Tag Archive for "Adventure Travel" - About New Zealand
 

10 Best Things to Do in Auckland

Posted on: July 24th, 2018 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Evening view of Auckland city from Kingsland credit Chris McLennan

New Zealand is a land of extraordinary contrasts, and no city encapsulates this better than Auckland.

Urban yet blessed with natural beauty right on its doorstep, Auckland holds unique treasures waiting to be explored.

From volcanoes and museums, black sand beaches and sensational cuisine, we’ve made hitting all the Auckland highlights easy.

Here are 10 best things to do in Auckland for an unforgettable stay in New Zealand.

Indulge on Waiheke Island

Dining on Waiheke Island, Hauraki Gulf credit Todd Eyre

Waiheke Island is all about shamelessly enjoying the good life.

And you deserve it – you’re in New Zealand, after all!

Dotted with sensational restaurants, endless vineyards, cellar doors and microbreweries, the culinary delights in Waiheke Island will tempt any palate.

With a nick name like “Island of Wine,” wine-hopping in Waiheke is a must. Our favorite small-group winery tours stop at some of Waiheke’s top award-winning wineries with visits to hidden gems around the island.

After delighting in oysters and champagne at Oyster Inn or a leisurely Italian lunch at Poderi Crisci, stop in at Island Gelato for a cool scoop of gelato with tasty flavors such as coffee affagato with roasted almond or mango lassi.

Waiheke Island is also known for its strong art community. Scattered with galleries and sculpture parks, there’s a sense of creativity that mingles around the island, making all creatives feel at home.

With such stunning natural beauty around the island, it’s easy to find inspiration everywhere you look. Surrounded in sparkling bays, inviting beaches, lush gardens and rainforest, if the wine hasn’t made you fall in love with Waiheke, its scenery definitely will.

A ferry trip from Auckland to Waiheke Island takes about 40 minutes, with numerous daily departures and returns.

Explore Rangitoto Island

Views from Rangitoto Summit credit Todd Eyre

You don’t need to travel far from Auckland to find iconic New Zealand natural beauty. In fact, a 25-minute ferry to Rangitoto Island will do.

This volcanic island is the youngest and largest volcano in Auckland – it even looks like those perfect, symmetrical volcanoes you see in movies.

Home to over 200 species of flora, native bird life and the world’s largest Pohutukawa forest, Rangitoto is a haven for hikers, daytrippers and nature lovers.

With walking trails strewn across the island, the most popular trail climbs the summit of Rangitoto. At the very top you’ll see incredible views over the emerald islands dotting the blue Hauruki Gulf, out toward Auckland city.

Tick off a bucket list item you didn’t know you had and walk on the lava fields in Rangitoto, where the ground is literally lava. The island is made entirely from hardened lava after spectacular eruptions occurred between 1400 and 1450. The Maori who witnessed these eruptions then gave the island the name Rangitoto, meaning “bleeding skies.”

There are seven lava caves to explore on the island, popular with families for a unique island adventure. Adventurous kayakers also like to brave the waters and kayak from Auckland to Rangitoto, a divine trek across the Waitemata Harbour where Little Blue Penguins and Cooks Petrels may be spotted. 

Visit the Auckland War Memorial Museum

Pataka Maori Court credit Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira

Not only rated as one of the top things to do in Auckland, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is also one of New Zealand’s finest museums.

Here you’ll find incredibly rare Maori and Pacific Island treasures, natural history exhibits and cultural artifacts all telling the story of New Zealand as a nation.

Housed in an elegant and imposing heritage building, you could easily spend hours roaming the unique collections within its multiple levels.

Explore the worlds of the Maori, Pakeha and people of Oceania on the ground floor. Stroll through the corridors of Maori carvings, canoes, jewelry, ceremonial objects and other Pacific masterpieces.

On the first floor you’ll find life-sized replica skeletons of cryolophosaurus and malawisaurus dinosaurs that once roamed New Zealand. Discover other prehistoric treasures such as the now extinct 9-foot tall moa bird and other fossilized lifeforms.

Wander up to the war memorial galleries for historic aircraft, photos, diaries and military collections uncovering New Zealand’s unique war history.

See Auckland from Above on the Sky Tower

Sky Walk Auckland credit AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand

Feel the rush of adrenaline pump through your veins as you climb to the top of the Auckland Sky Tower.

Standing at 1,076 ft (including the antenna spire), it is the tallest freestanding building the Southern Hemisphere, an iconic feature of the Auckland city skyline.

As one of Auckland’s most popular attractions, the tower holds something for every visitor.

Its main observation deck on level 51 features a glass floor as thick as concrete, offering visitors incredible views of Auckland below.

Treat yourself to the wonderful 360-degree views and delightful degustation menu at The Sugar Club on level 53, a feast for the senses surrounded by a splendid art deco ambience.

Here on level 53 is where daredevils take on the SkyJump, a 630 ft guide-cable-controlled jump where divers may reach speeds up to 53 miles per hour. What a perfect level to jump from!

For those with a taste of adventure but not exactly looking to jump off a building, inch along a narrow walkway around the tower on the SkyWalk. Guided by experienced climbers and safely attached with a harness, this exhilarating challenge will get your blood pumping as you stand at incredible heights, enjoying unobstructed views across Auckland.

See the Black Sands of Auckland West Coast Beaches

Piha Beach credit Scott Venning

New Zealand is framed with many stunning beaches, and Auckland adds its own gems into the mix. Its famous black sand beaches on the west coast are about an hour’s drive away.

Possibly the most famous and most accessible black sand beach is Piha, a black iron sand beach popular for surfing.

Other black sand beaches include Karekare, Muriwai, Ngarunui and Hot Water Beach. Like Piha these beaches are also known for great surf, so grab a board and take on the waves! Surfing schools and rental shops around the beaches are the perfect way for first-timers to learn, and what better place to learn to surf than on a black sand beach!

Even without getting wet, these beaches are stunning to look at. The sands shine like glitter reflecting the sun, leaving tiger fur-like patterns on the beach.

Stroll Along the Viaduct Harbour

Sunset at Viaduct Harbour credit Chris McLennan

At the heart of Auckland’s CBD is Viaduct Harbour, the place where the City of Sails gets its name.

Boasting some of Auckland’s finest restaurants and bars, there’s no better way to sip on fine wines and enjoy mouth-watering cuisine as you overlook the waters and buzzing atmosphere around you.

Spend a sunny afternoon or calm evening exploring the coffee shops, ogling the docked luxury yachts or even indulging in a cruise along the harbour.

Step into New Zealand’s Voyager Maritime Museum or grab a gelato and take in te gorgeous views of the harbour. Don’t forget to grab a souvenir!

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki

The fabulous Maori portraits by artist Gottfried Lindauer alone are worth the visit to the Auckland Art Gallery.

Housing over 15,000 artworks showcasing different periods and styles from international, New Zealand, Maori and South Pacific artists, it is the most extensive art collection in New Zealand.

Lindaeur’s portraits are an enduring favorite, accurately depicting Maori people and chiefs with their unique facial tattoos, clothing and weapons.

With short films, modern installations and traveling exhibitions, the gallery is a must for art lovers looking to delve deeper into Maori art.

Complete the day with a coffee from the gallery cafe and a unique treasure from the gift shop.

See Auckland from the Top of a Volcano

Mount Eden crater and view credit J Brew

With 48 volcanic cones dotted across the city, these smooth, green-clad volcanoes are part of what makes Auckland’s landscape so unique.

Rich in history and bound with spiritual and cultural significance, each of Auckland’s volcanoes have a story to tell.

From Rangitoto across the Hauraki Gulf to Mount Eden – Maungawhau and One Tree Hill – Maungakiekie in the mainland, Auckland makes climbing a volcano an easy tick off your list.

Mount Eden features three large craters with traces of pa terraces and food storage pits still visible, once used by the Maori. The deepest crater, named Te Ipu-a-Mataaho meaning The Bowl of Mataaho, is named after a deity said to live inside it, guarding the secrets of the Earth.

The peak of Mount Eden is the highest natural point in Auckland, a popular destination with locals and tourists alike for sweeping views of Auckland right from the heart of its volcanic landscape.

Taste Auckland’s Amazing Food and Wine

Dining at the Shucker Brothers, Waterfront, Central Auckland credit Todd Eyre

Explore a world of flavors in one of Auckland’s many growing food and wine precincts. From farmers markets to cooking glasses, islands of wine to harbor-side dining, you’ll find something to suit every taste.

Find some of Auckland’s hippest cafes restaurants and bars at the Britomart district. Settle in for a seriously good roast at a cozy coffee shop, indulge at a dumpling bar or enjoy savory Mexican sharing plates.

Stroll through the Federal Street district and discover a number of bars and restaurants headed by internationally renowned chefs. This foodie hotspot boasts freshly shucked oysters at Depot, Spanish tapas at Bellota and authentic contemporary Chinese cuisine at Huami.

Grab a pint of carefully crafted beer at 16 Tun in the Wynyard Quarter waterfront precinct or a smooth glass of wine at Viaduct Harbour.

With so many sensational restaurants, bars and hidden gems, it may be difficult to navigate Auckland’s food scene as a first time visitor. One of our favorite small-group tours excels in showcasing the best of Auckland’s food and wine hotspots for a local’s taste of Auckland.

Take a Cruise on the Harbor

Cruising on the Nirvana credit Chris McLennan

Don’t just gaze wistfully at the yachts docked on the harbor – join a cruise!

As one of the best ways to take in Auckland’s main sights and surrounding islands, a cruise is the perfect way to experience this harbor city.

No better way to take on the “City of Sails!”

One of our favorite cruises sets off from the Viaduct Harbour with the Auckland skyline behind you. Glide past the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Devonport precinct, the Bean Rock Lighthouse and Bastion Point. Your skipper will provide entertaining commentary and history of the landmarks as you pass them by.

Cruise past Rangitoto Island, the tranquil Browns Island, and picturesque Motuihe as you savor a delicious lunch.

Want More Ideas for Things to Do in Auckland?

Auckland is the perfect first stop on your New Zealand trip. We’ll make sure your visit is filled with the best things to do in Auckland and bucket list items. Let’s begin planning your journey!

I Want to Visit Auckland!

Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm)


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You May Have Missed Your Chance to Vacation to New Zealand

Posted on: August 4th, 2017 by About Australia Staff No Comments

New Zealand is full. Booked. No vacancy.

“But I reallllyyy want to see those beautiful landscapes! The fiords! The glaciers!”

Too late. Nothing else to see here, move along, pick a new country to visit, later gator.

In 2017, New Zealand officially has more people wanting to visit than there is space available to house them.

It’s a huge problem.

Of course, it’s not surprising. New Zealand’s postcard-ready landscape, mild climate and rugged coastline seem tailor made for the wanderlust of travelers of all ages.

vacation to new zealand

But as native Aussies, in proper brotherly fashion we prefer to blame a Kiwi – namely Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.

Since the release of the Lord of the Rings films, New Zealand has absolutely exploded as a tourist destination.

Hardcore fans of the film look to retrace Frodo’s steps to Mt. Doom or have a pint at the Green Dragon Inn, while non-movie buffs can’t help but appreciate the photogenic, sweeping vistas of the countryside.

vacation to new zealand

Photo: Hobbiton Tours

There really is something that could tickle anyone’s fancy – and that’s exactly why tourism in New Zealand is shattering records all over the place.

Developers have been scrambling the past few years, trying their best to put up more hotels and rooms for eager visitors. But it seems like they just can’t put them up fast enough.

Room for accommodation is so tight that just recently a group of 53 traveling senior-citizens had a delayed flight and ended up stranded for the night – not a single hotel room left to spare.

Luckily, they were treated to some Maori hospitality and put up for the night in a traditional Maori meeting house. Sleeping bags on the floor and all – just like at camp.

And that’s just the hotels!

Vacation to New Zealand Auckland

Photo: Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand’s overall infrastructure is being stressed so much that estimates put a $1.5 billion-dollar price tag on improvements to set the tourism industry up for the future.

Think about the rental cars needed to go on those epic self-drive adventures New Zealand is so well known for. The tickets and space needed to participate in the extreme sport staples people know and love like bungy jumping and skydiving.

All these pieces work in unison to create an amazing New Zealand experience and if you don’t plan ahead, you could find yourself stuck.

We’ve been in the travel game for nearly 20 years and we’ve never seen anything like it. But we have picked up some tips along the way to make your trip seamless.

Book Early

The earlier you book, the better your chances at getting your preferred trip, it’s as easy as that. Some seasons are busier than others, but the fact remains that the quicker you get your trip booked, the easier it will be.

But don’t expect to simply book a hotel room and be on your merry way.

How will you get to the hotel from the airport?

Taxi queues can be long and that meter keeps running no matter how much traffic you’re stuck in.

Uber, Lyft and other car-sharing services are available in New Zealand, but increasingly subject to increase rates during peak times known as surge-pricing. With the number of tourists and locals clamoring for a ride, you could be paying even more than a taxi.

That’s why car-transfer shuttles with their flat rate are the way to go. They’ll be ready and waiting for you at the airport. The last thing you want to do is figure out getting your cell phone to work in a new country immediately after your 13 hour flight! Better book this early while you’re at it.

Travel in the Off Season

This one needs no explanation. Make no mistake – travel in the off season is much more flexible than peak season. We have an in-depth guide to New Zealand’s travel seasons but overall, it’s pretty simple.

Summer

December, January, February – By far the busiest season. Warm weather and school children are on vacation.

Fall

March, April, May – Milder temperatures and the summer rush is dwindling. Fall is a GREAT time to experience the great New Zealand outdoors.

Winter

June, July, August – You’ll want to bring a coat, but there’s still plenty to do in the colder months like skiing, glacier hiking and more. The North Island tends to stay a bit warmer than the South Island, but if you really want to embrace the wintery chill,  head to the mountains for snowy peaks and fun, outdoor winter activities.

new zealand vacation

Photo: Julian Apse

You’ve always wanted to snowboard in July, haven’t you?

Spring

September, October, November – Beautiful weather. The perfect time to hike one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, like the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Pleasant weather all the way through.

Freedom Camp

Make your car your home by freedom camping in a pop-up camper vehicle or RV. Freedom camping in New Zealand is just as it sounds: the freedom to drive yourself around to your hearts content, pull in to a designated area and stay the night.

No hotel check ins, no shuttle transfers. Just you, the open road and a sense of adventure.

 new zealand vacation

Freedom camping can get you places you otherwise might miss, but despite the name, there are still a few guidelines you need to follow.

Until the past couple of decades, New Zealand was a free-wheeling, camping free-for-all and you could pull over wherever you wanted and stay the night in your camper van or truck.

But as word got out on this come-as-you-please, bohemian travel style, property owners began to crack down and “No Camping” signs began to go up.

Nowadays, a map of designated DOC (Dept. of Conservation)-friendly sites will do you good for finding spots to call home for the night.

The good news? DOC sites are plentiful and can get you beyond the average tourist bubble of accommodations. Find yourself in a remote wilderness one day and chatting up the locals at a pub the next.

Oh, and did we mention they’re free?

Have an Expert Plan Your Vacation to New Zealand For You

We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but after 20 years we think we’ve got this travel thing figured out. We can put you up in a preferred travel accommodation, book you a ride from the airport and get you to and from tours without hassle.

Sometimes the slightest snag can throw off a perfectly good vacation. Can’t find a ride to the airport in Auckland? You could miss your flight to Queenstown.

Trying to bungy jump or simply tour Hobbiton but tickets are sold out? If you didn’t book ahead, you’re out of luck.

We specialize in putting the parts together and setting them in motion. All you need to do is enjoy the ride.

Let us build a free quote for you and we’ll make sure you have a place to lay your head at night.

I Don’t Want to Miss Out On New Zealand!

Want to start planning your trip now?

Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm) and speak to one of our expert Destination Specialists today.


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New Zealand Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways

Posted on: June 28th, 2017 by About Australia Staff No Comments

There is perhaps no trip more memorable than a honeymoon. You’re riding the high from the biggest day of your life and want the good times to keep going. It’s a story you’ll tell for the rest of your life.

Better not make it a boring one!

The story of your New Zealand honeymoon is one that you’ll never get tired of telling. Just imagine the conversation when you get back:

“So, how was the honeymoon?”

“Well we went to New Zeala-“

“Wow New Zealand! THAT’S AMAZING!”

You won’t get too far in that conversation until everyone’s excitement is soaring. People are fascinated by the country and we’re sure you will be too.

Whether you’ve seen it in movies like the Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, or you’re already aware of the gorgeous landscapes, fiords, glaciers and mountains. Any way you decide to experience New Zealand, you’re sure to have the perfect post-wedding adventure.

New Zealand Honeymoon Essentials

New Zealand Honeymoons Picnic Queenstown

Photo: Miles Holden

Romantic Dinner for Two

You’ve landed in New Zealand. It’s your first evening in Kiwi country and you want to get it started right.

New Zealand Honeymoons Romantic Dinner

Nothing says romantic night out like a quiet dinner out on the town. But don’t settle for just anywhere. Make it extra special with a visit to one of these amazing restaurants.

  • Want to dine from more than 700 feet up in the air? Orbit Restaurant at the top of the Auckland Sky Tower is the perfect option for bird’s eye views of the city. The restaurant even slowly spins 360° so you can see the city from all angles.
  • How about a romantic sky-gondola ride followed by dinner with an amazing view? Take a gondola ride up the Skyline to Stratosfare Restaurant in Queenstown. With a focus on delicious wine and fine dining fare, Stratosfare makes for a great spot for dinner, or even just after dinner drinks with a view.
  • Afraid of heights? Go underground to the chic Japanese restaurant Tanuki’s Cave. This hip sake bar is the perfect spot to start off a night on the town.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

You just ate dinner and the night is still young. What next? Dive in to New Zealand’s best night life and dance the night away at these clubs and bars.

  • Orleans – You may be thousands of miles away, but don’t skip out on this Kiwi take on The Big Easy. Orleans in Auckland specializes in New Orleans cuisine, but turns up on the weekend with live band, upbeat rhythm and blues.
  • Impala – This new addition to Auckland night life is all about the dancing. Craft beer, fancy cocktails and amazing wine round out the bar at this upscale venue. Famous guest DJ’s make sure the party stays turned up at Impala.
  • Ink Bar – Located in the super trendy “K-Road” neighborhood of Auckland, Ink Bar is a late night spot for underground house music and drinks.

Recover in Style with a Spa Day

New Zealand Honeymoons Polynesian Spa

Photo: Polynesian Spa

Partied a little too hard on your night out? Find the ultimate in rest and relaxation in one of New Zealand’s many spas and hot pools. There’s nothing like a soak in a heated mineral pool to clear the toxins from your body!

  • The Polynesian Spa is an amazing oasis surrounded by natural plants and rocks. Pools are filled with heated, natural mineral water for a relaxing soak. The Polynesian Spa was voted one of the top 10 spas in the entire world – it’s that good.
  • How about a personal spa of your own? Head to Hot Water Beach, rent out a shovel and get to digging. The water below the sand is HOT due to the geothermal heating beneath the surface. Hot Water Beach is one of our top thermal pools in New Zealand and we’re sure you’ll love it.
  • Hell’s Gate is a geothermal attraction with hot mud pools, geysers and waterfalls. In this unique spa experience you can exfoliate in the hot mud, see the southern hemisphere’s largest hot waterfall and take a soak in hot, healing sulphur pools.

Couple’s Wine Tasting and Vineyard Tour

New Zealand Honeymoons Vineyards

Photo: Camilla Rutherford

After you’re rested up, keep the relaxation day going. Go for the quintessential romantic couple’s experience: a vineyard and winery tour in New Zealand’s beautiful wine regions. Stroll through lush orchards. Treat yourselves to some of the finest dining in New Zealand. Taste New Zealand’s world-famous wines and toast to the rest of your lives.

Waiheke Island alone is home to nearly 20 wineries and vineyards. With splendid views of expansive, rolling vistas and the surrounding water in the distance, Waiheke Island is that picturesque, romantic getaway you’ve been searching for. Travel + Leisure even named Waiheke Island one of the best places to honeymoon right now.

Leaps of Faith

Now that you’re rested up, it’s the perfect time to get your adrenaline going again. New Zealand is packed with adventure experiences that you’ll love doing together. There are enough unforgettable experiences to be had to last a lifetime. Hop on over to Queenstown and participate in some of the extreme sports that this “Adventure Capital of the World” is known for.

  • AJ Hackett Bungy Jumping – The first commercial bungy company in the world. Bungy jumping put New Zealand on the map for extreme sports nearly 30 years ago.
  • Skydiving Queenstown – You’re 15,000 feet up and every instinct in your body is telling you not to do it. Your toes hang over the ledge of the plane as the countdown begins. And then you jump and find out first hand what made it all worth it. Skydiving over New Zealand’s picturesque landscape is indescribable, but we’re sure you’ll have the time of your life.

Take to the Open Road

New Zealand Honeymoons Kaikoura

Photo: Sara Orme

Driving yourself through a new country with just the two of you is an amazing journey and a personalized experience you’ll never forget. Every mile of a self-driven New Zealand road trip is a delight.

New Zealand is the ultimate self-drive destination. Rent a car and head up the rocky coast. Stop along the way for lunch. Wind your way along rolling hills, careening through lush greenery. Stop for a photo-op wherever you want – and believe us, you’ll want to stop often as you see the landscape pass by your windows.

No longer will you ask, “are we there yet?”. Instead, you’ll be saying “I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

Explore Nature

Want to get outside but not quite the jumping-out-of-a-plane type? New Zealand is nearly 1/3 covered in National Parks, so you’ll find plenty to do to experience the country’s beautiful landscapes.

Take your partner on a kayak-for-two and paddle around Rangitoto Island. See amazing seal colonies in the wild. Crane your neck to the sky for unmatched views of rugged, mountainous landscape. You’ll both work together paddling your way around calm waters to secluded beaches and more.

Stargaze the Darkest Skies in the World

You may never look to the stars the same way again. The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve is a gold-rated reserve. This means that it has some of the least light pollution on the planet.

Did you know that in many urban areas as few as 300 stars are visible at any given moment? At Dark Sky Reserves you’ll be able to see as many as 15,000!

See the cluster that makes up the Milky Way. Constellations come to life and you can pinpoint individual stars with ease.

Stargazing New Zealand Honeymoons

Photo: Vaughan Brookfield

With the use of telescopes, high powered binoculars and the simple naked eye, you can point out planets, distant galaxies, other planets’ moons and more.

Cozy up with your partner and stare off in to the galaxy. Keep an eye out for shooting stars – they’re more common than you think when there’s no light pollution washing everything out!

Get Away From it All

Honeymoons and other romantic vacations are meant to get away from it all and put the focus on having an enriching experience with you and your partner. So how about a chance to really get away?

Imagine yourself in a secluded, luxury cabin embraced on 3 sides by tall, lush hills. Right out front, through floor to ceiling windows and wide open space is a beautiful, calm bay just outside your doorstep.

New Zealand Honeymoons Secluded Lodge

Photo: Scrubby Bay

 

Bask in the lap of luxury with a stay in one of New Zealand’s luxury cottages. With your own personal waterfront, the privacy of complete seclusion, a private swimming pool and spa and New Zealand’s amazing landscape in your backyard – rest and relaxation has never been more relaxing.

Check out Scrubby Bay, just outside of Christchurch. The remote bay is only accessible via a 40 minute four-wheel drive transfer. Or, really live it up and upgrade to a scenic helicopter ride that lands just steps away from your luxury property for an epic entrance and exit you’ll never forget.

Don’t Start Off with a Headache

There are so many sublime experiences to be had in New Zealand, you owe it to yourself to make it your honeymoon destination. Remember, you’ll be relaying this story to friends and family for years to come – make it a good one. A New Zealand honeymoon is the perfect way to start your lives together and we can make it easy for you. Tell us what you’d like to do and we can make it happen for you. We’ll send you a free quote so you can start making priceless memories in no time.

Let’s Plan My Honeymoon

Want to start planning your trip now?

Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm) and speak to one of our expert Destination Specialists today.


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New Zealand Adventure Tours

Posted on: August 25th, 2015 by Lexie No Comments

new zealand adventure travel

Does the thought of an international adventure entice you?

New Zealand is full of geographical diversity; the entire country is covered in mountains, glaciers, rainforests, lakes, farmland, and the most gorgeous coastline, which provides an enormous amount of variety for thrill-seekers. It is the adventure travelers paradise. If you’re wondering where to go in New Zealand, there are locations all over the country that yield extreme sports, adventures and fun. We have compiled a list of the top 26 adventure destinations and attractions that you must visit once in your lifetime. Travel-Tip: If you’re up for a road-trip, self drive tours are the best way to explore New Zealand at your own pace.

Queenstown, New Zealand | South Island

Queenstown, home of the New Zealand Winter Games, is the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and the ‘adrenaline capital of New Zealand- it’s no wonder it’s number one in adventure tourism! You’re sure to find an overwhelming amount of thrilling adventures guaranteed to supply the adrenaline rush all daredevils search for.

1. Kawarau White Water Rafting

A ” leisurely” grade 2-3 white water adventure rafting adventure suitable for persons of all rafting abilities – a great family experience. If you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings, the scenery may be familiar; raft down into Middle Earth.

 

2. Kawarau River Sledging

Get up close and personal with the roaring rapids of the Kawarau River while you soar through canyons, gorges and whirlpools for a world-class “wet & wild” river experience.

 

3. Kawarau Bridge Bungee Jump

Home to the world’s first commercial site and most famous of leaps; it is the world’s most beloved bungee site at a 141 foot leap, it is New Zealand’s only tandem bungee jump site. ProTip: Tandem refers to two or more people.

 

4. Shotover Canyon Swing

Launch yourself from a mounted platform 358 feet above the Shotover River, a thrilling 197 foot free fall, until you reach a gigantic 656 foot swing where you will act as a human pendulum until you rest. You can drip in a chair, upside down, backwards, and even tandem. It’s all about your comfort level!

 

5. Shotover Jet Country

The world’s most exciting Jet Boat ride that whips through Shotover canyon at 56 mph.

 

6. Nevis Highwire Bungee

The 14th highest bungee jump in the world, it is dubbed the “world’s wildest bungee jump.” After a rugged 35 minute 4×4 drive you’ll launch yourself into an 8.5 second freefall, a 440 foot drop over the Nevis Valley. Nervous? Can’t decide? Maybe this hilarious and informative client review will soothe your nerves.

 

7. Ski & Snow Board

Hit the slopes during New Zealand’s longest season and find adventure in every corner. There’s sNOw excuse – Queenstown is surrounded by lakes and gorgeous mountains which makes it extremely popular for extreme sports. Even the dogs in New Zealand are daredevils!

 

8. Dart River Safari

A stimulating wilderness jet trip excursion through the most incredible scenery across glacier-fed rivers while learning about fascinating New Zealand Maori legends and culture.

 

9. Skydive

Experience an authentic skydive in the birthplace of tandem skydiving. This is not for the faint of heart – jump from 9,000-15,000 feet at nearly 125 mph for an insane 60 second free fall before you deploy your parachute and reach land again.

 

10. Moa Zipline

Ride up the Skyline Gondola and then glide through the treetops on a series of four flying foxes.

 

11. Tandem Paraflights

Strap into your harness and get ready for the flight of a lifetime at over 600 feet in the air, enjoy an exhilarating birds-eye-view of the incredible scenery .

 

12. Ledge Sky Swing

Enjoy a scenic gondola ride before you’re strapped in to swing 1,300 feet over Queenstown. This takes swinging to a whole new level!

13. Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

If you’re an early riser, take a tour over the most awe-inspiring landscape in the world.

 

Auckland, New Zealand | North Island

Despite being New Zealand’s largest and most urban city in the country, it is the only city in the world built on an active underground volcano field, which yields thrilling adventures for you to embark on.

14. Sail the Auckland Harbor

Explore the colorful landscape and sandy beaches while sailing on an American Cup Racing Yacht through the most unique sea kayaking locations.

 

15. Piha Canyon Abseiling Adventure

Abseil down cascading waterfalls surrounded volcanic rock walls, swim through pools of blues and greens, bungee jump, cave explorations, and slides as you wander the canyon.

 

Tauranga, New Zealand | North Island

Located along the coast in the Bay of Plenty, it is the 6th most populated city in New Zealand, while a bit more leisurely than thrill-seeking, it still yields a fascinating adventure.

16. AquaTek Fishing & Diving

Inshore & offshore game fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling – the perfect mix of thrill and adventure. Be ready to catch and see some of the ocean’s largest fish.

 

17. Swim With the Dolphins

Experience Tauranga’s natural aquatic life – above or below sea level, and swim with the dolphins. Alternatively, watch the dolphins, orcas, and whales safely in an aquatic vessel.

 

18. Surf Lessons

Whether you’re just learning, or a professional surfer, Tauranga has some of the best waters to surf with equally impressive backdrops. You’ll be catching waves in no time.

 

Rotorua, New Zealand | North Island

Located in the heart of the North Island, this city is known for its geothermal activity and critically acclaimed tourist attractions.

19. Geothermal Park

50 acres of volcanoes, fumaroles, and pools of boiling mud; you can feel the Earth come alive beneath your feet. Helicopter over Hell’s Gate Thermal Valley to the Pacific Ocean coastline and into the active volcano of White Island.

 

20. Agroventures Adventure Park

Five of the most iconic New Zealand adventures all in the same area: bungee jump, sky swing, jet boat rides, New Zealand’s only wind tunnel – Freefall Xtreme, and the world’s only shweeb racing in a suspended monorail racing pod.

 

21. Rotorua Canopy Tour

Voted the best outdoor activity on the North Island. Zipline and swing bridge across the native forest for a thrilling way to experience the forest canopy.

 

22. Wairoa River Kayaking

Pick from a series of grade 2-5 experiences and raft or kayak through the world’s most commercially rafted waterfall.

 

23. Zorb

Roll down the hills of Rotorua in a giant inflatable globe for some thrilling wet or dry adventures.

 

Honorable Mentions

24. Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike | North Island

After an exciting scenic flight, take a two hour guided hike the magnificent glacier scenery and landscape.

 

25. Mangaweka Gravity Canyon | Taihape, New Zealand – North Island

Home to NZ’s highest bungee jump and original zipline equipped with flying foxes and giant swings, you can raft through the Rangitikei River (grade 5) after you launch yourself 262 feet into the impressive canyon.

 

26. Horse Back Riding | North Island

Trek around the peaceful Manawatu River for a leisurely adventure with breathtaking backdrops and natural outdoor experiences.

Awaken your wanderlust.

We have custom New Zealand Adventure Tours and packages that include all of the main New Zealand attractions and activities that are sure you to give a rush of adrenaline and provide you with experiences you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

We do hope that you find this information helpful. Should you have any questions or need some help planning your New Zealand adventure tours, don’t hesitate to call us directly Toll Free 888-359-2877 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm Central US) or visit www.AboutNewZealand.com. We’d love to help you customize your once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list vacation to New Zealand.

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About New Zealand Reviews
Rating of  Average of 4.84 on a total of 19 Ratings
Denise Leaks
I had a fabulous time in New Zealand. My accommodations were very convenient and comfortable.. Since I was traveling solo it was important that I felt safe and I did.
Gene and Sandy Bauman
Perfect Adventure

Our trip covered several stops in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji over about a month. Each accommodation, shuttle, arranged tour and request was fulfilled beautifully. We couldn't have asked(...)

Sandy Peterson
Best Trip Ever

Our trip to New Zealand was unbelievable. Everything was planned for us impeccably. Ana was a delight to work with. Every “t” was crossed and “I” dotted. We did not have one hiccup. Every(...)

Janet H. Rust
Wonderful Time!

We had a fabulous time in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. You arranged fun excursions that we all enjoyed and then a relaxing time in Fiji before we returned to the US. Especially enjoyed(...)