10 New Zealand Must Do’s
Make the most of your New Zealand experience by ticking off these incredible must do’s as selected by our team of passionate adventurers!
On the most picturesque private farmland you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt for The Hobbit and will remain as it was seen in these films and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
During your tour you will see Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, double arched bridge and other structures and gardens built for the films.
2. Tongariro Crossing
New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage Site. The Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered a world-renowned trek.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek available in New Zealand, while others say it ranks among the top ten single-day treks in the world.
3. Mount Cook
Located in the centre of New Zealand’s South Island, Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie is home to breathtaking landscapes and the kiwi spirit of adventure. Experience clear starry nights in the world’s largest International Dark Sky Reserve, turquoise lakes, snow-capped mountains and New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki / Mount Cook.
Some of the most spectacular scenery in the world awaits your bird’s eye view. Experience everything New Zealand is famous for and see oceans, mountains, beaches and parks. A great way to make your trip memorable and the video is a superb and unique souvenir.
5. Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its world-famous coastal walking track, its golden beaches, unmodified estuaries, sculptured granite cliffs and mild climate.
It is a good place to visit at any time of year but during summer the park is particularly popular and the bays become dotted with sea kayaks, sailing boats and other water craft. Many people choose to stay in huts or campsites provided by the Department of Conservation (DOC) as they explore the Coast Track.
The track hugs the coast, offering spectacular views as you reach the top of a ridge, then it’s back down to a sheltered swimming and picnic spot.
6. Milford Sound
Deep within Fiordland National Park lies New Zealand’s most stunning natural attraction: Milford Sound. Discover the beauty of this pristine scenic destination and find out why it should be on every traveller’s itinerary. Despite being one of the most accessible fiords, Milford Sound remains quiet and still, bounded by steep cliffs and dense rainforest. Rain or shine, Milford Sound continues to captivate even the most experienced traveller.
At the pinnacle of Milford Sound is the magnetising Mitre Peak – standing a proud 1,692 metres above sea level, it is certainly an impressive sight to behold. Milford Sound is by far the best known of all of the fiords in New Zealand, and the only one that can be accessed by road. It is approximately 16km from the head of the fiord to the open sea, which means visitors can comfortably travel the length of the fiord to open ocean and return on one of the many cruise options.
7. Kaikoura dolphins & whales
A destination for all seasons, Kaikoura offers activities for everyone.Whether you enjoy just soaking up the surrounding beauty, walking the shores or more active pursuits, there’s plenty to see and do in Kaikoura on land, by sea, or in the air!
Local tour operators offer the chance to watch whales, dolphins, sea-birds and many other species of marine life on a daily basis; by boat, flight and by land. With wetsuits provided, visitors can even join dolphins and seals in their ocean environment. Kaikoura is renowned for its great fishing grounds, which anyone can enjoy by boat with a local fishing guide. Experience scuba diving the undersea world for some of the best reef diving in the country, or kayaking around the ruggedly beautiful Peninsula.
8. White Island
It is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, and has been built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years. The nearest mainland towns are Whakatane and Tauranga. White Island has been in a nearly continuous stage of smoking since it was discovered by James Cook in 1769.
9. Hot pools
Thanks to New Zealand’s geographic history, Aotearoa is a land of volcanoes and geothermal hot spots, which in turn have created many natural hot pools around both the North and South Island.
The Maori term for these springs and pools is “waiariki”, and we know that the very first people to live in New Zealand used to visit these springs to utilise their warmth and natural health properties as well as use them in a practical sense for things like cooking, cleaning and the dying of cloth. All these years later, we may not prepare dinner in them, but we certainly do still soak in them!
10. Queenstown Gondola
Marvel at the stunning views as you ride the Skyline Queenstown Gondola – the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere! Sit back and relax as the best views in the region unfold before your eyes and the Gondola carries you 450 metres above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob’s Peak.
En route you will enjoy a spectacular 220 degree vista, with breath taking views of Queenstown’s internationally acclaimed scenery, best enjoyed from the viewing terraces or from the comfort of the panoramic bar and restaurant.