Thanks to New Zealand’s remote location and relatively undeveloped infrastructure, this country remains a haven for any traveler looking to see a beautiful piece of the planet not yet molested by the hoards of tourists and rubbish. Perfect for all ages, families, and couples, New Zealand has something for everyone. Here are my Top 10 Reasons to Visit New Zealand.
This post has been sponsored by Trip Advisor, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
1. TURQUOISE LAKES
Before leaving for New Zealand someone asked me what I wanted to see most throughout our travels. Aside from the obvious answer (everything), I knew I wanted to see as much turquoise water as possible. Along with the rest of the world, I will never get enough of the beautiful bright blue and clear waters of glacial fed lakes. Here’s the thing- nearly all the water on the South Island of New Zealand will knock your socks off.
2. ROAD TRIPS
The best way to explore the South Island of New Zealand is by road. Second best would be by helicopter but you need to have some serious cash for that (we didn’t). Despite the sometimes extreme weather conditions and plenty of seismic activity, the roads are incredibly well marked, well maintained, and clear of rubbish. My advice? Rent a car or motorhome and hit the road. Travel at your own pace and stop at as many viewpoints as your little heart desires (there will be A LOT)!
3. EXTREME AND NOT SO EXTREME SPORTS
New Zealand is a mecca for anyone who loves to get their adrenaline pumping. From bungee jumping to paragliding, white water rafting to jet boating, there is an activity for anyone who loves to do crazy fun things.
While researching fun and exciting activities for my family to do on our trip, I initially felt extremely overwhelmed. I had no idea where to start. Do we book ahead of time or when we arrive? Will it be kid-friendly or a total disaster? Thanks to my friends at TripAdvisor I didn’t have to worry about any of that. Here’s why-
- TripAdvisor is not just about hotels and restaurants. TripAdvisor is the world’s largest provider of tours, activities, and attractions, with more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide.
- Reviews. REVIEWS! I love reviews, you guys, and I actually read them.
- Booking attractions after arriving can be tricky and risky. Plus, for those activities that are super popular, you can never predict if they will be sold out.
- This- “Low price guarantee- if you find a lower price for the same tour or activity within 72 hours of booking, or if you arrive in your destination and find your activity offered at a lower price by our operator, let us know. We’ll refund the price difference.”
I first picked the Waiatoto River Safari because it would allow us to see a part of New Zealand that is only accessible by boat (or two-day walk) and because I knew my 4-year-old would have the time of his life. While less extreme than I would have liked, it was definitely perfect for any family looking to enjoy New Zealand by boat.
I hadn’t initially considered kayaking as a feasible option when I first started planning our activities. My husband and I both LOVE kayaking, but kayaking for 2 hours with a 4-year-old who can’t swim? Perhaps not the best idea. Well parents, fear not!! After reading reviews and messaging Kayak Adventures through TripAdvisor, they assured me it would be no problem. When I asked if it would be possible for my son to sit in the same boat as one of the guides, they were happy to accommodate. The outcome was a fantastic two hours kayaking peacefully with my husband. My child was always in close range, with the most skilled person on the water, and, in my kid’s eyes, a total stranger (so hopefully someone he will actually listen to). It was a kayaking dream.
4. FRIENDLY LOCALS
More sheep than people? True. Bird paradise? True. Crazy Keas? The cheekiest avian creature on this planet.
5. OCEAN MEETS RAINFOREST MEETS GLACIER
Driving north from Haast to Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers I made one very impressive and notable observation. You could, technically speaking, walk from the ocean inland through dense, beautiful rainforest, and find yourself head-on with a glacier in less than 10 miles. You guys, it’s completely mind-boggling. So many different landscapes in a tiny space.
6. PHOTOGRAPHERS PARADISE
Until you’ve explored the South Island of New Zealand for yourself or New Zealand in general, there are no words for this amazingly beautiful country. Whether you’re a beginner or professional photographer, New Zealand welcomes all skill levels.
7. THE MOUNTAINS
The South Island of New Zealand is a paradise for anyone who loves the mountains. Trekking in the summertime or skiing in the winter, the mountains in New Zealand are a pretty big deal. They’re even more impressive when you remind yourself that these towering giants are on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
8. SWING BRIDGES
Who loves a good swing bridge? Everyone? Perfect because New Zealand is PACKED with swing bridges. So many, in fact, that I can’t think of one hike or trek that didn’t include one.
9. DELICIOUS EATS
The food in New Zealand is heavily meat-focused. You will find incredible meaty pies everywhere, quality coffee at the gas station, and gluten-free options are easier to find than not. New Zealand, however, is not the place for the traveler on a diet. Unless you plan to prepare your own meals, vegetables are not the majority when dining out.
10. LACK OF CROWDS
I feel like New Zealand is one of those places that I’ll look back on 10 years from now and think, Man! am I happy I visited before everyone figured out how awesome it is, too. So serious, though, I could not understand how New Zealand, at the peak of summer and peak tourism, did not have more people there! New Zealand is still relatively underdeveloped outside of bigger cities. It was a breath of fresh air. So, New Zealand, if you hear me, keep doin’ what you’re doin’ because you’re perfect just how you are.
Read more about my travels through New Zealand and why you should visit New Zealand right now.