Kia Ora! 10 things to do in New Zealand? We have them! New Zealand, Middle-Earth has some pretty cool scenery; check out the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films for proof but there is so much more to discover so read on!
Firstly, for our USA visitors a special note…..
- We cannot stress this enough. You will drive on the other side of the road to us in New Zealand when you arrive from the United States. This is important to remember – people have been hurt, even killed, as they make fatal assumptions about New Zealand and its roads.
- “Always drive on the left-hand side of the road in New Zealand. If you’re used to driving on the right-hand side of the road, this can be a challenge to remember, especially when pulling out into traffic. Remember – if you are driving, you must be seated in the middle of the road – your front seat passenger will be on the edge of the road.“
10 Wonderful Things To Do in New Zealand
Best tourist tip for visitors. Each town or city has an iSight, a good first stop for any brochures, maps and directions you need. It will be clearly signposted. NOTE:- NI = North Island. SI = South Island.
Milford Sound (SI)
Situated at the top of the Fiordland National Park, it is one of the most beautiful, (and the wettest), places in New Zealand. You can grab a kayak and paddle the Sound, or cruise in a leisurely way with someone else doing the hard work! There are several ways to get to Milford Sound.
Walk New Zealand (NI and SI)
There are a number of major walking tracks to check out (pdf and details here) and nothing of a beastly nature that will do you serious harm. No snakes, bears, mountain lions, scorpions, or disease-carrying insects! Some of the walks have guided options, so if you want to walk in a low-stress way – check out the walk that appeals and to see if a formal guided ‘tramp’ is available. (Check this out for what must be the Ultimate Milford Sound hike).
Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Locations (NI and SI)
There are many beautiful locations throughout New Zealand used in the iconic movies! From Hobbiton in Matamata to the expanses of Fiordland; you can stride where Aragorn led the Hobbits, gaze out, literally, at Paradise, and visit locations near Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Tours to Hobbiton are only done with official guides. Check our report on Hobbiton here. There are also good movie location guidebooks – sample.
Weta Cave in Wellington (NI)
Stargaze on Mount Cook (SI)
In 2012 over 4,300 square kilometres (2,671 miles) of New Zealand’s South Island was recognised as an International Dark Sky Reserve – the largest such reserve in the world. With the help of guides and the latest in telescopes, you can see further than you ever dreamed, picking out stars and planets.
Bungee Jump (SI)
For the totally nuts, the insane and the complete daredevil – try a bungee jump in Queenstown. No really, it’s a must do, for some……….
Explore New Zealand’s Maori Heritage (NI)
Visit Rotorua, one of the major centres where you can learn a lot about the Maori people, their culture and their customs. You can see and learn about a living Maori village and its strong culture. Rotorua is also home to geothermal springs where you can bathe!
For the ultimate in thrills and splashes take the Shotover Jet, as long as you don’t mind getting wet and screaming a lot! There are a lot of activities based around Shotover if you really like scaring yourself! 10 Things To Do in New Zealand
New Zealand’s Gourmet Food and Wine (NI and SI)
New Zealand cultivates a lot of its own wine and is proud of its gourmet delicacies. Central Otago Pinot Noir cannot be bettered, and there are many fine kinds of cheese, although if you look in supermarkets you see little of the delicacies New Zealand has to offer. Hawkes Bay is proud of its gourmet delights and worth exploring for foodies!
If you want to see something special, visit Napier. Known as the Art Deco city, it has an annual Art Deco festival showcasing costumes and genuine vintage motor cars (some of which are flown in from the USA); but it is an eye-opening journey into the past any time you care to visit.
You can get all the help you need when visiting Napier at the iSight. There are daily tours by volunteer guides and these are worth the money; we went on a walk and learned heaps about the earthquake that levelled much of the town and then how it was rebuilt in such style.
Well then! This should give our new visitors something to check out before they decide how to plan their itinerary! What do you think folks?