There’s the touristy stuff like bungy jumping in Queenstown or whale watching in Kaikoura (which are both fantastic, by the way), and then there’s the other stuff that many people may not know about. Here’s a list of suggestions (by no means exhaustive) of off-the-beaten-track things to do in NZ:
- Camp at the Kohaihai DOC (Department of Conservation) campsite at the far northern end of the West Coast Road in Kahurangi National Park at the top of the South Island. Incredible camp site and you can walk the end of the Heaphy Track if you so desire! Lots of sandflies – beware!
- Explore the Oparara Basin caves – absolutely wicked caves with rivers stained with tannins running through the forest. Be careful on the access road though, it says no campervans – it means no campervans. Very narrow, steep and winding road.
- Skim stones at the Blue Pools at Makarora, near Haast Pass.
- Camp at the DOC campsite at Spirit’s Bay, Northland. Crystal clear warm ocean to swim and a perfectly located campsite, and no houses in sight.
- Hire a bike and cycle around the vineyards near Hastings, Hawke‘s Bay. There’s a cycle path so you don’t have to use the road most of the time! That’s a good thing after a few wines…
- Drive up to the top of Te Mata Peak, near Havelock North in the Hawke’s Bay, at night time.
- Go freedom camping at Te Arai Point.
- Head to Clevedon Farmer’s Market, about half an hour southeast of Auckland city, for delicious locally-grown food.
- Go on a road trip around the East Cape, from Tauranga to Napier.
Most of all, enjoy kiwi-land and all it has to offer!