Top 10 Backpacking Experiences in New Zealand

All of the adventure activities you've ever dreamed of - right on each others doorsteps.

Take a leap in Queenstown

Get ready to take a leap of faith in the birthplace of the bungy, Queenstown. If you want to push yourself to the edge and feel a rush of adrenaline, this is the perfect place to do it; take a deep breath and experience what so many before you have. 

Queenstown
Kawarau Bungy, Queenstown

By Matt Crawford

Highlights

  • Adventure - bungy, skydiving, rafting
  • Hiking and cycling
  • Busy Alpine town
Queenstown

Queenstown

Explore Queenstown

Walk on a Real Glacier

It’s not the cold air at these two world-heritage listed glaciers that will take your breath away – it’s the experience. Do not leave New Zealand without walking on the Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers on the West Coast. Photo by @ruliak on Instagram.

West Coast
The Magnificent Fox Glacier, West Coast

By @ruliak

Hiking the stunning blue ice on Fox Glacier on the West Coast of New Zealand.

West Coast

West Coast

Discover the West Coast

Highlights

  • Walk to the magnificent glacier
  • Nearby rainforests, waterfalls and lakes
  • Exprience the wild West Coast

Proximity

Do the canyon swing in Queenstown

Queenstown is commonly regarded as the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere. It was here that both jet boating and bungy jumping were invented – and the Shotover Canyon Swing should be at the top of your adrenaline bucket list! 

Queenstown
Shotover Canyon Swing, Queenstown

By Matt Crawford

Highlights

  • Experience a rush of adrenaline
  • 109m above the famous Shotover River
  • 60m vertical freefall
Queenstown

Queenstown

Explore Queenstown

Meet the friendly locals in Bay of Islands

 Get up close and personal with the magical marine life in the Bay of Islands on a dolphin eco experience cruise. 

Northland & Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands , Northland & Bay of Islands

By Matt Crawford

Highlights

  • Dolphin watching and marine encounters
  • Explore Paihia and historic Russell
  • Visit Waitangi treaty grounds
Northland & Bay of Islands

Northland & Bay of Islands

Explore Northland and the Bay of Islands

Kayak the Bays in Nelson

With its beautiful secluded beaches, tranquil waters and rich marine life, Nelson offers some of the most awesome sea kayaking in the world. All trips are fully guided and no experience is necessary. Photo by @serenalisney on Instagram.

Nelson
Kayaking in Nelson Tasman, Nelson

By @serenalisney

Kayakers enjoying the crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches in sunny Nelson Tasman.

Nelson

Nelson

Discover Nelson

Highlights

  • 3 National Parks - beaches, bush & lakes
  • Galleries and museums
  • Local wines and scallops

Proximity

Visit Weta Workshop in Wellington

Wellington’s Weta Workshop has produced some of the world’s biggest and best-loved films like The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings, King Kong and others. While in Wellington, also make sure to check out Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum and art gallery. Both are a must-do. Photo by @danniduric on Instagram.

Wellington
Weta's Famous Trolls, Wellington

By @danniduric

The famous trolls at Weta Workshop in Wellington.

Wellington

Wellington

Discover Wellington

Highlights

  • Museums, galleries, and culture
  • Outstanding cafes, restaurants, and bars
  • Explore Te Papa museum

Proximity

Discover Mine Bay rock carvings on Lake Taupo 

Experience the beauty of Lake Taupo, and take a kayaking excursion out to the Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, which can only be seen from the water. Whilst in Taupo, you can also go to New Zealand's most visited attraction, Huka Falls

Lake Taupo
Mine Bay Maori rock carvings, Lake Taupo

By Matt Crawford

Highlights

  • Great for water sports
  • An abundance of outdoor activities
  • Geothermal pools
Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Explore Lake Taupo

Pohutu Geyser in Rotorua

Rotorua is famous for its prolific geothermal activity, literally bursting with geysers (including the famous Pohutu Geyser at Te Puia), bubbling mud pools and hot springs. Meet the locals and experience the best of Maori culture from performances to the traditional food.

Rotorua
The Pohutu Geyser, Rotorua

By @te_puia

Take in the beauty of the Pohutu Geyser in Te Puia - an exceptional experience.

Rotorua

Rotorua

Discover Rotorua

Highlights

  • Bubbling mud pools
  • Shooting geysers
  • Fascinating Maori culture

Proximity

Catch a wave at Piha Beach 

Explore the wild west coast of Auckland and catch an epic wave at black-sand Piha Beach. Only a 55 minute drive from downtown Auckland, the west coast is known for its rugged coastline and strong surf. Explore neighbouring Waitakere Ranges National Park post-surf for some epic walking tracks!

Auckland
Piha Beach, Auckland

By @Andres Veres

Piha is a scenic black-sand surf beach on the rugged coast west of Auckland, renowned for its rugged beauty.

Auckland

Auckland

Explore Auckland and its West Coast beaches 

Highlights

  • Explore the West Coast
  • Enjoy a relaxing walk or a picnic
  • Waitakere Ranges National Park

Proximity

Trade waves for sand dunes at Opononi

Travel across the harbour from Opononi wharf to the Opononi sand dunes, and experience the thrill of sandboarding! At high tide you are able to slide out over the sparkling blue waters of the Hokianga Harbour. An absolute must-do. 

Northland & Bay of Islands
Opononi Sanddunes, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Matt Crawford

Northland & Bay of Islands

Northland & Bay of Islands

Discover Northland and the Bay of Islands

Highlights

  • Golden beaches and secluded coves
  • Explore the Hokianga
  • Discover Waipoua forest

Proximity

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