20 Things To Do In New Zealand

Things To Do In New Zealand

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand and wondering what to do? The enchanting land of Aotearoa offers a myriad of experiences, each promising unforgettable memories. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a culture enthusiast, or someone in search of serene natural beauty, New Zealand has it all. In this blog post, we explore the top 20 “Things To Do In New Zealand,” providing you with a guide to the must-visit attractions and hidden gems that make this country truly spectacular. From the lush landscapes of the Fiordland National Park to the cultural vibrance of Wellington’s museums, prepare to embark on a journey through one of the most diverse and picturesque countries in the world.

Things To Do In New Zealand

  1. Explore Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound

Fiordland National Park is an unmissable spectacle of pristine fjords and dramatic landscapes. The crown jewel, Milford Sound, offers some of the world’s most staggering water views. Board a cruise to glide past cascading waterfalls and towering cliffs. The area is also great for hiking, with routes offering panoramic views and the chance to spot wildlife like dolphins and seals. This excursion provides a tranquil yet thrilling experience, perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

  1. Experience the Maori Culture in Rotorua

Rotorua is not only famous for its geothermal wonders but also as a cultural hub for experiencing Maori culture. Visit a Marae (Maori meeting grounds), enjoy traditional Maori performances, and savor a Hangi feast, cooked underground with hot stones. The warm hospitality of the Maori community, combined with the educational and emotional performances, offers a profound cultural immersion that connects you deeply with New Zealand’s indigenous heritage.

  1. Adventure Sports in Queenstown

Known as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World,’ Queenstown is the go-to destination for adrenaline junkies. From bungee jumping at the Kawarau Bridge to jet-boating on the Shotover River, the range of heart-pounding activities is endless. The town also serves as a base for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months. Whether you’re skydiving or exploring the nearby vineyards, Queenstown ensures every moment is packed with excitement and breathtaking beauty.

  1. Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set

For fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series, a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set is a dream come true. Located in Matamata, this magical village offers a glimpse into the Shire, where the films’ hobbits lived. The guided tours provide fascinating insights into how the movie set was created and what life might be like living as a hobbit. With its charming round doors and beautiful gardens, Hobbiton is a whimsical escape into a fantasy world.

  1. Go Whale Watching in Kaikoura

Kaikoura is one of the best places in the world to go whale watching. This small coastal town offers visitors the chance to see majestic sperm whales, playful dolphins, and fur seals in their natural habitat. Boat tours are available year-round and provide an educational and thrilling way to witness these magnificent creatures up close. The experience is not only a testament to New Zealand’s wildlife but also a reminder of the beauty and diversity of marine life.

  1. Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro National Park offers the spectacular Tongariro Alpine Crossing, renowned as one of the best day hikes in the world. This 19.4-kilometer trek takes you through a volcanic landscape of craters, colorful lakes, and rugged peaks, including Mount Ngauruhoe, famously doubling as Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings films. The hike is challenging but rewards trekkers with some of the most unique and stunning scenery in New Zealand, making it a must-do for avid hikers.

  1. Relax in the Hot Pools of Hanmer Springs

For a relaxing getaway, Hanmer Springs is the perfect destination. Located in the heart of the Canterbury region, this small town offers natural hot springs that are therapeutic and soothing. Visitors can unwind in several hot pools set amidst beautiful forest scenery. The town also offers massages, spa treatments, and lovely walking trails, making it an ideal spot for a rejuvenating retreat.

  1. Discover the Waitomo Glowworm Caves

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a magical experience where you can see thousands of luminous glowworms lighting up the cave ceilings like a starry night sky. Visitors can take a silent boat ride through the caves to observe this unique spectacle. The caves also offer opportunities for adventurous activities like black water rafting and abseiling, adding an element of excitement to the serene beauty of the glowing caverns.

  1. Tour the Waiheke Island Wineries

Waiheke Island, just a short ferry ride from Auckland, is home to picturesque vineyards and olive groves. The island is renowned for its artisan wines and offers several winery tours where visitors can taste award-winning wines and enjoy gourmet meals with stunning vineyard views. The island’s relaxed atmosphere, combined with beautiful beaches and art galleries, makes for a perfect day trip or a weekend getaway.

  1. Cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail

The Otago Central Rail Trail is a 152-kilometer bike trail running through the heart of the South Island’s scenic Otago region. This trail offers a unique way to experience the vast landscapes of New Zealand, from rugged mountains and old gold mining towns to the lush farmland and dramatic gorges. It’s suitable for all fitness levels, and there are plenty of quaint towns along the way to explore and rest in.

  1. Visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum

Auckland War Memorial Museum stands as a monument to New Zealand’s history, offering exhibits that span the nation’s natural and military history. Located on the picturesque Auckland Domain, the museum provides a deep dive into the Polynesian people who settled in New Zealand, alongside engaging displays on the country’s involvement in global conflicts. Its hilltop setting also offers stunning views of the city and harbor, making it a cultural and visual treat.

  1. Surf at Raglan

Raglan is known for having some of the best surf in New Zealand, with waves that cater to all skill levels. Ngarunui Beach is perfect for beginners, while the more experienced surfers can challenge themselves at Manu Bay or Whale Bay, known for their long, consistent left-hand breaks. The town itself has a laid-back surf vibe, with plenty of cafes and art shops to explore after a day in the waves.

  1. Stargaze at Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo, part of the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, offers some of the clearest skies for stargazing in the southern hemisphere. The absence of light pollution allows for an unobstructed view of the Milky Way, with guided stargazing tours available at the Mount John Observatory. During the day, the lake’s vibrant turquoise water—created by fine rock flour from surrounding glaciers—is equally mesmerizing.

  1. Walk the Abel Tasman Coast Track

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, offering stunning coastal views over sandy beaches and crystal-clear bays. The track stretches over 60 kilometers and can be completed in 3 to 5 days, with accommodation options ranging from campsites to comfortable lodges. Kayaking along the coast is also a popular way to see sections of the park, with opportunities to spot seals and dolphins.

  1. Explore the Art Deco architecture of Napier

After a devastating earthquake in 1931, Napier was rebuilt in the popular styles of the time, including Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical, but it is most famous for its Art Deco buildings. Each February, the city celebrates its architectural heritage with the Art Deco Festival, attracting visitors dressed in vintage clothing for a weekend of cars, music, and dance from the 1930s.

  1. Cruise through the Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is a stunning maritime park in northern New Zealand, consisting of over 140 subtropical islands. Famous for its undeveloped beaches, big-game fishing, and Maori cultural artifacts, it’s an ideal place for a boat cruise. Visitors can explore the historic sites where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, dive at the colorful Poor Knights Islands, or simply relax on a secluded beach.

  1. Visit Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington

Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand’s national museum in Wellington, offers a modern and interactive experience that showcases the country’s art, environment, and history. The museum’s highlights include Maori cultural treasures, innovative environmental exhibits, and earthquake simulators. Free guided tours provide valuable insights into New Zealand’s unique geological, cultural, and social stories.

  1. Heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier

Experience the thrill of a helicopter flight and the adventure of hiking on Franz Josef Glacier. This dynamic glacier offers a unique opportunity to explore a spectacular frozen landscape of ice caves, crevasses, and pinnacles. Guided tours provide all the necessary equipment and ensure a safe and unforgettable journey across the icy terrain.

  1. Attend the World of WearableArt (WOW) in Wellington

The World of WearableArt (WOW) is an annual event held in Wellington that combines fashion and art in a spectacular stage show. Designers from around the world compete with their avant-garde creations, which are presented in a dazzling performance that blends dance, theatre, and music. This event not only showcases incredible creativity but also offers a unique cultural experience that highlights New Zealand’s vibrant arts scene.

  1. Take the TranzAlpine Train Journey

Embark on one of the world’s great train journeys – the TranzAlpine. This scenic train ride from Christchurch to Greymouth crosses the South Island, showcasing the dramatic contrasts of the landscapes, from vast Canterbury Plains to rugged gorges and pristine rivers of the Southern Alps. The journey provides a comfortable and panoramic way to experience the breathtaking beauty of New Zealand’s wilderness.


New Zealand is a treasure trove of experiences, offering an incredible variety of adventures that cater to all tastes and ages. Whether you’ve explored the mystical Waitomo Caves, taken in the historical insights at Te Papa, or marveled at the architectural elegance of Napier, each activity is bound to leave a lasting impression. This list of “Things To Do In New Zealand” merely scratches the surface of what this vibrant country has to offer. So, pack your bags, set your itinerary, and get ready to explore New Zealand’s stunning landscapes, rich culture, and thrilling adventures. Every visit here promises new sights, sounds, and memories, making it a perfect destination for travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure in the great outdoors.

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