New Zealand summer is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful coastlines, stunning hikes and road trips. Plan a long holiday or just a weekend getaway with these top summer experiences as inspiration.
Abel Tasman National Park is a great place to visit in summer with its turquoise coves and golden beaches. Kayaking the Abel Tasman(opens in new window) National Park is a unique experience and a great way to explore the Abel Tasman's pristine golden beaches, lagoons, remote islands, abundant wildlife and the native forest on the coastline.
Canyoning in Queenstown is the ultimate way to explore off the beaten tracks and soak in the raw beauty of a canyon in an exciting way through a range of activities including walking, climbing, abseiling, swimming, jumping and even ziplining. There are half day and full day thrilling canyoning tours in Queenstown(opens in new window), which one is your pick?
Be an intrepid alpine explorer on a glacier heli-hike(opens in new window) at Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers. Heli hiking on ancient Franz Josef Glacier is a great activity for the hotter months when there are clear skies and little rain. A truly immersive experience combining an exhilarating helicopter ride, jaw-dropping views and a hike through the most spectacular glacier features.
Summer is the perfect season to cruise around in one of New Zealand’s most scenic region, Marlborough Sounds. Experience its hidden bays and coves, marine reserves, island sanctuaries, and walking tracks.
Take a seafood cruise(opens in new window) where you can sample fresh salmon and mussels paired with world-class Sauvignon Blanc. Encounter dolphins, seals and seabirds on a wildlife cruise or dart between hidden bays as you deliver goods to the residents, as part of an iconic mail cruise; the choice is yours.
The long summer days are the best time to go hiking and explore the variety of tracks across New Zealand. From national parks and reserves to short nature trails with family, to challenging multi-day alpine tracks in remote wilderness, there is something for everyone. Tackle the Kepler Track(opens in new window), one of the great walks, do the popular the Tongariro Crossing, or walk through the Hooker Valley to view the tallest mountain in New Zealand.
Looking for some outdoor activities? Rotorua is a haven for mountain bikers and is world-famous for its mountain biking trails, dotted with enormous redwood trees, dappled with shade. Whether you’re exploring the region on a push bike; racing round the central city BMX track ; or mountain biking on the world-class trails as Whakarewarewa Forest, Rainbow Mountain and Skyline Gravity Park, Rotorua has it all.
Discover the wild side of Wellington in an urban ecosanctuary and see up to 400 species of birds including endangered hihi honeyeaters and bright green kākāriki at Zealandia(opens in new window). Choose from 32 kilometres of tracks to spot many native birds and animals along with kiwis. Book a night tour to seek out the iconic little spotted kiwi and other nocturnal creatures.
Just an hour away from Auckland, take a family day trip to Goat Island Marine Reserve(opens in new window) and enjoy an unforgettable day with a stunning beach, coastal walks, and an amazing snorkeling experience. With an abundant marine life, including Snapper, Shellfish and a host of other fishes in the natural environment, Goat Island is a great summer place for snorkelers and divers.
Natural hot pools and springs dotted all over New Zealand overlooking the spectacular scenery is a must-do in every season. Soak under the waterfalls or relax in the natural rock pools at Otumuheke Stream in Taupō whilst enjoying the stunning views of the mighty Waikato River. It's natural, rustic and free for anyone who wants to visit. Enjoy the serenity of soaking in the large rock pools and listen to the warm thermal water cascade down from the waterfall.
The warmer weather is a great excuse to get out and about and try something new. Indulge in an emerging New Zealand craft beer experience in Wellington, or enjoy a glass of a fine summer wine at one of the many New Zealand’s famous vineyards. Take a road trip across the country and enjoy the best food and wine experiences across the country while enjoying the spectacular scenery on offer during your journey.
Don’t worry we didn’t forget to mention the amazing beaches our country has offer… A kiwi summer isn’t complete without spending some time at the beach with friends and family. But maybe this year you could mix it up and try a NEW experience while you’re there? Take a surfing lesson to develop a new skill, or even hire a paddleboard and cruise along some calmer waters. Check out our top 10 beaches for more inspiration.
See top summer experiences through the eyes of visitors.