Next year, I’m travelling to New Zealand! I know – yawn – loads of people before me have done the same thing. But did they pull together a list of things they want to do while they’re there and share it with you? No?! Well, good job I’m here then.
This is my living list of things I want to do in New Zealand.
First things first. Get a Stray bus pass. They’ve got loads of different options, but I’m looking to travel the whole country, so I’m going to go with the Max pass. It’s going to allow me to travel over most of the country and see some sights that I didn’t even know existed!
My pass will depart from Auckland, so before I go cavorting around the Islands, I’ll be checking out what it has to offer. As New Zealands largest city, there’s a lot to do there. I’m going to check out the Auckland Bridge Climb, and the SkyJump – which is essentially jumping from the top of a tall building. Although I want to try bungy jumping elsewhere, I feel like this is going to have a different quality to it because of the setting.
On a wetter note, there are two other things on the itinerary in Auckland. Whale and dolphin watching is something I’ve been waiting to do in the right place, and New Zealand feels like it. The other is the Adventure Jet. Who wouldn’t want to try out what is effectively a rollercoaster on water?
Next is something that has been on my bucket list for years! Waikato on the North Island is home to the Waitomo glow worm caves. The caves are an absolutely beautiful example of nature, and you can go on an adventure down in their depths. Abseiling and exploring while taking in the beauty of the caves sounds like a wonderful way to spend a few hours. Legend has it that Tom Cruise went four times!
Checking out Roturua for things like the Tamaki Maori Village is pretty high on the list too. I feel like it would be fascinating to be treated to a tour, cultural experience, and a traditional Maori feast! A friend told me about this some time ago, and it’s something that I definitely won’t forget to add my trip when I go.
I’m also going to visit the bizarre Wai-O-Tapu Thermal wonderland in Rotorua. According to Trip Advisor, it’s one of the top 20 mist surreal places, in part thanks to the Lady Knox Geyser that erupts everyday at 10.15am. There are coloured pools, including a bubbling mud pool, as well as steaming vents and volcanic craters.
After Rotorua, comes Taupo. Taupo is beautiful, and situated on Lake Taupo. For me, it’s the perfect place to tick off another bucket list item – skydiving! For some, it’s the ultimate adrenalin buzz, and for others it’s an absolute no-no. I had a look around, and I’ve found the perfect skydive for me – and it comes as a deal with a bungy jump and the Cliff Hanger Swing (where instead of plunging downwards, you sweep in an arc at speeds of up to 70kph!). Goal accomplished, I think.
Tongariro National Park is the next stop on my tour of New Zealand. For me, the Lord of the Rings Scenery, volcanoes, and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing would be good enough. It’s also home to some amazing white water rafting (with free hot Kai). I’ve never been rafting, unless you count bobbing sedately along on a raft made of inner tyres and bamboo in Thailand. To me, this looks like a good way to start in style!
If you want, you can go on the Stray bus pass without hopping off for any length of time. If that’s the case, you might feel that a free day on the South Island in Franz Josef is a welcome break. You could spend it hiking and exploring. Or, like me, you could rip around on quad bikes and take in the views that way.
Of course, we can’t forget the Queenstown! There’s a few things on the list for here, but the first one is to relax, and let my hair down with something else I’ve never tried – an ice bar! Minus 5 Ice Bar in Queenstown has a selection of cocktails and the whole place is decked out with ice sculptures – you’ll even receive your drink in a glass made of ice!
Once I’ve done that, I want to take in the views at Cromwell basin with a helicopter flight – and this one even has a snow landing on the mountain! I love being in the air, and the helicopter gives me the opportunity to be able to take in the scenery properly and really see what’s around me. Unlike the thrill of the skydive, I want to do this to experience a bit of tranquilty.
My Stray pass will also take me to places like Milford Sound, Stewarts Island, Mt Cook (New Zealands highest mountain), and Rangitata. I might even take a little detour here and there myself – as an example, there’s no chance I’m travelling New Zealand and missing out on visiting Hobbiton! Luckily, it’s pretty much in the middle of Rotorua and Auckland – so I’ll just “hop off” my bus pass for a little while and swing by to check it out on.
If you’ve got any suggestions for anything else I should really try out before I head off to visit the great NZ – let me know in the comments!