Top 10 bucket list worthy activities in New Zealand
New Zealand is a beautiful country with great activities where you can definitely check some things off your bucket list! My bucket list for New Zealand was very long and I have not been able to check everything off yet. I have made a top 10 of the items on my New Zealand bucket list for myself (and you). Some activities can also be done outside New Zealand, but of course it is all possible in New Zealand. I have checked off the activities that I have been able to do 🙂
Skydiving is bucket list item for many people, New Zealand is a great country for this! There are many locations where you can skydive. You can choose to see islands, mountains, lakes, glaciers or even the North and South Island in one dive. I personally went to Taupo, it was a clear day and I was able to enjoy the beautiful Lake Taupo and the surrounding mountains. It was a great experience that I recommend to everyone! Find you skydiving location here.
2. Glacier helicopter/ walking tour
Franz Josef & Fox Glacier are the two best known and most easily accessible glaciers in New Zealand. Both glaciers can be reached by car, followed by a short walk. But if you want a special experience, you can land on the glaciers by helicopter during a tour. Then you can enjoy a hike through the frozen landscape. You will also enter ice caves and see ice waterfalls along the way. Unfortunately I was not able to do this in New Zealand, but it is on the list for the next trip!
3. Boat trip in Milford Sound
Visiting the Milford Sound was one of the highlights of New Zealand for me, it is such an incredibly beautiful area! By means of a boat trip you can fully enjoy nature and the marine animals (if you are lucky). The area in which Milford Sound is located is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and I totally agree. The whole area is very beautiful, so make sure you take some time for this. Read more about Milford Sound here.
4. Swimming with dolphins
In many countries you can swim with dolphins, but only in New Zealand can you swim with the smallest dolphin species in the world! You can swim with these Hector dolphins in Akaroa, near Christchurch. These dolphins are all wild animals, so they are not in captivity. Click here to read more about swimming with Hector dolphins. But not only in Akaroa can you swim with dolphins, Tauranga and Bay of Islands are also good places. You can swim there with the common dolphins and the Bottlenose dolphins. Read more about marine animals in New Zealand here.
5. Whale watching
Whales can also be seen in several places in the world. In New Zealand you can find them in Kaikoura, the Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Islands, Bay of Plenty and in Marlborough Sound. Enough options! Kaikoura is known as the best place to see them as you can spot sperm whales here all year round. In the winter months you can also see the humpback whales, pilot whales, blue whales and southern right whales.
6. Spotting a kiwi
Many people who go to New Zealand want to spot a kiwi. Unfortunately, these birds are difficult to find, because they are active at night and they are also very shy. I have heard the birds in Arthur’s Pass, but unfortunately I did not see them. Next time I go to New Zealand I will visit Zealandia in Wellington. Here, Kiwis live together with other native birds in a gigantic nature reserve. Do you want to know more about where you can spot the Kiwi and other birds? Read my blog about birds in New Zealand.
7. Admiring glowworms
Glow worms, as the name implies, are worms that glow in the dark. In New Zealand there are many caves where you can admire these worms. When it is properly dark, this gives a magical effect, which resembles a starry sky. The most famous place to enjoy these are the Waitomo Caves. However, as mentioned, it can be done in many caves in New Zealand
8. Maori cultural evening
The great thing about traveling is getting to know other cultures. The Maori are the original inhabitants of New Zealand. Their culture is still alive in New Zealand and can be seen in cities, at events, in museums or at a Maori cultural evening. During such an evening you will learn about the traditions and the way of life, but you can also enjoy cultural performances and the traditional hangi party. Unfortunately I did not attend this evening, but I did visit the Waitangi Treaty Ground in the Bay of Islands where I also enjoyed a traditional performance.
9. Hike the Tongariro Crossing
I really love hiking and I had heard that the Tongariro crossing is the best day hike in New Zealand, so of course it had to be on the bucket list! I did this hike right away in my first month in New Zealand and after spending a year in New Zealand (and doing a lot of hikes), it is still in my top 5 day hikes in New Zealand! It is a beautiful, long but also strenuous walk. The walk goes through a moon-like landscape with active volcano craters, geysers, turquoise lakes, forests and beautiful viewpoints.
10. Stargazing in New Zealand
New Zealand has three spots that are among the best in the world for star gazing. These are Great Barrier Island, Stewart Island and Aoraki Mackenzie (this is an area that includes, among others, Tekapo and Mt Cook). You can not only see the Milky Way, but also the southern lights. It’s a truly unique and wonderful experience! Read more about stargazing in New Zealand.
Do you have something on your New Zealand bucket list that is not listed here? Let me know in the comments 🙂
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