New Zealand Bucket List: Have You Been Everywhere?

With so many scenic, historical and cultural landmarks in our own backyard, New Zealand is brimming with amazing places to visit. From geothermal wonderlands, bike trails and regional parks to whale-watching, kayaking and picturesque star-gazing spots, there is so much for your family to see and do – it’s a very full bucket list!

If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend or for your next family holiday, why not head out to somewhere you’ve never explored before and start ticking off some of these must-do experiences. See how many you can tick off and be inspired for where to go and what to do next.

Cape Reinga

North Island bucket list

  • Pose for a photo under the signpost at Cape Reinga in Northland

  • Slide down sand dunes at Te Paki on Ninety Mile Beach

  • Stand under the mighty Tāne Mahuta in Waipoua Forest, Hokianga

  • See the Hole in the Rock in the Bay of Islands

  • Check out the view from SkyTower in Auckland

  • Watch the penguins play at SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s, Auckland

  • Walk up the Mt Eden volcanic cone in Auckland

  • Dig your own hot pool at Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel

  • Be ‘world famous’ and take a snap with the giant L&P botttle in Paeroa

  • Dine at the Green Dragon Inn at Hobbiton Movie Set

  • Float under a glowing sky at Waitomo Glowworm Caves

  • Walk to the summit of Mauao (Mount Maunganui)

  • View the Inferno Crater at Waimangu Volcanic Valley near Rotorua

  • Watch the sun set in a mineral hot pool at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa

  • Walk the length of the wharf at Tolaga Bay near Gisborne

  • Ride the natural waterslide at Rere Rockslide near Gisborne

  • See a kiwi at the Otorohanga Kiwi House

  • Hear the thunder of Huka Falls near Taupō

  • Take in an art deco tour of Napier from a vintage car

  • Watch hang gliders from Te Mata Peak near Hastings

  • Get your photo taken with the Ohakune carrot

  • Ski, snowboard or sled at Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu

  • See the Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth

  • Ride a paddle-steamer on the Whanganui River

  • Test your rugby skills at the New Zealand Rugby Museum in Palmerston North

  • Climb the 250 steps to Cape Palliser lighthouse in the Wairarapa

  • Ride the Wellington Cable Car

  • See the harbour view from Mt Victoria, Wellington

  • Take a Weta Workshop Tour in Wellington

  • Cross the Cook Strait by ferry


South Island bucket list

  • Kayak in Abel Tasman National Park

  • See amazing aircraft displays at Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre in Blenheim

  • See the blowholes in action at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks on the West Coast

  • Ride the waterslides at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa

  • Go whale watching in Kaikōura
  • Zoom down the Zipline at Christchurch Adventure Park

  • Ride the tram in Christchurch

  • Go punting on the Avon River in Christchurch

  • Walk on a glacier at Franz Josef or Fox Glacier

  • Dine at The Hermitage with views of Aoraki Mount Cook

  • Gaze into the Blue Pools from a swingbridge in the Haast Pass

  • Go stargazing in the Dark Sky Reserve at Lake Tekapo

  • Take a photo on the Moeraki Boulders near Oamaru

  • Complete the Puzzling World maze in Wānaka

  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw in Queenstown

  • Ride the luge track from Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola

  • Take a jet boat ride on Queenstown’s Shotover River

  • Have your photo taken at Glenorchy wharf

  • See the amazing Glenorchy scenery from horseback

  • Cycle the Otago Central Rail Trail

  • Spot dolphins, seals and penguins on a cruise through Milford Sound

  • Explore Larnach Castle in Dunedin

  • Walk up Dunedin’s Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world

  • Go chasing waterfalls in the Caitlins

  • See Aurora Australis in Southland

  • Eat freshly caught oysters in Bluff

  • Visit Stewart Island

her world julieWritten by Julie Scanlon

Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire. 

Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”

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