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The Best Things to Do in New Zealand

Here's a list of things you should consider doing when you next visit New Zealand.

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Each year more and more people are visiting New Zealand to take in its stunning landscape and enjoy the many activities the country has to offer. On this page are ten suggestions of things you must do while travelling around New Zealand.

Popular Things to Do in New Zealand

Whether you are part of a small or large family, a couple, a singleton, or belong to a much larger group of thrill seekers looking for things to do in New Zealand, there’s something for everyone.

Some of the most popular things to do in New Zealand include the following:

  • Day cruises
  • Day trips
  • Half-day tours
  • 4WD tours
  • Private and luxury experience
  • Cultural tours
  • Sailing and fishing trips
  • Lunch cruises
  • Bus tours
  • Self-guided tours
  • City tours
  • Nature and Wildlife tours
  • Winter sports
  • Audio guides
  • Sporting events

The four most popular cities in New Zealand are Auckland (North Island), Queenstown (South Island), Christchurch (South Island), and Rotorua (North Island).

You have a diverse range of stunning landscapes and mesmerizing backdrops everywhere you look outside the cities. Let’s take a closer look right here at some of the main attractions.

Sailing, Fishing Trips and Water Sports

For the more adventurous traveller, you have some amazing sailing and fishing trips and plenty of water sports activities. Fishing is an intrinsic part of the New Zealand lifestyle, with Lake Wanaka being a popular fishing spot year-round.

Culturally, fishing is taking on more and more stock. The sport is being adapted into mini-games in major video game titles, or, more directly, as whole games inspired by existing, real-life fishing competitions. Additionally, online casino customers will notice there are plenty of fishing-themed games online to try instead. Landing a fish on them is a lot more simple – although don’t tell the Kiwi fishermen that!

Famous fishing-themed slots to check out include Fishin’ Frenzy Megaways by Reel Time Gaming and Blueprint Gaming, Big Bass Bonanza by Pragmatic Play, and Fishin’ Pots of Gold by Games Global, to name just a few.

Hobbiton Movie Set

If you want to see where the Hollywood blockbuster Lord of the Rings film trilogy and the Hobbit film trilogy was made, make sure you visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, which has been preserved as a tourist attraction and once served as the film set for the town of Hobbiton town in the Shire in both trilogies.

Milford Sound

This iconic fiord is situated on the South Island in the southwest region. It has a soaring peak known as Mitre Peak and is covered in rainforests. It even has two striking waterfalls that cascade down the near-vertical sides, known as Bowen and Stirling Falls.

You can also get a unique perspective of the local marine life from the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory. Boat tours here are also extremely popular.

What Else Should I Squeeze in During My Trip to New Zealand?

There’s so much to do, and there’s something for everyone, and the types of things you should do during your trip to New Zealand depends on what you like to do.

Are you a more adventurous, thrill-seeking traveller, or do you just want to sit back and relax and experience everything New Zealand has to offer in a more laid-back manner?

Whatever floats your boat, here are some great suggestions of places to visit and things to do in New Zealand. Examples include:

  • Visiting the Sky Tower in Auckland
  • Christchurch Botanic Gardens
  • Visiting the sandy beaches of the nation’s capital, Wellington
  • Visiting Lake Tekapo on the South Island for its remarkable turquoise colour
  • Hamilton Gardens in Hamilton City
  • Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Huka Falls on the Waikato River.

Other great places to visit are the Franz Josef Glacier, the Otago Peninsula, and Kiwi Park Queenstown. If that’s not enough to keep you going, try the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, the Redwoods of Whakarewarewa Forest, and the Sculptureum. You can also swim with dolphins, go bungee jumping at various sites and even go skydiving.

The country is also home to the famous Gorge Swing. Paragliding over Queenstown is popular, along with many other things, such as having a Queenstown Jet Boat experience, whitewater rafting, trekking or taking a flight over The Fox Glacier, and so much more.

Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.

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