Top 10 ways to treat yourself in New Zealand

On your next long holiday or short getaway, there are plenty of ways to relax and recharge.

From boat cruises to soaking in the natural hot pools underneath the starry night, here are the top 10 ways to treat yourself in New Zealand.

1. Unwind in a spa or hot pool

Treat yourself to a first-class spa retreat at The Lost Spring(opens in new window) in Whitianga, which is an island-like resort where you can sip on cocktails while soaking the pools. Or go off the grid and connect with the mountains as you experience Maruia Hot Springs(opens in new window), tucked away among the Southern Alps along Lewis Pass.

For a luxury outdoor experience with epic views, go to Hot Tubs Omarama(opens in new window) and book a hot tub in the evening with the night sky above. If you're after an extra special experience, book a stay at SkyScape(opens in new window) and have your very own private place with a luxurious cedar outdoor bathtub with views of the vast Mackenzie Country.

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2. Indulge in a food and drink experience

Whether you’re looking for something unique or after the classics, New Zealand will have something that is sure to tantalise the taste buds. A paradise for food and drink lovers, you can have your pick of gourmet, roadside and unique Kiwi creations.

Taste your way through popular wine regions such as Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Marlborough on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Pair fine wine with fine food and spoil yourself at Craggy Range Restaurant(opens in new window), winner of two hats at the 2019 Cuisine Good Food Awards, and savour the views of Hawke's Bay. Or you can relax and reward yourself with The Botanical Distillery's(opens in new window) gin and tonic experience or fragrance experience and immerse yourself in the world of gin and botanical fragrances.

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3. Experience the best of New Zealand's wildlife

New Zealand is lucky enough to be a destination jam-packed with wildlife. Why not treat yourself and finally tick a must-do off your list and get up close to marine life with a dolphin encounter or even a New Zealand fur seal viewing tour?

New Zealand is home to over 200 native birds so it's not unusual to see tui in the kowhai trees and fantails twitching through the ferns. You might even be lucky enough to spot a kiwi in the wild, a cheeky kea near the alps, a takahē strutting through the forest or a tawaki (Fiordland’s crested penguin).

Discover more NZ wildlife

4. Reconnect with the stories of our culture and history

Māori culture, values and history have shaped everyday life for Kiwis, influencing cuisine, language and customs.

Experience the great journey of Kupe, one of the first Polynesian navigators to arrive in New Zealand at Manea Footprints of Kupe. Reconnect with the stories of our history and take a glimpse into the old world at Tamaki Māori Village. Admire one of New Zealand’s tallest native kauri tree, Tāne Mahuta, and learn more about the Waipoua Forest on an intimate tour with Footprints Waipoua.

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5. Relax on New Zealand's pristine waters with a boat cruise

What could be more rewarding than cruising on one of New Zealand’s pristine waters and taking in the lush surrounding scenery?

Disconnect and stay the night in one of the grand fiords of Fiordland on an overnight cruise(opens in new window). The Bay of Islands, Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, Marlborough Sounds and Fiordland are four main cruising grounds where you can sail, glide and navigate through untouched waters, go whale watching and get up close to the natural wonders of New Zealand.

Read our top 10 boat cruises

6. Reawaken the senses with an adrenalin pumping activity

There’s nothing quite like reawakening and recharging the body with a rush of adrenalin. The birthplace of bungy jumping and jetboats, New Zealand is the place for adventure.

Whether you’re up for something in the water, land or air, there’s no shortage of experiences to get your heart pumping. Take in the views from above on that skydive you've always been wanting to do, feel the power of the water on a jetboat, tick ziplining through stunning native forests off your bucket list or go explore the back-country roads and tracks on an off-road adventure.

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7. Go cycling and take in the fresh air

Filled with plenty of riding trails and tracks, New Zealand offers cycling adventures for almost every age and ability. There are 22 Great Rides across the country that you can treat yourself to, from the Bay of Islands in the North Island all the way down to Queenstown in the South Island. 

Take a leisurely ride through Tasman’s Great Taste Trail and get a taste of the many cafes, wineries and galleries along the area. For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, the Old Ghost Road Trail takes you through the remote wilderness and through mountains. Want someone else to take care of the logistics so you can really enjoy the ride? There are many tour operators who can assist with bookings, shuttles, bike hire and packages.

Discover NZ’s cycling trails

8. Tee off on one of the country's top golf courses

Are you interested in a golfing holiday? New Zealand is home to more than 400 Marquee and Experience golf courses!

Tee off at the famous cliff-top courses in the Bay of Island and Hawke’s Bay. Or enjoy the alpine views at one of Queenstown’s incredible golf courses. If you're after something a little more special, book a helicopter with Over the Top(opens in new window) and fly up to one of New Zealand's most picturesque golf holes, nestled at 4500 feet in the Southern Alps.

New Zealand golf courses are 18-27 holes set against dramatic, natural scenery, making a visit a great way to take a break and recharge. 

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9. Step into postcard view landscapes

Spend a few hours, a day or even several days exploring New Zealand’s walking and hiking trails and recharge as you reward yourself with breath-taking views of sweeping coastlines and lush native bush.

Tackle one of the 10 Great Walks you've always wanted to do, such as the Milford Track or the Abel Tasman Coast Track. Traverse through swing bridges, enjoy the native birdsong and sleep in remote, wilderness huts. To find out which of the Great Walks is the best to do this season, check out the Department of Conservation webpage(opens in new window).

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10. Immerse yourself in the raw, wild West Coast wilderness

Be inspired and amazed by the dynamic landscapes of the West Coast. For something a little more special, take the scenic route through the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine Scenic Plus Class(opens in new window) and spoil yourself with magnificent views matched with a dining experience that showcases delectable regional recipes.

The small town of Hokitika hosts the annual Hokitika Wild Foods Festival and Punakaiki is famous for the Pancake Rocks. You can learn more about the significance of greenstone (pounamu) and visit galleries specialising in pounamu jewellery and artworks.

Treat your self with a once in a lifetime helicopter flight and hike on the Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers, then soak in hot pools. Active adventurers will enjoy cycling on the West Coast Wilderness Trail or hiking one of the Great Walks - the Paparoa Track.(opens in new window)

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