you to walk around or leap from the tower's exterior while securely harnessed.

26. Hike through Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook National Park, located in the heart of New Zealand's South Island, is a hiker's paradise.

Home to Aoraki/Mount Cook, the country's highest peak, the park boasts a stunning alpine landscape with glaciers, snow-capped mountains, and turquoise lakes.

With a variety of well-maintained hiking trails ranging from short walks to multi-day treks, there is something to suit all fitness levels and interests.

Explore the rugged beauty of this World Heritage-listed area while soaking in the breathtaking views and experiencing the park's unique flora and fauna.

27. Explore Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

New Zealand's west coast is home to two of the world's most accessible glaciers, Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier.

These ancient rivers of ice descend from the Southern Alps down into temperate rainforests just a few hundred meters above sea level.

Guided glacier walks, ice climbing, and helicopter tours are available, allowing visitors to witness the incredible ice formations, crevasses, and caves up close.

Exploring these natural wonders is an unforgettable experience that showcases the power and beauty of nature.

28. Take a Boat Tour of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound Boat Tour

Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, located within the awe-inspiring Fiordland National Park, are two of New Zealand's most iconic natural attractions.

The Towering cliffs, lush rainforests, and cascading waterfalls of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound create an unparalleled landscape.

A tour is the perfect way to appreciate the sheer scale and beauty of these majestic fiords. Keep an eye out for dolphins, seals, and penguins that call these waters home.

For a truly immersive experience, consider an overnight cruise, allowing you to witness the fiords under the starry night sky that grace Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound.

29. Visit the Volcanic Island of White Island

Volcanic Island of White Island

White Island, also known as Whakaari, is New Zealand's most active volcanic island and is a must-visit for every New Zealand itinerary. 

Located off the Bay of Plenty coast on the North Island, this otherworldly destination offers a unique opportunity to explore an active volcano up close.

Guided tours, including boat trips and helicopter rides, transport visitors to the island, where they can witness steaming fumaroles, bubbling mud pools, and a vibrant yellow sulfur lake.

The stark, lunar-like landscape and the power of nature on display make this a truly unforgettable experience.

30. Enjoy a Helicopter Ride over the Southern Alps

Helicopter Ride over the Southern Alp

Experience the breathtaking beauty of New Zealand's Southern Alps from the air with a thrilling helicopter ride.

Soar above snow-capped peaks, pristine glaciers, and sparkling alpine lakes while taking in the panoramic views of this majestic mountain range.

Many helicopter tours also offer the opportunity to land on a glacier, providing an up-close encounter with these frozen giants.

A ride over the Southern Alps is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that showcases the stunning beauty of New Zealand's South Island.

31. Relax at Lake Tekapo and Its Amazing Views

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo, situated in the heart of New Zealand's South Island, is renowned for its vibrant turquoise waters and stunning alpine backdrop.

The lake's unique color is a result of finely ground rock particles from surrounding glaciers.

Relax on the shores of Lake Tekapo, take a stroll, or enjoy a picnic while soaking in the breathtaking views.

Don't miss the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, a charming stone church that provides a picturesque foreground for the stunning lake and mountain scenery.

32. Explore New Zealand's South Island's West Coast

New Zealand's South Island's West Coast

The rugged and remote West Coast of the South Island offers an array of natural wonders and outdoor adventures.

Stretching over 600 kilometers, the coast features dense rainforests, dramatic coastlines, and towering glaciers.

Explore the unique Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, hike through the national park, or discover the rich history of the region's gold rush days.

The West Coast is an unspoiled paradise that showcases the raw beauty of New Zealand's wilderness.

33. Visit Stewart Island, the Southernmost Island

Stewart Island

Stewart Island, also known as Rakiura, is New Zealand's southernmost inhabited island.

This remote and tranquil destination is a haven for nature lovers, boasting pristine beaches, lush native forests, and an abundance of birdlife.

Stewart Island is home to the Rakiura National Park, where visitors can hike, bird watch, or take guided nocturnal tours to spot the elusive kiwi bird in its natural habitat.

Stewart Island offers a truly off-the-beaten-path experience, allowing visitors to connect with nature in a serene and peaceful setting.

34. Visit the Adventure Capital, Queenstown

Challenge Rafting in Adventure Capital, Queenstown

Queenstown, located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, is known as the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere.

With its stunning alpine surroundings, Queenstown offers countless opportunities for hiking and mountain biking.

Take on the challenge of the Queenstown Hill or Ben Lomond tracks for rewarding panoramic views, or explore the extensive network of trails at the nearby Remarkables mountain range.

From leisurely lakeside strolls to adrenaline-pumping mountain bike descents, Queenstown caters to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

35. See Middle Earth with a Visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton Movie Set

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved Middle Earth should not miss a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, located in the picturesque Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island.

This enchanting attraction brings the fictional world of the Shire to life, featuring the original Hobbit holes and iconic structures from the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.

Join a guided tour to explore the lush, rolling countryside, learn about the movie-making process, and even enjoy a pint at the Green Dragon Inn.

This magical experience is a must-do for both fans and non-fans alike.

36. Discover the Green Dragon Inn

The Green Dragon Inn

A visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set in New Zealand would not be complete without stopping by the Green Dragon.

This enchanting replica of the inn from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies offers fans a chance to step into the world of Middle Earth.

Enjoy a pint of specially brewed Hobbit ale, cider, or non-alcoholic ginger beer in the cozy, rustic atmosphere of the Inn.

The Green Dragon is a perfect spot to relax and soak up the magic of the Shire.

37. Dive into New Zealand's Galleries and Museums

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

New Zealand boasts a rich artistic heritage and diverse cultural history.

Art enthusiasts can explore numerous galleries and museums throughout the country, showcasing a mix of traditional Maori art, contemporary creations, and international masterpieces.

Notable institutions include the Auckland Art Gallery, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, and the Christchurch Art Gallery.

Delve into New Zealand's artistic landscape and gain insight into the country's unique cultural identity.

38. Journey Along the South Islands' Coast

South Islands' Coast

The coast of the South Island offers breathtaking coastal landscapes, abundant marine life, and charming seaside towns.

Begin your journey in the Marlborough region, known for its world-class wineries and picturesque bays.

Continue south to Kaikoura, a prime spot for whale watching and encounters with fur seals.

Further south, explore the vibrant city of Christchurch and its surrounding Canterbury region, offering a diverse range of outdoor activities and cultural experiences.

39. Explore the North Island's Beauty

North Island

New Zealand is a treasure trove of natural wonders, from pristine beaches to geothermal hotspots.

Discover the stunning peninsula, with its white sandy beaches, lush native forests, and the famous Hot Water Beach.

Visit the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, where you can witness bubbling mud pools, steaming fumaroles, and impressive geysers.

Hike through the otherworldly landscapes of the National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and marvel at the serene beauty around.

40. Enjoy the Japanese Garden in Wellington

Wellington Botanic Garden

The Wellington Botanic Garden is home to a beautiful garden, which offers a serene oasis in the heart of New Zealand's capital city.

Designed as a traditional Japanese strolling garden, this peaceful retreat features winding pathways, elegant bridges, and an authentic tea house.

The garden is a testament to the friendship between Wellington and its sister city, Sakai, Japan.

A visit to the garden provides a calming and meditative experience, allowing visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

41. Witness the Tasman Sea

Tasman Sea

The Tasman Sea, situated between New Zealand and Australia, offers breathtaking coastal vistas and abundant marine life.

Explore the West Coast of the South Island, where rugged cliffs, dense rainforests, and pristine beaches create a dramatic landscape.

Don't miss the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki, where the powerful waves of the sea have sculpted unique rock formations.

For a truly unforgettable experience, embark on a scenic flight or helicopter tour to take in the awe-inspiring panoramas of the sea and its surrounding coastline.

42. Road Trip through New Zealand's South Island

Road Trip through New Zealand's South Island

A road trip through the South Island is a journey of a lifetime, offering a diverse range of landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to golden beaches.

Begin your adventure in the northern wine region of Marlborough before heading to the pristine wilderness of Abel Tasman National Park.

Continue down the coast, passing through the dramatic landscapes of the Southern Alps, Fox Glacier, and Franz Josef Glacier.

Explore the adventure capital of Queenstown before reaching the serene beauty of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

This unforgettable road trip will showcase the very best of the South Island.

43. Visit the Completely Free Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens

Hamilton Gardens is a unique public park in New Zealand's North Island, offering a collection of themed gardens that showcase the history, art, and culture of various civilizations.

The best part? Admission to the gardens is completely free!

Stroll through the Italian Renaissance Garden, the English Flower Garden, or the Chinese Scholar's Garden, among many others.

Each garden is meticulously designed to transport visitors to another time and place, making the gardens a must-see attraction for both locals and tourists alike.

44. Go Skydiving over Lake Taupo

Taupo Tandem Skydiving

For the thrill-seekers out there, nothing beats the adrenaline rush of skydiving over Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake.

Freefall from up to 15,000 feet, reaching speeds of over 200 km/h while taking in the breathtaking views of the lake, the surrounding mountains, and the volcanic landscape of Tongariro National Park.

With experienced instructors and a strong focus on safety, skydiving over the lake is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

45. Enjoy a Scenic Train Journey through New Zealand

Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland, Wellington

Experience the beauty of New Zealand from the comfort of a scenic train journey.

The country offers several world-class train routes that traverse diverse landscapes, from lush forests to rugged coastlines.

The Northern Explorer takes passengers from Wellington to Auckland through the heart of the North Island, while the Coastal Pacific links Christchurch with Picton, offering amazing views of the South Island.

For a truly epic journey, hop on the TranzAlpine, which travels across the South Island between Christchurch and Greymouth, showcasing the dramatic Southern Alps and the breathtaking Arthur's Pass National Park.

46. Explore the Geothermal Landscapes of Rotorua

Unique Geothermal Landscapes of Rotorua

Rotorua, located in New Zealand's North Island, is renowned for its geothermal activity and unique landscapes.

Visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, where you can witness bubbling mud pools, steaming fumaroles, and the famous Champagne Pool.

Explore the geysers at Te Puia, including the iconic Pohutu Geyser, which shoots water up to 30 meters into the air.

While in Rotorua, don't miss the opportunity to relax in the mineral-rich hot springs and hot pools, a perfect way to unwind after a day of exploring the region's natural wonders.

47. Visit the Famous Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, located in the Bay of Islands, is a significant historic site where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and Maori chiefs in 1840.

This event marked the beginning of New Zealand as a nation.

Today, visitors can explore the beautifully preserved grounds, which include the Treaty House, the carved meeting house, and the world's largest ceremonial war canoe.

Guided tours provide valuable insight into the history of the treaty and its importance to New Zealand's cultural heritage.

48. Guided Tour of the Te Papa Museum in Wellington

Te Papa Museum

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, or Te Papa for short, is a world-class museum located in Wellington.

Te Papa showcases the natural, cultural, and artistic heritage of New Zealand through a range of interactive exhibits and displays.

A guided tour will take you through the museum's highlights, including the colossal squid, the earthquake simulation, and the Maori Marae (meeting house).

With its innovative approach to storytelling and its vast collection of treasures, Te Papa is a must-visit attraction for anyone exploring New Zealand's capital city.

49. Zipline through Native Forests

Paradise Ziplines

For a truly exhilarating adventure, embark on a ziplining tour through New Zealand's native forests.

Soar above the treetops and take in the stunning scenery as you traverse a series of ziplines, some reaching speeds of up to 60 km/h.

Ziplining offers an exciting way to explore the country's lush forests while enjoying a thrilling, eco-friendly outdoor experience.

With multiple zip lining locations across both the North and South Islands, there's bound to be an adventure waiting for you.

50. Take a Scenic Cruise around the North and South Island

Mitre Peak Cruises

The Bay of Islands, located on the North Island, is a stunning maritime playground consisting of 144 islands, secluded beaches, and pristine waters.

Embark on a scenic cruise to discover the bay's natural beauty, rich history, and abundant marine life.

Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales, and other marine creatures as you explore hidden coves and crystal-clear waters. Visit the famous Hole in the Rock formation or indulge in a spot of island hopping.

A Bay of Islands cruise is a fantastic way to experience the region's spectacular scenery and enjoy a day out on the water.

FAQs Regarding Things To Do in New Zealand

In this section, we answer common questions that readers have regarding the best things to do in New Zealand.

What kind of activities can you do in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, there are a plethora of activities to suit every traveler's interests.

You can hike through the breathtaking Mount Cook National Park, cruise the majestic Milford Sound, or relax on the unique Hot Water Beach. Adventure-seekers can enjoy thrilling activities like jet boating or exploring the icy wonder of Fox Glacier.

For those who love nature, discovering the enchanting glow worms in Waitomo Caves or visiting the remote Stewart Island is a must. To unwind, you can soak in the soothing hot pools found throughout the country.

What are 3 things that NZ is famous for?

New Zealand is famous for its stunning landscapes, such as Mount Cook, the country's highest peak; Milford Sound, a picturesque fjord; and the spectacular Fox Glacier.

Additionally, the country is renowned for its unique wildlife, including the flightless Kiwi bird, and its Maori culture, which forms a significant part of New Zealand's heritage.

How many days is enough for New Zealand?

The number of days required to explore New Zealand varies based on personal preferences and interests.

However, a minimum of two weeks is often recommended to experience Hawkes Bay and the rest of the island.

For those with limited time, a 7-day trip can still offer a taste of New Zealand's beauty.

How to spend 7 days in New Zealand?

To spend 7 days in New Zealand, you could focus on one island or select key attractions from both.

For instance, you could start with one of the major cities such as Auckland, visit the Bay of Islands, and explore the geothermal wonders of Rotorua on the North Island.

Alternatively, you could explore the South Island's highlights, such as Christchurch, Queenstown, Milford Sound, and Mount Cook.

Summing up: Fun and Exciting Things to Do in New Zealand

As you can see, there is no shortage of fun things to do in New Zealand, whether you're visiting the North or South Island.

In this guide, we've taken you on an incredible journey through your future New Zealand bucket list, highlighting 50 amazing activities and attractions that showcase the country's natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and vibrant culture.

From exploring the North Island's geothermal landscapes to cruising the breathtaking Milford Sound in the South Island, there's something for everyone in this enchanting land.

Experience the magic of glow worms, witness the majesty of Fox Glacier, or savor unforgettable wine-tasting sessions in Lake Tekapo.

So, what are you waiting for? Start booking things to do in New Zealand and create memories that will last a lifetime.