New Zealand: Soft Adventure for Travelers
It is not a secret that New Zealand is a paradise for interesting landscapes and picturesque views, but it is also a top destination for travelers that like a little adventure, excitement and adrenaline! Here are some of our best suggestions for amazing experiences in New Zealand, listed geographically from North to South.
#1 Bay of Islands, North Island
Over 150 islands dot the coast of the Bay of Islands, actually created by the sea spreading over part of the river system. Enjoy a cruise or kayaking session, seeing local flora and fauna within the majestic landscape, or take the opportunity to swim with dolphins that inhabit the national maritime park.
#2 Rotorua, North Island
Rotorua is the center of the intense thermal activity in New Zealand. The city itself is situated on the shores of Lake Rotorua which offers excellent stream and lake fishing. Geysers, pools of boiling mud, crystal springs and hot mineral water and richly colored craters make Rotorua one of the world's great tourist attractions. While in the area, try boating or caving. Nearby is the Ruakuri Cave, an underground limestone cave adorned with stalagmites and stalactites. For serious adrenaline junkies, the latest craze is “Zorbing,” which involves rolling downhill in a large, inflated plastic ball.
#3 Waitomo Glowworm Caves, North Island
Unlike anything else in the world, the Waitomo limestone caves are famous for their unique species of glowworm, found only in New Zealand. Gaze at the illuminated worms while cruising on an underground river.
#4 Taupo Lake, North Island
Situated within the caldera of the Taupo Volcano, Taupo Lake is perfect for boating, which allows visitors to see the indigenous Maori carvings. While in the area, make sure to check out Huka Falls, upstream from the Lake. Try your hand at paddle boarding, trout fishing, sailing, kayaking or mountain biking.
#5 Abel Tasman National Park, South Island
With its sandy beaches, granite cliffs, forested hills and coastal hiking trails, Abel Tasman National park offers stunning hiking, kayaking and cruising options.
#6 Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier, South Island
For prime hiking trails (on and off the glaciers) and stunning mountain views, head to the small town of Franz Josef near the Mount Cook National Park. This rugged landscape is a winter paradise for skiers and snowboarders.
#7 Queenstown, South Island
Spend the day boating or jet skiing on Lake Wakatipu, the 3rd largest lake in the country and shaped like a lightning bolt, or stay on land for a refreshing hike, bicycle excursion or horse ride. For true adventure junkies, spend the afternoon zip lining or river rafting in the area. In the winter, enjoy snowshoeing or downhill adventures near the Southern Alps.