20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (2023)

So you've finished the books you got for Christmas and you're done with the beach.

Don't worry - there's plenty more to fill your days. We've scoured Aotearoa from top to bottom in search of the best new attractions and activities to add to your summer bucket list.

Pick up your bike in Waitangi

20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (1)

Paihia Mountain Bikes now offers private guided tours in the epic Waitangi Mountain Bike Park. You'll also learn about the history of the Bay of Islands as well as the Māori stories behind the trail names as you ride the trails on one of their comfortable electric mountain bikes. The four-hour tour costs $250 per person (minimum two people).

More information: paihiamountainbikes.co.nz

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Take a glass-bottom boat tour of the Bay of Islands

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Nemo the glass bottom boat joined the Xtreme Jet Bay of Islands fleet last summer and is back this season to take guests to Hole in the Rock. The two-hour boat ride costs $105 for adults and $69 for children, or $310 for families.

More information: xtremejetbayofislands.co.nz

Check out a rooftop in Auckland

20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (3)

Rooftop tours return to the Auckland Museum this summer, giving you the chance to learn about one of the city's most iconic historic buildings while enjoying views over Waitematā Harbour, Mount Eden and beyond. Tours last one hour and cost $30 per person.

You can also visit one of the city's new rooftops, such as Bar Albert on the 38th floor of theyour hotel– the highest rooftop bar in New Zealand – or Sunset on the top floor ofSudima Auckland City.

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More information: aucklandmuseum. com

Make room in Waikato

20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (4)

ÖWalk along the Te Awa Riveris now complete, with the final section of the 65km trail being completed last month. The trail meanders from Ngāruawāhia to Lake Karāpiro and follows the mighty Waikato River. It can be experienced on two wheels or two feet, with walkways, bridges, picnic areas and breathtaking views to enjoy along the way.

More information: te-awa.org.nz

Have a cultural experience at Mt. Maunganui

20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (5)

Mauao Adventures just launched a new tour from Mountain to Sea. The 4-hour experience includes paddling a waka ama (outrigger canoe) in Pilot Bay and a Mauao cultural walk led by Tangata Whenua, as well as visits to special ancestral sites. You will also get a snack. It costs $255 for adults, $195 for children.

More information: mauaoadventures.co.nz

Follow the Coastal Arts Trail on the west coast of the North Island

20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (6)

The Coastal Arts Trail is New Zealand's newest and largest arts experience, encompassing over 60 art galleries, museums and open studios in Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatū. From well-known institutions to hidden gems, there is something for everyone.

More information:coastartstrail.nz

Ande de Banananboot vom Lago Taupō

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Taupō Watersports launched a new boat tour this summer – a double banana boat with a capacity of 12 people. Your experienced captains will tow you along the scenic waterfront, making for a very "convincing" experience. A 15 minute ride costs $25 per person.

More information: taupowatersports.com

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Roteiro von Tairawhiti

20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (8)

State Highway 35 from Ōpotiki to Gisborne is an epic journey, and Tairāwhiti Gisborne just released an interactive map to make the most of it, showing all the must-see attractions, campgrounds, and pit stops (not to mention the cake stops) to check out a three-day itinerary.

More information: tairawhitigisborne.co.nz

Stop at a new cargo hold door in Hawke's Bay

20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (9)

Just 15 minutes from Hastings or Napier is Shed 530, Hawke's Bay's newest cellar door, offering its own wine and a select range of boutique gins, cocktails, soft drinks and plates to share, with live music on summer weekends.

More information:shed530.com

Enjoy among the sunflowers in Manawatū

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Nothing says summer like a field of sunflowers, and this spectacular sea of ​​gold is in Mangamaire, south of Pahīatua. From mid-January to mid-February there are weekend open houses where you can picnic and snap some photos, with pre-cut flowers available for purchase. Admission $8 (cash only), children under 12 free.

More information: sunflowerfield.co.nz

Make your own chocolate in Wellington

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The Wellington Chocolate Factory has expanded to a second location in town, not far from Te Papa, where they sell their chocolate bars and serve their famous hot chocolates - and creamy ice cream for the hottest of days. At this location you can also book the Chocolatier Experience, where you can make three of your own chocolate bars. This experience costs $60 per person.

More information: shop.wcf.co.nz

Board a new ship in Abel Tasman National Park

20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (12)

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This summer, Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures is launching its new day sailing catamaran, ideal for sightseeing in Abel Tasman National Park. Dubbed the "Power of Two," the catamaran features an open observation deck and plenty of covered seating, with room for 40 people on board. As a sailboat, it's one of the most peaceful ways to discover the national park. Various tours possible.

More information: sailadventures.co.nz

Visit a converted cellar in Marlborough

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Cloudy Bay is one of Marlborough's most famous wineries and its impressive cellar has just undergone a major refurbishment. During the summer months, dine on plates from Jack's Raw Bar - fresh oysters and clams from Cloudy Bay make it a seafood lover's paradise.

More information: cloudybay.com

Humming through the trees on the west coast

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A double zip line is now on sale atin Hokitika. At a height of 45 m and a length of 425 m, you will soar through the Rimu treetops and reach speeds of over 60 km/h. Admission to the Treetop Walk and Zipline is $105 for adults, $85 for children, or $350 for families.

More information:treetopsnz.com

Stay in a New Christchurch Vineyard Hideaway

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Tussock Hill-WeinbergLocated on the slopes of the Port Hills, just a short drive from town, offers snacks and lunch with spectacular views. You can also stay in one of the two new vineyard retreats set amongst the vineyards.

More information:tussockhill.co.nz

Look at the sky at Akaroa

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Akaroa Stargazing is the Banks Peninsula's newest dark sky experience at Akaroa Heritage Park. Private and group tours are available, using binoculars, a telescope and the naked eye to spot some outstanding sights. It costs $70 for adults, $35 for children for a group tour, or $220 for a minimum of two adults for a private tour ($90 per additional participant). They're also launching a new 30-minute day tour where you can safely observe the sun through a solar telescope — it's $20 for adults, $10 for kids.

More information: akarostargazing.com

Get the royal treatment in Queenstown

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Queenstown's legendary Bathhouse Lakefront Restaurant has reopened, now under the helm of celebrity chef and restaurateur Ben Bayly. The menu is described as 'nostalgic British meets modern New Zealand', a nod to the fact that the building was built to commemorate the coronation of King George V in 1911 – think scotch eggs and knickers.

More information: spa.co.nz

Satisfy your need for speed in Cromwell

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Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwellhas an exciting new experience – the Taycan Takeoff, where a professional driver will take you from zero to 100 in 2.4 seconds in the first all-electric Porsche. It costs $129 ($25 per additional passenger, lasts up to three).

More information: highlands.co.nz

Treat yourself to a sweet treat in Dunedin

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Ōtepoti is the place to indulge yourself this summer. The city is now home to New Zealand's second Cookie Time Cookie Bar (the other is in Queenstown) where you can enjoy their legendary cookies and signature shakes. Be sure to check out the new restaurant as well- They already have a food truck and a spoon shop and now they have a place on George Street where you can sit and enjoy burgers, smoothies and desserts.

More information: cookiebar.co.nzepattisandcream.co

Stay and dine in Invercargill

20 of the best new things to do in New Zealand this summer (20)

Our southernmost city has a new hotel, The Langlands, with 78 rooms and suites. It's also a foodie's one-stop shop, with five restaurants and bars -- including a rooftop bar perfect for enjoying nighttime sunsets in summer.

(Video) Top 10 Things to do in Queenstown 2023 | New Zealand Travel Guide

More information: thelanglands.co.nz


What do people do in New Zealand? ›

If you're after New Zealand's famous adventure activities and extreme sports, you can choose from bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving or zip lining. Or relax and take it easy at beautiful hot pools, cultural attractions and art galleries.

What is so special about New Zealand? ›

New Zealand is one of the most gorgeous countries on earth, and even with its modest size, it packs a lot of history, culture, and attractions for us to experience. New Zealand is known for its stunning national parks, dynamic Māori culture, incredible hiking trails, and world-class skiing and surfing.

What is the number 1 attraction in New Zealand? ›

1. Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound, South Island. A World Heritage Site, Fiordland National Park protects some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Glaciers sculpted this dramatic landscape, carving the famous fjords of Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful Sounds.

What is good about life in New Zealand? ›

The greatest benefits of living in New Zealand are the sunny weather, the diverse natural landscape, and the stress-free lifestyle. The following list will break down the rest of the pros and cons of living in the land of the Kiwis.

What are the most popular hobbies in New Zealand? ›

New Zealanders often blur the boundaries when it comes to leisure activities around the home. Favourites include gardening, sewing and home maintenance. Meanwhile popular pastimes such as watching TV and socialising are almost always just for fun.

What is New Zealand like in July? ›

July is mid-winter in New Zealand, which means cool and damp in most of the north, and cold, damp or snowy in the south. It's not peak season unless you're into skiing, and then you're in luck.

What is the most popular culture in New Zealand? ›

Māori culture is a very central part of life here and this includes Māori food, language, and customs. Even if you're just living here for a short time, it's important that you know, understand and respect Māori customs and how to interact in Māori culture.

How do you say hello in New Zealand? ›

Kia ora can be used to say hello, express gratitude, send love and make a connection. Kia ora is a warm and welcoming greeting you'll hear throughout New Zealand and comes from the indigenous Māori language.

What kind of souvenirs to buy from New Zealand to bring back home? ›

Let's see what to buy in New Zealand and which are the most essential typical products to take home with you as a souvenir or gift.
  • Māori handicrafts. ...
  • Pounamu, jade jewellery. ...
  • Paua, sea snail shells. ...
  • Woollen clothing. ...
  • Clothing from prestigious designers. ...
  • Tuatara coffee. ...
  • Manuka Honey. ...
  • New Zealand Chocolate.

Which fruit is famous in New Zealand? ›

The kiwifruit is perhaps the most famous New Zealand fruit. Also known as the Chinese gooseberry or simply the kiwi, it has a brown fuzzy skin with green or yellow flesh inside.

What should I not miss in New Zealand? ›

New Zealand must-do experiences
  • Jet-boating on the Dart River, Queenstown. By Chris Sisarich.
  • Wine-tasting on Waiheke Island, Auckland. By Camilla Rutherford.
  • Te Puia, Rotorua. ...
  • Milford Sound, Fiordland. ...
  • Te Puia, Rotorua. ...
  • Hobbiton, Waikato. ...
  • Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast. ...
  • Bay of Islands, Northland, Northland & Bay of Islands.

What part of the US is most like New Zealand? ›

At 268,021 km sq, Colorado has almost exactly the same land mass as New Zealand - and that's not the only similarity. Like Aotearoa, the US state's main drawcard for tourists is that it's home to keen adventurers and some of the world's most diverse, beautiful scenery.

How much money do I need for 2 weeks in New Zealand? ›

So how much does it cost to go to New Zealand? For a two week itinerary, you can expect to pay about $4,070 per person. This is a pretty significant amount of money to spend on a vacation.

What is the most popular snack in New Zealand? ›

1: Hokey Pokey Icecream. It's not a slice but you can't write a list of NZ treats without mentioning the much loved Hokey Pokey ice cream. Hokey Pokey is vanilla ice cream with a bucketload of honeycomb toffee bits throughout.

What does New Zealand eat for breakfast? ›

A typical New Zealand breakfast is simple. Kiwis start off with cereal and toast accompanied by a cup of coffee, tea, freshly made orange juice, or local milk. Unlike Americans, cooked breakfast is not very common except during the weekends.

What food is only in New Zealand? ›

Nevertheless, New Zealand is quickly becoming a foodie destination for those in the known, with lots of unique local flavours and an emerging dining scene.
New Zealand Foods You Can't Find Anywhere Else in the World
  • Seafood. ...
  • Hāngi. ...
  • Hokey Pokey Ice Cream. ...
  • Kiwiburger. ...
  • Lamb. ...
  • Manuka Honey. ...
  • Feijoa. ...
  • Pāua.
Mar 29, 2020

What do you call a person born in New Zealand? ›

Why are New Zealanders called Kiwis? The name 'kiwi' comes from the curious little flightless bird that is unique to New Zealand.

How do you say morning in New Zealand? ›

Morena- (Good) morning! Nau mai - Welcome! Come!

How do New Zealanders say Z? ›

While I am all for quarters over semesters, the one great thing is the mid-semester break.

What is the most used word in New Zealand? ›

Sweet as- “This road trip is sweet as” This phrase is probably the most common NZ slang phrase.

What is found in New Zealand only? ›

Unique New Zealand wildlife
  • The North Island Brown Kiwi.
  • Common skink.
  • Chevron skink.
  • Hector's dolphin.
  • Takahē
  • Tuatara.
  • New Zealand Sea Lions.

Can Americans retire in New Zealand? ›

You can stay for up to 2 years on a Vistor Visa if you are over 66 years old and have NZD $750,000 to invest in New Zealand. You also need an additional NZD $500,000 to live on and an annual income of NZD $60,000 or more.

How long can an American stay in NZ? ›

Generally, the maximum stay holding a Visitor Visa is 9 months. We usually only allow visitors to stay for 9 months in an 18-month period. To work this out, we look at the last day that you intend to be in New Zealand (e.g. 1 July 2020) and count back 18 months from there (e.g. 1 January 2019).

Can a US citizen move to New Zealand? ›

If you are interested in moving to New Zealand, or to come here to work for a while, there are different visa options you can consider. if you're aged 18-30, a working holiday visas can give you up to 23 months in New Zealand. work visas let you live and work here for a set period and some can lead to residence.

What 3 hobbies do you need? ›

But you should ensure that you are able to keep hobbies that will help you to continually grow throughout your life in terms of money, being in shape and creativity.
These 3 hobbies were:
  • One to make you money.
  • One to keep you in shape.
  • One to stay creative.

What leisure activities are popular in New Zealand? ›

Here are the top ten outdoor activities to enjoy when you visit New Zealand.
  • Cycling. One of the best ways to explore New Zealand's spectacular scenery is on a bicycle. ...
  • White Water Rafting. ...
  • Canoeing. ...
  • Ice Climbing. ...
  • Bungy Jumping. ...
  • Zorbing. ...
  • Hiking.
Dec 8, 2017

What clothes to wear in New Zealand in summer? ›

T shirts and linen shirts, shorts, light jeans and summer dresses: Summer in New Zealand calls for casual cuts that won't cling to you as the weather warms up. Sandals/Thongs: Down here we call them “jandals”! Perfect for beach days or lounging round the pool.

What is the cheapest time to go to New Zealand? ›

High and low season in New Zealand

The low season (June–Oct) is the cheapest time to travel, however prices remain high at resort towns with ski fields. In other areas some attractions will be closed, though most major attractions remain open year-round.

What is summer like in New Zealand? ›

New Zealand's summer months are December to February, bringing high temperatures and sunshine. Days are long and sunny, nights are mild. Summer is an excellent time for walking in the bush and a variety of other outdoor activities.

Are New Zealand people friendly? ›

New Zealanders (also known as Kiwis) are often viewed as being friendly, inventive, outgoing and welcoming people. They are generally calm and may initially seem slightly more reserved and polite in comparison to other English-speakers. However, their culture is still highly informal and relaxed.

What is disrespectful in Māori culture? ›

This formal custom is very important and taken seriously by Māori. It is highly disrespectful to eat, drink or talk amongst others during the welcome.

What is the traditional clothing in New Zealand? ›

New Zealand does not have a specific national dress. Customary Māori clothing is the only form of dress that is distinctive to New Zealand. Kahu (cloaks) give significant mana and honour to official occasions, such as royal tours and state funerals.

What are the 3 main exports for New Zealand? ›

Exports The top exports of New Zealand are Concentrated Milk ($5.92B), Sheep and Goat Meat ($2.57B), Frozen Bovine Meat ($2.1B), Rough Wood ($2.05B), and Butter ($1.89B), exporting mostly to China ($10.9B), Australia ($5.17B), United States ($4.35B), Japan ($2.34B), and South Korea ($1.12B).

What is the most popular tradition in New Zealand? ›

On the sixth of February, Waitangi Day takes place, undoubtedly one of the most important events in New Zealand, as it is the National Holiday. During the celebrations, speeches are held in the different Kiwi communities. Ceremonies and traditional dance and song events are also organised.

Is New Zealand a rich or Poor country? ›

The economy of New Zealand is a highly developed free-market economy. It is the 51st-largest national economy in the world when measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and the 63rd-largest in the world when measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).

What is the main product of New Zealand? ›

The foundation of New Zealand's economy is the export of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, meat, forest products, fruit and vegetables, and wine. Dairy is the lead export commodity – in 2021 New Zealand dairy exports totaled approximately US$12 billion.

What are the top products from New Zealand? ›

New Zealand exports more dairy products, lamb and venison than any other country, and is among the leading exporters of beef, kiwifruit, apples and seafood.

What is the main predator in New Zealand? ›

With no land predators, except for birds of prey, birds in New Zealand evolved into a mix of flightless birds and melodic forest birds. As a result, you may find that many birds in New Zealand are likely to come to check you out when hiking in the forests as they don't see you as a threat.


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4. 12 Best Places To Travel In South Island New Zealand | New Zealand Travel Guide
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5. 20 "normal" New Zealand things that shocked me! Americans living in New Zealand.
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