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unique activities

Top things to do in New Zealand

Get the most out of your journey and discover New Zealand through the eyes of a local. Dive deep into New Zealand’s culture, identity, landscape and experience our unique small-scale activities. From multi-day kayak adventures and wildlife excursions to scenic flights over World Heritage Sites. Connect with local Māori and their fascinating culture.

We have carefully selected small-scale, locally owned and environmentally-friendly activities. A range of unique experiences that showcase the best of New Zealand. We can assist you in selecting activities that match your interests.

7 must-do activities in New Zealand

1. Have close encounters with native wildlife

New Zealand is home to some of the most unique wildlife in the world. A country surrounded by the ocean, attracting magnificent marine animals. Kaikoura’s nutrient-rich waters attract whales, dolphins and albatross. Go whale watching or swim with dolphins and seals. Akaroa and the Bay of Islands are also great places to have close encounters with dolphins and other wildlife.

Spot yellow-eyed penguins and New Zealand fur seals in the Catlins and on the Otago Peninsula. Search for the elusive Kiwi bird - New Zealand’s national icon, on Stewart or Kapiti Island. Keep a lookout for cheeky kea or the flightless weka throughout the South Island.

"I love to have close encounters with wildlife, either organised with a local guide or by myself. It always fascinates me!"

Nicole, Travel specialist

2. Meet the locals

Embracing the Māori culture and spending time with locals is the best (and, we think, the only way) to completely understand New Zealand’s identity, culture, landscape and of course its people. Join local Māori, Maria and Joe, in the Far North and wander into the rainforest. Learn about their special connection to the land and visit unique places.

Another local legend that we can’t wait for you to meet is Johnny. He lives on the wild West Coast of the South Island. With his bushy grey beard, muddy gumboots and jeans, Johnny is renowned for living off the grid and preserving his much loved Awakari Valley. He will introduce you to the history and wilderness of New Zealand.

Swim with dolphins in Kaikoura's nutrient-rich waters
Swim with dolphins in Kaikoura's nutrient-rich waters
Embrace the fascinating Maori culture
Embrace the fascinating Māori culture

"Swimming with wild dolphins still remains one of the most incredible encounters that I ever had, it's magical."

Tobias, Travel specialist

3. Cycle the best trails

Discover New Zealand’s diverse landscape by cycling the best trails. Whether you would like to explore the vineyards of Marlborough, Gisborne or the Hawkes Bay? Or maybe you are after a bit more adventure?

Conquer the Great Lake Trail, Otago Rail Trail or the West Coast Wilderness Trail. We can match the best cycle trail to your experience and wishes.

4. Explore 15,000 kilometres of coastline

New Zealanders absolutely love the water and all activities that involve it. That shouldn’t come as a surprise with 15,000 kilometres of coastline. Surrounded by the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, you are never too far away from the ocean.

Set sail in the Bay of Islands and the Coromandel, kayak the waters of Marlborough Sounds and Doubtful Sound or go snorkelling and diving at Poor Knights Islands. We have found the most unique small-scale water activities for you to experience.

5. Take a scenic flight

Capture a birds-eye view of New Zealand’s unique landscape during a scenic flight. An experience that you won’t be forgetting any time soon. Soar above snow-capped peaks, crystal clear lakes, active volcanoes, golden beaches and mystical fiords. Go to places that aren’t normally accessible.

Fly above Milford and Doubtful Sound, Mount Cook, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers or the lake districts of Rotorua and Taupo. Whether you prefer a helicopter, floatplane or twin-turbo aircraft, we have found the best scenic flights of New Zealand.

"I am a huge fan of scenic flights! It's always special to see the natural beauty of New Zealand from a bird's eye view."

Nicole, Travel specialist
Kayak the waters of Doubtful Sound and spot wildlife
Kayak the waters of Doubtful Sound and spot wildlife
Are you searching for the ultimate view? Enjoy a scenic flight
Are you searching for the ultimate view? Enjoy a scenic flight

6. Conquer New Zealand’s spectacular hikes

New Zealand is full of spectacular walking tracks. From easy-going day hikes to adventurous multi-day hikes, there is a range of options to suit all experience levels. Go deep into the wilderness of New Zealand’s national parks including Mount Aspiring, Abel Tasman and Fiordland.

Be guided by a local Māori into the Te Urewera Rainforest and learn about the deep history of the region. Follow the coastline of the Coromandel Peninsula or conquer one the world’s best day hikes - the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

7. Taste the best of New Zealand

New Zealand has made a name for itself for producing quality wine. Waipara Valley is the fastest growing wine region in the county. With its long dry summers, high sunshine hours and cool nights, a variety of Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes are grown here. Looking for New Zealand’s finest Pinot Noir? Central Otago is your region.

The regions of Marlborough and Blenheim produce world-famous Sauvignon Blanc and Hawke’s Bay is renowned for fruitful and award-winning wineries as well as New Zealand’s oldest winery - Mission Estate. Of course, where there is world-class wine, there is also food to match. Indulge in fresh seafood and a fusion of local produce, innovation and flair.

A man with a hat, black t-shirt and backpack standing on a rock overlooking a valley
Hike the Routeburn Track over 3 days with a local guide
Taste the best of the best when it comes to New Zealand's wine
Taste the best of the best when it comes to New Zealand's wine

We would love to discuss with you further all the possibilities. Our activities are far away from mainstream tourism. Small-scale experiences that connect you with the country and the locals.

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