With so many excellent options when it comes to outdoor activities in New Zealand, it’s no wonder that the country is known for being an adventure traveler’s dream.
Take to the skies and admire spectacular landscapes. Have plenty of adventures on terra firma. Try an array of water-based activities. There’s something for every active visitor to New Zealand.
1. Hike in Mount Aspiring National Park
Mount Aspiring National Park is one of the country’s most remote national parks. A highlight is hiking to the Rob Roy Glacier. The hike is easily completed in a day. You can, however spend more time in the park exploring the various trails up the towering Mount Aspiring and through glassy plains. The forests are rich with bird life and the scenic views are enchanting.
2. Conquer Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is a prime spot for glacier hiking. You’ll fly to the top of the icy mound in a helicopter, making your way down the glacier with an experienced guide. You’ll encounter slick slopes, captivating ice caves and icy crags. Be sure to dress in appropriate clothes!
3. Go Canyoning at Abel Tasman National Park
The country’s only coastal national park, Abel Tasman National Park is also the smallest national park in New Zealand. Canyoning is a popular activity at the park. Have an adventure to remember as you abseil through waterfalls, swim in clear pools, scramble across rocks and slide down natural water chutes.
4. Enter the Deep, Dark Ruakuri Cave
Located in Waitomo, Ruakuri Cave offers a fantastic caving experience. Indeed, it is among the best outdoor activities in New Zealand. Discovering the dark depths of this fascinating cave involves climbing and scrambling over rocks, wading through cold water, abseiling, squeezing through small spaces, and tubing. You’ll also need to use zip lines to access parts of the cave. Glow worms add eerie flashes of light to the darkness.
5. Take a Road Trip Around Cape Reinga
Located at the northernmost point of New Zealand, Cape Reinga is perfect for a road trip. Relax on the greenery-surrounded white sandy beaches of Whale Bay in Tutukaka. Soak up the beauty of Matauri Bay. Enjoy the serenity of Spirits Bay. Wander through the charming seaside village of Mangonui. Pack your gear and discover what makes Cape Reinga so special.
6. Join a Segway Tour of Christchurch
Experience the charms of the Garden City with a Segway tour. The city’s flat nature makes it ideal for exploring on wheels. Enjoy the lush greenery and vibrant blooms of the many gardens and parks. Visit key historic and cultural sites. Learn the best places for shopping, eating and drinking, and get an insider’s perspective on the city.
7. Saddle Up and Go Horse Riding at Te Anau
Mount a trusty steed and ride across scenic farmland in Te Anau, encountering free-roaming horses on the way. Picturesque views include the surrounding peaks and the shimmering Lake Te Anau. You are also likely to spot an abundance of local flora and fauna.
8. Experience Lake Wanaka by 4WD
Taking an off-road 4D adventure around Lake Wanaka is a terrific way to get off the beaten track. Admire the striking views of the stunning lake as you travel through alpine farmland. Vistas of glaciers and snow-capped mountains add to the beauty.
9. Try White Water Rafting at the Kaituna River
One of the most exciting outdoor activities in New Zealand for fans of watery adventures, white water rafting on the Kaituna River promises to be an unforgettable experience. The grade five rapids are surrounded by glorious scenery. Your heart will really pound as you drop seven meters down a waterfall!
10. Visit Whanganui National Park for Canoeing and Kayaking
The splendid Whanganui National Park offers awesome opportunities for serene kayaking and canoeing. The gentle waters are ideal for people of all ages and experience levels.
11. Master Surfing at Raglan
The huge breaks at Manu Bay in Raglan make it a popular place for avid surfing enthusiasts. There are plenty of surf shops and instructors in the area. Harness the power of the sea and try to master the skill of surfing.
12. Explore the Underwater World at Goat Island Marine Reserve
The waters around Goat Island Marine Reserve are teeming with brightly colored fish and other aquatic life. The first marine reserve in New Zealand, it’s a great place for snorkeling and diving. Don’t forget your underwater camera!
13. Parasail Over the Bay of Islands
Visit Paihia for the ultimate New Zealand parasailing adventure. The panoramic views of the Bay of Islands are sure to blow you away. You can admire the views in solitude with a solo flight, take a romantic tandem ride, or have fun with two buddies on a triple flight.
14. Experience the First Harbor Bridge Bungy Jump in the World
You’ll find the world’s first harbor bridge bungy jump in Auckland. Get the adrenaline racing as you walk out above Waitamata Harbour before taking a deep breath and plunging towards the ground.
15. Leap Out of a Plane in Queenstown
Take the ultimate leap of faith and try skydiving. Tandem jumps are available in Queenstown, letting you admire the gorgeous scenery over Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks. It’s an experience you’ll never forget!
Heli-skiing, zorbing, shooting, riding a flying fox, camping (and glamping for those who want a bit more comfort), cycling, riding a glass-bottomed boat, hang gliding, stand-up paddle boarding and enjoying a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon are other cool outdoor activities in New Zealand. There’s so much to do!