The only challenge with arranging a visit to New Zealand is quite simply that there is so much to see and do that you’ll not quite know how to fit it all in. You are literary spoilt for choice!!
Don’t fret – you’ve come to the right place. Our aim at Service Travel is to provide you with as much info and choice as possible so that you will depart New Zealand with an experience of a lifetime.
We are locals. We are locally owned and use our extensive local knowledge to ensure you are provided with the very best travel experiences available in our amazing country. Our team of Vacation New Zealand specialists are professionally trained and certified.
We are an official trade member of Tourism New Zealand which allows us to provide you with the best researched, best priced and most enjoyable New Zealand experiences available. You will find plenty of sightseeing and tour options, special places of interest, the top picks for 2016 and amazing accommodation deals.
In partnership with our key sightseeing and accommodation providers you are guaranteed an extensive array of product and savings.
Following are some ‘must do’ activities and sightseeing options while vacationing in New Zealand.
While in the Bay of Islands, be sure to include the Hole in the Rock and Dolphin cruise, Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile beach, and Kauri Cliffs Golf Club and Lodge.
Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, offers a vast array of on land and water based activities. Highlights include the Sky Tower, Waiheke Island, cultural and heritage tours, harbour cruises and wildlife encounters. Be sure to also include Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, various wineries in the Matakana and Kumeu area’s, walking, hiking and mountain biking through out the region, Rangitoto Island, Goat Island Marine Reserve and various water activities including sailing an America’s Cup yacht, a kayaking adventure to one of the many nearby islands or maybe joining a fishing charter from downtown Auckland. The large number of beaches within the Auckland region offer hire equipment for windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddle boards, kayaks and bikes. At some beaches you will also find para sailing and water skiing.
Hamilton and the Waikato region offer Middle-earth activities and tours for fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy as well as Waitomo Caves adventures featuring a famous boat ride under thousands of glowworms, spectacular walks or abseiling, ziplining and black-water rafting through the cave systems.
Napier, Hastings and the Hawkes Bay region is famous for its vast array of wineries, the worlds largest Gannet colony, cycle trails, walking and hiking, water rafting, kayaking, hot air ballooning and the world class Cape Kidnappers Golf Course.
Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. Recognized worldwide for its geothermal and geyser activity, you should also consider a White Island Volcano flight adventure, Rainbow Springs and Agrodome Sheep Show, Skyline Rotorua for the Gondola, Luge ride and Skyswing, Maori culture (Rotorua is home to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute) and various rafting, quad bike, jet boating and kayaking trips.
Stunning Lake Taupo is a favorite location for trout fishing, kayak fishing, lake cruises and kayaking, jet boat thrills, river rafting, skydiving and spectacular forest walks.
If you like the sound of stunning underworld exploring, then you must visit world famous Waitomo Caves. You can explore the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves by boat, enjoy Waitomo’s longest underground guided walking tour, or if you are looking for an adrenaline rush, then consider a Black Water rafting adventure for a adrenaline.
Recently named “the coolest little capital in the world” by Lonely Planet, Wellington offers something for everybody. Discover Te Papa Museum (national museum of New Zealand), the Wellington Cable Car, Weta Cave (for movie making magic), Rimutaka Cycle Trail, a Sea Coast Safari and Kapiti Island Nature Reserve.
At the top of the South Island you will find the spectacular Marlborough Sounds incorporating Blenheim and Picton (the gateway to Queen Charlotte Sound). This region includes winery tours, high country farm 4WD tours, eco wildlife cruises, scenic boat cruises, the wonderful Queen Charlotte Track and the Marlborough Sounds on the Magic Mail Run.
The neighboring region of Nelson offers horse treks, health retreats, Te Waikoropupu Springs, boat charters, canyoning & kayaking adventures. It is also well known for its three fabulous National Parks – Kahurangi, Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman. Kahurangi National Park is perhaps best known for the famous hiking trail, the Heaphy Track and is remembered for some of the scenes in the Lord of the Rings movie Trilogy. Abel Tasman National Park features the Abel Tasman Coastal Track offering a three to five day walk. The Nelson Lakes National Park and surrounding mountain ranges provide the ideal backdrop to an alpine trail to Lake Angelus or a lakeside walk around Lake Rotoiti.
Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers offer heli hiking, Twin Glacier helicopter flights, a Fox Glacier and Mount Cook helicopter experience, a scenic cruise on beautiful Lake Mapourika, small-group Franz Josef Glacier walks and white water rafting.
Legendary Mount Cook and Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is home to the highest mountain in New Zealand. Here you will find some of the purest air in the world combined with some of the most stunning scenery and the Tasman Glacier (which is 27 kms in length) and provides the perfect landing place and access point for for small ski planes and helicopters. While in this area you should consider a Mt Cook helicopter flight and Tasman Glacier walk, Mt Cook ski plane and helicopter combo tour and a Mt Cook Alpine Vista helicopter flight.
75 km’s from Christchurch city you will find Akaroa. Here you will find a 4WD tour of Flea Bay, Eco Harbour adventure cruises, opportunities to swim with dolphins in Akaroa Harbour and MRX yacht sailing.
Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city, offers a multitude of tours and sightseeing opportunities. These include the spectacular Banks Peninsula Walk, Adrenalin Forest, Hanmer Springs (north of Christchurch) and stargazing tours in the South Island. For the more adventuress there is white-water rafting, hot air ballooning, jet boating thrills and paragliding on the Port Hills above the city.
Further south you will find Dunedin & The Otago Peninsula. A visit to Dunedin should ideally include Larnach Castle, Otago Museum, Dunedin Botanic Gardens, Speights Brewery and Cadbury – for lovers of all things chocolate. Otago Peninsula offers a rugged coastline and deserted beaches with amazing coastal views. Here you will find Royal Albatross Centre (home to the Northern Royal Albatross in a mainland setting and the only place in the world where this is possible).
Lake Wanaka is a haven for skiers in winter and offers spectacular walks, hikes and cycle trails in the summer months. For snow lovers, this is the perfect place to base yourself to visit Cardona Alpine Resort, Treble Cone Ski Field, Snow Farm NZ and some of the best mountain biking expeditions in New Zealand.
Often referred to as the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown offers an amazing array of adrenalin-rush activities. Some amazing ‘must do’ tours and activities include Skyline Queenstown and Gondola, guided walks in the Glenorchy and Mt Aspiring National Park area, kayaking eco tours, TSS Earnslaw Steamship lake cruises (including Walter Peak High Country Farm), Doubtful Sound coach & cruise tour, Milford Sound day tour and spectacular air tours with Air Fiordland. Discover adventure with Ledge Swing – AJ Hackett Bungy, Skyline Queenstown for mountain biking, 4wd experiences, Shotover Jet river adventure, Dart River Jet Wilderness experience, Skyline Luge Queenstown and Canyoning Queenstown. Queenstown-Wanaka boasts four amazing world-class ski resorts: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Treble Cone and Cardrona. Explore beautiful Arrowtown and maybe include some star gazing from Queenstown Skyline. If you are in to golf then you are for real treat as there are six golf courses, all within a 25-minute drive of Queenstown. These include the famous Millbrook Resort, Kelvin Heights, Jack’s Point, The Hills, Arrowtown and Frankton Driving Range and Golf Course.
A visit to Lake Te Anau wont disappoint, especially in the summer months. Te Anau is known as the ‘Gateway to Fiordland’ and is the closest town to Milford Sound (a scenic drive of approx 2½ hours). Te Anau is the “Walking Capital of the World” due mainly to it’s close location to 3 of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks being the Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track.
At the bottom of the South Island is Fiordland & Milford Sound. Fiordland is one of the most scenic and dramatically beautiful regions in New Zealand. Here you will find Milford Sound (the only Fiord that can be accessed by road). It is a place of beauty and magnetism. Mitre Peak and the steep cliff faces surrounding the Fiord are breathtaking. In this region you wil also find Doubtful Sound (sometimes referred to as ‘the Sound of Silence’ due to it’s seclusion and empowering splendor). It is a haven for sea life such as fur seals and Fiordland Crested Penguins.
If you are an American looking for a vacation in New Zealand for Americans or a European looking for a vacation in New Zealand for Europeans, then you are sure to find something suitable on this site. Much of our site content has been founded on past American vacation experiences of New Zealand and European travellers experiences and feedback
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Your Vacation New Zealand team
Service Travel is an official member of New Zealand Tourism