Things to do in New Zealand
There are so many possible things to do in New Zealand that it's almost more about what you're going to have to leave out versus what you can include. The New Zealand sights are plentiful, whether you like snow-capped mountain ranges or golden sand beaches. The New Zealand attractions are just as plentiful, and there are more than enough to keep you busy during your visit. New Zealand tours are popular with tourists, and they can be both guided or non-guided. Whatever you think you might want to experience in New Zealand, there is probably a tour for it as New Zealand tours are just so darn numerous. There aren't many destinations in the world like New Zealand. Here, you can have it all and then some, or as the saying goes, "you can have your cake and eat it too." The following are suggestions for some of the most popular things to do in New Zealand, and hopefully you'll get to include one or more of them in your New Zealand vacation.
Visit the Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa
There are a bunch of great New Zealand museums to choose from, and if you had to pick a best, you'd probably have to go with the Museum of New Zealand -- Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. More commonly known just as the National Museum of New Zealand, this might just be one of the world's best museums. If you can, you should visit this museum before you do anything else in New Zealand, as it tells the entire tale of the country. Some of the best Maori artifacts on the face of the Earth can be found here, and overall, it's just a great place to explore.
Treat yourself to a Milford Sound cruise
You could do a million lists of things to do in New Zealand and include this experience every time, it's that magical. The Milford Sound is a coastal inlet that is found in New Zealand's Fiordland region, and the views here are enough to make you think about pushing your flight home back an extra day or year. Cruises on the Milford Sound afford some of the most amazing views of some of the best that the Fiordland region has to offer. Keep in mind that these can fill up fast during the peak season, so you might book ahead. For some of the best natural New Zealand sights, you can't beat this one.
Take a New Zealand Wine Tour
The New Zealand wines have been gaining international acclaim for years now, and there seems little reason to believe that the country won't continue on its route to establishing itself as one of the world's best wine-producing nations. There are nice New Zealand wineries found all over the country, with some of the best regions including the Auckland region, the Northland Region, and the Marlborough region. Since most of the best New Zealand wineries can be found near the coast, the surrounding views are often almost too much to bear. Wine tours are certainly among the more popular and easy to arrange New Zealand tours around.
Go Whale Watching in Kaikoura
Seeing whales surface off the coast of Kaikoura is one of those truly magnificent New Zealand sights. Kaikoura is about a 2 to 3 hour drive from Christchurch, and it's worth everything you can do to get down here to enjoy one of the whale watching tours. Like the wine tours, these are also some of the most popular New Zealand tours. You can observe orcas (killer whales), humpback whales, sperm whales, and even the occasional blue whale from either a boat or a helicopter, and it's not something you'll soon forget.
Attend the Pasifika Festival
There are tons of great New Zealand festivals and events that you can possibly enjoy during your visit, and the Pasifika Festival in Auckland is easily among the best. Talk about experiencing some of the most invigorating New Zealand sights, sounds, and smells. This rocking event spans two days, and it is held every year in March. Celebrating all things Polynesian, it's all about the culture, the music, and of course, the food. Should you be lucky enough to attend this bash, it's like going to the Polynesian islands without having to board a plane or boat. Brilliant!
Experience the Tamaki Maori Village
Probably the best place in New Zealand to experience Maori culture is Rotorua. Found on the North Island, Rotorua is known also for its geothermic activity, and not far off is Lake Taupo, where some of the best trout fishing in the world can be found. The Tamaki Maori Village is a re-creation of an ancient Maori Village, and it's been highly-praised for years. Award-winning, to be exact. Throw this one on your New Zealand tours list, and you'll surely thank yourself. You'll gain insight into Maori life both past and present, learn all about their myths and history, tour the village, and then take in an intriguing and impressive traditional performance. The culmination of the affair is what's known as a "hangi". A hangi is a traditional Maori meal where meat and vegetables are cooked underground with hot rocks.
Drop in on Kelly Tarltons Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World
The brainchild of the late, great explorer, diver, and treasure hunter, Kelly Tarlton, this is without question one of the top New Zealand attractions. Found on the waterfront in Auckland, this awesome place will dazzle visitors of all ages. At the Antarctic Encounter, you'll enter a frozen, underground world where real, live penguins actually live. At the Underwater World, thousands of gallons of marine-creature-infested water surround a clear tunnel from which guests can observe animals like sharks, eels, and stingrays swimming over and around them. It's pretty much like scuba diving without having to get wet.
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