New Zealand is not a country that does things by halves. It’s so much more than just a nice backdrop to Ian McKellen’s (Gandalf) horse riding antics, it’s a wild, joyful, seemingly limitless land stuffed full of adventures just for you. Which ones specifically? Read on for a glimpse into everything waiting for you…
Bay of Islands
Famous for stunning blue waters and miles of rugged coastline, there’s more to the BOI than bobbing around beautiful coves. As well as chilling on the sand you can jump on a boogie board and surf down it. It’s just like real surfing, except you have to climb back up a sand dune every time you want to go again. It is fun though, honestly.
Be a beach bum, zipline alongside a brave mate, go on a wine tasting tour, explore underground WWII tunnels, spot dolphins and whales as they migrate and loads more on this little slice of paradise 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland.
Rafting in Rotorua is not only pleasingly alliterative, it also means you get to row over the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall! The Kaituna River is also the warmest river in New Zealand, so when you inevitably take a dip, you shouldn’t come out blue. Boats not your thing? Rotorua’s geothermic activity means there are enough hot pools for you to get warm in, no raft required.
Another stunning coastal location Able Tasman National Park in the north of the South Island (not confusing) is known for being just damn beautiful thank you very much. Kayak the coves and find the split apple rock – it’s not hard to spot.
Massive aquatic mammals are not all Christchurch has to offer. It’s also a foodies dream with great artisan produce and amazing seafood wherever you look. Take a guided bike tour to see the city and work off all those crayfish.
Aside from having names any self-respecting indie band would consider, the Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers on the West Coast are brilliant for exploring. Take a helicopter to the top, hike through ice tunnels, enjoy incredible views and generally pretend to be a woolly mammoth.
Part of the Fiordland National Park (New Zealand does good names), Milford Sound is known for being an absolutely stunning patch of land and sea in a country known for its stunning patches of land and sea. Yep, it’s just that beautiful.
The home of adrenalin sports, if you can throw yourself off it, raft through it, swing over it or dive out of it, Queenstown’s got it. Just in case your heart needs any more pressure on it, the city is also home to the legendary Fergburger, a total must if you find yourself with a spare minute between jumps.