When people ask me what New Zealand is like, I always struggle to find the appropriate words. Epic, incredible and breathtaking all spring to mind, however even these powerful adjectives cannot do the wonder of New Zealand justice.
If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, then I am extremely jealous! It’s one of those places you could visit over and over again, and never get tired of. Not only is the landscape awe-inspiring, the people are hilarious and there’s so much room for activities.
HERE ARE THE 9 THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO IN NEW ZEALAND AND WHY I LOVE THIS COUNTRY SO MUCH.
New Zealand is called the adventure capital of the world for a reason and I soon found out why. There are adrenaline sports everywhere you go and skydiving actually is your average thing to do on a Tuesday here. If you’re going to do a skydive anywhere in the world then make it New Zealand. You can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll get a tandem master (the expert you skydive with) with at least 20k skydives + under his/her belt and the scenery is just awesome. I did mine at Abel Tasman National Park and it was the best experience of my life.
2. MILFORD SOUND
Deep in the south of the South Island is the Milford Sound, aka the most stunning Fiordland this side of Norway. Carved by glaciers during the Ice Age, you’ll be awe struck by the huge mountains that jut from the black waters of the sound. The best way to witness what Rudyard Kipling named the 8th wonder of the world is on a boat cruise. Not only will you encounter majestic waterfalls cascading over the cliffs faces, but we also had the amazing luck of seeing baby dolphins jumping alongside us and penguins scuttling on the shores.
The adventure capital of the adventure capital; Queenstown is surprisingly small given its huge reputation. Make sure you go to Ferg Burger in between all your adventures here, they’re the best burgers in the world!
4. BLACKWATER RAFTING
This is an absolute must-do for when you’re in New Zealand and something you have to save some budget for! An hour or so’s drive from Rotorua in the North Island are the Waitomo caves and an unforgettable underground rafting and caving experience. You enter the caves via a little crack and armed with a rubber ring, float down the river in the dark with only a head torch for light! When you switch your head torch off however, the whole roof of the cave is alight with glow worms which twinkle like a canopy of stars. It’s AAAAmazing!
As a huge Lord Of The Rings fan, just being in New Zealand was exciting for me, but going to Hobbiton and seeing The Shire in real life was a next level experience. It’s amazing to learn just how much detail went into making each film and the tour guides that take you round have really excellent behind the scenes knowledge. Make sure your cameras are fully charged as there are some unmissable photo opportunities here!
6. THE MAHINAPUA HOTEL
This legendary Kiwi Experience stop will definitely be one of your New Zealand Highlights. Have your fancy dress at the ready as you’re in for a wild night of partying at the Mahinapua Hotel. You can also carve your own Jade necklaces here and check out the Mahinapua Lake.. it’s a very memorable place indeed.
7. THE MAORI EXPERIENCE
Located just outside Rotorua in the North Island, you will visit a Maori style village and get to learn all about this incredible culture before enjoying a delicious feast! You’re also treated to an incredible performance of traditional song and dance, including the world famous Haka of course.
8. MARLBOROUGH WINE REGION
We made an impromptu stop in Blenheim so that we could visit the Marlborough Wine region which is easily accessible from this little town. Rent bikes and cycle around the vineyards including the home of Cloudy Bay, but make sure to cycle on the left hand side of the road! I got pulled over by a very friendly policeman who reminded me of this rule!
9. THE KIWI EXPERIENCE
An unforgettable way of visiting New Zealand is undoubtedly the Kiwi Experience. You will have the most enriching experience as the knowledgable driver guides give you insights into the history and culture of each area you go through. It’s also a totally stress and hassle free way of travelling this amazing country, so you can literally sit back and enjoy your journey whilst making friends for life!