Visit New Zealand – 8 Awesome Things To Do In New Zealand
So you’re about to visit New Zealand and you’re wondering what the heck to do?
Well guys, there are SO many things to do on your trip that you may just not be able to fit it all in during one trip, and you’ll have to book a second flight back and spend more time out there.
In all honesty, I’m struggling to write this article because, well, I’m yet to go back and explore more even though I’ve done a fair amount of exploring already in New Zealand. I just didn’t know what to mention and leave out! I’ll definitely be sharing some more on a separate post no doubt.
New Zealand is split over two islands, North Island & South Island. The first time I visited, I was out there for 4 weeks. I met a friend of mine out there and we did a car hire and a monster trip over on North Island. I then went on a roadtrip with my now husband and headed on out to South Island solo to finish the trip off. I revisited in 2016 since hubby is a kiwi and we had the civil ceremony over that way back then.
The views change rapidly from mountainous to ocean to waterfalls to city and towns. It’s crazy how much of a contrast it is from North Island to South Island too. I mean, I was there in the month of April during the first trip, we were in swim wear hitting up beaches on the North Island, and the South Island? They had snow fall as I was leaving and the mountains were capped with snow in Wanaka and Queenstown. So different!
Thats takes me to 10 awesome things you just have to do in New Zealand.
Let’s start with North Island.
1.SKYCITY or Sky Tower – Of course Auckland is a given, I loved the Skytower and the views we had from up top. Yeah it may be a little touristy but you know, you can’t beat a birds eye view of the city right? I definitely want to head back during the evening when the city lights up – I think it’ll be insane views. Have you been in the evening?
2. Coromandel – The Coromandel Peninsular is a few hours drive from Auckland. Situated here you will find the stunning Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach. We didn’t stay in the region for the night as we hopped on out to another location and did Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach during one day. I would highly recommend taking some extra time there and spend 2/3 nights out there to really enjoy it as there’s quite alot to see and do in the area.
If you haven’t heard of Hot Water Beach, don’t worry about it we hadn’t either fully! But’s an awesome place. Know why? So basically, you can only experience it during low-tide and a few hours before and after it, make note of that. Take your swim gear with you, a spade and bucket. When you get there, you dig out the sand and under the sand, you’ll find hot water stream right below it so in essence, you’re digging out your very own jacuzzi! Be careful of temperatures as they can vary and so dip your fingers or toes in first to make sure it’s ok for you. You can only find this on a specific part of the beach so ask around if you get confused & give it a go! It’s pretty fun and unique and well, all natural.
The other spot, Cathedral Cove is also amazing. Some of you guys may have already seen it – They shot a scene from Narnia there. You park up and basically follow the trail down, as you start walking down, you start to see the insane views ? I’d recommend going during off peak season like I did as it was nice and quite. I’d imagine during peak times, it’s super busy.
3. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland – This place is UNREAL guys. Seriously. It’s in Rotorua which again is only a few hours drive from Auckland and it’s like a whole different world out there. When we headed out the first time, we forgot to take proper shoes with us and had flip flops on – It’s not allowed. So we left it. The second time we got in but the weather got real bad and so it got shut down early on. I definately want to head back in warmer months to really experience the colours. There’s a whole bunch of natural hot spring pools around the area too where you can stop off at – we did and it was super cheap too! This area is an active geothermal area and prior to the european settlement, was where Ngati Whaoa tribe resided.
4. Hobbiton – This place is soooo cool guys. Right I must admit…I haven’t seen any of the films. I know what you’re thinking…and I agree. WTF PRITI. Haha, it’s on my list to get through them. I feel like it will have to be a monster marathon right? So even if you haven’t watched the movies, this is still well worth visiting and experiencing as it’s so fun. Since we had the car, we drove to Matamata and then headed on to the tour from there. It was cool to have a look around in Matamata too since there’s places in the town itself which are themed too! So fun. The tour itself is fun and the tour guide made it really entertaining. It’s really weird when you visit the set since it’s real but fake… Yeah you’ll know what I mean you visit. If you’re a hardcore fan of the movie too, DEFINATELY A MUST VISIT.
5. Waitomo Caves – This place is surreal. It’s like a whole different world in here. When we visited the caves, I didn’t manage to get the kind of photos I would have liked to share and so hence I don’t have some photos for this section. No content is better than crap content right? Either way. It’s like something out of Avatar. It’s truly magical. The word Waitomo actually comes from the Māori language – wai meaning water and tomo meaning a kind of sink hole. There’s a few different caves around the area too which offer different experiences and definitely worth a look into.
6. Blue Pools – So over on the South Island during my stay at Queenstown & Wanaka, I met a bunch of backpackers at the hostel. I managed to get chatting to Ryan at some point and turns out he had a car. If you’ve stayed at a hostel – You know anytime someone has a car – the first thing that comes to mind is ROADTRIP. I found Blue Pools on the map and met some other backpackers at another hostel – Anyway- Managed to get everyone to split the cost of fuel and we jumped in to the car and headed on out to Blue Pools. We saw some insane scenery on the way and Blue Pools itself is – well – it just left us speechless. I’ll let the photos do the talking.
On the way to Blue Pools you’ll also see a sign for Thunder Creek Falls. Well worth a stop.
7. Wanaka – Wanaka is again on the South Island. It’s a little quirky but such a peaceful town with the most insane backdrop of mountains and just sheer beauty. You got the town covered pretty quickly even on foot but you can head on out to Mount Aspiring National Park which I skipped purely because I didn’t hire a car there and just didn’t stay for too long in Wanaka. Spend a few days there and you literally never want to return! The roadtrips in this region are so stunning – You really can do New Zealand on a budget with just so much free stuff to do. I’d recommend checking out Mount Iron and taking a hike up there – well worth the hike and views!
8. Fox Glacier – There’s two glaciers on South Island which are sort of ‘popular’ I guess you could say. You have Fox Glacier & Franz Josef Glacier which is in the region too. Soon as I started researching the trip to New Zealand, I discovered the heli-hike experiance Foxguides offer and well, the adrenaline junkie in me just had to make sure I did it. So off to Fox Glacier I went on from Wanaka. This experiance is truly mind blowing and for anyone out there who is an adrenaline junkie and wants to really test their mental capabilities – DO THIS EXPERIANCE. We got flown over on a helicopter, once we landed we went on to puttin on the crampons and were guided on the hike but a leader. So much profanity left my mouth during this hike that by the end of it, the leader thanked me for the entertainment value. I apologized profusely! I thought I was going to die but you know – May aswell die during a ice hike than ran over by a car!
New Zealand truly has something for everyone and I can’t wait to head back and experience more of it later on this year.
Comment below I’d love to hear more about where you are at, are you heading to New Zealand soon? Where’s your next adventure taking you?!
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