New Zealand 10 Things to Do
Kia Ora! The mystical "Land of the Long White Cloud" also known as Aotearoa in Māori language - New Zealand has many incredible things to see and do in this beautiful island nation in the South Pacific. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to discover the beauty and diversity of New Zealand which lead to the eventual colonization from the British in 1840 giving much of the Kiwi's their British Roots.
Getting to New Zealand from Canada
Many of the international air lines including Air New Zealand, Air Canada, United, Delta have direct flights from hub cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York to Auckland - the main gateway city to New Zealand.
New Zealand 10 Things to do:
1. Arrival into Auckland- Rent a Car
Most flights from North America arrive early morning into Auckland, New Zealand. One of the best things to do if you are a bit adventurous is to rent a car and jet off and explore the surrounding countryside. Click here to read about my unexpected journey (road trip).
2. Visit Hobbiton
Are you a fan of the epic fantasy book and film series "Lord of the Rings" and the "Hobbit"? If so, while on the North Island and just a few hours outside of Auckland is the tiny hamlet of Hobbiton - the former film set of Peter Jackson's Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
3. Zorb Rotorua
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a hamster in a hamster ball? Well, now you have a chance to experience it first hand with Zorb Rotorua. Rotorua, much like most of New Zealand is packed full of amazing adrenaline fuelled adventures. I think the video says it all...
4. Spa Time - Natural Hot Springs
The Māori for centuries have enjoyed the healing properties of the famed Rotorua natural hot springs. Highly recommend taking some time out to rejuvenate at the Polynesian Spa to help with your jet leg. The Polynesian Spa is one of the oldest commercial hot springs in the Southern Hemisphere dating back to the mid 1800's.
5. Middle Earth - Caving
New Zealand is known as Middle Earth, hence Peter Jackson choosing to film the Hobbit here... but did you know that New Zealand is also home to some of the most stunning caving systems in the world? You can choose to walk, float and climb these amazing natural wonders. One of my favourites was to go "Black Water Rafting" in the spectacular Waitomo "Glow Worm" Caves or the awe inspiring guided spelunking in Nelson to the southern hemisphere's deepest sinkhole!
6. Getting down to Nature - Canyoning
One of my favourite experiences was leaping off waterfalls, sliding down rocks, scrambling and abseiling with one of the wildest adventures to be had - Canyoning. New Zealand has many great canyoning sites from Auckland, Coromandel, Nelson, Canterbury and Wanaka!
7. Ready to take a leap of faith? 1-2-3-Bungy!
New Zealand full of the adventure spirit is home to the first commercial "Bungy Jump" developed in 1978 by Kiwi Adventurer, A.J. Hackett. Visit the world's oldest bungee at AJ Hackett's original Kawarau Bungy site or New Zealand's highest at the the top of the Nevis.
8. Jet Boating
Looking for more of a passive but accelerating experience? Look no further than the "Jet Boat" adventure. Feel the rush of the untamed waters as you jet through narrow gorges and thundering Huka Falls or experience a 360-degree spins on one of Queenstown's spectacular rivers.
9. Wine Trail
Yes, New Zealand is quite well known for their beautiful wines. Take in the wine country by bicycle or chauffeur driven. Stunning rolling hills of vineyards as far as the eye can see, dotted with cute country cellars eager to share their wine and culinary expertise. The Hawke's Bay is well-known for Bordeaux blends, Chardonnay, Syrah; Marlborough famous for their Sauvignon Blanc and the Martinborough region has some extraordinary Pinot Noir.
10. Māori hāngī or "Roast Dinner"
No trip is complete until you have experience the traditional Māori hāngī otherwise known as "underground food." The hāngī is a traditional Māori (New Zealand's indigenous people) way of cooking that slowly steams and roasts with the natural hot springs waters, steam, and hot rocks. Taste the smoky flavours and enjoy the communal experience of the hāngī.
Interested in New Zealand or another destination? Click here to get more information.