9 Must-Sees in New Zealand
New Zealand is a proud, vibrant country full of exciting adventure activities, beautiful scenery, and friendly people, making it a perfect place to boost your English skills and get an unforgettable experience abroad.
In fact, there’s a lot more going on in this small country than you might realize. Here are some of the best things to do while living amongst the Kiwis (an affectionate name for New Zealanders, coming from the distinctive bird native only to the country):
Bunjy jump off the Auckland Harbour Bridge
This adrenaline rush is one of the least expensive bungies in New Zealand and still manages to give you great views of the city. You can even touch the beautiful blue Hauraki water on your way down. Those who aren’t quite ready for the thrill have the ability just to climb the bridge and enjoy the view. (“Bunjy” is the New Zealand spelling of the word, although many countries spell it “bungee.”)
Visit Waiheke Island by Ferry
Waiheke Island, known as the warmest place in Auckland, has many wonderful beaches to offering for swimming, laying on the shore, and enjoying the sunshine. There are also picturesque walks and parks to explore, and the ferry ride over is a great way to see the Hauraki Gulf.
Explore the Auckland Domain
The Auckland Domain is one of the most beautiful parks in Auckland. From the top of the volcano’s hill you can catch a stunning glimpse of the city’s skyline. Grab some friends for a BBQ and have some fun playing touch rugby or cricket, or take a walk through the breathtaking Winter Gardens. For history buffs, the Auckland War Memorial Museum waits atop the highest hill of the park.
Take your pick of adventure in Queenstown
Queenstown is New Zealand’s adventure city, and boasts some of the most stunning scenery you’ll ever see. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, you can pick from skiing in winter or bungee jumping, paragliding, or mountain biking in the summer.
Escape to One Tree Hill & Cornwall Park
One Tree Hill is a volcanic cone and a memorial located in the largest park in Auckland. After climbing the hill, you’re rewarded with a fantastic view of the whole area and of the iconic Sky Tower. Go for a walk or rent a bike and have a look at all the fields, the green space, and at the dozens of mature trees: the wide variety of free roaming farm animals like sheep give the impression of being in the countryside. Try going at night – it can be a bit frightening, but it’s worth it seeing all the city lights, watching the airplanes arriving, and being alone on the top! You can also visit the Stardome Observatory to see the stars.
Get a taste of Middle Earth
The New Zealand countryside burst onto the world stage after the release of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies, although it pretended to be an imaginary fantasy setting. You can visit many iconic locations from the trilogies, and even take a tour through Hobbiton, the site of the Shire from the films. The set has been rebuilt as a permanent attraction and visitors can enjoy visiting the Hobbit holes and even getting a locally brewed ale from the Green Dragon Inn.
Hike Franz Joseph Glacier
Enjoy one of the world’s most stunning glacier environments. You can choose from a range of tour options including guided walks, hikes, and climbs, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling. Sights include spectacular ice tunnels and icefalls (frozen waterfalls).
Enjoy a night on the town on K’ Road
Karangahape Road (or, more commonly, K’ Road), is the best place to enjoy Auckland’s nightlife. You can go to a lot of vintage-style clubs and bars, and if you’re lucky you might land on an upbeat movie festivals. At first glance the place might seem rather small, but you’ll be amazed at how many options you’ll find.
Meet real kiwis on Rotoroa Island
Rotoroa Island is a charming conservation island particularly famous for its wildlife, just over an hour by ferry from Auckland (lucky visitors might catch a view of whales on the way). You can spend the day walking, relaxing on the five beaches, or searching for the small, flightless kiwis that lend their name to the country’s inhabitants. This peaceful sanctuary is a great way to avoid the tourist circuit.
Find some yourself!
Unfortunately there are far more things to do than we can describe to you. Want to get a taste of New Zealand yourself? Consider studying English abroad at Kaplan’s school in Auckland. Any other cool sights or activities in New Zealand we should know about? Let us know in the comments!