New Zealand experiences often top the must-do travel lists — and with good reason. From adventures in nature to sipping nature’s bounty, there’s no shortage of things to do in New Zealand. These are our top five once-in-a-lifetime experiences to experience on your New Zealand tour.
Adventure in nature
It may come as no surprise that exploring New Zealand’s rich landscapes makes the top of our list. Our 19-day tour will immerse you in all of these rich New Zealand adventures. Take to the water for a serene cruise of Milford Sound’s Lake Manapouri lined with plummeting waterfalls, coves and beaches dotted along its shore. This magnificent scenery of the Fiordland National Park’s forest-clad mountains and islands is a must-do on any trip to The Long White Cloud. You’ll also cruise along Queen Charlotte Sound and across Cook Straight watching the coves, bays and lush green forests rising from the tranquil waters. For adrenaline junkies, zip past untouched forests and snow-capped mountains in your fully enclosed cabin on a Haast River jet boat safari.
Stay at the ultimate nature retreat at Milford Sound Lodge.
There’s plenty to discover on land, too. Understand what the ice age must have felt like experiencing the mighty natural wonder and grand scale of the Franz Josef Glacier. You’ll also visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the world’s youngest geothermal system. Discover the world’s largest hot spring, volcanic crater lakes and the most incredible flora and fauna that have been untouched by man as you stroll along boardwalks.
Uncover Māori culture
When asking yourself “what to do in New Zealand?” experiencing the indigenous Māori culture is probably at the top of your list. You’ll have the opportunity to do just that on a visit to Tamaki Māori Village in Rotorua. Through this immersive experience, dine on a hearty and delicious meal warmed by the earth with a uniquely prepared Hāngī feast. Hāngī meals are made of meat, potatoes, and vegetables cooked traditionally in a pit oven using geothermal steam. As you dine, witness a captivating live cultural performance showcasing honored traditions, stories, songs and performing arts. See the fierce ‘Haka’ (war dance), action dances and stick games. This sensory evening will delight you with the magic of Māori storytelling and culture set deep within the forest.
Sip and Savor
Most seasoned travelers will agree day trips in New Zealand must include a little wine tasting. Embark on a boutique wine-tasting tour in the heart of the Central Otago wine region. Here you’ll sample the area’s finest Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Our tours even treat you to a dinner and wine pairing at Hawke’s Bay Craggy Range Winery with an intimate dinner at the award-winning restaurant. Taking in the grandeur of Te Mata Peak and feast on local produce as you drink wines from one of the region’s world-famous vineyards. You’ll also learn how this family-owned winery began with a search to start a winery in France, the U.S., Australia and finally the exceptional climate of New Zealand.
More of a beer connoisseur? Sample some of Dunedin’s best local brews on an exclusive tour and tasting session at Emerson’s Brewery. You’ll witness each stage of the process as you’re guided behind the scenes from malt room to bottling at this award-winning microbrewery.
National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa Visit
Add going behind-the-scenes on a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience at the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa to your collection of New Zealand experiences. Meet the kiwi at this working nursery and hatchery for New Zealand’s intriguing national bird. This experience helps to fund the Hatchery and directly contribute to kiwi conservation. This has become the largest and most successful kiwi hatching facility in the world, and the national leader in kiwi husbandry, egg incubation systems, hatching techniques and kiwi chick rearing. After your visit, you’ll understand how the nursery and hatchery is leading the conservation efforts of the national icon. You may even get to see a newly hatched kiwi chick.
Waitomo Cave Visit with Private Boat Tour
Perhaps one of the most unexpected – and enchanting — New Zealand experiences is an exclusive, private guided tour of Waitomo Cave. You’ll tour the subterranean Waitomo Cave where you’ll be guided through the extensive network. The highlight is meeting the local glowworms that light up the cavern. Enter the cave through a natural chasm. Then view these fascinating glowing creatures as you glide quietly on a private tour by boat through the underground cave. You’ll even view the bones of one of New Zealand’s lost treasures, the ancient Moa.
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