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New Zealand is one hell of an amazing country with SO many things to do and see. I can guarantee you wont get bored! In fact it can be hard to decide what to do and where to visit when you are there because there is so much choice!

new zealand bucket list tongariro crossing

I put together this New Zealand bucket list with 50 bucket list activities to inspire your trip. Your only problem will be deciding between them…

We’ll look at the best things to do in the North and South Island and this list will include activities to suit the most adventurous and sedate travellers amongst you. You are guaranteed to find plenty of trips to take and things to do on this New Zealand bucket list to fill your time there.

Let me know in the comments below; what is on YOUR New Zealand Bucket List?

** Pssst, this article may contain affiliate links. If you have no idea what this means, click here and everything will be explained!**

New Zealand North island Bucket List

Adventure things to do on New Zealand’s North Island

1. Do the Black Abyss Caving Tour at Waitomo Caves. Abseil, zip line and try your hand at blackwater caving all whilst exploring caves full of glow worms.

Book it HERE

2. Take a Sky Walk off the Sky Tower. Jump off the tallest building in Auckland!

Book it HERE

3. Go jet boating at Huka Falls. Take a 30 minute thrill ride on the Waikato River getting up close and personal with the powerfull turquoise Huka falls

new zealand bucket list jetboating huka falls

Book it HERE

4. Climb Auckland Bridge. See Auckland for a different perspective with the bridge climb experience.

Book it HERE

5. Sky Dive over Lake Taupo. Enjoy a 60 second free fall and admire Lake Taupo, Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe from the sky on a tandem skydive.

Book it HERE

6. Try Parasailing in the Bay of Islands. Enjoy the beautiful subtropical scenery on an exhilarating parasailing experience.

new zealand bucket list parasailing

Book it HERE

Fun things to do on New Zealand’s North Island

7. Have a drink at the Green Dragon Pub in Hobbiton. Take a tour around the Lord of The Rings Set, admire hobbit holes and chill out at the Green Dragon. Don’t forget to have a second breakfast at ‘The Shires Rest’ on your way home.

new zealand bucket list hobbiton tour

Book it HERE

8. Learn about Geothermal activity at colourful Wai-o-Tapu. Wander through fluorescent coloured lakes and bubbling pools of mud. Make sure you see the Lady Knox Geyser erupt at 10.15 every morning.

new zealand north island wa-o-tapu geothermal park

Book it HERE

9. Learn about Maori culture at Whakarewarewa Maori Village. See how the traditional hangi food is cooked using natural springs and steam and see cultural performances including the world famous Haka!

new zealand bucket list culture show

Book it HERE

10. Go Sand boarding on 90 Mile beach – it’s actually only 55 miles but it is absolutely beautiful. Give sand boarding a whirl on the sand dunes here.

Book it HERE

11. Try surfing at Raglan. Raglan is a beautiful little quirky surf town with some fabulous beaches to learn to surf.

Book it HERE

12. Swim with dolphins in the Bay of Islands. Swimming with dolphins is an incredibly special experience. There is no guarantees you’ll find dolphins to swim with but there are pretty good success rates in this area.

Book it HERE

13. Try zorbing in Rotorua Choose between different courses depending on how daring you are feeling. You can also choose between wet and dry rides.

New zealand zorbing rotorua

Book it HERE

14. Hike the Tongariro Crossing. This is one of the most well-renowned day hikes in the world. Crossing active volcanoes and emerald crater lakes, the scenery is out of this world.

new zealand tongariro crossing

Book it HERE

15. Watch an All Blacks Game The Kiwis are certainly very passionate about rugby. I suggest you see the All Blacks in action and witness the Haka in real life!

Find a game HERE

16. Take a Scenic Flight over an Active Marine Volcano – Fly over White Island, the only active marine volcano in New Zealand and admire its emerald crater lake.

Book it HERE

Relaxing things to do on New Zealand’s North Island

17. Take a mud bath at Hells Gate Give your skin a treat by bathing in warm mud at this geothermal region in Hells Gate near Rotorua.

Book it HERE

18. Visit Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula You may recognise this as the beach featured in the Chronicles of Narnia film. A little slice of paradise!

New zealand cathedral cove coromandel peninsula

Book it HERE

19. Dig yourself a bath on hot water beach Experience a natural spa by digging yourself a trench to take a warm bath on a beach on the Coromandel peninsula.

Book a tour HERE

20. Take in the views on Wellington’s Cable Car. Take in the view of beautiful Wellington and visit the Botanical Gardens whilst you are there.

Book it HERE

21. Go island hopping in the Bay of Islands – think secluded sandy bays, rolling hills and azure oceans. The Bay of Islands are seriously beautiful.

Book it HERE

New Zealand South Island Bucket List

Adventurous things to do on the south island

22. Skydive in Queenstown. Take to the skies above the adventure lovers paradise which is Queenstown. Take in the impressive mountain and lake scenery on your way down.

new zealand bucket list skydiving

Book it HERE

23. Take New Zealands Highest bungy jump – Ben Nevis. Not for the feint hearted, this is New Zealand’s hihgest bungee jump. A must do on any adrenaline junkies New Zealand bucket list!

Book it HERE

24. Experience the Shotover at Queenstown. Experience the adrenaline on a fast-paced adventure boat ride through rapids and waterfalls.

Book it HERE

25 Go skiing in Queenstown With 4 world class ski fields and even the opportunity to try a heli-ski, skiing should be on your winter New Zealand bucket list for sure! The best views will be found in the Treble Cone Ski Zone

Book a Heli-Ski HERE

26. Try white water rafting. A must-do for any adrenaline junkie visiting New Zealand! there are lots of opportunities to do this all over New Zealand but Queenstown is the adventure sports capital!

new zealand bucket list white water rafting

Book it HERE

Fun things to do on New Zealands South island

27. Hike the Tasman Valley Experience lunar-like scnerey and bright aqua glacial lakes with huge floating icebergs on a short hike from Mt Cook Village.

Get directions HERE

28. Take a helicopter ride to the peak of Mt Cook Take a helicopter to the powdery peak of Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain.

Book it HERE

29. Take a cruise on Milford Sound. Spot dolphins, penguins and whales and see impressive waterfalls in the beautiful fjords. Visit the underwater observatory whilst you are there.

new zealand bucket list milford sound

Book it HERE

30. Kayak on Doubtful or Milford Sound Experience the beauty of the fjords and spot wildlife from a different perspective by taking a kayak trip.

Book it HERE

31. Take a Lord of the Rings Tour. If you are a huge LOTR fan then you absolutely need to take a Lord of the Rings Tour whilst visiting New Zealand!

the lord of the rings tour new zealand bucket list trip

Book it HERE

32. Trek the Milford Track Possibly New Zealand’s best multi-day hike with absolutely stunning scenery. You’ll see mountains, fjords, valleys, rivers and waterfalls on this 53km track through some of New Zealand prettiest landscapes.

Book your accommodation along the route HERE

33. Take a heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier. My absolute favourite thing to do in New Zealand and an absolute must for your New Zealand bucket list! Take a helicopter ride to the Franz Josef glacier then hike through blue ice tunnel before returning via a scenic helicopter flight.

new zealand bucket list franz josef trekking

Book it HERE

34. See penguins on the Otago peninsula Check out these yellow eye beauties. You’ll find lots of them on the Otago Peninsula but it’s also possible to spot penguins in the fjords.

Book a tour HERE

35. Kayak in Abel Tasman National Park Take a combined hike and kayak trip to visit some of the most remote white sandy beaches and secluded coves backing onto rainforest.

Book it HERE

36. Spot whales from Kaikoura Witness these magnificent beasts as they breach and perform for you in the wild. Seeing whales in captivity will never hold appeal again after you’ve seen them in the wild!

Book it HERE

37. Swim with seals in Kaikoura It’s also possible to swim with seals in Kaikoura. Seals are usually more playful than dolphins when you get in the water with them.

new zealand bucket list swimming with seals

Book it HERE

Relaxing things to do on New Zealand’s South Island

38. Take the Tranzalpine train One of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. Crossing Arthurs Pass, you’ll see some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery here.

Book your ticket HERE

39. Chill out at Hamner Springs Relax in the thermal waters and take a massage in the on-site spa. If you’re more of the restless type then there are some slides and a lazy river to entertain you too!

Book it HERE

40. Try Stargazing at Lake Tekapo. Visit Tekapo Springs at night for this 2-hour tour which culminates in some star gazing from a floating hammock in a 38-degree hot pool. Bliss!

Book it HERE

41. Go river punting in Christchurch. Enjoy a relaxing punt along the River Avon

Book it HERE

42. See Lupin season at Lake Tekapo. Lake Tekapo is beautiful at all times of the year but especially beautiful in Springtime when the colourful lupins are out in full bloom.

new zealand bucket list lake tekapo with colourful lupins

43. Enjoy a gondola ride to Bobs Peak in Queenstown. Enjoy spectacular views of Queenstown and the alpine scenery nearby. You can also choose to travel back by an exhilarating luge ride.

Book it HERE

44. Visit Lake Matheson at dawn. This is an absolute must-see for any landscape photographers. At dawn, you’ll see perfect reflections of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman in the smooth water of Lake Matheson. If you’re lucky, there will be a little mist to make your photo complete.

new zealand lake matheson reflection mt cook mt tasman

45. Enjoy Lake Wanaka. Lake Wanaka is well known for being one of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes and is well worth a visit.

new zealand bucket list trip to wanaka

46. Drink Sauvignon Blanc in the Marlborough region. If you know your Sauvignon Blanc from your Chardonnay, then you need to take a wine tour in the Marlborough region, New Zealand premier wine location.

Book it HERE

Other Places to visit for your New Zealand Bucket List

Stewart Island

47. Go Cage Diving with Great White Sharks Get up close and personal with these not-so-gentle giants with a cage diving experience.

new zeaalnd bucket list shark diving

Book it HERE

48. See the Southern Lights. The Southern Lights can be harder to see than the Northern Lights but one place where you stand a chance of getting a peak at them is Stewart Island. It’s far enough south and with very little light pollution. You’re most likely to see them during the winter when there are more hours of darkness.

new zealand bucket list southern lights

Waiheke Island

49. Take a food & wine tour on Waiheke Island Waiheke is another great place for wine tasting so take a food and wine tour to tantalise your taste buds

Book it HERE

50. Go Ziplining on Waiheke Island If you’d prefer to do something active, have a go at zip lining. You can choose from 3 courses with views of Auckland, forest and wineries.

Book it HERE


Hopefully, you’ve found some inspiration from this mega Bucket List!

What’s on your New Zealand Bucket List?

Tell us in the comments below!

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50 awesome activities for your New Zealand bucket list including adventure activities in New Zealand as well as more relaxing things to do and places to visit in NZ. #newzealandbucketlist #newzealand

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