Inspiring Gap Year Adventures in New Zealand

Estás aquí

Staying a little longer? There's so many unique things to do in New Zealand. The suggestions below barely scratch the surface.

Naturally Hot Kerosene Creek, Rotorua

By @petiteloudy

Relaxing in the hot water at Kerosene Creek.

Soak in Natural Wonders

Rotorua’s geothermal activity makes it seem like another world. Here you’ll find Pohutu, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest geyser. Get muddy in the hot mud pools at Hell’s Gate or just relax in one of the area’s many natural hot pools. And while you’re here, a delicious hangi feast with new friends is a great way to digest some Maori culture. Photo by @petiteloudy on Instagram.

Bay of Plenty
Mount Maunganui Beach, Bay of Plenty

By @miss.nikki.maree

Few things compare the view form the top of Mt. Maunganui.

Explore Stunning Coastlines

One of New Zealand’s primo holiday regions, and home to some of New Zealand's favourite vacation spots, the Coromandel Peninsula south of Auckland has a gorgeous coastline. Don’t miss the natural hot pools at Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. Also south of the big city is Mount Maunganui where you can surf, swim, dine or simply relax and soak up the views. Two hours north of Auckland is the spectacular Tutukaka Coast – mile after mile of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Head from here to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Photo by @miss.nikki.maree on Instagram.

The ultimate burger and view, Queenstown

By @tobyandtamar

Ferg Burger with a view.

Taste New Zealand

Bring your appetite, because you’re going to need it. With the freshest seafood and locally grown ingredients you can sample amazing food across New Zealand. Delicious and affordable choices are always close at hand and whether it’s the local fish and chip shop, our vibrant street-food scene or a traditional Maori Hangi, you’re sure to fall in love with the taste of New Zealand. Photo by @tobyandtamar on Instagram. 

A stunning white sand trail, Nelson

By @yaawn.nik

The Abel Tasman National Park features stunning coastal tracks, including the Abel Tasman Coastal Walk - a New Zealand Great Walk.

Walk in Wonder

One amazing thing about New Zealand is how accessible walks are, even to major cities. Whether you want a leisurely day walk or something a bit more substantial, there’s always something to suit. A short drive from Auckland, the Waitakere Ranges have stunning tracks of all kinds to explore. In Wellington, the beautiful Mount Victoria loop is a quick walk from the CBD while further south the famous Kaikoura Ranges offer stunning bird’s eye views of the spectacular coastline. Photo by @yaawn.nik on Instagram.

Kayaking the Fiords, Fiordland

By @ian_smithers

Stunning fiords, spectacular waterfalls and snow-capped peaks make kayaking in Fiordland National Park a one of a kind experience.

Get Back to Nature

From Tongariro, to the Abel Tasman to Fiordland and dozens of others. New Zealand’s National Parks and their stunning scenery have to be experienced to be believed. Whether you want to go hiking across the magnificent Tongariro Alpine Crossing, bike or kayak the scenic Abel Tasman or chase waterfalls in Milford Sound, it’s all waiting for you. Photo by @ian_smithers on Instagram.

Auckland's unique nightlife, Auckland

By @reecey1988

From festivals to concerts and buzzing pubs, take in the best of Auckland's nightlife.

Live the Nightlife

Whatever kind of night you’re looking for, whether it’s a quiet meal, pub crawl, clubbing or catching a gig, you’ll find it here. Kiwis know how to party and from beachside bars in Mount Maunganui to snowy pubs in Queenstown; there’s always something kicking off. In Auckland, the main action happens in the Viaduct, Fort St and Ponsonby in the city centre. Or tune in to the Lantern and Laneway Festivals, some of the many epic outdoor festivals that rock the city every year. In Wellington, head for Cuba St – it boasts an eclectic collection of bars, clubs and venues all within a couple of minutes’ walk. Photo by @reecey1988 on Instagram.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Dolphins in Kaikoura, Christchurch - Canterbury

By @dennisbuurman

A dolphin encounter will leave you entranced, enthralled and, yes, humbled.

The World Beneath the Waves

Experience our stunning sea life. From swimming with dolphins in the Bay of Islands to meeting the magnificent whales of Kaikoura, there’s natural beauty from coast to coast. And whether you kayak Nelson’s idyllic bays, visit the seal colonies of Dunedin or dive the jaw-dropping Poor Knights Islands, you’ll get up close and personal with some of the world’s most beautiful aquatic creatures. Photo by @dennisbuurman on Instagram.


Epic west coast beaches, Auckland

By @jordentuslly

Taking in the break at Bethells, one of Auckland's many west coast beaches that attract surfers from near and far.

Sun, Surf and Sand

New Zealand’s surf pumps. Just 40 minutes out of Auckland you can be paddling out at the West Coast beaches of Piha, Karekare, Bethell’s or Muriwai. A couple of hours south are the world-renowned point breaks of Raglan on one coast, and The Coromandel on the other. Other surf-rich spots are Taranaki, Gisborne and the cooler waters of Dunedin. Photo by @jordentuslly on Instagram.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy, Queenstown

By @emriga

Taking the plunge at the original bungy in Queenstown - the historic Kawarau Bridge.

Get your extreme adventure fix

If you’re an adrenalin junkie, you can get a fix anywhere in New Zealand. Whether you want to go sky diving in the Bay of Islands, free falling from Auckland’s Sky Tower, tearing down the luge or zip-lining in Rotorua, or bungy jumping, jet boating or any of the host of crazy things to do in Queenstown.

Cooking at Te Puia Village, Rotorua

By @te_puia

A local chef prepares traditional food.

Embrace Local Culture

Discover the Bay of Islands, home to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and the historic town of Russell, or Rotorua’s famous Maori villages and Wellington’s Te Papa Museum. New Zealand is a country rich in history and culture. Take the time to meet the local people and explore what makes this nation one of the world’s most unique and you’ll leave richer for the experience. Photo by @te_puia on Instagram.

Buscar y reservar vuelos

You may also be interested in

Top 10 Backpacking Experiences in New Zealand →

Must-do Free Experiences in New Zealand →

Top Trips in New Zealand →

Things to know about New Zealand →