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Kayaking the Pelorus river
It’s fitting that one of the top things to do in New Zealand is right at the top of the South Island. The Pelorus river features dramatic gorges, turquoise water and lush native bush scenery. It’s also among the best kayaking locations in New Zealand and a famous Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit filming location.
Bay of Islands ‘Hole in the Rock’ Dolphin Cruise
Tracing the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula from Paihia or Russell out to Cape Brett, this boat tour lets you see the best of the beautiful Bay of Islands. Along the way you can go kayaking, spot bluenose dolphins, visit pristine beaches, see unique geographical formations, and learn about the rich local Maori culture and history. If seas are favourable, the boat also passes through the famous Hole in the Rock!
Franz Josef and Fox Glacier helicopter tour
Experience the awe-inspiring natural beauty of these world-famous West Coast glaciers up close and personal on a helicopter tour. Land on Franz Josef Glacier to explore crevasses and ice caves on foot. Or, follow the entire length of Fox Glacier from the West Coast to the Southern Alps, ending with impossibly close views of Mount Cook.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Not only among the top things to do in New Zealand but the best 1-day hikes in the world. Tongariro Alpine Crossing passes through unbelievable volcanic, martian landscapes skirting the peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro. Anybody who has seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy should pretty easily recognise this dual World Heritage area as Mount Doom and the plains of Mordor!
Overnight boat tour in Milford Sound
Milford Sound is among the top things to do in New Zealand for many people, and an overnight boat cruise on Milford Sound lets you appreciate its majestic mountain peaks, gushing waterfalls, and reflective, pond-like waters in peace. You can also spot dolphins, penguins and seals, have a gentle evening kayak, stargaze from the boat deck, and enjoy a 3-course meal!