Places to visit in New Zealand

When you travel to New Zealand, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in New Zealand, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in New Zealand to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to New Zealand things to do can include exploring New Zealand attractions and visiting the places of interest.

Auckland is the largest and the most populous city of New Zealand, with an area of 1,086 sq. kilometres and a population of 1.377 million (as per 2011 census), respectively. Not just the largest Polynesian city of the world, but Auckland is also the chief transportation hub of the country. A modern urban habitat that’s thickly strewn with breath-taking beaches, a lovely sun-kissed climate, fantastic hiking trails and beautiful islands to spend a tranquil vacation, no doubt Auckland stands as one of the prime holiday destinations across the globe. To add to its charm is its excellent food and wine combined with a satisfying shopping scene. The unique and delightful Polynesian culture is just a cherry on the top for this diverse NZ city that is at par in providing a thirsty traveller with an all-in-one travel destination.

The capital city of New Zealand, Wellington is famous for its effervescent and creative culture. This popular global travel destination is the perfect example of a utopia that has both the essential elements of modern advancements along with unsullied natural environs. It is nestled in the mid of a verdant rural heartland of NZ’s North Island and the abundant waters of Cook Strait. Wellington is rich with many enchanting views including lovely beaches and vibrant timber houses dotting its surrounding hills that look spectacular. Fuelled by its scrumptious food, coffee, wine and famous craft beer, the city can truly be called the masters of casual dining; especially given the numerous restaurants, energetic night markets, and cheap yet appetizing food trucks that it offers its people. This, coupled with its superb Polynesian culture, imparts the city a vivacious streak that is simply contagious.

Aptly nicknamed as the ‘Garden City’, Christchurch is one of the most picturesque and travel friendly towns of the world. Located on the eastern front of New Zealand’s South Island, it is a small but well known NZ town, popular for its English heritage. A unique destination, Christchurch diligently combines its present-day regeneration with its beautiful culture, legacy and many wonderful activities that it offers its visitors’ way. Set against an imposing backdrop of Alps against the vastly spread carpet of blue ocean, the town holds a lot in store for the travellers. From the obviously bewitching natural sites to amazing bars, restaurants, shopping arcades and street art as well, all with an enigmatic English flair, Christchurch makes for a winning travel destination.  However, not just a pretty travel spot, or a happening foodie paradise, Christchurch also lets you enjoy myriad exciting activities like, skiing, rafting hot air balloon rides and what not!

Bay of Islands is an extremely beautiful stretch of small islands present in New Zealand. It is one of the best attractions in New Zealand. You can enjoy the services of the luxurious hotels present here along with the lovely atmosphere of the place. Bay of Islands is the ideal place to visit as you can do several activities here.

 

Location - It is 193 km away from Auckland.

 

Things to do - scuba diving, fishing, sailing, snorkelling, rock climbing.

Milford Sound has often been described as one of the world’s eight wonders because of the extraordinary beauty this place has to offer. It was formed during the Ice Age by the glaciers. You actually get to understand what nature stands for by visiting Milford Sound. Mitre Peak is the most renowned site in here and you can also visit the rainforest present in Milford Sound.

Location - It is 307 km away from Queenstown.

 

Things to do - kayaking, trekking, watching dolphins and whales, boating.

 

Approximate Cost: NA

 

Type: Natural Wonder

Queenstown is one of the major cities of New Zealand and you can do a lot of things here. Located between Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps, it is a delight to visit the city. Not only do you get to enjoy the comfort and familiarity of a metropolitan city in Queenstown, but you can also enjoy the little beauties of nature present around the city. Queenstown is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand.

 

Things to do - Jet Boating, Skiing, Skyline Gondola, Bungee Jumping, Trekking.

 

Attractions - Lake Wakatipu, Skipper’s Canyon, The Remarkable, Coronet Peak, Kawarau Bridge, Lake Wanaka, Kiwi Birdlife Park.

 

Approximate Cost: NA

 

Type: Town

Tongariro National Park is amongst the most renowned national parks of the country. Located near the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo, the place is always crowded by tourists. You get to experience nature in its true form in the Tongariro National Park, in fact, the place is so beautiful and unreal that several fantasy Hollywood movies have been shot here.

 

Location - it is 237 km away from Napier.

 

Things to do - Bungee Jumping, Hiking, Going to Hot Springs, Snowboarding, Jet Boating, Rafting, Kayaking.

 

Attractions - Lake Taupo, Huka Falls, Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

 

Approximate Cost - NA

 

Type - Animal Sanctuary

Rotorua is an outstanding place to visit. The city offers something which is not available at many places in the world, volcanoes. Rotorua is a place where volcanoes have been very active in the past. Most of the volcanoes present here are dormant but there are a few which are still active. Adventure junkies like you shall love to visit Rotorua as you get to witness some extraordinary things and scenery here.

 

Things to do - Go on Caving tours, Extreme Swing, Camping, Fishing, Skyline Gondola.

 

Attractions - Waimangu Volcanic Valley, TeWairoa, Wai-O-Tapu, Whakarewarewa, WaitomoGlowworm Caves, Hobbiton.

 

Approximate Cost - NA

 

Type - City

Located in the North Islands, Coromandel Peninsula seems like the drawing of the perfect scenery. It is difficult to believe the amazingly beautiful picturesque view the place to offer to its tourists like you. You can enjoy the beauty of nature here and also relax by visiting the beaches present here. There are small offshore islands present near the Coromandel Peninsula, thereby attracting thousands of tourists.

 

Location - It is 190km away from Auckland.

 

Things to do - Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Hiking.

 

Attractions - Hot Water Beach, Hahei, Whangamata Beach, Mount Paku, Karangahake Gorge, Cathedral Cove.

 

Approximate Cost - NA

 

Type - Peninsula

Franz Josef Glacier is located in Franz Josef and it is probably one of the most accessible glaciers in the world. Franz Josef Glacier is a major tourist attraction of the country and you get to witness a breath-taking view of the mountains and glaciers here. Helicopters and seaplanes fly over the area to provide the aerial view to the tourists so you can opt for such a ride to witness the majestic beauty of New Zealand. 

 

Things to do - Hiking, Gorge Walk, Horse Trek, Boating, Kayaking, Helicopter rides.

 

Attractions - Lake Mapourika, West Coast Wildlife Centre, Robert’s Point Track, Peters Pool.

The Abel Tasman National Park is a reserve for wilderness in New Zealand. People from all around the country come to visit the national park. You can spot a variety of species of animals here. The Abel Tasman National Park is not like the ordinary national parks, you can find beautiful sites of rocks and caves here. The national park is like a paradise for photographers, as every corner of the place offers a stunning view of the scenery.

 

Location - It is 65 km away from Nelson.

 

Things to do - Kayaking, walking on the beach, Snorkelling, hiking, watching dolphins, Boating.

 

Attractions - Abel Tasman Coast Track, Ngarua Caves, Onetahuti Beach, Split Apple Rocks.

 

Cost - NA

 

Type - Animal Sanctuary

Mount Cook National Park is a very popular national park located in the heart of the Southern Alps. Majority of the portion of the Mount Cook National Park is in glacier form. It is the place where the iconic, Sir Edmund Hillary trained before scaling the Mount Everest. Flora and fauna thrive in Mount Cook National Park and you can find a variety of species here. 

 

Location - It is approximately 250 km away from Queenstown

 

Things to do - Hiking, Skiing, Hunting, Stargazing, Birdwatching, Heli-skiing

 

Attractions - Tasman Glacier, Mount Cook, Westland Tai Poutini National Park, Old Mountaineers Café.

 

Cost - NA

 

Type - Animal Sanctuary

Generally, winter is synonymised with harshness and bitterness, people do not often welcome winter like they welcome summer. But unlike the popular, New Zealanders welcome the winter season with joy and happiness. In fact a 10 day extravagant festival is organized to celebrate the commencement of winter in New Zealand. Queenstown Winter Festival is one event where the whole country comes together and celebrates. There are different kinds of events that take place in this festival, from comedy nights to dance shows, you can find all forms of entertainment at one place during this festival. 

 

Date of the event - The Queenstown Winter Festival is held every year in late June

New Zealand is the most secular country on the planet and most of the people here do not follow any religion. But amongst the people who do follow a religion, Christianity is followed by the majority of them. Due to this reason, a festival such as Christmas becomes an integral part of the lives of the people residing here. Unlike the rest of the world, New Zealand does not celebrate Christmas during the winters. The summer sun blazes over the country during Christmas, but it does hamper the festival spirit of the New Zealanders.

 

Date of the festival - Christmas is celebrated every year on 25th December

New Zealand is an amazing country to visit. New Zealanders are said to be foodies. Being a foodie in a country like New Zealand is justifiable as you can get hold of some lip-smacking dishes here. In order to apprehend this love of food, wine and food festivals are held annually in the country. In this festival, you get to taste some of the finest wines produced in New Zealand. Along with the fine wines, you also get to taste innovative and mouth-watering dishes which will leave you craving for more.

 

Date of the event - Wine and Food Festivals are held every year during the months of January and February

Halloween is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the world. People dress up as monsters and ghosts in order to scare everybody. Kids dress up as scary characters and go to every house and collect candies from them in Halloween. Halloween is a lot of fun and it is an amazing experience for anyone who has not celebrated Halloween before.

 

Date of the festival - Halloween is celebrated every year on 31st October

Skydiving is an extremely dangerous and thrilling activity. A person is made to jump off a plane from a height of 13000 feet with just a parachute in skydiving. It is one of the best things to do in New Zealand and you can get an immense amount of adrenaline rush while trying out this activity. Skydiving features on the bucket list of every adventure junkie. You feel as if they are flying while doing this activity. 

 

Places where Skydiving can be done - Motueka, Queenstown, Glenorchy, Taupo, Wanaka, Abel Tasman, Franz Josef

 

Approximate Cost - The approximate cost for a person is INR 15500

 

For - Individuals, Groups of Friends

 

Difficulty Level - High

 

Tips - It is a very dangerous activity and is not advisable to people who have fear of height.

Paragliding is one activity which you can never forget after doing. In paragliding, you have to jump off a cliff with a glider. You will then float in the air and the glider shall help you to change the directions. You get to enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding nature while trying out this activity. Paragliding is one of those activities which fills a person with joy once it is over. 

 

Places where Paragliding can be done - Queenstown, Wanaka, Christchurch

 

Approximate Cost - The approximate cost for a person is INR 11000

 

For - Couples, Individuals

 

Difficulty Level - High

New Zealand is a country which has been blessed with a number of mountains. Due to the presence of these mountains, you can go on a number of trekking expeditions. There are different kinds of trekking tours available in the country such as ice trekking, glacier trekking, mountain trekking, and the likes. Trekking is considered to be the best method to explore nature in its truest form.

 

Places where Trekking can be done - Bay of Islands, Auckland, Abel Tasman National Park, Franz Josef Glacier, Mount Cook, Milford Sound, Tongariro National Park

 

Approximate Cost - The approximate cost for a person is INR 2200

 

For - Group of Friends, Couples

 

Difficulty Level - High

New Zealand is filled with a number of caves throughout the country. These caves are amazing to visit. Exploring the caves present in New Zealand is quite adventurous and you need to be mentally strong to be able to carry it out. Not only is the caving tour adventurous, but you also get to learn a lot about the ancient culture of New Zealand by observing the carvings on the wall.

 

Places where Caving can be done - Greymouth, Otorohanga, Castle Hill, Abbey Caves, Karamu Caves

 

Approximate Cost - The approximate cost for a person is INR 4400

 

For - Family, Senior Citizens

 

Difficulty Level - Low

New Zealand is an island country, therefore it is surrounded by water on all sides. The presence of water in abundance allows the people to carry out a variety of water sports activities here. Surfing is one such water sports activity which is done by quite a few people in New Zealand. 

 

Places where Surfing can be done - Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, Queenstown, Auckland, Taranaki, Wellington, West Coast

 

Approximate Cost - The approximate cost for a person is INR 2200

 

For - Individuals

 

Difficulty Level - High

 

Tips - It is a very dangerous activity and you need proper training before trying out surfing.

Parasailing and paragliding are very similar yet different activities. Parasailing is a water sports activity in which you are tied to a parachute and the other end of the rope is tied to a speedboat. When the speedboat moves, due to its speed, the parachute goes and you seem to fly in the air. The adrenaline rush you get from this activity is unparalleled.

 

Places where Parasailing can be done - Paihia, West Coast, Wanaka, Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, Queenstown

 

Approximate Cost - The approximate cost for a person is INR 4400

 

For - Couples

 

Difficulty Level - Low

New Zealand is a country where you can find water bodies in abundance, thereby enabling people to try out activities such as river rafting. River rafting is probably the safest and the most exciting water sports activity. A group of people is made to sit on a raft and then they have to row the raft against the rapids of the river. The more the rapids occur, the more fun you can have. 

 

Places where River Rafting can be done - Turangi, Tongariro River, Shotover River, Wairoa River, Rangitata Gorge, Mohaka River

 

Approximate Cost - The approximate cost for a person ranges from INR 4400 to INR 8800

 

For - Couples, Groups of Friends

 

Difficulty Level - Moderate to High

Rivers and water bodies are present in huge numbers in New Zealand, therefore it is pretty convenient to try out activities such as kayaking here. In kayaking, you are given a kayak. Kayak is a special kind of boat which can be driven by a couple of people at max. Kayaking is very similar to boating as in both the activities you have to row a boat on a water body.

 

Places where Kayaking can be done - Abel Tasman National Park, Milford Sound, Marlborough Sound, Bay of Islands, Kaikoura

 

Approximate Cost - The approximate cost for a person is INR 4400

 

For - Family, Couples

 

Difficulty Level - High

There are innumerable lakes and beaches present in New Zealand. Jet boating, therefore, is a very popular activity in New Zealand. The jet boat is a normal boat which has a high speed motor installed in it. The fun you can have in Jet boating is quite similar to jet skiing. The only difference between the two is that you can enjoy jet boating with a group of people whereas in jet skiing only two people can go at once.

 

Places where Jet Boating can be done - Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, West Coast, Queenstown, Milford Sound

 

Approximate Cost - The approximate cost for a person is INR 6600

 

For - Group of Friends, Family

 

Difficulty Level - Low

During the winter months of June, July, and August, New Zealand transforms into a winter wonderland full of white snow and snowflakes. This season is the best time to visit New Zealand as you can indulge in snow related activities like Skiing and glide on the snow laden slopes of mountains and hills and enjoy nature. 

 

Places to Ski in New Zealand - Queenstown, Rotorua, Arthur's Pass, Ohakune and Hammer's Springs

 

Approximate Cost - the approximate cost for a person ranges from INR 3300 to INR 13200

 

For - Family, Couples

 

Difficulty Level - Moderate

 

Tips - Skiing can be a bit challenging if you are doing it for the first time and in this case, you should choose a gentler slope whereas if you are experienced and have done it before you can visit the famous skiing venues and enjoy your time in New Zealand.

Glacier Tours are a famous activity of New Zealand. If you are visiting this magnificent island country in the winter season you should definitely go on a mountain top and trek on Glaciers and enjoy the glaciers while they last. The solid ice is perfect for activities like sledding, ice skating, and trekking. The trekking bit on Glacier Tours can be tiring and challenging at times but if you want to experience the thrill and push yourself then you should definitely opt for such Glacier Tours. Such tours are available only in New Zealand and so people flock from all over the world to experience this wonderful activity.

 

Famous Glaciers of New Zealand - Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier, Glaciers present in Mount Cook National Park

 

Approximate Cost - the cost of the tour depends on the number of days of the tour and the destination.

 

For - Group of Friends

 

Difficulty Level - Moderate to High

 

Pavlova is a traditional dessert made only in New Zealand. It is an integral part of the New Zealand cuisine. The main ingredients of a Pavlova are Egg whites, caster sugar, and fruits. The dish is mouth-watering and you should definitely have it during your stay in New Zealand.

 

Place where you can have Pavlova - Elliott Stables, Auckland Central, Fortuna Buffet Restaurant, Jasmine Restaurant

Pies are made across the globe and every country has modified the pie in such a way that it becomes the signature dish of their country. Meat Pie is a dish served in New Zealand. From the outside, the meat seems like any other pie but unlike the normal pies, the filling of the pie is filled with meat. 

 

Places where you can have Meat Pie - The Store, Heaven Scent Food Co., Little & Friday, Muzza’s Pie, Dizengoff

Ice creams are something which is loved by everyone. If there is one solution to all the problems, it is ice cream. The Hokey Pokey ice cream is an innovation of the people of New Zealand. The ice cream is basically a vanilla ice cream which consists lumps of honeycomb toffee. This flavor of ice cream is served exclusively in New Zealand.

 

Places where you can have Hokey Pokey Ice Cream - Patagonia Chocolates Beach Street, Puhoi Valley Café, Tip Top

Toast features in the breakfast of majority of the people in the world and spaghetti is a dish which is loved by a lot of people. In New Zealand, you get both of these dishes in an innovative way. Spaghetti is served on toasts. It is a pretty common dish in New Zealand and people seem to love it.

 

Places where you can have Spaghetti on Toast - Coco’s Cantina, The English Kitchen, Central Italian Restaurant

Maori is the native language of New Zealand. Paua is the name given by the Maori to three species of edible snails. The delicacy is delicious to have and it is very difficult to find Paua anywhere in the world except for New Zealand. It is a native cuisine of the New Zealanders and you get to know a lot about their culture through this.

 

Places where you can have Paua - Baduzzi, The Food Truck Garage, FISH Restaurant, Clooney, Regatta Bar & Eatery

Located in Queenstown, this restaurant is a full package. You can have lunch, supper, and dinner all in one place. The cocktails presented here are unique and loved by all who visit this place. Besides the lip-smacking and delicious food, the ambiance of this place is just perfect to spend an evening drinking and dancing with close friends. It has the perfect vibe that is required for a sophisticated party.

 

Location - Queenstown East 9300, 7 Rees Street, New Zealand

 

Timings - Surreal Bar and restaurant is open every day from 12 pm to 4 am

Located in Queenstown, this bar is made completely with ice including the glasses used for drinks. They provide special attire to the visitors like you to ensure that you can enjoy your time here without freezing. The drinks and cocktails found here are quite hard but unique. This place is more like a tourist attraction rather than a restaurant as it is a unique concept that is not seen everywhere.

 

Location - Queenstown 9300, 88 Beach Street, New Zealand

 

Timings - Minus 5 degrees Ice Bar is open every day from 2 pm to 11 pm

Family Bar is renowned all over the country and is probably one of the best night clubs in New Zealand. The atmosphere of the place is amazing and people come in large numbers to visit the place. Auckland is amongst the hottest tourist hub of the country, hence you can find different kinds of people in the Family Bar which increases the fun you can have in a bar.

 

Location - Auckland 1010, 270 Karangahape Road, New Zealand

 

Timings - Family Bar is every day from 9 am to 4 am

Bungalow 8 is a lounge cum bar located in Auckland. No person wants to stay in their hotel rooms during their vacation and Bungalow 8 is that place which makes sure that every tourist like you, or a local resident, of the city, has the best time of their lives. The atmosphere is always lively in Bungalow 8 and you will surely have a gala time in the lounge.

 

Location - Auckland 1010, 48 Market Place Auckland, New Zealand

 

Timings - Bungalow 8 is open every day generally from 3 pm to 4 am

Nightlife is not always about loud music and dance and Hawthorn Lounge is a testament to it. Hawthorn Lounge is very well built place with an attractive interior and class oozes out of the lounge. You can have a pleasant time here, with your friends. Apart from the drinks served here, the food available at the Hawthorn Lounge is mouth-watering. 

 

Location - Te Aro, 82 Tory Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

 

Timings - Hawthorn Lounge is open every day from 5 pm to 3 am

West city Waitakere is a major shopping mall located in the suburbs of Auckland. It was built in the early 1970s and is the home to more than hundred stores. Since it is located in the suburbs, the shopping mall becomes quite handy for travellers, especially if you are on a road trip. A movie theatre is also present in the mall, ensuring that no visitor ever leaves the mall disappointed.

 

Location - Henderson, 7 Catherine Street, Auckland 0612, New Zealand

 

Timings - West city Waitakere is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm

 

Bargaining - Not really

The Palm Shopping Centre is located in Shirley, a suburb of Christchurch. It is a huge shopping mall and you can find almost everything here. It was originally built in 1997 and was later upgraded to the present grand mall. The Palm Shopping Centre is not just about shopping, there are a variety restaurants present here and a movie theatre for all the cinema enthusiasts. You can enjoy yourself thoroughly here.

 

Location - Shirley, Corner Marshland and New Brighton Roads, Christchurch 8061, New Zealand

 

Timings - The Palm Shopping Centre is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm

 

Known For - Being a one stop destination for shopping and entertainment

 

Bargaining - Not really

The Westfield Chartwell Shopping Centre was inaugurated in 1974 and its popularity has been growing ever since. It was formerly called the ‘Chartwell Square’. The shopping mall is located in Chartwell on a 10.5 acre land. Westfield Chartwell Shopping Centre is huge and is the largest shopping mall in the vicinity of Chartwell. It boasts a multi storey parking area, cinema hall and an amazing food court.

 

Location - Chartwell, 201 Hukanui Road, Hamilton 3210, New Zealand

 

Timings - Westfield Chartwell Shopping Centre is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm

 

Bargaining - Not really

Sylvia Park is a large area of land on which several stores are present. The shops present at the Sylvia Park provide some outstanding products. It is the ideal place to visit if you are eager to shop in New Zealand. You can find almost everything in this business park. Sylvia Park is the second largest shopping centre in the whole of New Zealand and is a major tourist attraction of the country.

 

Location - Mount Wellington, 286 Mount Wellington Hwy, Auckland 1060, New Zealand 

 

Timings - Sylvia Park is open every day from 9 am to 7 pm

 

Known For - Branded clothes, accessories, shoes, gadgets and more

 

Bargaining - Not Really

Every person wants to buy something which reminds them of the place they have visited. Vulcan Lane is that place where you can find some incredible products which speak volumes about the culture of the people residing in the area. You can purchase products and souvenirs at really cheap prices here, provided you know how to bargain. You can find some high end branded shops as well as the shops which sell local products in Vulcan Lane.

 

Location - Auckland 1010, Vulcan Lane, New Zealand

 

Timings - The shops in Vulcan Lane are generally open every day from 10 am to 6 pm

 

Known For - Trinkets 

 

Bargaining - Yes

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