10 New Zealand Destinations for Outdoor Adventure

New Zealand is one of the greatest destinations for lovers of the great outdoors and there is an activity suitable for everyone.

From surfing to skiing and everything in between, New Zealand offers gentle adventures suitable for the whole family and plenty for lovers of extreme sport.

Great Barrier Island

Great Barrier Island is the fourth largest of New Zealand’s islands and this mountainous landmass is the last stop on the outer edge of the Haruki Gulf before the seemingly endless blue of the Pacific Ocean.

Ninety kilometres from downtown Auckland, it’s off the electricity grid and boasts stunning beaches and lagoons.

Surfing in Raglan

Raglan’s Manu Bay was featured in the 1966 seminal surf movie Endless Summer and it’s easy to see why – it’s well known for possessing the longest left-hand break in the world and a particularly good wave can carry a surfer up to two kilometres.

Pair this with the riveting main street complete with fantastic bars, restaurants, and top-notch accommodation and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Maruia Springs

Maruia Springs - New Zealand Destinations

Heading off inland along Lewis Pass, down to the east coast of the South Island, will lead you to the breath-taking Southern Alps and the Hanmer Springs spa village.

However, if you drive further west to the smaller and less tourist dense Maruia Springs, you will encounter an idyllic setting with thermal mineral pools.

Queenstown

You can’t afford to skip Queenstown during your tour of New Zealand, as tourists visit this alpine town on the shores of Lake Wakatipu for skiing in the colder months (mid-June to mid-September) and stunning beauty all year round.

If you’re looking for indoor fun, SkyCity Casino Queenstown offers plenty of thrills, but if online casino fun is more your vibe, you can always enjoy online blackjack Canada as online casinos are completely legal in New Zealand – as long as they operate offshore!

Beaches of Auckland’s West Coast

The beaches of Karekare, Muriwai, Piha, and Bethell are all within easy driving distance of Auckland’s city centre, separated by the misty cliffs of the Waitakere Ranges.

Expect big beaches with black volcanic sand, big rocks, and big surf.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is without a doubt New Zealand’s top tourist destination.

Situated in the Fiorland National Park, the slim sea entrance hides a breath-taking wonder: pristine interior bays flanked by sheer rock faces rising to over 1200 metres, waterfalls, and rainforests. Penguins, dolphins, and whales visit these waters.

Milford Track

The Milford Sound is also the end point of the incredible 53-kilometer Milford Track, beginning at the head of Lake Te Anau, which can only be reached by ferry or by climbing Dore Pass from the Milford Sound road.

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park, a World Heritage Site, contains three major peaks: Tongariro, Ruapeha and Ngauruhoe.

Tongariro National Park - New Zealand Destinations

Highly popular amongst hikers, its famous track – the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – passes through volcanic terrain, much of which is still active.

Rotorua Geothermal Zone

An enjoyable three hours’ drive from Auckland, Rotorua is New Zealand’s primary geothermal destination, boasting a variety of geysers, hot springs, and Maori cultural attractions.

The Polynesia Spa is often voted one of the top 10 spas around the world and offers alkaline rock pool bathing in a variety of temperatures.

Franz Josef Glacier

Situated in the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, the 12-kilometre long Franz Josef Glacier is one of the fastest flowing glaciers in the world.

The glacier is unique in that it flows from the peaks of the Southern Alps to a rain forest growing at just 300 meters above sea level.