The New Zealand Bucket List
You haven’t truly “done” New Zealand unless you’ve done these 100 experiences.
New Zealand is a country that ranks among the finest on the entire globe when it comes to travel; few others can boast Aotearoa’s delicate and impressive mixture of physical beauty, strong cultural influences, laid-back locals and relatively untouched nature. The fact that all of this comes wrapped in an easily-navigable package makes a visit to New Zealand a relatively hassle-free experience for the aspiring traveller, and one in which it’s possible to soak in a staggering number of world-class attractions and experiences all within a compact itinerary.
First and foremost it’s the landscapes that makes New Zealand resonate with the hearts of most explorers; the country’s topography intermingles some of the best elements of the likes of Switzerland, the British Isles and and even a hint of Hawaii to form a diverse canvas that’s a joy to traverse.
Each of New Zealand’s Islands – and the individual sub-regions within those islands – serve as a microcosm of this; both North and South offer some stunning alpine vistas that hark back to prehistoric times and remain largely untouched by the influence of man, and the country is home to a number of truly striking peaks in particular. From mounts Taranaki, to Ruapehu, to Cook and near countless others, photographers both professional and aspiring will find themselves in their element with a visit to New Zealand; these majestic mounds are photogenic in the extreme.
The aquatic also plays a large role in New Zealand’s appeal; despite its imagery as a largely greenery-draped island nation, it’s the surprising quantities of gold and blue that help augment its scenery. The country is up there with the best on Earth when it comes to marine life encounters and experiences – perhaps best exemplified by Kaikoura’s gorgeous coast – while a multitude of its beaches from Kaiteriteri to Ohope to Whangamata and everywhere in between are akin to something straight out of a postcard. Add in its incredible fiords and their deep, dark waters carving their way through dramatic peaks, and those with leanings towards the water will find endless opportunities to satisfy their wanderlust.
Volcanic and tectonic influences have been a large driving force behind shaping the country over millions of years, and as a result its many geothermal attractions have become symbolic of New Zealand as a whole. Rotorua, Taupo, Hanmer Springs and a number of other locations offer travellers the chance to witness some of these striking phenomena in action, whether it be remarkable multi-coloured sulphur deposits, spouting geysers, or impressive displays of raw heat.
On the other end of the temperature spectrum, the country’s alpine regions and vast glaciers offer an entirely different experience; these massive ice formations serve as the foundation for a myriad of adventures ranging from ice hikes to helicopter landings.
Add in the strong influence of indigenous Maori culture and a number of associated cultural experiences ranging from live performances and in-depth museums, to historical landmarks, and you’ve got a cross-genre appeal that few other countries can boast.
New Zealand’s sheer quantity of things to see and do is beyond impressive – but what are its absolute “must-do” experiences? In our Ultimate New Zealand Bucket List, we highlight 100 of the most essential experiences that we feel best sum up the diverse and incredible highlights of the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. While much of it will be known to locals, we hope to both inspire travellers from afar to visit wonderful New Zealand – while also encouraging residents to get out and explore the best of their own, gorgeous, backyard.
The New Zealand Bucket List Map
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