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 iSighta 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.

Wellington sign for 10 things to do in New Zealand

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 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.

10 Things To Do in New Zealand

Weta Cave in Wellington (NI)

Don’t forget to visit Weta Cave, Miramar, Wellington and take their Tour (Tour Report here). The shop has been expanded and the ‘behind the scenes tours’ are really worth it!

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……….

Trolls at Weta Cave, Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand
Close-Up of Weta Workshop Cave Troll

Explore New Zealands 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!

Ride the Shotover River, Queenstown (SI)

For the ultimate in thrills and splashes take the Shotover Jet, as long a 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 cheeses, 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!

Napier (NI)

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?

Harvey Button
Middle-Earth Correspondent
10 Things To Do in New Zealand
Harvey from







10 Wonderful Things To Do in New Zealand



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  1. Avatar for Harvey Button

    Seville at Nerissa's Life

    October 20, 2015 at 1:57 am

    That driving stuff is pretty interesting. Peep #1 once met someone in the US who was POSITIVE we Canadian kitties drove on the left-paw side like the Brits and you. Of course, we Canadian kitties don’t usually drive but if we were to drive, it would be on the right. Maybe that person was thinking about New Zealand?

    Seville at Nerissa’s Life recently posted…respectMy Profile


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    Random Felines

    October 20, 2015 at 4:09 am

    mom says maybe one day….this tour sure does tempt her 🙂
    Random Felines recently posted…Tostada updateMy Profile


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    October 20, 2015 at 5:23 am

    New Zealand is on my peeps wish list of places to visit, stunning scenery and has always seemed so welcoming. Even better they drive on the left as in the UK. Peep will have to use taxis if in US or Canada.
    Erin recently posted…WAKE UP!!My Profile


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    Brian Frum

    October 20, 2015 at 6:39 am

    My Dad would love to visit your neck of the woods some day!


  5. Avatar for Harvey Button

    da tabbies o trout towne

    October 20, 2015 at 7:19 am

    dood….we wood loves ta vizit yur countree….manee thanx for sharin all theze grate spots…..we wood like ta see em all but knot two sure bout bungee jumpin !!!! whoa ~~~

    insert hearts XXX


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    The Swiss Cats

    October 20, 2015 at 8:54 am

    That sounds very interesting ! We would love to visit your country ! Purrs
    The Swiss Cats recently posted…Happy Tocktober !My Profile


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    Deziz World

    October 20, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Meow what fun. Wish we was there fur a visit.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi
    Deziz World recently posted…Oh Great Pumpkin Patch-WeruvaMy Profile


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    Sometimes Cats Herd You

    October 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

    You live in such a beautiful country! The head peep thinks it would be wonderful to visit there someday, but she isn’t brave enough to drive on the “wrong” side of the road.
    Sometimes Cats Herd You recently posted…Tail in a BoxMy Profile


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    The Island Cats

    October 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    The mom would love to visit New Zealand. It’s such a beautiful country. Maybe someday.
    The Island Cats recently posted…Mancats Celebrate ‘TockTober!My Profile


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    October 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Oh Marjorie, thanks so much for posting this and going to all this work i love it. Wish I were coming instead of daughter and SIL. I’ll direct them to your site for information. You are a good pal to go through all this work for us. xxxooo Mario & Mary
    mariodacat recently posted…The Tocks of October Selfie – Blog HopMy Profile


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    Savannah's Paw Tracks

    October 22, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Mom L is jumping up and down, eager to make the trip to NZ. Not happening in 2016 but hopefully 2017. Great, fab tips Harvey
    Savannah’s Paw Tracks recently posted…And The Winner Is…My Profile


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    October 22, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing, sweet pals! New Zealand is on our list of dream places to visit. I drove in Japan before … it was quite an experience to drive on the left side of the road. 🙂
    meowmeowmans recently posted…(Almost) Wordless – Our Pal SwizzleMy Profile


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    Ellen Pilch

    October 24, 2015 at 2:49 am

    I would love to visit New Zealand, I will pass on the bungee jumping though 🙂
    Ellen Pilch recently posted…Guest Post From Cat Scout FelixMy Profile


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    October 19, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    New Zealand sounds so wonderful, I would love to visit. Oh yes, the only turn off for me are those giant spiders I keep seeing on the internet. Nothing against spiders but I can’t be near them 😀


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