My favorite country that I have visited, New Zealand has it all. Mountains, glaciers, beaches, ocean, lakes, forests, geothermal activity, unique animals, gorgeous landscapes, incredible Maori culture and history, adventure sports, and SO much more! With so much to do in New Zealand there was no way I could do it all with my one week there a few years back. Here is a list I have compiled of the things I still need to do in New Zealand.
Sail around the Bay of Islands. Subtropical islands known for gorgeous and undeveloped beaches, every photo I have ever seen of the Bay of Islands are simply stunning. I would love to pack a picnic, then spend a day sailing and wandering around the islands.
Climb Rangitoto Island, New Zealand’s youngest volcano. Only a 25 minute ferry ride from Auckland, this is New Zealand’s youngest, yet largest, volcano. It rose up from the sea 600 years ago and I think that is just so cool.
Take a day trip from Auckland to Waiheke Island. Another quick trip from Auckland, this island looks beautiful!
Make it down to Wellington. Wellington was a huge miss for me my first time in New Zealand. I wanted to get there so badly, but things just weren’t working out for that. But I have researched this city so much, and it looks like the perfect place for me. And I could geek out over LOTR here because Peter Jackson is from Wellington, and lots of the filming for LOTR was done with the green screen in Wellington.
Finally make it to the Tongariro Crossing. This is such a popular activity, as Tongariro is both New Zealand’s oldest National Park and a Heritage site, and if you’re a LOTR fan then you know that this is where Mordor is located. I had tried to do this two days before I left New Zealand. Knowing that this hike is often cancelled due to weather, I gave myself an extra day to reschedule if needed. Unfortunately the next day was just as bad weather wise, so I never got to do this activity.
Go Beach Hopping around Abel Tasman National Park. Have you Google Imaged Abel Tasman? If not, please do. Green grass, bright blue water, kayaks all over, this is one National Park this is a must do if you’re in the area.
See the Moeraki Boulders. I’ve seen photos of these boulders and they always look so mystical. This is what New Zealand dot com says about them
“Moeraki is now most famous for its boulders; mysteriously spherical stones scattered across a beach. Each boulder weighs several tonnes and is up to two metres high. Scientists explain the boulders as calcite concretions formed about 65 million years ago. According to Maori legend, the boulders are gourds washed ashore from the great voyaging canoe Araiteuru when it was wrecked upon landfall in New Zealand hundreds of years ago.”
I love mixing history, nature and legend together and there is just something about these boulders that intrigue me.
Explore the Caitlins. Famous for the waterfalls, the Caitlins have been on my radar for years. I would love to spend a few days chasing waterfalls and exploring the forests of the area.
Hopefully see the Southern Lights. Living in Canada you would think I have had the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. No such luck! I hope to go to the Northern Territories some time to see the Northern Lights (or Churchill Manitoba!) but you don’t hear nearly as much about the Southern Lights in New Zealand. I think seeing the Southern Lights would be just as incredible.
Spend a few days in Queenstown. This was the hardest part of not going to the South Island when I was in the country a few years back. I had wanted to do the Nevis Bungee Jump (NZ’s highest bungee jump) and the Nevis Swing, and eat at the famous Fergburger. I think a few days would be the perfect amount of time in Queenstown, giving plenty of time to do adventure sports, eat all the food and just experience the beauty.
Cruise both Milford Sound AND Doubtful Sound. Why choose one when you can choose both?! Two of the most popular fjords to cruise while on the South Island, an overnight cruise with the chance to hike and kayak would be the ultimate dream to get my fjord fix.
Walk the Milford Track. This is one of the most popular hikes in the country. Nestled in the mountains and surrounded by rain forest, it’s easy to see why.
Go Glacier Hiking on either (or both!) Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier. I feel like this point needs no explanation, because what could be cooler than hiking on a glacier? Oh right, nothing.
Things To Do Again
I may have done these activities before but they were so fun I need to do them again!
- Explore Hobbiton
- Check out the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
- Back to Rotorua to explore the area more
Have you ever been to New Zealand?
What would you most want to do?