Our ultimate NZ Bucket List
We might not be trekking Machu Picchu or experiencing an African Safari anytime soon. But right now is the perfect opportunity for exploring the wonders of our own backyard.
Star gazing at Lake Tekapo
Located in the Aoraki Mackenzie region is Lake Tekapo, famous as one of New Zealand’s best spots for stargazing. Discover the dark sky reserve from the comfort of your accommodation deck, soak in the stars while soaking in the Tekapo Springs, or take a guided astronomy & stargazing tour.
There’s plenty of great accommodation options, including luxury modern villas with alpine views. Or enjoy an interactive farm stay at Shear Vue
Whale watch in Kaikoura
Easily one of New Zealand’s most special marine experiences, get an up-close encounter with these majestic creatures, amongst stunning scenery. Kaikoura is about more than just whales though – eat at the famous Nin Bin’s crayfish joint, indulge your senses at the Lavender Farm, and admire heritage architecture at Fyffe House.
Hike Milford Track
New Zealand’s most famous walk, Milford Track features some seriously impressive alpine and fiord scenery. Note that part of the Great Milford Track is currently closed, but there is a three-day return track available.
If tramping isn’t your thing, let the boats do the huffing and puffing with a Milford Sound cruise. Choose a day trip, or an overnight trip to experience the Sounds at their most peaceful.
Ferry the Cook Strait
Many kiwis are yet to travel between islands on sea, but the three-hour journey offers some lovely views across the Cook Strait. It’s a great excuse to visit the capital, and Picton is an idylicc seaside town which is much more than just a pit-stop.
Soak at Onsen Hot Pools
After all that adventure (or wine) of Queenstown, there’s nothing like a good soak in your personal hot tub. These ones even overlook the stunning Shotover River. The insta-famous Onsen Hot Pools are a must-visit.
Climb Mauao, Mt Maunganui
Just 40 minutes to the summit, it’s no Mount Cook, but the views up Mauao are spectacular. It’s not all this area has to offer. Mt Maunganui Beach is regularly featured on NZ’s top beaches lists, the town has a laid-back surf vibe, and a vibrant nightlife.
White water rafting
The world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall is in the Kaituna River, Rotorua. You’ll start with a leisurely drift down the river and stop off for a quick jump and swim by the historic power station. Get warmed up rafting over some small waterfalls before the final event – an impressive 7 metre drop.
This picturesque spot on the Coromandel is an iconic postcard perfect Kiwi location. Just a skip, hop and a jump from famous Hahei and Hot Water Beach, this stretch of the Coromandel is a beauty.
Dive Poor Knights Islands
This collection of islands just off the East coast of Northland is an iconic Kiwi diving spot. Whether you’ll be donning your snorkel and mask, or you’re an experienced diver, check out the world’s largest sea cave and get immersed in the colourful marine life along with stingray, dolphins and fur seals.
A Kiwi winter is usually the ideal time to skip the country – for the balmy weather, delicious food, intrepid journeys or […]