With millions of tourists traveling to New Zealand every year, many are discovering just how much there is to see and do in the country. This island nation offers everything from gorgeous beaches and pristine countryside to sizable mountains and underground caves that are just begging to be explored.
With so much to see and do in New Zealand, perhaps your only challenge while visiting will be to determine which outings you choose to enjoy. Whether you are staying on the North Island or South Island – or traveling in between – there are some adventures you should definitely have while visiting.
Let’s look at five outings in particular that you don’t want to miss when visiting New Zealand.
Top 5 Things to Do in New Zealand
1. Doubtful Sound Excursion
Tucked away in a remote corner of southwestern New Zealand, Doubtful Sound – sometimes also known as the Sound of Silence – offers a peaceful and isolated experience during any outing. This deep fiord is crawling with animal life, but the quietness of the area shouldn’t make you think there isn’t much to enjoy here.
Amazing fishing, extensive kayaking opportunities, hunting, diving and more are all easily enjoyed here. If you want to take in the natural beauty and have an opportunity to explore one or more of these activities, then consider going on a Doubtful Sound cruise while visiting the area.
2. Haast Pass Mountain Drive
The majestic beauty of New Zealand’s mountain ranges has been featured in movies and art, but an up-close experience with these gorgeous ranges can’t be replicated in mere images. Many mountain passes throughout the country offer a variety of beautiful vistas, but the Haast Pass is among the most beautiful alpine routes in the country.
Roughly 500m above sea level, exploring the Haast Pass is breathtaking and can be navigated by car easily in a day, making it an excellent outing while staying in New Zealand. Its beauty has come with a price, however: the pass is often considered dangerous during the winter months or during heavy rains.
3. Helicopter Trip to Fox Glacier
The largest glacier in New Zealand, Fox Glacier, provides travelers with year-round access to pristine winter-themed beauty. Its rapidly-changing nature makes it a top outing choice for outdoor enthusiasts, with many choosing to directly see its beauty via helicopter.
Helicopter trips to Fox Glacier are readily available, with many local helicopter tour guide services in the area. Given its rate of melting/flow and its close proximity to both the ocean and nearby rain forests, the broader beauty of the surrounding scenery that travelers can see while in the air make this a perfect outing you don’t want to miss.
4. All Things Tongariro
Tongariro National Park and surrounding areas are a prime destination for tourists in New Zealand. From hiking and biking to bird-watching and canoeing, there is little in terms of outdoor activities that you cannot find here.
The Tongariro Crossing is a popular attraction, providing access to multiple day-hiking trips that make for perfect outings. Other ideas for great outings in the area include a guided canoe trip, mountain biking, river rafting, volcanic air flights and buggy rides. Many of these adventures can even be combined into a single day outing, allowing for maximum fun.
5. Underground Kayaking in Waitomo
Waitomo, a beautiful town on the western coast of New Zealand, attracts visitors for a variety of reasons. However, arguably its biggest attraction is the series of underground caves that exist in the area. These massive underground structures are a sight to behold by themselves, but they also are illuminated by bio-luminescent glowworms that give the caves a bright blue ambiance.
A great outing includes kayaking through these tranquil underground caverns, but tourists can also enjoy tubing and rafting.
All across the country, a variety of awesome outings await those who visit. These five in particular are unique examples of what visitors to the nation can find waiting for them on arrival. Consider planning one or more of these outings when you visit New Zealand!