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12 Most Exciting Things to do in New Zealand

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New Zealand is an untouched piece of paradise on Earth, and you must visit this majestic natural wonder at least once in your life. New Zealand is made up of three Islands, North-South and Stuart Island. The northern-most tip of the country is Cape Reinga situated on the North Island, and the Southernmost point is Bluff, located in the tip of the South Island. Major cities include the Capital of New Zealand Auckland, followed by Christchurch which is the largest city in New Zealand, that is by size. Next in line is Wellington, which is home to the New Zealand Parliament and is the most metropolitan city in New Zealand. Other big cities include Rotorua, Hamilton and Dunedin among others. All these cities have a lot to offer in terms of things to do in New Zealand. From boat cruises to adventure sports to gondola rides. New Zealand has it all!

The most popular tourist city in the country is without a doubt Queenstown, which is located on the South Island. Queenstown is a quaint little city that looks like a painting, and its beauty is truly mesmerising. The crowning jewel of the city is, of course, Lake Wakatipu, which is New Zealand’s third largest freshwater lake. You are free to take a swim here if you like or go on a jet boat ride or an old-fashioned guided boat cruise. In addition to enjoying this picturesque lake you can ride the Queenstown Gondola and enjoy exciting luge rides, you can even have a lovely dinner at the fantastic Skyline Restaurant. And if you happen to be a thrill-seeking daredevil then perhaps you could spend a day parasailing or also try out the Nevis Bungy Jumping.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of activities you can enjoy in Queenstown and by extension in New Zealand. Their country has on offered numerous indoor and outdoor family and individual activities to offer the millions of tourists that visit the country year after year. Some of you have New Zealand on your mind for your solo adventure or family vacation then read on further to know more about New Zealand tour packages and Thomas Cook recommended things and activities to do in there.

Things to do in New Zealand

1. Enjoy the Serene Milford Sound Cruise

12 Most Exciting Things to do in New Zealand

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This is one of the not-to-be-missed things to do in New Zealand, whenever you are in Queenstown, many tour operators offer daily tours to Milford Sound. The tours vary in price and may include airport transfers, lunch and other activities.

  • Distance from Airport: The tour originates from Queenstown, which is located 7.7 km from the Queenstown Airport in Frankton.
  • How much Time to Spend: The cruise itself is about 90-minute-long however it takes around 4 hours to drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound. Hence the tour may take up to 10 hours.
  • Operating Hours: 5:30 am onwards, depending on the tour package.
  • Approximate cost: Cruise Only, INR 2200/- Per Person. Coach and Cruise, INR 5900/- Per Person
  • Trip Advisor rating: 5/5

Although long the 4 hours scenic drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound makes it worth it. You can either rent a self-drive car for the day or hop on to a comfortable coach and embark on the journey of a lifetime.

2. Queenstown Lake Cruise

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The crowning jewel of the city is, of course, Lake Wakatipu, which is New Zealand’s third largest freshwater lake. Many tour operators offer cruises on the lake; you can choose one based on price and duration. These get books fast, so make sure you plan.

  • Distance from Airport: The tour takes place in Lake Wakatipu, which is located 19.4 km from the Queenstown Airport in Frankton.
  • How much Time to Spend: The cruise is around 90-minutes long.
  • Operating Hours: 9 am onwards
  • Approximate cost: INR 1900/- Per Person
  • Trip Advisor rating: 5/5

You can enjoy many activities at Lake Wakatipu, such as swimming, diving, and jet boating among other activities. However, if you are looking for a fun family way of enjoying the lake, then you must book relaxing lake cruise. It is one of the relaxing things to do in New Zealand.

Also Read: Top 10 Places To Visit In New Zealand

3. Queenstown Skyline Gondola with Luge Rides

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If you want to enjoy breath-taking Ariel views of Queenstown, you must take the Gondola ride and spend a day soaking up the sun, enjoying luge rides and clicking some fantastic photos.

  • Distance from Airport: The Gondola Base is located at Brecon Street, 8.5 km away from the Queenstown Airport in Frankton.
  • How much Time to Spend: As much as you like.
  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 11 pm
  • Approximate cost: Gondola Only INR 1650/- Per Person.

Gondola and lunch at Skyline Restaurant will cost around INR 3000/- Per Person.
Gondola and Luge ride packages start at INR 2300/- Per Person

  • Trip Advisor rating:5/5

Take in the amazing views of Queenstown while enjoying the Gondola ride and spend a day soaking up the sun, enjoying luge rides and clicking some fantastic photos. The prices mentioned above are of basic packages, there are numerous options available to patrons.

Check out our New Zealand tour package for a wonderful holiday in New Zealand.

4. Shotover Jet Boat Ride

12 Most Exciting Things to do in New Zealand

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This is must-do activity in Queenstown. The boat ride offers a thrilling experience through canyons and narrow stretches of water. You can enjoy 360-degree high speed turns that aren’t always announced, and while they may leave you soaked the experience is worthwhile.

  • Distance from Airport: The boat rides take places on the iconic Shotover River locates 38km from the Queenstown Airport in Frankton.
  • How much Time to Spend: The boat ride is 60-minute longs. However,  it takes around an hour to drive from Queenstown to the river itself.
  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 6:15 pm
  • Approximate cost: The boat ride costs INR 7000/- Per Person
  • Trip Advisor rating:5/5

Although expensive, this is must-go activity in Queenstown. It is no ordinary boat ride as you get to speed through the river and jet across canyons, and also have the option of getting a drone captures video of the thrilling experience. You can either hop on a shuttle to the river from pick up points around Queenstown or drive yourself there. Whatever you do, do not forget to go for this boat ride. It is not only exciting but also a fun activity for familiies in our list of things to do in New Zealand.

5. The Nevis Bungy, Queenstown – One of the best things to do in New Zealand

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This is without a doubt not only the best bungy jumping experience in New Zealand but all of the South Pacific. Its 100% percent safe and guided. The experience can be captured byways of professional videos, photos and you can even record the same by way of a go pro that you can carry.

  • Distance from Airport: The Bungee location sit is located amidst a beautiful gorge, in the town of Gibbston, 31.2 km from the airport.
  • How much Time to Spend: The activity itself takes on 5 minutes, depending on how scared you are, however, it takes about 10 minutes to suit up, and there is usually a long queue.
  • Operating Hours: 9 am onwards
  • Approximate cost: Packages start at around INR 13,000/- Per Person.
  • Trip Advisor rating: 5/5

The bungee site is located a wee bit away from Queenstown so you will have to organise your transportation as there are no shuttle services. The best way to get there is by car, and you can get rental for the day as low as INR 1000/- but make sure you book in advance.

6.Wine and Cheese Tasting Tours, Queenstown

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New Zealand Wine and Cheese are the most underrated in the world. And while everyone is tripping over these delicacies from France, the Kiwi’s have many excellent varieties of their own. You can simply drive into any Winery and see if they have tours going on. You can visit as many as you like and drink and eat as much as you want. And don’t worry, if a wine isn’t your thing, you can gorge on delicious cheeses and home-made ice creams that are gobsmacking delicious.

  • Distance from Airport: The Wineries are mostly located in Gibbston, a town 31.2 km from the airport.
  • How much Time to Spend: As much as you like.
  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 6 pm, timing varies winery to winery.
  • Approximate cost: If you go by yourself then a wine tasting may cost about INR 1000/- Per Person, tours may be more expensive and may cost around INR 9000/- Per Person.
  • Trip Advisor rating: 5/5

The best way to enjoy this activity is by driving to these wineries on your own. You can club the day with a visit the Bungy site as most wineries are located in Gibbston, which is an hour outside of Queenstown. And Make sure you have a sober driver appointed beforehand.

Must Read: 26 Facts About New Zealand That Will Blow Your Mind Away

7. Burgers at Fergburger

Fergburger - 12 Most Exciting Things to do in New Zealand

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This may be an odd thing to do, but just know that these are the best burgers in the world and with that in mind get ready for the 2-3-hour long queue to place your order.

  • Distance from Airport: Fergburger is located 8.1 km from the airport.
  • How much Time to Spend: 3-4 Hours depending on the queue.
  • Operating Hours: 8 am onwards
  • Approximate cost: A meal for two may cost about INR 1800/- Per Person.
  • Trip Advisor rating:5/5

Don’t be discouraged by the long queues as the mouth-watering burgers will certainly be worth it. All the excitement of the many other things to do in New Zealand must have got you tired. This is where you can relax and grab a bite!

8. Christchurch Gondola, Tram and Punting on the Avon

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These three activities are the highlight of Christchurch and capture its true essence. The activities can be done separately but a combined pass in more cost-effective.

  • Distance from Airport: Christchurch has located 10 km from the airport.
  • How much Time to Spend: 2-3 hours
  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Approximate cost: The Christchurch Combo Pass costs INR 3000/- Per Person.
  • Trip Advisor rating: 5-Star Rating

All the locations are easily accessible via public transport and passes can be books online, at your hotel or any tourist info centre.

9. Christchurch City Tour

city tour - 12 Most Exciting Things to do in New Zealand

The city tour is the best way to visit all the amazing historical and iconic sites of the city such as the Cardboard Cathedral, Remembrance Bridge, Museum etc

  • How much Time to Spend: Full Day Tour
  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 3 pm
  • Approximate cost: The tour cost approx. INR 3300/- Per Person
  • Trip Advisor rating:5-Star Rating
  • Conclusion: The tours offer you a unique way to experience Christchurch, the tour is conducted on a hop on hop off bus and comes with a guided tour. You can discontinue the tour whenever you like and even book a multiple days pass so you can complete the tour in your own time.

10. Day Trip to Hanmer Springs

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Although, there are many day trips you can do when in Christchurch Hanmer Spring secures top spot. The drive to Hanmer Springs is scenic, and once there you can enjoy, white water rafting, horse riding, trekking and of course a dip in the famous freshwater hot springs.

  • Distance from Airport: Hanmer Springs is around132 Km from Christchurch International Airport.
  • How much Time to Spend:
  • Operating Hours: The spring is operational 9 am to 9 pm, although you can get to the town whenever you like.
  • Approximate cost: The entry to the springs is INR 570/- Per Person.
  • Trip Advisor rating: 5/5

This is the fun-filled family day out, the activities can be enjoyed by all and the level of difficulty is low to non-existent. The trip to Hammer Springs is another one of the not-to-be-missed things to do in New Zealand

11. Day Trip to Akaroa

Day Trip to Akaroa - 12 Most Exciting Things to do in New Zealand

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If you want to spend a day swimming with Kiwi Dolphins, i.e. the smallest dolphins in the world, or spend the day walking the streets of the only French Town in New Zealand, then Akaroa is your place.

  • Distance from Airport: Akaroa is 85.8 Km from Christchurch International Airport.
  • How much Time to Spend: As much as you like, however, if you are taking the shuttle, then you have to leave there by 4:30 pm.
  • Operating Hours: Shuttle starts pickups around Christchurch at about 7:30 am
  • Approximate cost: Shuttle costs INR 2100/- Per Person while the charges for dolphin swimming and other cruises and can be found online or at tourist information centres in Christchurch.

You can either drive to Akaroa or take the daily Shuttle, although if you want to go swimming with the dolphins its best to drive as you must get there by 8 am. Make sure to stop at Barry’s Cheese Factory on your way back. If you happen to visit the factory on an even numbered day, then you can enjoy the intriguing cheese production process. The day trip is a must for couples and even families in our list of things to do in New Zealand.

12. Auckland Sky Tower

Auckland Sky Tower - 12 Most Exciting Things to do in New Zealand

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If you though the Seattle Space Needle for or London Eye was attractive, wait till you ride up to the 220-meter-high viewing platform of the Auckland Sky Tower and enjoy some breath-taking 360-degree views of the city.

  • Distance from Airport: The Sky Tower is located 25.9 Km from Auckland International Airport.
  • How much Time to Spend: As Much as you like.
  • Operating Hours: 8:30 am to 11:30 pm
  • Approximate cost: Ticket prices start at approx. INR 1400 per person. This is the walk-up price. The cost of lift may vary. You can even enjoy bungee jumping here, prices of the same can be confirmed on site, at your hotel or local tourist information centres.
  • Trip Advisor rating:5/5

There are three viewing platforms, prices for each varies. You can either walk or take the glass lift and enjoy a 360-degree view of the city and its surrounding water bodies. You can enjoy delicious lunch or dinner at the sky tower restaurant and even bungee jump of the space needle.

Read: Best places in New Zealand for honeymooners

FAQ’s about Things to do in New Zealand

1. What is the top activates to do in Queenstown?

Here are some of the activities you can enjoy in Queenstown.

  • Christchurch Cruise
  • Jet Boat Ride
  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • Gondola and Luge
  • Fergburger

2. What are the best places to go for a Wine and Cheese Tasting in Queenstown?

You can literally visit any Winery located in the town of Gibbston.

3. What are the activities you can enjoy at the Queenstown Lakes?

You can enjoy many activities such as:

  • Swimming
  • Cruising
  • Jet Boating
  • Diving

4. What are the top activities do in Christchurch?

There are many exciting activities to do in Christchurch such as:

  • Christchurch Pass (Gondola, Punting, Tram and Botanical gardens)
  • City Tour
  • Visit the Iconic Hagley Over Cricket Ground
  • Shopping at Ballantynes

5. Where can all you go for a day trip if you have a day at leisure in Christchurch?

Although there are many places, however, the top two locations will be Hanmer Springs and Akaroa.

6. What all can you do at the Auckland Sky Tower?

You can walk or take the lift to the different viewing platforms, varying in height, you can enjoy bungy jumping or a scrumptious meal at the sky tower restaurant.


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