So many activities to do in New Zealand, so little time!

If you’re planning a holiday in New Zealand and you’d like to take a more independent route- for example, a hop on-hop off tour or a road trip- you may be at a loss of what activities you’d like to experience. There are so many activities to do in New Zealand, where to start?

To solve that problem for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top 8 must-do’s in New Zealand that are available for you to easily add on to your trip, straight from us here at Real Kiwi Adventures.

L161 Milford Sound Fiordland Rob Suisted 2
MILFORD SOUND SCENIC CRUISES – with Southern Discoveries

Milford Sound is arguably one of New Zealand’s most beautiful sights to see. The lush greenery of the hillsides contrast magnificently against the sparkling, bluer-than-blue water, making a spectacular opportunity for photographs. Observe some of the most untouched parts of nature, watch as waterfalls spill over cliff edges, and keep an eye out for the thriving underwater life that lies below. And what better way to do all of this than aboard one of Southern Discoveries’ scenic cruises? Having run for over 50 years, Southern Discoveries know Milford Sound inside-out, so they are able to show you the real hidden gems of the fjord. They are also passionate about preserving the flora and fauna at Milford Sound, so you can be sure you are doing no harm participating in this nature adventure. So sit back and relax, or get up close on the outside viewing decks of one of the spacious catamarans - either way, you’re in for the cruise of a lifetime!


MC137 Te Puia Rotorua Bob McCree2
DINNER AND CULTURAL SHOW – with Tamaki Maori Village

Get in touch with true Maori culture, with dinner and a cultural show by Tamaki Maori Village. Experience a traditional welcome, and then venture on to an interactive tour where you can explore the traditional Maori way of life, including warrior training, learning the Haka, and observing the art of wood carving, just to name a few! Following is a traditional buffet, including delicious New Zealand desserts, with a closing ceremony to end the night. The Tamaki Maori Village team will cover all you need for a fantastic night, with their priority being for you to enjoy the most authentic Maori culture, history and stories, in the most revolutionary ways possible.



Explore the stunning Milford Sound from the air and the water, with a glacier flight and cruise! You begin with a scenic flight over the mountainous and lush green land of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks Over remarkable glaciers and an ice plateau. Over breathtaking rainforest, alpine lakes and waterfalls. You will also be able to observe the full length of Milford Sound from above before landing to board your cruise, for a more up-close exploration. This adventure is brought to you by Southern Alps Air, who have (as of this year!) 30 years of experience under their belt. Being another environmentally-conscious company, you can be sure no damage is being done to the land- so sit back and relax on your comfortable flight and cruise, and take in your beautiful surroundings.


MC77 Rotorua Rotorua James Heremaia

Kaitiaki Adventures embrace four main Maori concepts as the backbone of their operation- in English they roughly translate to hospitality, guardianship and protection, kinship and a sense of connection, and prestige, power and charisma. So if you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, or not one at all, you can be sure you’re in safe hands when you’re white water rafting with these guys! Take on the exciting Kaituna River- with its 14 rapids and 3 waterfalls, it’s appropriate for beginners or enthusiasts. Tutea Falls is one of the three, and is world-renowned for being ‘the Highest Commercially Rafted Waterfall in the World!’ There are also touches of Maori culture brought into the experience, so you are really getting the whole package with this activity.


AD52 Shotover River Queenstown Shotover Jet2

The Shotover Jet experience is one of the most popular activities in New Zealand- and for good reason. You can sit back and relax (well, for the most part!) as your experienced Shotover Jet driver does all the work, winding you through rocky canyons and over crystal clear rivers, whilst you observe the amazing scenery from a different angle- just hold on tight! Shotover Jet has been thrilling people with their top-tier jet boats and first-class driving skills since 1965, so there’s no one better to take you on this adventure. And where better to experience it than beautiful Queenstown!


L618 Haihei Coromandel Adam Bryce

There’s nothing more invigorating than hiking along the beach, as you breathe in the salty air and listen to the waves crashing rhythmically against the shore. Pair that with being surrounded by beautiful trees and a spectacular ocean view awaiting at the top, and you have the Coromandel Coastal Walkway Tour. This moderate-level hike gets you up close and personal with nature on the way to the lookout, where you will then be rewarded with a view of vibrant ocean, coastal cliff tops and Barrier Island. The way down sees you make your way through stunning coastal farmland to Fletcher Bay, where refreshments will be waiting to cool you down (or warm you up- weather dependent!). Your knowledgeable Coromandel Adventures guide will also accompany you the whole way, providing you with exceptional information about the surrounding land.


1000 Shotover Canyon Queenstown Shoeover Canyon Swing
KAWARAU HALF DAY CANYON – Canyoning New Zealand

Now, here is one activity that isn’t for the faint-hearted. Canyoning consists of jumping feet first into canyon streams, and going on the ride of your life! Canyoning New Zealand’s Kawarau Half Day Canyon trip is a level one, making it safe for ages ten and up- so it can really be a day for the whole family, or perfect if you’re an independent beginner. As you’re busy making your way down Kawarau Canyon, be sure to look around every now and again, as you’ll be surrounded some wondrous views too. The trips are fully guided, with experienced professionals making your safety their top priority every step of the way. Don’t feel comfortable doing one of the jumps? No worries! The crew are able to lower you down. The team at Canyoning New Zealand want you to have the best experience possible, and make sure that you’re confident in everything that you do.


AD309 Abel Tasman National Park Nelson Ian Trafford
FULL DAY SAILING TOUR – Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures

Quite the contrary to the last activity on our list, this is probably one of the most relaxing of them all! Your day with Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures is a day to chill out your boat, go for a swim, explore some beaches and lounge in the sun. Sound okay? On this particular day trip, you depart from Kaiteriteri to begin your sail through the Abel Tasman National Park. You’ll visit Split Apple Rock and the Fur Seal Colony, and pull up on Anchorage Beach for some lunch and optional cave exploring! Everyone within the Sailing Adventures team shares a passion for sailing and the environment, and their strong knowledge on both of these topics ensures you’ll be having the best experience possible.


To check out more options for travel in New Zealand and the latest specials click here.

Written for us at Real Kiwi Adventures by the well travelled Loren Hillier

Tours to get you there

Scenic Tour and Jet Boat

Journey into a land of outstanding natural beauty rich in gold mining history and experience an exclusive tour or Winky’s Museum and the Sainsbury Gold Claim plus the jet boat ride.