Top 10 Unbelievable Experiences in New Zealand

For a place with stunning natural wonders and breathtaking views, New Zealand is criminally underrated when it comes to chasing majestic mountains and great lakes. Take a scroll down our list and maybe you’ll see that New Zealand is so much more than the Haka dance or Australia’s neighbour.

1. Live out your Middle Earth dreams in The Shire of Hobbiton

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There and back again ?

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As with all listicles on New Zealand, we begin with Middle Earth, as New Zealand it seems has so come to be synonymous with since the Lord of the Rings’ debut on the big screen in 2001.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of the Hobbits or the Lord of the Rings series, the magic of Hobbiton should not be missed. Tours are the only way you can visit Hobbiton, so here’s a pro tip, book the first tour of the day and you’ll get your perfect people-free shot.

2. Be awed by Mitre Peak in Milford Sound

There’s no denying Milford Sound’s popularity in the minds of travellers, especially the famed Mitre Peak which happens to be the most photographed mountain in the Southern Hemisphere.

Be it rain or shine, Summer or Winter, Milford Sound will provide you with excellent views and stunning shots. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous and sporty, head for the famous Milford Track, and you’ll see why it’s said to be one of New Zealand’s most sought-after hiking routes.

3. Experience a sense of tranquillity with the Wanaka Tree

The town of Wanaka has that signature small-town friendliness with alpine features and an incredible serene lake. If you need a quiet escape, Wanaka might be the place for you.

Though fair warning, the town may not provide the absolute reprieve you’re looking for. Standing tall in the middle of the lake is a tree that has garnered a huge following, and its own hashtag.

Travellers from all over queue and line up to get a snapshot of #thatwanakatree, if you’re ready to brave the crowds, sunset is the best time for that Instagrammable shot.

4. Stargaze under the night sky in Tekapo

Majestic snow-capped mountains are awesome, and so are wide open plains that stretch as far as the eye can see. But if you want something truly magical, the night sky above Tekapo is jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

The milky way stretches across the sky as stars blanket every inch above you. With Aoraki Mackenzie night sky being part of the International Dark Sky Reserve, it’s one of the best places to chase the stars. The Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo would provide a prime spot for some unforgettable stargazing.

5. Chase the Southern Lights


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All of you, as I’m sure, know of the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis). In New Zealand, one can view the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis). Hues of pink and green make up a curtain of light that dance across the night sky.

For a chance to catch this beautiful natural phenomenon, you’ll have to travel far south and Stewart Island would prove to be the most accessible and best location for the perfect view.

6. Learn about the Maori culture

Save for the Haka dance and Disney’s Moana, many are oblivious to the Maori people and culture.

The Maori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand who arrived some time from 1250 to 1300. They have since established a long-standing culture and heritage that is inextricable to the history of New Zealand.

Whether is it visiting an ancient Maori village or partaking in a hangi, there is much one can, and be amazed by the Maori people.

7. Soak in the Onsen Hot Pools of Queenstown

The Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown has to be one of the most amazing experiences in New Zealand. For one, the views are straight-up amazing.

You’ll get your own private pool from which you can gaze out at the towering mountains in front of you. Depending on the time of year, sip on an iced cold beer or a warm cup of tea and cast those worries away.

8. Cathedral Cove

East of the Coromandel Peninsula is the isolated Cathedral Cove that can only be reached via boat, kayak, or foot.

The setting for The Chronicles of Narnia, Cathedral cove is absolutely stunning. There are boat tours that will allow you to explore the surrounding caves and cliffs, all while providing you with a good history lesson on the place.

Alternatively, kayaking grants you the flexibility of pace and time of going where you want and when you want.

9. Kayak in unbelievable waters

Kayaking isn’t unique to New Zealand, but boy are the views unparalleled out there.

You’ll be exposed to warm-weather and calm waters (especially in North Island), while places like Fiordland will present white-knuckle paddles for more extreme kayaking.

Consider paddling to the Cathedral Cove or the Mine Bay Maori rock carvings located in Lake Taupo.

10. Hike up the famous Roys Peak

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Last week was a long one wasn’t it?! ? I have no idea why last week hit me so hard but isolation really got to me and I was a little wreck all week. I’m usually pretty positive so I’m not very good at dealing with myself when I’m emotional lol. (Luckily @samacourt is ?❤️) – @wearefeelgoodclub posted this quote at the weekend and I really needed to hear it, ‘Stop apologising for being human. No matter how happy or positive you are, you will have bad days and you will feel sad. You don’t need to apologise for it.’ ✨ Feeling much better this week ?? On my daily scroll through my photos I found this gem ? A nice reminder that once this is all over we have so much left of this world to explore ? but for now… you make a pretty good isolation roomie ? – – – #stayhome #royspeak #nz #wanaka #newzealand #nzmustdo #nzmustsee #travelnz #vanlife #sunriseoftheday #southislandnz #roadtrip #wearetravelgirls #wearetravelgirlsathome #sheisnotlost #femmetravel #beautifuldestinations #wanderlust #travel2020 #travelphotography #traveltheworldwithme #travelcouples #inspiredtravelcouples #journeysofcouples #journeysofgirls #starttheadventure #sidewalkerdaily #girlsthatwander #discoverunder15k #dametraveler

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Probably the most famous and popular hiking route in New Zealand, Roys Peak in the Otago region has arguably become the quintessential thing to do in the New Zealand bucket list.

When you get a glimpse of the view at the top and end of Roys Peak, you’ll understand why it has enraptured so many travellers and hikers. At the end of a successful hike, you’ll feel like you’re on the top of the world, looking down on creation (no prizes for guesses as to where that came from).

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