New Zealand is among the most sought-after destinations on the planet. Using its snow-capped mountains, ancient glaciers, rolling hills, and copius levels of wine, it’s a destination unlike others.
Saved in the corner of the world, it’s a country that will require some likely to visit. Flights here aren’t cheap, in the end, and the united states itself isn’t designed for the budget traveler.
Yet despite having that at heart, it’s a country I never get sick and tired of visiting. New Zealand will probably be worth every penny in the event that you ask me.
Although it has seen a boom in tourism recently, New Zealand continues to be the stunning country I first visited a long time ago.
Christchurch has recovered from its earthquakes and today a hip spot to be; Wanaka continues to be an incredible spot to go hiking; the glaciers were just as mind-blowing as ever; the forests still home to wonderful walks; and Kiwis just as fun and friendly as ever.
In a nutshell, if New Zealand isn’t on your own travel list it ought to be. To assist you plan your trip, listed below are my favorite places to go to and things you can do in New Zealand that you shouldn’t miss:
1. Explore Abel Tasman National Park
Stepping into Abel Tasman is in a few ways like stepping into Thailand. The stunning beaches and azure water feel just like they belong in the tropics, not New Zealand. The hiking is beautiful, with giant ferns, huge, lush trees, and a temperate climate. There are a great number of one- to three-day hikes here. And, in the event that you actually want to see this park, kayak around. Allowing you explore the tiny coves and beaches that produce the region so special.
The park is most beneficial as an overnight or multi-day trip as it’s too much from Nelson to essentially do it justice per day trip.
2. Glacier Trekking on Fox and Franz Josef
Everyone visits Franz Josef for just one reason: the glaciers. Hiking the glaciers here lives up to the hype and can be an unforgettable experience. As the glaciers have receded and so are melting quickly because of climate change, the glacier caves and walks have already been turn off.
At the moment, the only method to trek on the glaciers now could be via heli-hike (a half-day helicopter/hiking experience). They are costly ($400 NZD, or $290 USD) however the helicopter ride, trekking, and whole experience are worth the purchase price for me. Conversely, you can just embark on a helicopter tour (they last about twenty or minutes) or simply hike to the glacier face and take pictures.
Whatever option you choose, go through this area when you make the right path down the South Island. You won’t regret it!
3. Do an Extreme Sport
New Zealand may be the adventure capital of the world, where a lot of people blow their budget on an array of exciting activities, from bungy jumping to skydiving to white-water rafting. There are always a million activities from which to choose: you can skydive basically anywhere; Queenstown houses Shotover jets (rocket-like boats that zip on shallow rivers), ziplines, and bungy jumps; and there’s caving, zorbing, transalpine hiking, paragliding, therefore a lot more. If it can be achieved outdoors, it could be done in New Zealand.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, don’t skip the Nevis Bungy Jump – it’s the best in the united states!
4. Hike the Tongariro Crossing
Considered the very best day hike in every of New Zealand, the track goes to where they filmed Mordor in GOD, THE FATHER of the Rings. The 19.4 km walk is simple in parts (the start and end) and steep in others (especially the portion after “Mount Doom”) so you’ll get yourself a good mixture of difficulty levels.
However, although you may aren’t a solid hiker (and I am not), the Tongariro Crossing is easily completed per day. Trekking through this otherworldly, red-colored environment of volcanoes and sulfur was the highlight of my whole amount of time in New Zealand.
5. FIND OUT ABOUT Maori culture
Maoris were the initial inhabitants of New Zealand and I’ve loved studying their history and culture (especially after seeing the movie Whale Rider. It’s incredible. Watch it!) They certainly are a friendly and proud people, and there wasn’t one Maori person I met who I didn’t love.
Rotorua is normally the very best city to see Maori cultural shows, though there are other noteworthy sites around the united states, like the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Tane Mahuta, and the Te Papa museum in Wellington.
6. Don’t Miss Wellington
Wellington has character. Everyone discusses Auckland (which, contrary to public opinion, is not the administrative centre), however the real magic occurs in Wellington (which may be the capital). The architecture and eclectic vibe give this city a funky personality.
The town includes a popping nightlife, a great deal of free galleries and cafés, a lovely harbor (that’s best seen from Mount Victoria, which overlooks the complete city), and is easily walkable. Make sure you hit a number of the museums just like the Museum of Wellington, Te Papa, and the fantastic War Exhibition.
7. Browse the Glow Worms
One of the coolest things I did so while in New Zealand, the Waitomo glow worm cave is hyped and touristy but nonetheless amazing. You walk or abseil into darkness and float down the (cold) river while staring up at caverns covered in “lights.” It’s like looking at the stars – but (spoiler alert) they are actually gnats that glow because of a chemical reaction because they attract food. Still, stunning though. Absolutely stunning and cool.
I came across the three-hour trip long enough, but if you want to abseil, you should think about the five-hour version. This experience is among my most lasting memories of my trip.
8. GO OUT in Queenstown
Everyone hypes Queenstown. Everyone. But Queenstown is everything they state it is – and some!
The town has such a feisty and outdoorsy energy to it. Though it is becoming hugely popular and filled up with people, I cannot express my love of Queenstown enough. It’s surrounded by beautiful peaks, has narrow streets and pedestrian lanes filled up with shops and restaurants, a magnificent lake, a great deal of trails and parks, and Queenstown Hill watching over the town just like a benevolent overlord.
That is among the best spots in the united states to accomplish an extreme sport (bungy, skydive, shotover jet, etc), have a wine tour, or simply relax on a nearby beach.
9. Visit Hobbiton
If you’re a GOD, THE FATHER of the Rings junkie, New Zealand is ideal for you. That’s where they did all of the filming, and through the entire country, you may take Lord of the Rings tours and visit Fangorn Forest, Gondor, and where Frodo destroys the main one ring. A lot of the sets were removed, but a little bit of the Shire plus some of the hobbit houses still stick to the North Island.
10. Explore Fiordland
Situated in the southwesternmost part of New Zealand (and in addition home to varied Lord of the Rings film locations), the Fiordland region is known as among the country’s most scenic and remote. Filled up with gigantic mountains, deep lakes, swelling rivers, untamed forests, and resplendent fjords, the majority of it hasn’t been set upon by man. Save a few places where boats and planes can go, the federal government has made the land off-limits, making certain that’ll be the case for some time to come.
This region houses the majestic Milford and Doubtful Sounds, the Milford and Keppler Tracks, and a lot of camping and hiking opportunities. If you need to see New Zealand’s nature from the crowds, come here.
11. Discover Stewart Island
Tiny, out-of-the-way Stewart Island lies off the South Island at the, very bottom of New Zealand. It’s a location where Kiwis have their summer homes and head to escape the busyness of, well, I assume Auckland. (There’s not an excessive amount of busyness in New Zealand.) The city has perhaps a dozen buildings; the coastline dotted with private homes and boats.
Come here to see dolphins and do some single-day or multiday treks. In the event that you aren’t into hiking, you don’t need greater than a day or two here, if you don’t really want some tranquility, then stay forever.
12. RELAX in Christchurch
Though severely damaged by earthquakes within the last few years, Christchurch is now a brand-new city. The old Christchurch felt really stale if you ask me but this new one is actually on the up. While there’s still a whole lot of open space from demolished buildings, you’ll also look for a large amount of new construction, a feeling of hope and vibrancy, funky bars, more markets, new restaurants, shops, and exhibits. Locals are actually using this chance to generate a better Christchurch. I loved my visit.
If you’ll be there for a couple days, make sure you have a look at Canterbury Museum and Quake City, and become sure to ride the gondola, aswell!
13. Drink Copious Levels of Wine
New Zealand is well-known for wine, producing among the best whites the world provides. If you want wine, make sure you have a tour in Otago (known because of its pinot), Hawkes Bay, or Marlborough (known for sauvignon blancs).
There are many biking trails here, to help you drink and bike around (much better than drinking and driving!) in the event that you don’t want to cover a pricey tour. The Gibbston Valley bike trail runs from Queenstown to Cromwell and crosses through several vineyards. Make sure to visit Wet Jacket, a converted sheep shed-cum-winery with a cheese room.
If it’s not yet determined from this list, I really like New Zeland. It’s among my favotite countries on the planet and I never get sick and tired of heading back.
Even though these could be 13 of the greatest what to see and do in New Zealand, this list only scratches the top. There’s also the Bay of Islands, Raglan for surfing, the Coromandel, Dunedin for beer, Wanaka and Mt. Cook for hiking, Hammer Springs for hot springs, and, well, you get the theory.
In a nutshell, New Zealand has something to provide everyone. It’s a country filled up with adventure and wildlife and travelers rarely have anything bad to state about any of it.
But don’t take my word for this. Go visit!
Book Your Visit to New Zealand: Logistical Guidelines
Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite se’s because they search websites and airlines around the world which means you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to remain elsewhere, use Booking.com because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. A few of my favorite places in which to stay New Zealand are:
- Nomads (Queenstown) – Rooms with balconies, showers with awesome water pressure, pillows that are thick and fluffy, and an enormous kitchen and common area. It’s among my favorite hostels on the planet!
- Urbanz (Christchurch) – This hostel boasts friendly and knowledgeable staff and includes a pool table, fast Wi-Fi, laundry, a parking lot, a community bulletin board, movies, and comfy couches.
- Rainbow Lodge (Taupo) – That is my second-favorite hostel in New Zealand. It’s quirky, includes a huge kitchen and big common room, pool table, deck and grill, bike rentals, and a free of charge sauna.
If you’re looking for more places to remain, this is a complete set of the best hostels in New Zealand.
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Photo credit: 8 – 2i