The West Coast is the place for glacier adventures. Hike through stunning scenery to reach glacier viewpoints in Westland Tai Poutini National Park, or hop in a helicopter to get up close to Franz Josef and Fox glaciers.
I took a ride to Fox Glacier, where the pilot landed long enough for us to pop out and take a look around. Guided
Raging white-water is another reason to linger, and rivers range from moderate to extreme. Or, go for a guided spelunking adventure, complete with squeezing through tight cracks and rappelling in the Te Tahi cave system.
Known for incredible trekking options like the Abel Tasman and Queen Charlotte tracks, this region offers plenty of other adventures as well. Raft or kayak the Buller River, try out quad biking nearby, go
Or, opt for a ride on the Skywire, a four-seat cable car that soars through the forest at up to 62mi/hour (100 km/hour).
Explore the Sandfly Bay Track, enjoy the beaches, take a scuba or
For a less strenuous activity, stroll around Larnach Castle or ride the Taieri Gorge Railway for spectacular scenery.
Home to the University of Otago, Dunedin is well-known for its rugby, scenery, and coast, and it’s a great place to take a surfing lesson or try mountain biking.
See the Moeraki Boulders about 43mi (70km) north of town. When I strolled out to this famous grouping of smooth boulders, people were grabbing some great pictures with this unique photographic backdrop.
The wild Southland features adventure after adventure. Take the Stewart Island Ferry across the raging waters of Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island, and explore Rakiura National Park by hiking the Rakiura Great Walk.
Hop on a water taxi to Ulva Island, where I hiked with an eye out for the elusive kiwi. I didn’t spot the famous bird, but I did see plenty of other avian life. Kayak trips are available, as well as mountain biking and horse trekking.
Kayak or take a cruise to explore Milford Sound’s stunning waterfalls and gorgeous scenery. Milford Road is lined with great hikes, but if you’re looking for a longer adventure, try the world-famous Milford, Kepler, or Hollyford tracks.
To see glow worms in Te Anau, cruise across the lake to explore the cave by foot or via a short boat ride. It’s an otherworldly experience to glide through the pitch-black caves, lit only by thousands of
New Zealand’s adventure capital offers an endless number of adrenaline-charged activities. Select from a number of scenic
Hydro Attack offers a unique “
The options are endless, including canyoning, river surfing, zip lining, mountain biking, and rock climbing. In winter, skiers and snowboarders flock to Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.
Wanaka has a slower pace than
In winter, skiers and snowboarders head to nearby Treble Cone Ski Area and Cardrona Alpine Resort, cross-country skiers go to Snow Farm, and extreme skiers should give heli-skiing a whirl.
From Northland to Wellington, Liz Carlson picks her top adventure activities on the North Island of New Zealand.
Gandalf is too busy to host visitors in Middle Earth, but there are plenty of other ways to explore the wilderness of New Zealand. Here’s how to choose the right accommodation and transport for your trip.