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If you are wild at heart and love everything about the outdoors, then a backpacking trip to New Zealand will provide you with an abundance of activities and destinations that you can tick off your bucket list. With a myriad of unique landscapes throughout the country, you are never far away from something truly spectacular. One of the best ways to see all that the country has to offer is by bus. Kiwi Experience bus tours provide travellers with the opportunity to travel New Zealand with knowledgeable driver guides who can take you to all these incredible places, leaving you not to worry about a thing! Travel with other like-minded backpackers for a real New Zealand adventure.
If you are a nature lover in New Zealand, be sure to tick these off your scenic bucket list:
1. Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
Be sure to visit Pancake Rocks on the northwest corner of the South Island as this famous spot truly demonstrates the power of nature. The pancake rocks are best viewed at high tide as the thundering waves are pushed through blowholes between layered rocks carved out by the wind and sea. This incredible area is easily accessible by walking paths and viewing platforms provide plenty of photo opportunities.
2. Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Voted New Zealand’s best one-day hike, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is not for the faint-hearted. This incredible tramping track is situated in the Tongariro National Park, close to the South of Lake Taupo. After a strenuous hike with stark volcanic landscape rich in natural beauty and cultural significance, you will feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. This hike boasts active fumaroles, volcanic craters, emerald lakes and Mt Ngaruahoe, commonly referred to as Mt Doom from The Lord of the Rings films.
This exhilarating and unique walk is certainly one worth talking about. All of Kiwi Experience’s National Bus Passes go past the Tongariro Crossing.
3. Lake Tekapo
Located in the center of the South Island, the turquoise blue Lake Tekapo is framed by majestic mountains and rugged rocks. The settings of the lake change dramatically with the seasons from the rustic red leaves of Autumn, the colourful lavender blooms of Summer and to the snowy whites of Winter. See all this area has to offer with long scenic walks during the day and stargazing at night is any travellers dream.
4. Nelson Lakes National Park
See New Zealand at its best with a stop at Nelson Lakes National Park. Nelson Lakes is peaceful and serene and the the surrounding lakes, Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotorua are surrounded by amazing beech forests and protected by the mountains. Many beautiful birds and other native wildlife can be seen when you tramp, boat and fish amid breath-taking scenery and crystal clear waters. Nelson Lakes is a must-do for any nature lover as you can spend days exploring and backpacking around the area.
5. Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is one that everyone who calls themselves an adventurer has to have done at least once. It’s beautiful ice flow down the Southern Alps bordered by rainforest flows into the sea. Kiwi Experience's unique activities allow travellers to explore the glacier on an ice explorer walking trip or taking to the skies on a scenic flight for a spectacular view of the ice river. Afterwards, you can warm yourself up in the glacier hot pools, the entire adventure experience you will never forget.
Kiwi Experience bus tours offer the best price guarantee onboard their tour buses.
6. The Catlins
You need to head Deep South, almost to the bottom of the South Island, and you'll find yourself on the Catlin Coast. The coast is lined with beautiful bays and covered with endless rivers and waterfalls. If you are a wildlife lover, you will be able to spot Hooker’s Sea Lions and Elephant Seals from the headland at Nugget Point. Nugget point’s coastline is scattered with large nugget resembling rocks which is a must-see for any nature enthusiast.
7. Milford Sound
Often referred to as the ‘8th Wonder of the World’ Milford Sound is undoubtedly one of the most well-known places in New Zealand. Located in Fiordland National Park, there are many opportunities for wildlife and nature lovers to explore and seek out adventure in the area which has been carved out magnificently by glaciers. Catch the cruise through the sound amid numerous waterfalls tumbling over monstrous cliffs with the Kiwi Experience's Milford Explorer pass. You are also able to sea kayak through the sound, getting even closer to the water, you may even catch a glimpse of the plentiful dolphins, penguins and seals that live in the area.
8. Abel Tasman National Park
The Abel Tasman National Park is one of New Zealand’s most popular destinations. The destination consists of turquoise bays, plush forests, golden beaches and is one of South Island's "gotta do's". Take a guided kayak cruise along the coastline to explore hidden sea caves and island that are vibrant with both sea life and wildlife.