You’ll shortly be visiting New Zealand and I bet you’re feeling pretty excited! The country is both varied and beautiful so you won’t be short of things to see and do on your trip. Many people simply arrive here and figure out what to do when they land, but I’d advise you to do a bit of research first so you don’t miss out on something spectacular. After all, New Zealand is known as an adventurer's paradise as there are so many thrilling activities to keep you on your toes; you might need to book some of these ahead of time due to popular demand. If I was in your shoes, here are the five things that I’d want to do on a short trip to New Zealand:
Go to Auckland Zoo
Many international flights land in Auckland, so this is a good place as any to start your trip. It’s an amazing city with some equally impressive attractions. Even though I’m a local I still love to head to Auckland Zoo, home to the largest collection of native and exotic animals in the country. This could be a perfect solution for you if you only have a limited amount of time to explore; you’ll get to see native birds, penguins and seals as well as many Aussie friends such as the wallaby and emu.
Head to Queenstown for adventures
If you’ve got more time to explore, look into Auckland car hire and drive to the south island (you’ll need to get a ferry for the crossing). Head to Queenstown for an adrenaline pumping couple of days - in the winter this is perfect skiing territory, but in the summer you’ll enjoy white water rafting, mountain biking and hot springs; it’s well worth the journey.
See the mountains
Many other people stay in Christchurch for the duration of their trip, and it makes a pretty good base for further exploration. Board a train to Greymouth and you’ll see the most amazing views as you climb into the mountains through Arthur’s Pass. Get off here and you’ll be able to go snowboarding in the winter, or hiking in the summer. It’s an alpine wonderland.
Spot a whale in the wild
If you’re able to hire a car in Christchurch, it’s worth driving north for a couple of hours to Kaikoura where you’ll be able to go on a whale watching excursion. Common sightings include sperm whales and orca whales, so cross your fingers that it’ll be your lucky day. You’ll still see some amazing wildlife though, anything from seals and dolphins to the royal albatross.
Taste the wine
Lastly, it would be a shame if you didn’t have a hands-on experience with our wines. Bottles of our pinot noir and chardonnay are distributed throughout the world, but you’ll be able to visit the wineries where they’re produced for a few sneaky samples. Again, you’ll be able to head here from Christchurch but just make sure you elect a designated driver, or find somewhere to spend the night!