Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is an island country that is home to almost 5 million people and sees millions of tourists each year. From the snow-capped Southern Alps to the North Island’s subtropical climate, the diversity and beauty of this country are what attracts many residents and visitors. Along with the eclectic environment, there are numerous unbelievable things to do and see. Here are 16 insane, incredible, and life-changing things you can do in New Zealand.
1. Try one of the AJ Hackett Bungy Experiences
The Nevis Bungy might be our favorite, pictured above. One thing’s for sure though – if you’re looking for an event to get your adrenaline pumping, you can’t go wrong with any of the AJ Hackett experiences. They have swings and bungy’s right across New Zealand to keep you terrified at all times.
2. Float Through The Waitomo Glowworm Caves
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves were discovered in 1887. What looks like lights dangling from the roof of the caves are actually different species of bioluminescent larvae. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. You can partake in guided tours of the lit up caves, where it’ll feel like you’re floating through the cosmos. File this one under incredible.
3. Take In The Magic of Castle Hill
In 2002, the Dalai Lama deemed Castle Hill the spiritual center of the universe. It’s a path of farmland inhabited by sheep and cattle and boasting breathtaking rock formations you have to see to believe. Also, Castle Hill was the filming location of the 2005 film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
4. Wander around Fox Glacier
Fox Glacier is located in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. It spans 8.1 miles, boasts caves for exploring, and is surrounded by rainforest. The ice caves are unbelievable and attract many adventurers. You can go on guided glacier walks, take part in heli hikes, or do some ice climbing at this incredible spot, all with Fox Glacier Guiding (see their amazing photos above and below).
5. Step Into The World of Hobbiton
The magical nature of Hobbiton is no doubt due to the fact that it was a filming location in both The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Now, you can visit the movie set, stay at The Green Dragonfly Inn, eat at The Shire’s Rest Cafe, attend fun events and functions, take part in private or banquet tours, and experience this other-worldly place.
6. Check Out The Lone Tree of Lake Wanaka
One of the most photographic places in New Zealand, in Mount Aspiring National Park, is Lake Wanaka’s Lone Tree, which grows off the shore at the south end of the lake. Behind the tree is the Southern Alps, that view alone is worth finding the tree. Once you get there, picnic on the beach, swim in the lake, or just enjoy the scenery.
7. Explore Milford Sound
Milford Sound, located in the Tasman Sea, boasts granite cliffs that are 3,900 feet tall, and go as deep as 300 to 1500 feet underwater. Aside from the crazy cliffs, the remarkable wildlife includes dolphins, seals, penguins, ancient clams, and the world’s largest population of black coral. There are two permanent waterfalls and hundreds of others that are created from rainwater each year. Milford Sound is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and if you’re not sure why – just watch the video above.
8. Behold The Devil’s Bath
The Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is home to numerous geothermal pools, including a neon green stagnant pool known as the Devil’s Bath. Created by a massive volcanic eruption, the water is as green as it is due to sulfur deposits that rest on the top of the pool. It’s wild to see something in nature look so unnatural.
9. ONSEN Hot Pools
Queenstown’s ONSEN Hot Pools are blissful private cedar hot pools filled with pure water. Overlooking the Shotover River, the surroundings are unparalleled. If you’re looking to slow down, unwind, and escape everyday life, this is the place for you. There’s also a massage facility on site if you want to go all out with your relaxation experience.
10. Visit Rotura
Rotura is home to bubbling mud-pools and hot thermal springs, which is why they deemed the area “Sulphur City”. Thousands of years ago, the pools were used for cooking and heating. Now, people come from all over the world to enjoy the springs and to visit the Museum of Art and History.
11. Relax at Te Waikoropupu Springs
Golden Bay’s Te Waikoropupu Springs feature some of the clearest spring water in the world, with a visibility of 63 meters. 14,000 liters of pure water are produced each second and the floor is covered with white sand. Not only are these springs beautiful, they’re also spiritually significant. The water is used for healing and is considered a physical source of life.
12. Pancake Rocks
The Punakaiki Pancake Rocks are layered limestone formations with vertical blowholes that burst out sea water when the tides are high. There are a walking trail and a surge pool, along with a beach and cave that are free to explore during low tide. The Pancake Rocks are also a great place to take in the view of Paparoa National Park coastline.
13. Tour Tunnel Beach
There is so much to explore at Tunnel Beach, including caves, rock arches, sandstone cliffs, and a tunnel that leads visitors down to a secluded and sheltered beach. You can embark on walking tours that last half a day to four full days. The path begins about 500 feet above sea level and ends at the top of the tunnel. And if you’re falling in love, there might not be a better place to get married than
14. Get Slanted at Baldwin Street
Baldwin Street, located in Dunedin, is the world’s steepest street. It even has a Guinness World Record to prove it. Due to remote city planning, a few streets in the city are extremely steep, but Baldwin Street is by far the craziest, as the homes look like they could slide off of their foundations at any moment. Fun and charitable events take place here throughout the year.
15. Harness Your Inner Scientist at Electrum
Electrum at The Gibbs Farm, the largest Tesla coil currently in existence, was commissioned as a work of art in 1998. Built by an artist and a high-voltage engineer, it’s 38-feet-tall and puts out over 3 million volts. The Gibbs Farm is only open a few days a month. So be sure to book your visit in advance.
16. Be Amazed at Slope Point
Slope Point is home to oddly-shaped trees that have been warped due to wicked winds. They almost seem to be flattened by the harsh conditions. Originally planted by sheep farmers to protect their animals from the weather, the trees are now one of the coolest and craziest things you can find in the whole country of New Zealand.