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New Zealand Bucket List

new zealand bucket list

There is more to cross off your New Zealand bucket list than bungee jumping! New Zealand has more to offer than sheep, rugby and the hacker. Let’s start with world-class scenery, unforgettable hikes, quirky festivals and natural wonders. Top this off with wildlife, culture, award-wining wines and adrenaline around every corner. All of this makes for a very large and varied New Zealand bucket list. With so much to see and do there is also the possiblity of missing something life changing. That is why we have created the ultimate New Zealand bucket list, for you to tick off. Our New Zealand bucket list is constantly updated with more exciting things to do. Just another reason to keep returning to New Zealand. On that note, if you are heading to New Zealand, why not join our travel community for women. Meet some locals or other women heading to New Zealand. We also have the New Zealand forum to answer any questions you may have.

North Island

Hobbiton Movie tour

Matamata, North Island

Lord of the Rings put New Zealand on the map of many people who previously had no desire to visit. Nowadays you can’t hear someone saying “I’m going to New Zealand” without hearing “Hobbiton Movie Tour”. Let’s face it, the Hobbiton Movie Tour is perhaps the number one thing to do on the North Island. This makes it a good idea to pop it on your bucket list.

Matamata is only 2 hours south of Aukland making it easy to do a movie tour. Whilst you’re in Matamata, stop and have a beer at the Green Dragon Inn. You can find out more information about the tours here.

New Zealand Bucket list Hobbiton Movie Tour


Dig yourself a hot tub at Hot Water Beach

Coromandel Peninsula, North Island

New Zealand’s one-of-a-kind geothermal activity is one of the things that makes it so unique. Where else can you dig your own Hot tub?

Head to Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. Aim to arrive within an hour or two before low tide. You can check the tide times here. This is because the hot water mark on the beach is below the high tide mark.
Dig yourself your own private hot tub in the sand and wait for the tide to come in to relax in natures own natural springs. Dig a hole just enough for the hot water to pour in. The hot water bubbles up from a series of geothermal springs below the sand.

New Zealand Bucket list Hot Water Beach

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Tongariro National Park

There is a reason the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is among the most popular day hikes in the country. Tongariro Alpine Crossing is 19.4km of pure rugged New Zealand beauty.
Placing at least one mind-blowing hike on your bucket list is a must! Why not make it one of New Zealand’s most beautiful…. why not put two on your list! Check out the official website for more detail on planning your hike.

New Zealand Bucket list Tongariro National Park


Dive Poor Knights

Tutukaka Coast

Dive or snorkel in one of the worlds most renowned areas. The Poor Knights Islands is considered “the best sub-tropical diving in the world” Over 125 species of marine life makes the Poor Knights a spectacular experience.

The Poor Knights aren’t all the Tutukaka Coast has to offer. The secluded white sand beaches and world-class flora and fauna make this area breathtaking and diverse. The steep cliffs soaring hundreds of metres above the sea level are a sight to be seen. This is a geological wonderland.

New Zealand Bucket list Poor Knights

The coolest waterslide you will ever undertake


Rere Rockslide is a 200-foot natural slide. The slide is covered in moss and the water is constantly flowing. This makes it the best dam slip and slide you will ever experience.
I would highly suggest a wet suit for protection from the elements. I also suggest grabbing a board, a tube, an airbed or something similar to undertake natures free waterslide.
Getting off the beaten path to enjoy this top bucket list item is a must! Sure, a few bruises may occur, but really, watch a video and tell me you don’t want to take part in this action!
Once you have finished this crazy slide, head to the Rere Falls, 15-meter waterfall. A beautiful sight to be seen.

Go Zorbing


One does not go to New Zealand and NOT roll around down a hill in a giant ball filled with water. Have you never wondered what it fills like to be in a washing machine? Well, its fun!  The zorbing is originally kiwi owned and operated. Now-a-days you can find zorbs in other countries but if you’re in New Zealand, why not do the original!

zorbing in Rotorua


Visit the wonderful and FREE Te Papa museum


The Te Papa museum is one of the top things to do in New Zealand. It’s a great way to understand the New Zealand history and culture. recognised as one of the best and most visitor-focused museums. Learn about New Zealand’s unique environment, Maori culture, its animals and plants, geology and more.



Kayak to the Māori Rock Carvings in Taupo

Lake Taupō

Kayak to get up close and personal with the Mine Bay Māori rock carving of Ngātoroirangi on Lake Taupō. This giant artwork towers 14-metres above the water of Lake Taupō. Lake Taupō itself is stunning and well worth a trip

Māori Rock Carvings in Taupo

Brave the SkyWalk or SkyJump


Standing 328m high. This insane challenge will have you walking on top of the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. With no handrails to separate you from the 192m drop, you’ll be doing some adrenaline-fuelled challenges designed to get your heart racing while you take in those epic 360-degree views of the City of Sails.

Meet Manukura, the White Kiwi Bird

Mount Bruce, New Zealand

Meet Manukura, the White Kiwi Bird and other national wildlife at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre, a sanctuary for native wildlife.

South Island

Watch Majestic Whales All Year Round


Whale season is all year round and Kaikoura is one of the best spots to see the majestic mammals. Whales are not the only animals you’ll see in Kaikoura. Popular for seals, and dolphins in the deep waters offshore, as well as albatross.

New Zealand Bucket list Whale watch Kaikoura

Throw yourself off the first commercially available bungee jump in the world


The Kawarau Bridge Bungy Is The Home Of Bungy Jumping. If there is one bungee you are going to do, it should be this one! It isn’t the highest, but it is the original. Queenstown is the adrenaline rush capital. Start off your Queenstown bravery by throwing yourself off the original bridge. 43 meters of pure, heart-wrenching joy.

Prices start from $205 (NZD). Other bungee Jumps in New Zealand include the Ledge Bungy, the Nevis bungee (which is the highest at 134 meters) and the Auckland Bridge Bungy. Choose your jump, but don’t leave New Zealand without at least one of these

Eat “The Burger” in Queenstown


I’m sure that bungee made you lose your appetite but you cannot go to Queenstown without trying the world-famous Fergburger. Not just a burger, but an institute. I mean, have you ever been to Queenstown if you haven’t waited in that queue and ordered the Fergburger. Expect long queues all into the hours of the night and day. Be prepared to return, not just once but 6 times during your stay in Queenstown. Enjoy yourself “the best burger in the world”

New Zealand Bucket list Fergburger

Hike to Moke Lake


After those 6 Fergburgers, you’re going to want to walk them off! Moke Lake is beautiful. It makes for a steady hike but one fantastic view. Moke lake is a local lake, it isn’t on the tourist maps. Unsigned trails lead you up the fantastic viewpoints. And if it is secret local tips you are after, have a read of this secret hike to the best views of Moke Lake.

New-Zealand-Bucket-list-Hike to the Moke Lake Viewpoint

Cycle the Otago Rail Trail

Otago Rail Trail

The Otago Central Rail Trail was once a train track. The government have transformed this into a 150-kilometre walking, cycling track. This makes for a peaceful cycling journey filled with outdoor nature goodness and a great way to explore the less explored. Find out more about this track on the official website. There are no steep hills. Most people allow themselves 3-4 days to cover the whole track. You can rent a bicycle and there is plenty of accommodation options along the way.

Pan for gold Arrowtown


Arrowtown is charming and quirky – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. A trip to New Zealand wouldn’t be complete without putting Arrowtown on the bucket list. The Arrow River is 2 minutes from town. Hire a gold pan and away you go!

New Zealand Bucket list Arrowtown


See the rare Hector dolphins in the wild


The Hector dolphin are rare but they love hanging out in Akaroa.  They are known to swim around the eastern shore of the Akaroa harbour. Black Cat Cruises allows you to swim with these magnificent and rare dolphins or just see them out in the wild. This might be one of the top experiences you’ll have in New Zealand.

Hector Dolphins Akaroa

Climb the world’s steepest street

Baldwin Street, Dunedin

I’m sure you didn’t travel all the way to New Zealand just to walk the worlds steepest street. But whilst you’re here, Dunedin is cool and that just happens to be where the worlds steepest street is. More amazing things to do in Dunedin here.


Go Punting on the Avon River


Christchurch’s Avon river is beautiful, peaceful, calm and scenic. The best way to experience this is by punting down the river. See the changing face of the city and understand why it’s called “the garden city”

Punting on the Avon River

Walk the Kepler Track

Te Anau

60 km circular track, walking through the beautiful landscape of the South Island of New Zealand and is situated near the town of Te Anau.

This is no easy walk. Averaging 4 days, 60km with a climb of over 2000 metres

Designed to show you all the best features of Fiordland – mountains, native forest, waterfalls and glacier-carved valleys.

Kepler Track


New Zealand has no shortage of amazing things to do. This bucket list has intentions to grow and grow. I would love to hear your suggestions. Shoot me an email to add your must-do New Zealand activities. I have started a discussion on the community board around New Zealand. Feel free to join in if you are a member of our female travel community. We also have a New Zealand forum dedicated to all questions New Zealand. Stay tuned for more updated New Zealand bucket list items.


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