New Zealand pretty much needs to be on your list if you’re at all an adventure sports enthusiast – or even if you’re just interested in trying them out. Bungee jumping, mountaineering, skydiving, paragliding, mountain biking, kayaking, canyoning, parachuting, caving, zip lining… Let’s just say that the list is endless when it comes to what outdoor activities you can get up to in this far-flung destination.
For many travelers, New Zealand is both a dream destination and a once-in-a-lifetime place to visit. If you’re planning your first trip to New Zealand, or if you’re planning a return trip to see more of this beautiful and wild country, you may want to know which places in New Zealand are at the top of the must-see list. Here are our picks for the 10 Best Places to Visit in New Zealand.
1. Cruise The Bay Of Islands
The only way to truly appreciate what the “Bay of Islands” has to offer is by hiring a sea kayak, joining a daily cruise or chartering a yacht and setting sail into this maritime adventure playground.
The “Bay of Islands” is a subtropical region known for its stunning beauty and abundance of marine wildlife (including whales, dolphins, penguins, marlin, gannets and more…).
With over 100 islands, bays and inlets to explore (each with their own unique character…) you’ll be enraptured and it’s not uncommon to have the shoreline and beach to yourself.
2. Milford Sound, New Zealand
Rudyard Kipling called Milford Sound the “eighth wonder of the world,”
and if you visit this region of New Zealand, you’ll see why. Formed by glaciers
during the Ice Age, the landscape around Milford Sound still bears evidence of
its creation in the form of epic scenery: Cliffs rise from fjords crowned by
mountains and waterfalls. The best way to see Milford Sound is via boat. Take a
sightseeing cruise on the fjord to see waterfalls and wildlife such as dolphins
and penguins. Or navigate the waters under your own steam on a kayaking tour.
Once you’ve experienced the water from the surface, go underneath with a visit
to the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory. This is the only
floating, underwater observatory in New Zealand, and visitors can go more than
30 feet deep (while staying dry) and get 360 degrees of the underwater
Where To Stay:
There are not a lot of places to stay close to the Sound, but if you’d rather not drive the three and a half hours from Queenstown, consider The Milford Sound Lodge. The lodge offers several packages for hiking and boat tours of the sound, and there really is no beating this spot in terms of access to the Sound.
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