Things to do in New Zealand
To kick off a holiday in New Zealand testing out a thrill seeking activity is a must. Some catch the bug immediately while others decide that they are content with the simple thrill of day to day life. A good place to start is to sit back, strap in and let the sheer acceleration of Queenstown’s Shotover Jetboat take control. Weaving through the winding river systems, along with the odd 360° spin, hearts will race akin to being in an aquatic rally car.
On the western coast of the South Island, make a choice of either hiking, the more extravagant ‘heli-hiking’ or simply gaze from a bird’s eye vantage point over the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Two of the most accessible glaciers in the world are an awe-inspiring sight. The transformation between settled snow at the peak of the 12 kilometre long glacier, to the eventual rush of fresh water linking into the river systems below is a once in a lifetime sight. Annually pulling in 250,000 tourists, visiting this glacier on a day out is well worth it.
The North Island’s town of Rotorua is situated on the south shore of Lake Rotorua. What makes this place special is hidden far below the ground. Geothermal activity warms mud pools to a spa like temperature and heats Geysers to the point of theatrically discharging water which turns to steam under the intense heat it is forced to endure. Water touches hot volcanic rock deep within the Earth and after a journey under high pressure back to the surface it shoots skyward in a spectacular kettle-like show. Truly a rare sight to be seen, once you have witnessed this a good foot soaking in the mud is not to be missed.
Enjoy the naturally heated pools and head to one of the many Polynesian Spa centres that have opened as tourism flourished. In the heart of the North Island, New Zealand’s largest lake can be found. Lake Taupo and the close by settlement of Taupo on its most north easterly point has a population of 34, 000. The 25 kilometres wide, the lake is buzzes with activities, hosting New Zealand’s Iron Man challenge, as well as paragliding and jet boating.
Queenstown is one of the South Island’s most popular destinations and has more action and adventure activities than one could imagine for a town with a permanent residency of just 29,000 people. Whatever activity visitors to the area decide to take part in, a beautiful natural background is guaranteed to complement it.
The South Island’s largest, oldest and third most populous city offers a wonderful range of scenic photo opportunities. This east coast gem will keep any visitor entertained for the duration of their stay with a wealth of tours and activities to join in with whilst in the area. Following the earthquakes that occurred in 2010 and 2011, Christchurch has bounced back and is almost fully functioning again.
Auckland consistently ranks highly in the list of the best places to live in the world and for good reason. The city sits within the most idyllic setting imaginable. A large mountain range engulfs the urban metropolis and an enormous turquoise harbour bay boarders the world’s largest Polynesian city.
Over half a million people head to Milford Sound every year to catch a glimpse of its incredible natural beauty. Located on the splintered west coast of the South Island the area has been at the mercy of natural glacial erosion resulting in stunning scenery.
New Zealand’s Bay of Islands can be found on the North Island and holds 144 beautiful and very much individual Islands that are waiting to be explored. Charter boat services wait to show visitors around the micro-region. Diving in the area is excellent and trips often go to one of the ship wrecks in the bay.