The Best & Worst Things to do in New Zealand
A guest post written by Luke Miller
New Zealand is a nation with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. As the home of several of the globe’s most stunning natural creations, the country draws in millions of tourists every year.
Much like anywhere though, there are a few spots which don’t quite live up to the hype. Here is an assortment of some of the best things to do in New Zealand and some attractions that can be skipped.
Best: Ohau Waterfall Walks and Seal Pups
Nature combined with cute animals – what more could anyone ask for? This attraction allows you the privilege of walking along a path of natural beauty, carved out by years of water erosion from the nearby Ohau Waterfall.
The fall itself is located just six minutes into the journey from the main starting point and culminates in a cascading stream of tranquillity.
As if that wasn’t good enough, the pool the water flows into is full of baby seals – who are all docile and friendly. Well worth the journey, with fun for all the family.
This one probably isn’t so bad if you’re a massive Lord of the Rings super fan, but for the casual tourist the Hobbiton houses aren’t that enthralling.
Sure, they’re nicely painted in all sorts of pretty colours. The flowers are well kept and the quaint touches like furniture and garden accessories add a touch of character. But, at the end of the day, they’re just unusually small houses in a field.
If you’re a Tolkienhead you probably won’t be as disappointed, but if not these are without question worth giving a miss in favour of other spots.
Best: Tongariro Crossing
It’s only fitting, and fair, that we follow up a LOTR destination to avoid – with one you should definitely visit.
The Tongariro Crossing was used as the location for Mordor and Mount Doom in the popular movie franchise, and while standing out as far more bleak than Hobbiton, actually offers a better day out.
Trek across the pass and soak in the amazing views of the famous volcano, as you traverse along a path of extreme natural majesty. While it’s less colourful than Hobbiton, it’s a good deal brighter and more vibrant than it appeared in the movies – when it represented the hub of all evil.
Worst: Avoid Christchurch
While a simple Google image search of the South Island’s largest city will turn out some rather attractive looking scenery, it’s worth skipping if you are pushed for time.
Christchurch pales in comparison to the likes of Auckland or Queenstown, with the city providing very little in the way of things to actually do.
I’m sure it’s a perfectly lovely place to live, but when it comes to a holiday the lack of hotspots makes it well worth avoiding – that is unless you’re looking for a chilled out day in a standard city (no offence, Christchurch inhabitants).
Best: Waitomo Glow-worm Caves
The Waitomo Caves are without question somewhere worth visiting, but the glow-worm cave in particular possesses a unique element that makes it an absolute must for tourists.
Unsurprisingly, as the name suggests, the series of caverns play host to thousands of mosquito-sized glow-worms – native to New Zealand alone. Travel both on foot and by boat through the caves, while millions of brightly coloured glow-worms twinkle above your head.
New Zealand is an amazing country with many beautiful places to see and things to do. If you only have limited time make sure you include some of the must-dos listed above!