Tag Archive for "New Zealand Adventure Tours" - About New Zealand
 

14 Best Things to Do in New Zealand

Posted on: December 14th, 2018 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Mount Cook things to do in new zealand

When people think New Zealand they think stunning mountains, rolling green landscapes and sky diving from every inch of the skies.

But there’s so many more unique things to see and do in New Zealand, and we think it’s important you know about all the different wonders this destination has to offer.

New Zealand is divided into two islands, almost as different as night and day. Head to the North Island for beaches, wine and Maori culture. Venture to the South Island for dramatic scenery, mountains and extreme adventures.

To help inspire you, we’ve rounded up a list of the best things to do in New Zealand, divided up into the North Island and South Island.

Map of the Best Things to do in New Zealand

New Zealand is a rather small nation, with roughly the same surface area as Colorado. But looking at New Zealand on a map can be deceiving because it stretches out north to south. We’ve made it easy with this map of all the best things to see in New Zealand to help you plan your trip.

North Island

1. Visit Hobbiton

Hobbiton

Location: Matamata

Where to stay: Auckland or Rotorua

You don’t have to be a Lord of the Rings fan to feel the magic of Hobbiton. The green rolling hills, the bursts of colorful gardens and picturesque hobbit holes will transport you straight into the Shire of the films.

Tours of the Hobbiton movie set are led by passionate guides offering insightful tidbits and knowledge even diehard Tolkien fans might not know. Stay at the head of the group for the best opportunities to capture that winning shot in front of a hobbit hole with no bystanders in the frame!

For an unforgettable experience, book an evening tour with an included banquet. Seeing the Shire by twilight is only beatable by the indulgent feast you’ll share with other enraptured fans.

Contact an About New Zealand specialist for the best arrangements on including Hobbiton on your New Zealand trip.

2. Explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Waitomo Glow Worm Caves credit Shaun Jeffers

Photo: Shaun Jeffers

Location: Waitomo

Where to stay: Auckland or Rotorua

There’s something about twinkling lights that our eyes simply can’t resist.

That’s what makes the Waitomo Caves so enchanting. Adorned with thousands of tiny glowworms, the pitch-black caverns are illuminated by their unearthly blue glow. It seriously looks like something out of a fairy tale.

The most popular way to see the glowworm caves is on guided tours through the caverns, ending with a boat tour on the subterranean lake drifting through the illuminated caverns.

But one of our favorite ways to explore the caves is on a thrilling black water rafting adventure. Thrill seekers glide through the cave system and underground waterfalls, ultimately floating serenely through the Glowworm Grotto.

3. Indulge in Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island Auckland credit Miles Holden

Photo: Miles Holden

Location: Auckland

Where to stay: Auckland

New Zealand is dappled with wine regions all across the country, but nothing beats what’s known as New Zealand’s “Island of Wine.”

Waiheke Island, less than an hour ferry ride from Auckland, is an indulgent retreat for food and wine lovers. Complete with gorgeous bays, scenic walks and countless vineyards, this sublime island feels like something out of a Mediterranean legend.

Go on an endless wine-hopping adventure and delight your taste buds with the gourmet dishes of the island’s renowned restaurants. Everything from delectable oysters, Greek meze platters, woodfired pizzas and even gelato is on offer, paired with glasses of Waiheke’s finest wines.

If you’re looking for things to do in Auckland, Waiheke Island needs to be at the top of your list.

4. Check Out Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

Location: Coromandel Peninsula

Where to stay: Pauanui or Auckland

The Coromandel Peninsula is one of the North Island’s idyllic stretches of green pastures, misty rainforests and golden beaches. It’s crown jewel is Cathedral Cove, a turquoise bay ringed by soft sands and gigantic arched caverns.

The secluded cove is perfect for a relaxing beach day, complete with several scenic walks and excellent snorkeling at the Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve. An array of sea sponges, delicate corals and colorful fish can be seen in the waters of the reserve.

The remoteness of the beach and its stunning natural beauty create an almost tangible sense of serenity. We recommend visiting early in the morning not only to beat the crowds, but to witness the sunrise cast a breathtaking glow upon the beach. Cathedral Cove by dawn is truly like a slice of paradise that time forgot.

5. Learn About Maori Culture

Te Puia Rotorua credit Fraser Clements

Photo: Fraser Clements

Location: Throughout the North Island

Where to stay: Rotorua

New Zealand’s indigenous Maori culture is rich in history, unique traditions and inspiring stories.

One of the best places to immerse yourself in Maori culture is at Te Puia in Rotorua. This center is where the Maori heritage is passed on through the arts institute, where Maori students hone their skills in traditional Maori woodwork and crafts.

Here you can also experience an authentic Maori hangi feast, where food is traditionally prepared by the heat of the earth.

Visit a recreated indigenous village at Tamaki Maori Village for a glimpse of how the Maori lived before European settler-days. Witness the powerful haka war dance, the graceful poi performance and other incredible Maori rituals.

6. Explore the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Champagne Pool Rotorua

Location: Rotorua

Where to stay: Rotorua

The North Island is famous for its turquoise bays and black sand beaches, but its most surreal landscapes are found in the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.

Some of New Zealand’s most spectacular volcanic features are found here. Bubbling mud pools, unusually colored lakes and spouting geysers highlight the trails laid out through the steaming valley.

Catch the spectacular colors of Champagne Pool, a hot spring of emerald water ringed by bright orange mineral deposits. See the neon green sulfur lake, Devil’s Bath, and catch the Lady Knox geyser in action.

7. Visit the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Te Papa credit Te Papa Museum

Photo: Te Papa Museum

Location: Wellington

Where to stay: Wellington

New Zealand’s most enrapturing museum resides in its capital, Wellington. Te Papa Tongarewa, located on Wellington’s waterfront, is a dedication to New Zealand’s art, history and culture.

This huge museum contains six levels, each with a central theme displayed through an array of exhibits. Discover the stories of New Zealanders during World War I in Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibit, located on the second level. Explore the cultures of Maori and other Pacific peoples through artifacts, architecture and artworks located on the fourth level. 

In short, you could spend days in this museum. Though you may like to wander on your own, we highly recommend a guided tour for the expert insight and information your guide will share. There’s no better way to explore a museum than with someone who knows it like the back of their hand.

Check out our guide on the best things to do in Wellington.

South Island

8. Hiking on the Glaciers

Franz Josef Glacier credit Jackman Chiu

Photo: Jackman Chiu

Location: Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, West Coast

Where to stay: Fox or Franz Josef Villages, or Queenstown

You’ve probably never thought about climbing a glacier. It’s hardly a thought that enters the mind.

But once it does, don’t you kind of want to do it?

Thrill-seekers who aren’t afraid of a little ice can hike on New Zealand’s glaciers.

New Zealand’s most famous glaciers are Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, both located along the west coast of the South Island. What makes these glaciers so breathtaking is the sprawl of tropical rainforest hugging their base. One minute you’re in lush rainforest, the next you’ve stepped back in time into the ice age!

Both glaciers provide an array of adventures for all levels of fitness, from guided walks to climbs complete with ice picks and crampons. For a truly spectacular experience, opt for a heli-hike, beginning with a scenic helicopter ride to the top of the glacier and hiking your way down.

9. Dolphin and Whale Watching in Kaikoura

Kaikoura Canterbury credit Sara Orme

Photo: Sara Orme

Location: Kaikoura

Where to stay: Kaikoura or Christchurch

Kaikoura is New Zealand’s unofficial capital of marine wildlife. In fact, Kaikoura is considered as one of the world’s best whale watching destinations.

Visit between June through August to catch a whale watching cruise with up close encounters with migrating humpback whales.

These gentle giants aren’t the only thing you’ll see in Kaikoura’s waters. Dolphin swims are very popular, with local dusky dolphins frolicking in the waters beside you. Seal swims are also available, offering a truly unique opportunity to interact with New Zealand Fur Seals.

Check out our highlights of the best things to do in Kaikoura.

10. Cruise the Fiords

Milford Sound

Location: Fiordland National Park

Where to stay: Te Anau or Queenstown

New Zealand’s famous scenery includes dramatic, green-clad peaks jutting out of dark, tranquil waters. No place better captures this landscape than Fiordland in the South Island.

Home to the stunning fiords Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, the natural features found in Fiordland encapsulate untouched wilderness at its most pristine.

Cruises are the most popular way to see the sounds, departing from Queenstown and Te Anau. As you glide on the glassy waters, a pod of dolphins swimming before your vessel and crystal clear waterfalls cascading down the forested cliffs around you, you’ll know you’ll never see a place like this anywhere else on Earth.

Milford Sound is the more popular fiord, but we like to recommend a cruise on Doubtful Sound. Bigger and arguably more majestic, the fewer crowds make this fiord a true gem.

11. See Mount Cook from Lake Pukaki

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park credit Rob Suisted

Photo: Rob Suisted

Location: Mount Cook National Park

Where to stay: Queenstown or Christchurch

The milky turquoise color of Lake Pukaki, framed by purple lupin flowers and the Southern Alps in the distance create a scene straight out of a story book.

Rivaling the beauty of the Swiss Alps, this snowy mountain range is home to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. The glaciers atop the mountain peaks feed into the remarkable Lake Pukaki, giving it its unique turquoise color.

Scenic helicopter rides and guided tours from Queenstown to Mount Cook Village are the best way to add Mount Cook into your New Zealand itinerary. More adventurous travelers can hike on tracks beginning near the village or climb the peaks for the ultimate challenge.

12. Go on a Bike Tour

Women biking through Nelson vineyards credit Dean McKenzie

Photo: Dean McKenzie

Location: Throughout the North and South Islands

Where to stay: Nelson

If the idea of mounting a bike while on vacation sounds dreadful, you definitely need to get on a bike in New Zealand.

This is just one of those places that makes you want to stay outside as much as possible.

The best part about cycling in New Zealand is that there are dozens of trails, ranging from super easy to hardcore mountain biking, in some of the most gorgeous landscapes in the world.

One of our favorite bike trails is in Nelson, known as the Tasman Great Taste Trail. This leisurely trail loops through charming countryside and coastline, with stops at art galleries, boutiques, craft breweries and wineries.

Bike tours are also popular ways to explore New Zealand’s cities. There’s nothing like getting some fresh air in your lungs and color on your cheeks with an invigorating bike ride.

13. Bungy Jump in Queenstown

The Ledge Bungy, Queenstown credit AJ Hackett Bungy

Photo: AJ Hackett Bungy

Location: Queenstown

Where to stay: Queenstown

Queenstown is the destination for those extreme bucket list adventures. Skydiving, bungy jumping, canyon swinging – basically anything related to jumping through the air, with an optional cord attached to you.

If bungy jumping is on your list, there’s no better place to do it than Queenstown. As the birthplace of bungy jumping, you can jump from the Kawarau Bridge, the world’s first commercial bungy site. The breathtaking scenery around this historic bridge is enough to inspire your jump, with the turquoise waters of the Kawarau River rushing below the bridge.

For the more brave at heart, take the jump on the Nevis Bungy, the highest bungy site in all New Zealand. We guarantee the adrenaline rush will have you shouting and laughing with glee. And the bragging rights will be unbeatable.

Check out our guide for more things to do in Queenstown.

14. Ride the TranzAlpine

TranzAlpine credit Great JourneysofNZ

Photo: Great Journeys of NZ

Location: Greymouth through Christchurch

Where to stay: Christchurch

The romance of train travel from days long past is still alive and well in New Zealand. With rails running through mountains, viaducts and along the coasts, these scenic train journeys are among the finest in the world.

For stunning views of the Southern Alps, the TranzAlpine train is a must. This 5-hour train journey includes destination stops along its path from Greymouth to Christchurch, offering time to explore hidden gems of the South Island.

Ride in the observation car, wide open to the elements, to truly immerse yourself in the scenery around you.

Curious about more things to do in New Zealand?

As one of our favorite travel destinations, we love planning trips to New Zealand for our clients.

Connect with our Destination Specialists for a one-on-one consultation about things to do in New Zealand for your trip. We’ve been where you want to go, and we’d love to tell you all about it.

Plan a Custom New Zealand Trip

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


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How to Explore Fox Glacier and Franz Josef

Posted on: October 8th, 2018 by Lizandra Santillan No Comments

Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier

Ready to step back in time into the Ice Age?

On New Zealand’s West Coast, rainforest-clad valleys dip into spectacular glaciers. Its most famous glaciers, Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, draw travelers from around the world to hike and explore their stunning ice formations.

From blue ice caves to rippled ice currents, stepping onto these glaciers is like stepping into a completely different world.

Franz Josef and Fox glacier both provide an array of activities for all levels. From glacier valley walks to glacier hikes and scenic helicopter rides, seeing these natural wonders is easily done on your terms.

Fox Glacier

Fox Glacier is a 13 kilometer long (8.1 mi) glacier, the longest of New Zealand’s West Coast glaciers, located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. With gorgeous ice caves and dappled arches, Fox Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. During the high tourist season it sees about 1000 people daily. The glacier was named after one of New Zealand’s Prime Ministers, Sir William Fox. Its official name is Fox Glacier / Te Moeka o Tuawe, incorporating its original Maori name.

Still flowing almost to sea level, the front of the glacier, known as the terminal face, rises at a slow incline, making valley walks and ice hikes fairly easy. However, shelving in the valley deep beneath the glacier causes the ice to crack and slide, constantly changing the face of the glacier along with surface melting. Guided tours are a must to get on the ice due to these unstable conditions.

Yet these changeable conditions can present breathtaking surprises along the way.

The Fox Glacier township, “Weheka,” lies 4 miles from the glacier with a population between 300 – 400 residents. With delightful cafes, restaurants and glow worm caves just a short walk from the town center, this cozy township will warm you up with its genuine Kiwi hospitality.

Meet the Glacier on a Terminal Face Walk

Fox Glacier Terminal Face Walk credit Fox Glacier Guiding

Visitors can walk close to the face of Fox Glacier, but a guided tour is where the real adventure lies.

Venture through the pristine Fox Valley toward the face of the glacier on a terminal face walk. This moderate trail is the perfect way to get closer to the glacier than any unguided walkers without leaving your footprints on the ice.

Walk along the flowing Fox River, emerging from the ice, as your expert guide brings the dynamic terrain to life with their informative commentary. Come across fantastic ice boulders and if you’re lucky, you might witness extraordinary ice collapses.

Explore the Glacier on a Heli Hike

Fox Glacier West Coast credit Legend Photography

Combine the thrills of soaring high above the ice and walking the spectacular glacier formations on a Heli Hike on Fox Glacier.

Flying in by helicopter allows you access to remote parts of the glacier where its dynamic forces work hardest and create stunning ice caves and arches. Once you land your guide will fit you with crampons, spiked footwear used for secure mobility on the ice.

One of the biggest differences between Fox Glacier and Franz Josef is in how they are guided. Fox Glacier, with its extremely varying conditions, offers more spontaneous hikes set by your guide as you make your way. A tour on one day may be completely different than a tour the next day.

As you step through narrow ice caverns, a blue glow emanating from the icy depths, you’ll feel like you’re on an expedition in the Arctic. The photo ops will be out of this world.

Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef credit Fraser Clements

The more popular of the two glaciers, Franz Josef draws around 250,000 visitors each year. It is named after Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria by German explorer Julius von Haast in 1865. Maori call the glacier Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere, meaning “The tears of Hine Hukatere.”

With a length of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) and a steeper drop from the Southern Alps, Franz Josef constantly shifts, create rippled ice formations and icy crevasses. Guided walks and hikes on the glacier are usually on pre-cut and predetermined paths, more suitable for beginners. This also affords more opportunities to see extraordinary ice formations.

Located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park only 12 miles away from Fox Glacier, you can easily see the face of both glaciers on a quick road trip.

But you’re in New Zealand’s West Coast, where the scenery is as varied as the continuously changing glaciers. Become one with the landscape and explore these incredible rivers of ice.

Challenge Yourself on a Heli Ice Climb

Franz Josef Heli Climb

Get your heart racing with an exciting Heli Ice Climb on Franz Josef. Offering some of the best glacier climbing in the world, this experience rewards you with unique views and an unbeatable sense of accomplishment.

You’ll begin with a scenic helicopter flight, surrounded in the full panoramic majesty of the glacier and nearby mountains. Once on the ice your guide will lead you to your climbing starting point, where your adventure begins.

With all technical equipment and climbing gear provided, the Heli Ice Climb serves all skill levels with expert guides instructing you along the way. The high you’ll feel as you reach the top of the blue ice will be just as thrilling as the jaw-dropping scenery around you.

Take it Slow on a Franz Josef Glacier Walk

Franz Josef Heli Hike

For those seeking the beauty of the glacier at a slower speed, try the two hour Guided Glacier Walk. You’ll take a flight up to the top of the glacier and get to see the beauty of the surrounding mountains as the guide lets you explore the awe-inspiring formations.

This adventure gets you up close to the blue ice tunnels, between towering walls of ice and in the ice caves carved out of the glacier. Your guide will reveal extraordinary knowledge of the glacier along the way, leaving you with a deeper understanding of why this special landmark is so special.

One of the highlights of a Franz Josef excursion is complimentary access to the Franz Josef Hot Pools. What better way to soothe your tired muscles after an incredible hike out on the ice? The township of Franz Josef also boasts an array of accommodation and places to grab a bite to eat, setting up the perfect stay for your Franz Josef adventure.

Explore New Zealand’s Iconic Glaciers

Whether you want to take a heli flight to the top of the glacier and walk around, or just want to see where the glacier runs into the waters below, there are glacier experiences fit for every person’s adventure level. Don’t miss out on this gorgeous sight you can only see in New Zealand.

If you are ready to start planning your glacier exploration, call us Toll Free 888-359-2877 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 5:00pm Central US).

I Want to See New Zealand’s Glaciers!


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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 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 4.83 on a total of 18 Ratings
Clyde & Sharon
A Great Experience!

It would actually please us greatly if our visit to Hobbiton might be the catalyst for others to visit the Shire. We’ve been Tolkien fans forever and lifting a pint in the Prancing Pony was one(...)

Eric Olberding
My wife and I had a wonderful trip to New Zealand.

About New Zealand did an excellent job of covering all the details which led to a very organized and stress free vacation! A couple of the IBIS hotels we stayed at were disappointing but on the(...)

Nicole Lambert
We had an awesome honeymoon! Thank you!

My husband and I booked our honeymoon trip to New Zealand and Fiji through About New Zealand and were fortunate to have a great travel agent, Darin! He organized our entire itinerary with(...)

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(...)