There are so many wanderlust-worthy destinations in the world, but New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places you will add to your travel wish list. Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean with a population of 4 million kiwi’s (the people, not the birds), New Zealand is filled with adventure, unspoiled landscapes and jaw-dropping natural wonders that will make your visit unforgettable. And to start you on your way, we have created a list of the Top 8 bucket list worthy experiences you don’t want to miss on your visit to Middle-Earth.
1. Bungee Jumping in Queenstown
Bungee jumping is a classic bucket list contender for any daredevil, and there’s no better place to take the plunge than the adventure capital of New Zealand: Queenstown! And while you’re there, why not do the highest and scariest bungee jump they have to offer- The Nevis is the highest jump in New Zealand at nearly 440 feet with an epic 8.5 second free fall!
2. Swimming with Wild Seals in Kaikoura
Lonely Planet has deemed this one of the Top 10 Best Marine Encounters in the World and it’s not hard to see why. Snorkelling with wild New Zealand Fur Seals, in the shallow waters of the beautiful Kaikoura Peninsula, truly is a unique experience. It is important to note that this amazing activity causes no harm to the animals you observe! Seal Swim Kaikoura are licensed by the department of conservation, and work hard to not disturb the natural behavioural patterns of the seals.
3. Take a journey to Hobbiton
This is a bucket list MUST for all those Lord of the Ring and The Hobbit fans out there! But even if you’re not a die-hard fan of the trilogies you will get a kick out of exploring the lush, green hills of the shire and being guided around a truly iconic movie set. Who knows, you might even spot a hobbit!
4. Skydive in Abel Tasmen
There are a few different options for skydiving in New Zealand, but the best has to be the skydive over Abel Tasman! Located in Motueka and boasting some of the country’s best scenery, it is the only drop zone that shows you mind blowing views of both the North and South Island! Take a dive from 9,000 feet or if you’re feeling really brave go, for the 16,500 feet drop.
5. Hike the Tongariro Crossing
Situated in the centre of the North Island, the Tongariro Crossing is arguably one of the best hikes in New Zealand. The trail itself runs through an active volcanic region, which is home to the iconic mountains of Tongariro, Ruapehu and the famous Mount Doom that is featured in Lord of the Rings. The Alpine Crossing trek takes 7-8 hours to complete on a clear day, with stunning views of the Red Crater, the Emerald Lakes and the Blue Lake all the way to Lake Taupo.
6. Rippon Valley Wine Tasting in Wanaka
Wine tasting isn’t the only reason we have added this vineyard to our bucket list experiences you can’t miss. The Rippon Winery is the most photographed Vineyard in the world and with these awe-inspiring views overlooking Lake Wanaka, and the snowcapped mountains in the distance, it is truly one of the most picturesque places in all of New Zealand. So relax, enjoy a FREE world-class wine tasting (you heard) and soak in the incredible scenery, it will be a standout moment of your trip.
7. Take a Cruise through Milford Sound
Get up close and personal with the stunning waterfalls and amazing scenery of Milford Sound. Described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, it was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. And even though you will find it, more often than not, raining during your visit- it only adds to the experience as the cascading waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect.
8. Explore the Waitomo Caves
One of the North Islands biggest attractions lies under the rolling hills of Waitomo consisting of a wealth of sinkholes, caves and underground rivers. The area’s name comes from the Maori words wai (water) and tomo (hole). Cruise through the darkness with a knowledgable guide, admiring the limestone caves and set your eyes on the magical glowing worms as they set the cave alight.
Ready to start your New Zealand bucket list? Check out our trips and tours here!