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Travel in New Zealand

Best spots to backpack in New Zealand

Best spots to backpack in New Zealand

You want to see all of New Zealand but you don’t have 10 years to spend here? Here are a few things you don’t want to miss.

But really, take the time to stop, visit, meet people and wildlife, …

Take your time, you’ll love it…

From the mind blowing glow worm caves in Waitomo to the peaceful Emerald Lake on Mt Tongariro, or the thermal wonders of Rotorua, New Zealand’s North Island is a geological treasure.

The South Island is a real natural paradise, from the resident seals around the Abel Tasman National Park to the ever-moving Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, or Milford Sound, one of the most remote places in the country.

Check the list below for our favourite spots down here and email us yours! We may be nice enough to put your favourite on the map too 😉

Cape Reinga

See the top of the country, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.
If you are lucky you may even be able to see the blue and green water meet….

What to do?

  • Climb to the lookout point
  • Take the walkway to Te Paki Stream
  • Post a postcard from the mailbox at the top of New Zealand
  • On your way, stop to surf the sand dunes
  • Walk through numerous Kauri forest

Bay of Islands

Cruise between beautiful islands to discover whales and orcas… you could even swim with dolphins !

What to do?

  • Dive or snorkel in this iconic spot
  • Swim with one of the resident pods of dolphins
  • Sail through the islands and see the Hole in the Rock
  • Spend a night in Urupukapuka
  • Fish for your diner !


Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand. Spend at least one week-end over and immerse yourself in its nightlife.

What to do?

  • Go to the top of the cities Sky Tower
  • Have a night out on the Viaduct
  • Take the ferry to Waiheke Island
  • Spend the afternoon in the Auckland Domain & Museum
  • Go to see a rugby game


The Coromandel has a variety of beautiful beaches to visit including a hot water beach where you can dig your own Jacuzzi.

What to do?

  • Dig your own Jacuzzi on Hot Water Beach
  • Take the Pinnacle 3hr walk
  • Explore the Coromandel forest park
  • Kayak around remote islands, caves and bays
  • Eat seafood in Coromandel town

Waitomo Cave

Take a journey underground on a subterranean adventure and discover an underground labyrinth of limestone caves, formations and incredible glow worm formation. This is New Zealand’s most amazing caving adventure.

What to do?

  • Try the legendary black water rafting
  • Abseil (rappel) through a waterfall into the caves
  • Embark for a journey to the Glow Worms caves
  • Pay a visit to St Benedicts Caverns
  • Take the road to Hamilton for a quiet afternoon


If you are after a unique insight into New Zealand’s culture then Rotorua is the place to visit. It is also well known for its variety of extreme sports.

What to do?

  • Take part in a Maori experience in Te Puia village
  • Rafting on Kaituna River
  • Visit a geothermal centre
  • Drive to Lake Taupo
  • ZORB!


Do you like wine? No really, do you like wine?

What to do?

  • Visit the Eastwoodhill Homestead Garden
  • Walk the Tologa Bay wharf
  • Get a glass of wine with the locals
  • Hit the beach
  • Take the road to Napier

Tongariro National Park

The Tongariro Crossing offers one of the best hikes in the world, its breath taking surroundings were used in the movie “The Lord of the Ring”, come and check them out for yourself.

What to do?

  • Take on the 8hr Tongariro crossing
  • Take a picture in front of the Emerald Lakes
  • Hike the Lake Rotopounamu loop Track
  • Climb the Mt Ruapehu Crater
  • In Winter: Get ready to ski !


If you are after a taste of New Zealands culture, sophisticated nightlife, and great food then take a cruise to the beautiful South Island.

What to do?

  • Visit the Te Papa Museum
  • Take the Foxton Historic Walk
  • Take the Cable car to the Botanic Garden
  • Enjoy the night life and great food
  • Visit the “Wellywood” Weta Cave in Miramar

Abel Tasman National Park

Kayak with dolphins, hike from beach to beach, meet the locals, eat great food. What more could you want ?

What to do?

  • Kayak with the Dolphins
  • Take the boat to see the Seal colony
  • Take fun pictures in front of the rocky outcrops
  • Nap on a golden sandy beach
  • Try to see a Tui bird


Its famous waters provide an abundantly rich habitat for marine life making it an ideal place for getting close to nature.

What to do?

  • Go whale watching
  • Swim with the Dolphins
  • Learn how to Surf
  • Horse trek the Kowhai Gorge
  • Go fishing


The city offers one of the best museums in New Zealand and is really worth a walk around.
Drive to the coast and go to swim with the worlds smallest dolphins in Akaroa.

What to do?

  • Take a trip to the Lake Tekapo
  • Fly to visit Canterbury (plane, helicopter or even Hot Air Balloon)
  • Take part in a Maori tour by night
  • Spend a day touring the wineries
  • Have an afternoon tea at the Botanic Garden

Franz Josef and Fox Glacier

Whether you choose to hike or fly over the magnificent glaciers this is definitely an experience you will never forget.

What to do?

  • Take a guided hike through these amazing New Zealand features
  • Enjoy a scenic flight over the glacier country
  • Spend the night around the fire place in the pub
  • Enjoy the glacier hot pool in Franz Josef
  • Raft in Franz Josef


Albatross, Seals, Penguins, discover the best of Otago Peninsula in this small city.

What to do?

  • Get to one of the beaches on the coast (sandfly bay for example)
  • Visit the Speight’s Brewery
  • Take the steam train
  • Visit the Cathedral
  • At night, hit the pubs!

Milford Sound

An amazing and unforgettable drive to a natural paradise that is waiting to be discovered.

What to do?

  • Enjoy the scenic drive down
  • Cruise in the Fiordlands
  • Take a picture under the 1,200m waterfall
  • Visit the underwater observatory
  • For real adventure, hike the world famous Milford sound track


Ski and snowboard all day then party all night.

What to do?

  • Ski or snowboard in The Remarkables
  • Eat a Fergburger
  • Party like an animal
  • Have a quiet walk around the lake
  • Bungee jump!

Moeraki Boulders

One of the iconic New Zealand natural wonders, those gigantic boulders are a must see in New Zealand.

What to do?

  • Take a stupid picture with the boulders
  • Try to push a boulder
  • Get eaten by a boulder
  • Learn how the boulders were created
  • Take a another stupid picture with a boulder


Here lives the only colony of Blue Penguins in the world. After a day at sea fishing these Penguins come back to the city by night, do not miss it !

What to do?

  • Come to say “Hi” to the blue penguins colony
  • See the Opera House at night
  • Take a guided tour
  • Eat fish and chips
  • Spend some quality time in the hot tubs

Stewart Island

Visit the bottom of New Zealand, not a lot of people have been this close to the South Pole.

What to do?

  • Enjoy the scenic flight
  • Sea kayak
  • Take the time to rest at the beach
  • Choose one of the many great walks
  • Go to Ulva Island