Top 10 New Zealand bucket list experiences
A land of beauty and adventure, New Zealand is home to incredible activities worthy of a place on anyone’s bucket list.
To celebrate New Zealand being named one of the top ten countries to visit in 2018 according to Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel, we got our hands on the top 10 ultimate New Zealand experiences.
Just outside of the Waikato town of Matamata, Sir Peter Jackson found the perfect place for the village of Hobbiton. The movie set still remains and its stunning scenery makes it a spectacular place to visit even for those who aren’t fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
2. White Island
Off the North Island’s Bay of Plenty, White Island appears on the horizon as a thick plume of smoke rising from the Pacific Ocean, the first sign of this fascinating natural attraction. For an unforgettable experience take a boat trip or helicopter from Whakatane to the island.
3. Hot Water Beach
You can create your own natural Jacuzzi in the wet sand during low tide on Hot Water Beach on the North Island’s Coromandel Peninsula. Bring a spade or buy one from a nearby shop to build a private hot pool with stunning ocean views.
4. Tongariro Alpine Crossing
It is no wonder this is New Zealand’s most famous walk with the incredible scenery you can take in over the nine-hour trek. The Crossing is a 19.4km one-day hike past Mt Ngauruhoe and over Mt Tongariro, with panoramic views of active volcanic areas and colourful crater lakes in the UNESCO Dual Heritage area.
5. Whale Watch Kaikoura
Kaikoura, year-round whale-watching destination, is a rugged coastline between the Pacific Ocean and snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps. This stunning background makes the marine life usually spotted close to shore even more special.
6. Dive Poor Knights
The Poor Knights Islands are an international diving icon 23km off New Zealand’s Tutukaka Coast. Described by Jacques Cousteau as the best dive spot in subtropical temperate waters, the Poor Knights is part of a marine reserve creating a remarkably varied ecosystem.
7. Milford Sound
Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park was once described as the eighth wonder of the world by Rudyard Kipling. Towering peaks, stunning waterfalls and beautiful rainforests which are home to fur seals, penguins and dolphins make this place breathtaking. An overnight experience in Milford Sound is the best time to experience the tranquillity, once most people have left.
8. Bungy jump
New Zealand was the first country to commercialise bungy jumping at the site of the Kawarau Suspension Bridge just outside of Queenstown. There is no better place to take the plunge than overlooking the stunning Kawarau River from 43 metres above. For thrill seekers, bungy jump off Nevis which is 134 metres over the valley floor.
9. Southern Lights
While the Northern Lights are popular for night sky watchers, the lesser known Southern Lights known as Aurora Australis is equally as spectacular. The Southern Lights appear just over the southern horizon at Dunedin, forming remarkable reflections in the water.
10. Glow Worms
The Waitomo Cave system is a series of fascinating wonders on the central North Island and the glow-worm grotto is one of the most popular attractions. A boat ride takes visitors into a spectacular cave guided by the light of thousands of New Zealand glow worms.