This gorgeous country has something to offer for everyone. For adrenaline junkies, New Zealand is home to some of the best extreme outdoor experiences ever and a guaranteed great adventure. Beach lovers will be delighted with how NZ has miles and miles of coastline, and no beach is the same as the other. As for foodies, Kiwi cuisine, wine culture and café culture are beyond compare. Lastly, for nature trippers, the country is rich with stunning vistas found nowhere else. How do you make the most of your adventure in a very short time? We recommend that you include these top ten experiences in your New Zealand itinerary.
Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful fiords in Fiordland National Park. Its blue waters enclosed by towering peaks and sheer cliffs cloaked in verdant forests are some of the most photographed vistas in NZ, particularly the picture-perfect Mitre Peak. A trek through one of the many land trails following Milford Sound will allow you to drink in its beauty.
Hike Through Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Considered to be one of the most popular day hikes in New Zealand, the hike through Tongariro Alpine Crossing will truly make you feel like you’re going on an adventure with fellow hobbits and have great experiences. The hike will take you through the fascinating, otherworldly volcanic terrain. The hike is made challenging by the fact that the trail passes by two active volcanoes – Mt. Tongariro and Mt. Ngaruhoe. Mt. Ngaruhoe served as Mount Doom in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Go On a Middle Earth Guided Tour
Speaking of Peter Jackson’s movies, The Lord of the Rings trilogy greatly boosted New Zealand’s tourism industry, bringing in millions of tourists a year. The numbers are further bolstered by the release of the follow-up trilogy The Hobbit. If you’re a fan of these movies, take advantage of the guided tour through the set and locations where they were filmed.
Go Bungee Jumping Where It Was Invented
Well, commercial bungee jumping, that is. You’ll find the first permanent commercial bungee jumping platform in the world at the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge just outside of Queenstown.
Go Whale Watching at Kaikoura
Whales and dolphins show up almost all the time off the shores of Kaikoura on the eastern coast of South Island, which why whale-watching boat tours are so popular there. You also get to see seabirds and seal colonies on the town’s coasts.
Watch The Surf On Surf Highway
Also known as State Highway 45, this one-way roadway hugs the Taranaki coastal plain from New Plymouth to Hawera. Taranaki’s coast is known for its ocean swells, and the surf’s always up there. You can stop by to watch the waves, or you can join one of the surfing schools there for a short course on riding the waves.
Because of light pollution, there are now only a handful of places around the planet where we can enjoy a sky dark enough to see the stars in all their glory. New Zealand, however, has three International Dark Sky reserves located on Mt. John in Tekapo, in Queenstown, and in Aoraki. There you can camp outdoors and sleep under a sky brightly lit by stars alone.
Eat a Fergburger
A Fergburger is a burger like no other. These gourmet burgers are twice the size of a McDonald’s burger, and their patties and dressings are not limited to beef, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. The patties can be made of lamb, codfish, venison, chicken or tofu. As for the dressings, aside from cheese, tomatoes and lettuce, you can have avocado, relish, aioli, bacon, yogurt, and many others. You can only get these burgers at the Fergburger restaurant in Queenstown.
Watch a Haka Performance
This last tip in New Zealand doesn’t revolve around an adventure too much but still many of the great experiences. This Maori war dance can be outright terrifying to watch, which is why many Kiwi sports teams dance the haka before a sporting match. The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team in particular has put the haka to good use. They are consistently at the top of rugby’s world rankings and definitely know how to put up a good match.
Make your holiday in New Zealand truly memorable by adding these activities to your itinerary.