New Zealand is jam-packed with things to do. The hardest part of planning your holiday will be deciding which to do first!
Exploring New Zealand’s magnificent landscape and coastline tops the list for many. If adventure is your game, there’s a long list of thrilling activities to get your blood racing. Or if it’s a relaxing holiday you’re after, hot pools, vineyards and cultural attractions will keep you entertained.
That’s just a few of the things to do in New Zealand. Better start making that list.
New Zealand has developed a deserved reputation as an international skiing destination. The season runs from June to October, the landscapes and scenery are out of this world and gear is easy to hire. New Zealand ski fields are uncrowded with plenty of wide-open bowls and gentle slopes for first-time skiers and off-piste skiing and heli-skiing for the more adventurous.
Long before you arrive see the mountains rise above the Canterbury plains.
Food and Wine
Indulging in local food and wine is a must-do for many travellers. If gastronomy and the odd tipple are high on your agenda, New Zealand won’t disappoint. New Zealand is a food and wine lover’s paradise. Vineyards stretch throughout every region, chefs put playful local twists on fine cuisine. New Zealand food and wine festivals serve up taste sensations with a side of local music.
Coming to visit this winter?
If you’re planning a ski holiday in the South Island this winter, you’ve got some great wine regions within easy reach. Visitors to Mt Hutt and Porters ski areas in the Christchurch – Canterbury region should make the short drive north to Waipara. And if you’re heading to Queenstown this winter, be sure to enjoy the wineries of Queenstown and Central Otago when you’re not on the slopes.
World class wine
The Hawkes Bay, Martinborough and Marlborough and Central Otago are signature New Zealand wine regions; explore your pick of 120 vineyards by driving the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. If you’re after a really thorough wine tour, add West Auckland, Gisborne, Canterbury to your itinerary.
Most wineries are open for tasting, and many have fine restaurants onsite. There are plenty of bicycle and chauffeur-driven wine tours too – a great way to take in the full spectrum of local flavours. Our internationally acclaimed varieties include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and the Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blends), so get ready to sample!
Pacific Rim cuisine
New Zealand food goes way beyond fish and chips and barbeques – our chefs have developed a distinct Pacific Rim cuisine. Expect to indulge in plenty of seafood (like greenlipped mussels, crayfish (lobster), Bluff oysters and fresh fish), award winning cheeses and of course our famous lamb. You should also expect a laidback, friendly atmosphere wherever you eat; we Kiwis love to keep things casual.
If adventure sports press all your buttons, get ready for the trip of a lifetime. Bungy, skydiving, caving, canyoning … New Zealand has every adventure activity and extreme sport you can think of – and some you’ve never even heard of! All set to a backdrop of mind-blowing landscapes.
Nature walks and Wildlife
Natural spectacles and unique wildlife encounters are two of New Zealand’s biggest draw-cards.
There are few places in the world where, within the space of one day, you can experience mountain vistas, ancient forests, volcanic landscapes and stunning coastline – all whilst spotting New Zealand wildlife found nowhere else on earth.
You can spot whales in the North Island, but it’s Kaikoura in the South that is the main centre for whale watching in New Zealand. Kaikoura, on the east coast of the South Island, is one of the only places in the world where you can easily see sperm whales. Sperm whales, the largest of the toothed whales, grow to over 15 metres in length. They dive deep into the ocean to feed. The resident population of sperm whales at Kaikoura can be seen all year round. Orca (killer whales) may be seen from December to March, and humpback whales in June and July. Several dolphin species are seen almost daily in the area. Whales thrive close to Kaikoura because of its unusual submarine landscape. The continental shelf drops quickly into a number of extremely deep underwater canyons. In addition, a warm current from the north meets a colder one from the south. This causes nutrients from deep within the ocean to be carried upward, a phenomenon that helps to support all types of marine life from plankton and krill to dolphins and whales.
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