From glow worms to glaciers, dolphin-watching to wine-tasting, New Zealand has so much to offer. Not sure where to begin? Get started with these places.

1. Go dolphin-watching in Akaroa

Spot the rare Hector's dolphins, seals, penguins and sea birds on a boat cruise around Akaroa Harbour, an easy drive south-east of Christchurch. Cruise around an extinct volcanic crater and swim with one of the world's smallest and rarest dolphins.

2. Make furry-footed friends

Ever since the first The Lord of the Rings movie was released in 2001, New Zealand has been known as the home of Middle‑earth™. Take a guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata, land of The Shire's lush pastures.

3. Explore geothermal phenomena

Geysers, boiling mud pools & huge volcanic craters are in Rotorua, where nature's forces escape by bubbling, steaming & hissing from the inner earth. Discover the sights and wonders of this city sitting squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

4. Kayak Auckland's harbour

Auckland’s most iconic island, Rangitoto is a dormant volcanic cone that sits just off the coast from the central city. Glide across Auckland's harbour via paddle power on a sunset kayak tour(opens in new window)

5. Check out glow worms in Waitomo

Beneath the green farmland of Waitomo lies a subterranean maze of spectacular limestone caverns. Take a guided tour into the heart of the Waitomo Caves and be amazed by the limestone formations and huge cavern before exiting via boat-ride under thousands of twinkling glowworms.

6. Say 'Kia ora' to culture

Soak up Māori culture and hospitality in Rotorua, the cultural heart of New Zealand. Visit an authentic pre-European Māori village for a cultural show. After a delicious ‘hāngī'  feast, the thermal hot pools will be calling. See more Rotorua experiences.

7. Go wild in Queenstown

Queenstown is the perfect place for an adventure. Experience jet boat rides, skiing, river raftinghiking and biking, or go bungy jumping where it all began. Not for you? Try wine-tasting, spa treatments or alfresco dining for a relaxing alternative. See more Queenstown experiences.

8. Bask in Milford Sound's scale

Depart from Queenstown or Te Anau and enjoy an afternoon cruise around Milford Sound's dramatic fiords, spectacular waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. Other ways to see the "Eighth Wonder of the World" is by flightseeing, kayaking or overnight boat ride. See more Fiordland experiences.

9. Heli-hike a glacier

Wild rivers, rainforests, glaciers and rugged beaches invite exploration on the stunning, unspoiled region of the West Coast. Take a helicopter to the top of a glacier for a guided walk onto the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier. See more West Coast experiences.

10. Sip wine among the vines

New Zealand is world famous for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Central Otago Pinot Noir. But what’s even better is that New Zealand’s main wine growing areas are also some of the most spectacularly beautiful parts of the country. Take a road trip and meet local winegrowers along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail.

11. Hike ancient lava flows

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is often described as New Zealand's best day walk. The 19km hike traverses ancient volcanic terrain, winding its way past emerald lakes, old lava flows and even an active crater. Views of Lake Taupo and the Ruapehu region are magnificent, and make the hike well worth the effort!

12. Relax on Cathedral Cove beaches

Pack a picnic, follow the coastal trail and enjoy an idyllic day at The Coromandel's Cathedral Cove. Go for a swim, snorkel, kayak or just relax in the sand. From beautiful Hahei Beach you can walk to Cathedral Cove, where a naturally formed archway deserves photographic attention. The Coromandel's top experiences.

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