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.
Beneath the green farmland of Waitomo lies a subterranean maze of spectacular limestone caverns. Take a guided tour into the heart of theWaitomo Cavesand 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.
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.
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.