There is no dearth of things that you can do in New Zealand. From relaxing ones to the most dare-devil ones and everything in-between, there are a plethora of exciting adventures that are waiting for you in New Zealand. Perhaps you can best describe New Zealand as a gigantic playground for unending excitement and thrilling activities. Down below are some top things to do in New Zealand for tourists.

Whale watching at Kaikoura

Kaikoura is the best place for whale watching in New Zealand. You can go on a whale watching tour and watch humpback whales, sperm whales, and pods of dolphins in the vast blue ocean. You can also book a helicopter and watch the fantastic display of these marine creatures from the air. You can also snorkel into the ocean depths and swim with dolphins at Kaikoura.

Admire the sublime beauty of Milford Sound

At Milford Sound, you can go on a boat cruise or kayak and see the towering mountains rise before your eyes, and wonder at the cascading waterfalls. If you are lucky, you can watch bottlenose dolphins or whales too. The dramatic landscape at Milford Sound with its fjords and icy glaciers meeting the Tasman Sea was described by Rudyard Kipling as ‘the eighth wonder of the world.’

Explore Maori culture

New Zealand offers many ways to experience the ethnic beauty of Maori culture. You can try a Hangi meal in Rotorua, which uses indigenous methods to prepare a meal. Maori villages like Tamaki Maori Village and Whakarewarewa Living Māori Village are best to get up close to the Maori people and here you can see their cultural dance performances and interact with them to know more about their history and their deep roots with New Zealand.

Go Bungee jumping

There are many sites in New Zealand where you can try bungee jumping. Sky Tower and Harbour Bridge in Auckland are the most popular places for bungee jumping. In Queenstown and its nearby attractions, there are many other sites like Kawarau Bridge, Lake Taupo, Nevis Swing, Ledge which is the world’s best bungee jumping sites. Hanmer Hot Springs is another site near Christchurch, where you can jump off the Waiau Ferry Bridge. 

Make a natural Jacuzzi at Hot Water Beach

In the Coromandel Peninsula, Hot Water Beach is perfect for making your own private DIY Jacuzzi right on the beach. Bring a spade, scoop up some sand, and voila!!! You have made a private spa for yourself. Low tides are best, and the hot springs beneath the sands make the waters warm and the wet sands are perfect to build a natural spa.

Go on Wine tasting tours

New Zealand is famous for its wines, and there are many places you can go to taste fresh wines. There are different types of wines you can taste, and the wineries at Marlborough are famous for their flavorful sauvignon blanc wine. Waiheke Island is famous for Pinot Gris and Syrah grapes which produce red wine and white wine. Hawke’s Bay has vineyards that produce varieties of red grapes and green grapes, and this region is famous for its red wines.

Go on hiking tours

New Zealand has many hiking trails scattered throughout the country. Pinnacles Hike Trail in the Coromandel Peninsula is best for its unparalleled mountain scenery. Hiking on the Tongariro Crossing also scenic views of lakes, volcanic peaks, alpine meadows, and large craters emitting steam and lava flows. Hooker Valley Trek, Isthmus Peak, Marian Lake are also among the best, as you will see icy peaks and the best landscapes of New Zealand.

Walk through Cathedral Cove

At Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel region of New Zealand, you can actually walk through the cove itself. The scenic site of Te Hoho Rock from Cathedral Cove is simply breathtaking. On the beach, you can frolic about in the water, or take a dip, and take your snorkeling gear and dive under the ocean and discover marine life. Kayaking and boating are best to explore the surrounding seas.

Feel the heat at geothermal sites

New Zealand is the best place to see hot geysers, volcanic craters, boiling mud pools, and other geothermal sites. You can take a walk in Waimangu Volcanic Valley and see natural hot springs, or shooting hot water of The Lady Knox geyser in Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Go on guided walks to see steam coming out from craters in Craters of the Moon, or have a dip in the mineral pools at Wairakei Terraces and have a rejuvenating experience.

Walk on Glaciers

The best thing about glaciers in New Zealand is that they are accessible to tourists. Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier are glaciers in South Island where you can actually walk on the glaciers, or even go on a helicopter ride over the glacier. You can explore ice caves, deep crevices in these glaciers. Other glaciers like Tasman Glacier, Rob Roy Glacier, and Murchison Glaciers are other less famous ones, but equally stunning.

Visit Hobbiton movie set

You can visit the Hobbiton movie set and explore the Shire. Walk through little hobbit houses, and you can even have a pint of beer in the Green Dragon Pub. The farmland of Middle Earth that we see in the movie was shot here in New Zealand. You can have a Hobbiton movie set tour and it is even interesting to know that the entire village and its shoot locations are now permanent tourist exhibits.

See the dazzling display of Southern Lights

Like the Northern Lights in Alaska, the Southern Lights, or Aurora Australis, are a natural phenomenon that you can see from many locations in New Zealand. The streaks of colorful lights dancing about in the heavens make a display that is an out-of-this-world experience. Stewart Island, Lake Tekapo, The Catlins, and Invercargill are best as skies are clear and there is an absence of city lights, so you can watch the Southern Lights in full-color displays.

See the luminescent lights of glowworms

New Zealand has some best places like Waitomo Caves on the North Island and Te Anau on South Island to see the magical display of glowworms. Nighttime is best to see the glowworms and there are many places like Hokitika Glowworm Dell, Wellington Botanic Garden Lake Rotoiti where you can watch the luminescent lights emitted by these glowworms.