New Zealand

Things to do in New Zealand

New Zealand is about the size of the United Kingdom, but has only four million residents. Thus, whether you choose to bike, hike, rent a car or take a commercial tour your travel in New Zealand will be uncongested.

If you are looking for a bustling city life, then New Zealand might not be the right place. However, Auckland (on the North Island) has a thriving cultural scene and fine dining travelers will love. For some history in Auckland, visit the Auckland Museum. Go on a wine tasting tour in Martinborough, just an hour from Wellington, the North Island’s capital. The journey there will give you stunning views of Wellington Harbor and the Wairarapa Valley.

Visit Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island. New Zealand also abounds with cultural experiences like Christchurch’s Ko Tane Living Maori Village at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. A visit to this village will give you a unique experience of life of the South Island Ngai Tahu Maori people before immigrants arrived. The local culture of New Zealand is truly amazing.

Things to do in New Zealand offer awesome landscapes and adventurous ways to see them. Try bungee jumping, skydiving, rock climbing, caving, hiking, canoeing or whitewater rafting. Kaikoura, a town on the South Island, is the best place for whale watching. See the stunning caverns and stalactites Waitomo Caves, including the illuminating Glowworm Cave. Hiking enthusiasts should trek along Abel Tasman Coast Track. Pass sparkling sea views, forests, and Cleopatra’s Pool. Be prepared to get your feet wet, literally, as the tides change dramatically. Complete sections of the journey via sea kayak, if you wish!

The avant-garde shop is famous for its origami-inspired dresses; the less daring will find blazers and women's 1940's-style blouses.

Make a beeline for the town of Kerikeri and buy the kids a kaleidoscope crafted from 40,000-year-old kauri wood.

Now owned by Moët Hennessy, Cloudy Bay is increasingly known for its Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, sparkling wine, and an extraordinary cellar-aged Sauvignon Blanc called Te Koko.

For hats and hair accessories with a retro spin, stop by Natalie Chan; even Lady Gaga has one of the designer's one-off creations. Her pearl-and-feather motif is a standout.

The bar holds the oldest pub license in New Zealand.

Allan Scott's cellar door, or wine-tasting area, looks like an old-world French tavern. The standouts here are a citrusy 2004 Riesling and a subtle Prestige Chardonnay from 2002 with hints of butterscotch.

You'll find 1950's French industrial Jieldé lamps and vintage tapestry pillows.

Bike the 23 miles through New Zealands wine country.

Plan a lake cruise on the Earnslaw, a 98-year-old steamer, or a half day of white-water rafting on the Shotover River.

The golden, iron ore–laced sands of Awaroa Bay are a two-minute trail walk through the bush. The 32-mile Abel Tasman Coastal Track makes for a great hike along the Tasman Sea.

The tip of the Otago Peninsula is home to the Westpac Royal Albatross Centre, the world's only mainland breeding colony for the formidable birds, which can live longer than 60 years and have a wingspan of 10 feet or more.