The ultimate backpacker bucket list – New Zealand tourism

Published on 5/8/2017

New Zealand is known for being full of adventure! You will always be able to find something that will push you to your limits. From ziplining through ancient forest to racing down giant sand dunes, New Zealand tourism has it all. We have put together a list of things you just can’t leave New Zealand without trying, we call it….THE ULTIMATE NEW ZEALAND BUCKET LIST.

1. Bungy Jump in Queenstown

Everyone that visits New Zealand has to try a bungy! There are a few AJ Hackett jumps around New Zealand but the biggest and baddest is the Nevis bungy. The 134m bungy that has 8.5 seconds of free fall is not one for the faint hearted. It is quite the adventure to get to the location, a 35 minute 4×4 ride with a cable car ride out to the jumping platform. As you jump on the count of 3, your breath is instantly knocked out of you. At the Nevis jump you get pulled back up to the platform from where you jumped. It is truly an experience like no other!

Photo: Another AJ Hackett bungy jump at the Kawarau bridge in Queenstown. Photo Credit: https://www.acerentalcars.co.nz/

2. Walk the Routeburn track on the West Coast

There is nothing better than getting out in New Zealands backyard and exploring some of it’s greatest scenery. The Routeburn track has everything you would want to see on the one walk. From snow-capped mountain peaks, deep valleys and large waterfalls, you will not miss out on seeing anything. The 3 day walk that can be walked in either direction is a challenging but rewarding walk as you experience 360 degree views of New Zealand’s finest beauty.

3. Whale Watching in Kaikoura

Whale Watching in New Zealand is another one to add to your ultimate bucket list! Kaikoura Whale Watch gets up close and personal with sperm whales. They locate the whales by listening to their echos with an underwater microphone. Some trips are even lucky enough to see pods of dolphins. Seeing the whales rest at the top of the water while exhaling, causes the water to spray into the air. It is a magnificent view which makes for a very calming experience.

4. Kayak in the Abel Tasman

You can’t head up to the North Island without checking out Abel Tasmans famous coastal lines and clear waters first. The kayaking tours with Abel Tasman Kayaks  is a really fun and unique experience. The atmosphere is so calming, there is no sounds of traffic or people while kayaking through some of the bluest waters alongside green, native bush. It is simply stillness with sounds of native wildlife in their natural habitats.

New Zealand Tourism-Kayaking in the Abel TasmanPhoto: Kayaking in the beautiful Abel Tasman, surrounded by clear waters and white sandy beaches. Photo Credit: https://www.abeltasmankayaks.co.nz/

6. Winery Tours in Napier

Napier is well known for one thing and that is wine! Being the driest and warmest regions in New Zealand you will not only experience good wine, but also get to experience warmer weather in this part of the country. The best way to tick this activity off your bucket list is on a bike! You can experience the wineries by biking from one to the other through the grape vines. Being amongst where the grapes grow is a very cool experience whilst relaxing in the warm weather with some good friends and enjoying some good wine.

5. The squeeze on the Waikato River

Adding the squeeze to your bucket list would make for an ultimate New Zealand tourism experience. The squeeze is a narrow gap in a cliff face that you maneuver through to reach hot springs surrounded by bush. The special thing about the squeeze is that it can only be accessed by boat. NZ River Jet take exhilarating rides down the Waikato River stopping off at the squeeze. Wading through knee deep water and squeezing through large rock boulders is not an everyday opportunity so make sure you get it done in New Zealand.

8. Ziplining in Rotorua

Rotorua Canopy Tours is a top attraction located in Rotorua, the heart of New Zealand Tourism. The 3 hour tour through pristine native forest via a network of ziplines and swing bridges is like no other. As you fall off the platform flying down the 220m zipline, you will breathe in the fresh, crisp air of native forest. You will hear the native birds singing in this safe part of the forest that the Rotorua Canopy Tours conservation programme has created. This is definitely one attraction you must add to your New Zealand tourism bucket list.

New Zealand Tourism-Rotorua Canopy Tours

Photo: Ziplining at Rotorua Canopy Tours, a top New Zealand Tourism attraction. Photo Credit: Rotorua Canopy Tours

7. Diving on Great Barrier Island

Great Barrier Island is one of New Zealand’s hidden gems that is very remote and special! It is located around 100km from Auckland via a ferry or plane ride. The island with very few shops and only 800 locals is so isolated because everyone just spends their time out on the water. The clear blue waters and amazing visibility means it has some of the best water for snorkelling or diving. The fish life is incredible with all sorts of breeds and colours swimming underneath you in large schools. It really is one of the most incredible places to go diving in New Zealand.

9. Cathedral Cove in Coromandel

This is one place you must see if you are heading to the Coromandel. It is breathtakingly beautiful with outstanding picture perfect views. The white sandy beach, lined with pohutukawa trees has a fairy tale feeling to it. The beach has a huge rock arch that joins the two coves together, where the name Cathedral Cove comes from. It is the perfect beach to enjoy a swim or a picnic whilst looking out into the calmness of the blue, ocean waters.

Photo: Photo Credit: http://www.doc.govt.nz/

10. Dune Surfing in Te Paki

Located at the top of the North Island in Te Paki are the best sand dunes in New Zealand. They are iconic in New Zealand tourism as they are some of the biggest, rising from the grass into beautiful large dunes of golden sand. If you like a bit of thrill go sand surfing, you will end up with sand all over you but it is all worth it. There are multiple sand dunes that are all different sizes so there will always be a sand dune that is within your comfort levels. Another awesome New Zealand tourism activity to add to your backpacker list!

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