16 Things To Do In New Zealand

“New Zealand is a country with untamed wilderness and a rich culture. One could find inspiration in towering mountains and mist-cloaked fjords. Serenity in golden beaches curled around quiet bays. New friends in small towns with big doses of laid-back charm.” – NewZealand.com. This post outlines some of the activities to do in New Zealand!

1. Witnessing the famous glow worms

This activity was part of the 5-days Tour with Hiking New Zealand. Arriving at the Waitomo Caves area descended into the vaulted galleries of the Ruakuri Cave with its limestone formations and crystals. Be enchanted by the thousands of tiny glow worms that cling to the cave ceiling and mimic a starlit night sky.

2. Enjoy a Maori Cultural Show in Rotorua

This activity was part of the 5-days Tour with Hiking New Zealand. Rotorua is the centre of Maori cultural tourism in New Zealand. This would be an evening filled with delightful Maori cuisine and cultural performance.

3. Hike alongside the beautifully clear Lake Tarawera

This activity was part of the 5-days Tour with Hiking New Zealand. Enjoy the shade of the towering tree ferns and ignimbrite cliffs offer. There are astonishing views all along this trail, giving glimpses of how expansive this wilderness of forest, lakes and volcanoes really is.

This is a 11km trail and took us around 3 hours to complete. I absolutely loved the trail as it was so peaceful and quiet. No one else was in the trail except our group! The tranquility allowed me to enjoy the nature even more!

4. Visit the thermal areas located a little south of Rotorua

This activity was part of the 5-days Tour with Hiking New Zealand. Wander along boardwalks that connect pools of bubbling mud, mineralised hot pools and plumes of rising steam, and wonder at the uniqueness of this area. The thermal mud pools are actually quite therapeutic to look at but the sulphur is really smelly!

5. Walk through stunning forest around the slopes of Mt. Pihanga and to the mystical Lake Rotopounamu (Lake of Greenstone)

This activity was part of the 5-days Tour with Hiking New Zealand.

6. Walk the Taranaki Falls Track

Our accommodation for two nights – Hotel at the gateway to Tongariro National Park.

This activity was part of the 5-days Tour with Hiking New Zealand. Taranaki Falls cascade 20 metres over a 15,000 year old lava flow.

7. Hike the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Emerald (foreground) and Blue (background) Lakes in Tongariro Alpine Crossing, North Island, New Zealand
Emerald (foreground) and Blue (background) Lakes

This activity was part of the 5-days Tour with Hiking New Zealand. This is a must-do hike if you are travelling to North Island! I have written a detailed experience on this activity here.

8. Visit Wellington

9. Take a multi-days cycling tour

Yayyy!!! I made it!!!

I did a cycling tour in the South Island, Alps to Ocean (A2O), and have a written a detailed post on my wonderful experiences of the multi-days cycling adventure here.

10. Visit Christchurch

Christchurch is still rebuilding from the earthquakes in 2011. Some of the destructions from the earthquakes still remained today. Plus the recent terrorist attack, I find the city very quiet and has a sad vibe to it (maybe it is just me) but the city felt a little bit empty. I hope that one day Christchurch may recover from the terrible natural disaster and insensible attack.

11. Visit Queenstown

I highly recommend staying at Crowne Plaza Queenstown and choose the “Lake View” Room and you will be treated with views like above (first three photos).

12. Do Station to Station Cycle Tour in Queenstown

This bike trail is called Station to Station, starting in Mt. Nicholas farm and finishes at Walter Peak high country farm. To go to Mt. Nicholas farm, I boarded the Spirit of Queenstown, which was included in the tour. This is an easy self-guided tour, 14km flat on gravel road with only two small bumps. It took about 1.5 hours depending on the number of photo stops (I stopped too many times! The views were so lovely – I could not stop taking photo!).

It was a very lovely experience! The weather was amazing! Easy cycling and it was so peaceful and quiet throughout the whole trail! Except the occasional sheep calling and cows mooing. A very nice way to experience the quiet country road of Queenstown indeed. 

Cows crossing! It’s quite scary to be honest because they are easily scared and would suddenly run and startled me! Some of them were very stubborn too and refused to move!

13. Visit Milford Sound

I explored Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park in all ways possible – by land, sea and air! The highlight was definitely the helicopter ride, enable me to see the rugged mountains’ peaks up close! I am so incredibly grateful for the beautiful weather that day in Milford Sound! The helicopter ride is dependable on the weather and according to the pilot, helicopter tours are cancelled 50% of the time. So thankful that the weather was cooperating very well that day!

The edge of the world!

The helicopter ride around Fiordland National Park and back to Queenstown was truly a wonderful experience! Seeing the mountains up close from above were beyond words! I feel so blessed!

14. Take an Alpine Walk in Queenstown

I planned to go for a walk around The Remarkables but it was a very moody day and started to rain. I walked for a bit in the rain but decided to stop when the tracks became icy. I did not want to fall on ice again after a very bad experience in Canada – fell on my left knee and it took me a few months to recover. I think the track would be very lovely to explore in summer and autumn.

15. Visit Lake Wanaka and take photo of that famous Tree 🙂

16. Visit Auckland

All photos and videos were taken using either NikonD800 or iPhoneX.

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