Fun things to do in New Zealand

  • Akaroa Harbor
    Akaroa Harbor
    by kris-t
  • Indian Char Bagh Garden
    Indian Char Bagh Garden
    by Tom_Fields
  • Mission Bay Fountain
    Mission Bay Fountain
    by Kitty82

Most Viewed Things to Do in New Zealand

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Arthur's Pass

    by IreneMcKay Written Jul 17, 2013

    We wanted to enjoy some of New Zealand's spectacular mountain scenery, so we booked a train trip to Arthur's Pass. We had a couple of hours there before we had to catch the train back so went for a stroll, visited the waterfall and made use of one of the cafes.

    Arthur's Pass Arthur's Pass Arthur's Pass Coastal Walk.
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Trains

    Was this review helpful?

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Christchurch Cable Car

    by IreneMcKay Written Jul 17, 2013

    Now this I do know is up and running again as I checked it out on line.

    We went here by bus from the centre of Christchurch. The cable car takes you up to the top of an extinct volcano. It last exploded 6 million years ago. There are fantastic mountain and sea views from this point.

    View from Christchurch Cable Car. View from Christchurch Cable Car. View from Christchurch Cable Car. View from Christchurch Cable Car.
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Christchurch Botanical Gardens

    by IreneMcKay Written Jul 17, 2013

    We visited Christchurch in 2004. In 2011 it was hit by a massive earthquake; I do not know if these beautiful gardens were affected.

    Our hotel was a bit away from the centre of Christchurch and our most direct way into the centre was to stroll through the botanic gardens, thus we were lucky enough to walk through these gardens repeatedly. Parts of them are by the banks of the river. They were stunningly beautiful gardens with the most wonderful rose garden I have ever seen. From time to time we would see people punting on the river. It felt like we had been suddenly transported to Oxford or Cambridge.

    Sensational roses. Christchurch Botanical Gardens. Christchurch Botanical Gardens. More roses.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Anniko's Profile Photo

    Breathtaking Scenery, and Unique Wildlife.

    by Anniko Updated Apr 19, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    World-renowned for its adventure, Queenstown is home to a huge choice of adrenaline based activities ... However, if like us, your desire is to explore at a more relaxed pace, there’s also plenty on offer.

    The Queenstown Skyline Complex sits high on Bob's Peak, and is reached by the gondola cableway. The entrance to catching it, is located 5 minutes by foot from central Queenstown.
    Although I dislike heights, I didn't find the gondola ride to Bob’s Peak too uncomfortable ... if anything, it gave me a thrill. The views from the top are superb, providing a stunning bird's-eye panorama of The Remarkables, and Lake Wakatipu. There is a shop, restaurant, toilets and plenty of seating up there, but the views are the thing. Plus there’s the luge. We didn't try it, but our traveling companions enjoyed the experience.

    Queenstown is known for its spectacular skiing and snowboarding, and turns into a winter sports paradise from May to August. Although a non-skier, we took the bus up to The Remarkables ski fields and appreciated the scenery ... For me, it was my first encounter ever, with snow. It had fallen the night before, and was crisp and powdery. You don't have to ski to enjoy the area.

    We also hopped on the last surviving steamship on Lake Wakatipu, the “TSS Earnslaw”.
    It was a lovely cruise with spectacular views. The steamer, from a past era, was very well maintained. We took the return trip on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Passengers can check out the engine room, and observe the crew shoveling the coal.
    During the cruise, we saw stunning views of the lake and Queenstown, and amazing scenery of snow-peaked mountains. Seeing the lake from the wharf was great, but aboard this ship, it was incredible.

    The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a great place to view the elusive kiwis that are rare, nocturnal and exist only in New Zealand. The park is a relaxing place to spend time. The area is beautiful with lots of trees, and other rare birds are on display too. We were able to see all of them, and the endangered reptile, the tuatara, up close. The informative show given at the start of our visit was excellent too.

    For something a bit different, and amusing at the same time, there is an underwater observatory beneath Lake Wakatipu where you can view and feed native diving ducks ... (New Zealand Scaup), as well as fish, and an occasional big eel. The observation windows were huge and clean. There were seats too if you wanted to relax a bit. We enjoyed this unique experience, that is hidden under the jetty where thrill seekers board the speed boat.

    On top of Bob's Peak! Skiing on The Remarkables! Cruising Lake Wakatipu! Kiwi Birdlife Park Underwater Observatory!
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Family Travel
    • Skiing and Boarding

    Was this review helpful?

  • CDM7's Profile Photo

    Toilet visit- Hundertwasser Toilets.

    by CDM7 Written Apr 3, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Several people had mentioned to me that i should visit the Hundertwasser toilets which is in the small town of Kawakawa in the northern region of New Zealand.
    These toilets were designed by Austrian architect Frienenriech Hundertwasser,who lived in the town from 1975 until his death in 2000.The toilets are a mixture of ceramic tiles,bottle glass windows,mosaic tiling,copper handwork,cobblestone floors and a grass roof.
    I must say it seemed a bit strange taking photos inside a toilet block.

    Inside view. Entrance to toilets.
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • kiwi's Profile Photo

    TRY GLIDING - Matamata Airfield.

    by kiwi Updated Mar 17, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    GLIDING TRIAL FLIGHT.

    Enjoy the exhiliration of flight without the noise and vibrations of an engine. A truly worthwhile experience, and you can easily take photos out the canopy of the lovely terrain below. Once you have released from the towplane, flight becomes vibration and noise free and you are up there with the birds!! Having no engine is a real plus, as you will see :-)
    Check the GlidingMatamata website and view thru the webcam on their homepage.
    *THIS IS CONVENIENTLY LOCATED BETWEEN AUCKLAND AND ROTORUA*

    Trial flights cost $NZD120; $180 & $300 as at 2013.
    They fly Sat/Sun and Wednesdays, and public holidays.

    Your view when you passenger in a glider. Two seater training gliders. Soaring over the Waikato Region. Mount Te Aroha in behind.
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Adventure Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Merebin's Profile Photo

    New Zealand Road Trip

    by Merebin Written Feb 26, 2013

    New Zealand is a great country to explore by car - especially if you're Australian, as the Kiwis also drive on the correct side of the road! Roads are generally good and hiring your own vehicle makes it easy to get off the beaten track and explore some of the smaller towns and nature areas that can be difficult to get to by using public transport. The scenery is spectacular enough to make even the longest of drives a pleasure.

    TIP: Check out the availability of car hire for hiring older vehicles. It can be much cheaper than hiring a brand new car.

    The open road Arthur's Pass, South Island South Island farm land
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Merebin's Profile Photo

    Cruising on Milford Sound

    by Merebin Written Feb 25, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Winding your way down the steep roads that lead to Milford Sound it is clear that you are in for an adventure. Boats are dwarfed by the majestic peaks and waterfalls that surround the sound. Seals splash and play in the waters as you are left to ponder your own small insignificance in the much grander scheme of things. Awe inspiring.

    Milford Sound Milford Sound Cruising in the Sound
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating

    Was this review helpful?

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Visit Kawhia

    by angiebabe Updated Feb 10, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kawhia is a settlement on the Kawhia harbour on the west coast of the NOrth Island.
    Being a little out of the way with a road that goes over a hilly pass with quite a lot of cornering more people might tend to go to Raglan which is only half an hour from Hamilton or to South Auckland such as Piha or Tuakau or over to the East coast beaches of Tauranga, Mt Maunganui, Thames and those further southward.

    We took the opportunity to attend the advertised Kai Festival at Kawhia while wanting at the same time to enjoy the scenery as it was quite a few years since I had last been there.

    Driving from Matamata I took a back road near Cambridge down to Te Awamutu and over to Pirongia and not far from there was the turn off of the main road 42 km to Kawhia.
    It really is a beautiful road taking you past green farms of rolling hills and native bush such as ponga ferns. Views of Kawhia harbour came into sight from the top of the hill and there was a view point made there for cards to park as well as a couple of picnic benches. The sky was clear so the light around made the grass on the hills look very green and the water in the harbour in the distance look beautiful bluey green. The drive on down along the shore was beautiful too and worthy of stopping at various places for photos.

    The Kai festival had a lot of people in attendance with men and women and children in Maori costumes and singing and dancing traditional Maori music. There was a wide range of foods available - particularly foods from the local seass such as paua, mussels, sea urchin and fish. We bought a meal of mutton bird - which often comes from Stewart Island - watercress, pumpkin and potatoe with maori bread. My mother did not like hers at all - and mutton bird is known to require a particular liking for the taste...

    I made conversation with a local who said the festival is mainly for locals but of course open to anyone who would like to take part - she was glad that the turn out was so good. This was held on a grassy area near the wharf so the local kids and families had soon moved to the water and beach.. The wharf is really popular for jumping off into the water, back up the sand bank and back onto the wharf to jump off again! the sand around these parts of the west coast are famed for their export of iron sand to Japan for processing - and here in Kawhia the sand is also black iron sand.

    From here we drove off to Ocean beach for beautiful views from the top of the dunes that one has to climb to access the beach...its also here down on the beach where hot water comes up through the sand so its famed for taking a spade to dig a spot to sit in the hot water!

    We chose to take the turn off to go back to Matamata via Otorohanga to Te Awamutu and then Cambridge road..beautiful views over Mt Pirongia enhanced by the evening light - you can also take the road to the Waitomo caves along the way here or down to the beach of Mokau - where the movie The Piano was made. There is also a gravel road through to Raglan not far after leaving Kawhia and along this gravel road are the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls.

    The affects of the afternoon light and sunset on the waters as the road took us back along the shores and bays of Kawhia harbour was just beautiful - couldnt resist stopping in several places to take more photos - and saw a few cranes and hawks in the process.

    beautiful farmland and NZ bush along the way approaching Kawhia along the shores Kawhia harbour views to Kawhia harbour once at the top of the hil
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Beaches
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • carolynllew's Profile Photo

    Art Gallery

    by carolynllew Written Feb 6, 2013

    A wonderful Art Gallery in an historic house "Fairholme" originally lived in by Thomas and Alice Baigent
    Fine Art Prints by Murray Hedwig
    Very friendly owners, both artists who know a lot about the area despite moving from Christchurch only 6 months ago.
    They are happy to help you find Gorge Creek walk...

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Auckland - beautiful city around Auckland harbour

    by angiebabe Written Dec 20, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Auckland is a beautiful city of about 1 million population spread out over a wide area around a beautiful harbour and water ways

    ...a slower paced city that has been becoming increasingly cosmopolitan over the years with its beautiful long summer days and nights being great for being outdoors

    ....many cafes and restaurants in lovely spots amongst the foliage and flora such as pohutukawa or kowhai, glorious when in bloom during spring and summer, that is native to NZ and prolific around Auckland, with beautiful views of old Victorian houses, beautiful beaches or water views or the islands or volcanoes that give the city character

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Road Trip
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • thegirlfromnewy's Profile Photo

    Polynesian Spa

    by thegirlfromnewy Written Aug 6, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My friend booked a spa experience and it included entry into the more expensive pools so I paid to use them as well. The sign board when you enter the spa advises that only approx 10% of visitiors use these pools so i was expecting a lovely quiet, relaxing experience.
    Upon entering we found a bus load of tourists already in the pools running from pool to pool in their underwear (not even bathers) and shouting across the pools. Definately not relaxing.

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort

    Was this review helpful?

  • thegirlfromnewy's Profile Photo

    Tamaki Maori Village

    by thegirlfromnewy Updated Aug 6, 2012

    We did the Tamaki village and hangi dinner. Our bus driver was very entertaining, the village tour was informative and interactive. My favourite part was the hangi dinner, seeing where it is cooked and then getting to try it... yummmmm!
    We booked this tour through our hotel the afternoon of and paid on the night. Tour included pick up and drop off :)

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • thegirlfromnewy's Profile Photo

    Zorbinggggggggg

    by thegirlfromnewy Written Aug 6, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We did the intermediate aqua zorb and whilst it was terrifying I am SO glad I did it. You have the opportunity to purchase photes at the end and even get a free picture to upload to Facebook. Staff very friendly.
    Note- BYO towel or you will need to buy one

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • School Holidays
    • Water Sports

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    Go on great day- and half-day hikes

    by Kakapo2 Updated Apr 24, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Every now and then somebody asks for great half- and full-day hikes in New Zealand. So now I post a list here, so I do not have to retype it every time the question pops up in the VT Forum.

    I will mark the hikes which are along the main tourist tracks with stars; the others are a bit too far off these tracks if, for example, you have only three weeks in New Zealand.



    North Island

    ***** The Tongariro Crossing Track surely is the most spectacular day hike in NZ.

    **** Once you are there, you could also take the chairlift up Mt. Ruapehu and then walk to the crater lake and back.

    - (Mt. Tarawera is the only one you cannot do on your own, only guided tour and have to pay for it - Maori land.)

    - Walk to the northern tip of Coromandel Peninsula

    - Mt. Taranaki (Egmont) - would be a five star walk but you will struggle to include it in a 3 week itinerary

    **** City-to-Sea Walk in Wellington (Island Bay to Karori)

    - Near Napier: Te Mata Peak and the walk to the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers (for the latter you have to get information about the tides, as you can only walk to the colony at low tide)



    South Island

    **** Abel Tasman Coastal Track (take water taxi to one of the northern beaches and walk down south to Marahau, so you do not have to hurry to a water taxi pick-up point later in the day)

    *** You can also walk a day or several hours at Farewell Spit, veeeery lonesome

    - Day hike into the Heaphy Track from the southern end (from Karamea; Kohaihai Bridge)

    - Nelson Lakes National Park: There are several great day walks, best up to the St. Arnaud Range, as no transportation is needed; with boat transport great hike to Angelus Hut and lake

    **** A day on the crater rim in the Port Hills above Christchurch (details on my Christchurch page)

    ***** Take ferry from Lyttelton to Diamond Harbour, walk up Mt. Herbert and back (day hike from Christchurch)

    ***** (For Summit Walk on Banks Peninsula (starts/ends as Mt. Herbert walk) you would need transportation to the start/end at the Hilltop Tavern; you could take the morning bus named Akaroa Shuttle which could drop you off there)

    **** Another fabulous walk from Christchurch: Take bus to Gondola, get up there or walk up Bridle Path, from there to Evans Pass, Godley Head, Boulder Bay, Taylor's Mistake, Sumner, bus back to Chch city centre

    ***** Walk on one of the two West Coast glaciers (guided tours only!). If you are fit you should choose Franz Josef Glacier. (More info on my West Coast page)

    **** Copland Track as a return day hike from the West Coast (The entire hike is for very experienced hikers only)

    *** Alex Knob Walk with great views of West Coast and Franz Josef Glacier (access from glacier access road)

    ***** From The Divide (on the Milford Road) to the Key Summit and a bit further into the Routeburn Track and back (see my Milford Sound page)

    - Several good walks from Glenorchy (northern tip of Lake Wakatipu, 45 min from Queenstown), also at Coronet Peak, the Remarkables, Skippers Canyon

    ***** From Mt. Cook Village: Mueller Hut, Hooker Valley - and finish off with a short walk to Tasman Lake which is full of floating icebergs

    ***** Lake Tekapo - Observatory - along the ridge, then down to the lake and from there back to the township

    *** Kaikoura Coastal Walk

    *** There are plenty of great day hikes in Arthur's Pass National Park,
    also from Hanmer Springs, Mt. Somers, to Mt. Sunday (castle location in Lord of the Rings), etc. etc.

    **** Fantastic walks in Mt. Aspiring National Park (from Wanaka), for example to Rob Roy Glacier. There are a few five star walks with splendid views, for example the walks starting at Diamond Lake (to Lake Wanaka viewpoint and Ridge Track).

    You can check details - and find more hikes you will have no time for LOL - on this website:

    http://www.doc.govt.nz



    * My star rating is focussed on great views and landscapes, not the scale of the mountains.

    Walk to Castle Hill, on the way to Arthur
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

New Zealand Hotels

See all 2413 Hotels in New Zealand

Top New Zealand Hotels

Christchurch Hotels
1251 Reviews - 2676 Photos
Auckland Hotels
1099 Reviews - 2456 Photos
Queenstown Hotels
647 Reviews - 1714 Photos
Napier Hotels
187 Reviews - 484 Photos
Gisborne Hotels
42 Reviews - 89 Photos
Waiheke Island Hotels
63 Reviews - 157 Photos
Rotorua Hotels
488 Reviews - 1232 Photos
Wellington Hotels
606 Reviews - 1335 Photos
Timaru Hotels
55 Reviews - 145 Photos
Palmerston North Hotels
34 Reviews - 94 Photos
Paihia Hotels
124 Reviews - 295 Photos
Glenorchy Hotels
48 Reviews - 129 Photos
Greymouth Hotels
38 Reviews - 87 Photos
Nelson Hotels
98 Reviews - 194 Photos
Dunedin Hotels
342 Reviews - 819 Photos

Instant Answers: New Zealand

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

18 travelers online now

Comments

New Zealand Things to Do

kiwi's Profile Photo

There is so much to do and something for everyone. Adventure sports, more relaxed activities and many water based adventures.

Lots of tracks for tramping (hiking) either day trips or...

Map of New Zealand