Our most recommended things to do in New Zealand
1. Otago Central Rail Trail E-Bike Self-Guided Cycling Trail
In Clyde, you are fitted with your E-bike and briefed for your tour. Your driver will then take you to Auripo, on the way go through historic Ophir crossing one of New Zealand’s most iconic bridges, the Daniel O Connell Bridge. Built in the 1880's, Lord of the Rings fans may recognise it and your driver will give you a full commentary on all things local on the way. On arrival at Auripo, you will cycle off down the trail to the Poolburn Gorge. First up is the 40m high Railway Viaduct, closely followed by 2 tunnels. You will then cross the longest bridge on the Trail, and find little village of Lauder with the original train station (returned to the original spot after years of fundraising) awaits. From Lauder continues onto Omakau, from here you can add on a short detour to Ophir, check out New Zealand’s oldest operating Post Office, cross the historic stone bridge and re-join the Trai...
2. Mount Cook Ultimate Alpine Helicopter & Ski Plane Experience
Explore the Mount Cook area from the ground and the air on this thrilling helicopter and ski plane tour. Start off by driving through the Kawarau Gorge for stunning views, enter the fruit and wine region of Cromwell as you pass huge fields of vines, cross Lake Dunstan and follow this beautiful lake towards Lindis Pass, which offers stunning views of the valleys below. See several of the famous Merino sheep on the drive before arriving in Omarama and continuing to Lake Pukaki, a brilliant blue lake framed by Aoraki and Mount Cook. Next, get ready for an unforgettable ski plane experience and helicopter ride which includes a glacier snow landing on the Tasman Glacier. Spend two and a half hours of free time in the national park before making your way back to High Country Salmon, a local salmon farm, where you can feed the fish and taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand.
3. Auckland Self-Guided Audio Tour
Download a vibrant MP3 self-guided audio tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area of your tour. Enjoy stunning Auckland which sits atop an area with 50 plus dormant volcanoes! This action packed audio tour will lead you around the vibrant city where you'll learn about its colonial occupation, and its history with the Māori people. You’ll be able to enjoy views from the top of the iconic Sky Tower and visit the local favorite Albert Park. You'll also see St Mathews in the City, the Civic Theater, Aotea Square, Myers Park, St Kevin's Arcade, Baptist Tabernacle, the Descending Pohutakawa, Khartoum Place (Women's Suffrage), and the Art Gallery. In Albert Park, you'll be able to see the Second Boer War Memorial with the Sir George Grey Statue, Alfred Nathan House, the Clock Tower Building, the Old Government House, Maclaurin Chapel and University House. This is a fairly long tou...
4. TSS Earnslaw: Queenstown Cruise & Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ
This half-day activity begins and concludes with a 45-minute cruise across Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu onboard the historic TSS Earnslaw. Spend a few hours enjoying the culinary delights at Walter Peak High Country Station, including an entertaining farm demonstration the whole family will enjoy. Feel free to take advantage of the extensive lay-out of this incredible steam-ship – she is a floating museum of her own history, and you are more than welcome to enter the engine room where you can watch our hardy coal-stokers as they keep this beautiful lady of the lake gliding across the aqua waters of Lake Wakatipu. Overlooking Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown’s incredible alpine scenery, the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak is the perfect place to spend a beautiful day in Central Otago. It’s colonial architecture and sweeping grounds evoke the elegance of a bygone era. Spend your time wanderi...
The steam boat and watching the engine being fueled was great. The food and service was fantastic at Walter Peak. We had a great relaxing time
5. Waikato: Hobbiton Movie Set Guided Tour Ticket
Step into the stunning landscapes of the Shire, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Take a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the only set that remains intact from the movie trilogies. Choose from two options when booking: an English or Mandarin tour. Wander the rambling paths of The Shire and see the Hobbit Holes in the rolling hillsides. Follow your guide around the set as they show you the most famous locations and explain how the movie magic was made. Walk around the 12-acre set, past Hobbit Holes, the Mill. Then, step into the world-famous Green Dragon Inn. Sample an exclusive, specially brewed beverage to conclude your own Middle-Earth adventure.
Hobbiton is worth visiting, for all ages of people. It helps to read the books and watch the movies before visiting to understand the storie and make of hobbiton. Was amazed how much detail each hobbit hole has, the green dragon had amazing hospitality with food & drinks.
6. TSS Earnslaw: 1.5-Hour Cruise From Queenstown
Join the TSS Earnslaw for a 1.5-hour cruise across Lake Wakatipu. Admire spectacular alpine scenery and enjoy plenty of time to explore a piece of living history. Listen to engaging commentary from your experienced captain who will highlight points of interest throughout your cruise. Make your way to Steamer Wharf at Queenstown’s waterfront. Climb aboard the oldest working coal-fired passenger steamship in the southern hemisphere and feel free to explore! View the collection of historical photos in the small onboard museum and check out the skipper’s wheelhouse. Visit the engine room to feel the heat of the giant steam engines at work and see the stokers shovel coal into the glowing fireboxes. Soak in the dramatic mountain views surrounding Lake Wakatipu and relax at the cafe where you can enjoy a wine or beer and snacks are also available for purchase.
Wonderful to watch coal being hand shoveled in to the boat's boilers and see the pistons working. Wonderful to feel like you have stepped back in to another day and age. Well worth the trip cost.
7. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Bus & Boat
Take the hassle out of driving to Milford Sound and join a guided coach tour from Queenstown. Sit back, relax and enjoy magnificent scenery and informative commentary. Your experienced local coach driver will show you the best views along the Milford Road and connect you seamlessly with a 2-hour nature cruise. Travel in a spacious coach with USB charging ports. Marvel at the native rainforest, spectacular waterfalls and glacial lakes. Pause briefly in Te Anau before continuing along the spectacular alpine Milford Road. Admire incredible views at Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Knobbs Flat or Monkey Creek and pose for photos. Be wowed by the glaciar-carved Milford Sound as you approach the visitor terminal. Seize your cruise and lunch passes from the driver who’ll help you find your cruise departure gate. Climb aboard a purpose-built catamaran for a nature cruise along the fiord’s de...
We had a wonderful time in the Milford Sound bus tour and cruise with Southern Discoveries. Even though it was raining, our guide and driver, Brad, made sure we stopped for photos along the drive and kept us entertained with useful and interesting knowledge about the area. Due to high winds,however, we had to turn back from going on the cruise around the Milford Sound. Our guide was sincerely apologetic about the cancellation and I reckon he felt worse than we did! So we re-booked to go on the tour again the next day (complimentary passes) to a lovely clear day and were thoroughly mesmerized by the scenery of the road trip to the Sound and the Sound itself! It was 2 tours for the price of 1! We truly live in God's country and many thanks to Brad for sharing his inexhaustible knowledge and genuine love of the South Island with us. His recommendations on eateries and places to visit was also spot on. We will certainly be back! Thank you very much for making our trip so memorable!
8. TSS Earnslaw: Cruise and Walter Peak Farm Tour
Start with a scenic cruise, crossing Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Explore the decks, visit the steam room, or chat with the captain in the wheelhouse. You’ll find a licensed cafe on board. Disembark at Walter Peak and join the host for a farmyard tour. Get up close to sheep, deer, and highland cattle. Help feed the farm animals, watch a farm demonstration, and explore the lakeside gardens. Enjoy a morning or afternoon tea including scones, muffins, coffee, and tea. The Walter Peak Farm tour is the perfect way to get a taste of New Zealand's farming lifestyle in an interactive way. This 3.5-hour tour is suitable for all ages.
Great day overall. Old steamer very interesting and nice cafe and bar. Farm trip was brilliant and well organised. Beautiful facilities at Walter Farm and the animals and dog display were fun and educational.
9. From Wellington: Kapiti Island Nature Reserve Day Trip
Meet your host at the Kapiti Boat Club Paraparaumu and board a purpose-built jet boat for the short 20-minute trip to Ko te Waewae Kapiti o tara Rua ko Rangitani, also known as Kapiti Island. Prior to departure, your guide will take you through a short biosecurity check to ensure Kapiti Island is kept predator free. One of the reasons Kapiti Island is so special is that it does not have any mammalian predators. This means the bird life is not like on the mainland. On Kapiti, you will see and hear rare and endangered species that thrive on the island. On arrival at Kapiti Island, head up to the information center and gain a 20-minute overview of the ecology, natural history and birds you are likely to see on the island. Learn about the best tracks, how to best spot the bird, and where to swim. Then, set off on your own to soak up the beauty of the island. For an additional fee, you can ...
My wife and I so greatly enjoyed out day trip to Kapiti Island. The staff were great, competent, knowledgeable, engaging and fun. The length of the trip was ideal, enabling us to walk up to highest point while having time to enjoy the abundant native birds. Hearing the magical call of Kokako was a highlight for me. I'm certain that my attitude to the day trip was shared by all people who were on today's Kapiti Island outing. I totally recommend this visit that provides an understanding of what this South Pacific group of islands was like before the arrival of four-legged and two-legged invaders.
10. From Te Anau: 1-Day Milford Sound Coach & Cruise
If Milford Sound is the 8th wonder of the world, the road to Milford is surely the 9th. The overland journey is a spectacular showcase of sheer mountains and towering cliffs, rugged valleys and the native rain forest surrounded by spectacular waterfalls and glacial lakes. Be taken to Milford Sound while you sit back, relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery and informative commentary. Your experienced, local coach driver will show you the best short walks and photo stops on the Milford Road, and will connect you seamlessly with the Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Milford Sound is approximately a 5-hour drive or 45 minute flight from Queenstown. The Milford Coach & Cruise trips depart daily from Queenstown and Te Anau with return scenic flights available (weather permitting) – meaning you’ll see even more.
Best Milford Sound experience you could book! Southern Discoveries are a great company for this tour! Thanks again to our driver who was spectacular!
Many visitors begin their holiday in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. Although Auckland has a true big-city feel, Mother Nature has blessed the area with many natural wonders. Take a day trip from Auckland to see and explore a rainforest, volcanoes, and gorgeous beaches. Another option is to explore the nearby Matakana coast. Escape from the city and enjoy bountiful vineyards and wineries, a honey center, art galleries, and boutique shopping. You won't want to miss out on a glass-bottomed boat ride through the Goat Island Marine Reserve!
The Kiwi culture is vibrant and alive in the South Island town of Queenstown. Adventurers flock to this city for the chance to sky dive, jet boat, and bungee jump. However, this city is also famous for more calm and relaxing ventures such as a thriving art community, botanical gardens, a tranquil waterfront, and a plethora of buildings and sites for history lovers to enjoy and explore.
Your once-in-a-lifetime vacation starts and ends in New Zealand. Don't pass up your chance to visit and explore paradise.
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