Enjoying the breathtaking scenery and unique cultures of New Zealand is a major attraction to visitors. But for many it provides the ideal opportunity to indulge in their favourite activity in stunning surroundings, or to try out a new one for a once in a lifetime experience. The following list is not exhaustive, and we are always looking for new and unique experiences that showcase our beautiful country.
Hiking and Walking
Short walks through forest and bush; multi-day alpine tracks staying overnight in mountain huts; there are endless opportunities for walking or tramping as it is known in New Zealand. Go independently with a map, compass and a backpack, or benefit from the knowledge of local guides to show you the best views and identify unique flora and fauna.
Stag, pig, tahr, and chamois – the hunting is world-class. Enjoy the comfort of a remote lodge, before taking off on your adventure to prime hunting locations only accessible by helicopter.
New Zealand is a fisherman’s paradise. Fly-fish for trout and salmon in pristine lakes and rivers in both North and South Islands, or head to the far north for big game sea-fishing. For the ultimate fishing experience try heli-fishing in a remote location with your own personal guide.
Lord of the Rings
For fans of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies, you can’t miss a visit to Hobbiton in rural North Island. Other must-sees are the Weta Workshops in Wellington, and numerous film locations around the South Island, either during your journey or on 4WD tours or scenic flights.
Get the ultimate adrenalin fix on your holiday – choose from bungy jumping, jetboating, skydiving, blackwater rafting through glow-worm caves, quad-biking, white-water rafting or zorbing! All guaranteed to leave you on a high and wanting more of the same!
With vineyards stretching from the far north to Central Otago, New Zealand offers plenty of opportunities to sample fine wine. Enjoy some of the world’s finest wines accompanied by a tasty cheese platter against a backdrop of stunning landscapes.
Marvel at the breathtaking scenery while traversing the high country on your sure-footed mount. Breathe in fresh sea air as you canter along deserted beaches. For less experienced riders enjoy gentle half day rides along forest or farm trails.
Some of New Zealand’s most spectacular sights are best seen from the air. For complete indulgence take a helicopter to inaccessible beaches or remote peaks, or take a light plane to land high on a glacier. For tranquility enjoy a hot air balloon flight at dawn; for the ultimate freedom experience a tandem paraglide is guaranteed to thrill.
Experience traditional Maori singing, dancing and dining at a traditional hangi feast, or for a real insight into the Maori culture, visit a local marae and learn about the legends and history of the ancient tribes.
The Southern Alps offer world-class skiing and snowboarding, with heli-skiing giving you the chance to ski virgin snow in the backcountry. Mt Ruapehu in the North Island provides extensive and safe skiing on a volcano.
New Zealand is a haven for wildlife. Swim with dolphins, get up close to sealions, stare in wonder at the mighty sperm whale, and keep your eyes open for yellow-eyed and tiny blue penguins. If you’re extremely lucky you may even spot the elusive kiwi.
Jacques Cousteau rated the Poor Knights Islands among the top 10 dive sites in the world. Extensive diving can be found around the coastlines from the sub-tropical north, to the cooler waters of the Marlborough Sounds and Fiordland.
New Zealand offers sailing opportunities for both experienced and novice sailors, whether cruising around the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland, or island-hopping in the Bay of Islands. Charter your own yacht or join a group for a sunset cruise.
Embrace the thrill of wild water river-kayaking, or enjoy the serenity of paddling around the gentle waters of the Abel Tasman National Park, the Coromandel Peninsular, Milford Sound or the Marlborough Sounds.
Prepare for adventure on some of the most exciting mountain biking trails in the world. From leisurely forest tracks for all the family, to steep single track for the die-hards, or heli-biking for full-on descent; it’s a great way to experience the New Zealand outdoors.
Try your hand at glacier-trekking and ice-climbing on the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, or for experienced rock-climbers and mountaineers tackle challenging technical routes in the Southern Alps.
With more than 400 golf courses, including several rated amongst the world’s top 100, New Zealand is a paradise for golfers. Novices and experts can enjoy an unforgettable experience against a backdrop of spectacular forest, cliff-tops, sparkling lakes and snow-capped mountains.