Tag: Kiwi

A view of Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown's waterfront park. Bayonet Peaks and Walter Peak are both visible over the lake. Blue-green, turquoise water sits beneath a vibrant blue sky, as fluffy white clouds float by.

New Zealand Travel Blog and Facts: Top 10 New Zealand Activities

Check out our New Zealand Top 10 list, including all our favorite road trip stops throughout the South Island and Wellington. We’ve hand-picked our favorite spots, activities, and must-see locations to help you plan your own kiwi adventure itinerary.

A view of downtown Queenstown, New Zealand from the edge of Lake Wakatipu at Queenstown's waterfront park. Blue-green, turquoise water washes ashore on the rocky beach near the tourist centre of central South Island.

Things to do in Queenstown: Eat, Play, Run

For our post on what to do in Queenstown, we picked a few of our favorite spots for our last few days in country, including the Cow Restaurant, the esplanade, walking downtown Queenstown, and the Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve just outside of town.

Queenstown Restaurants: A view of the entrance to the Cow Pizza and Spaghetti House in downtown Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand.

Queenstown Restaurants: The Cow

Our favorite of all Queenstown restaurants is the Cow, a small, dimly lit “pizza and spaghetti house” tucked away in one of the alleys of central Queenstown. Fresh baked bread, delicious dishes, and a warm and inviting location make this one of Queenstown’s best out-of-the-way restaurants.

A young girl crouches inside a massive Moeraki Boulder sitting on the sandy Pacific Coast of New Zealand. The top of the boulder has eroded, leaving a large, concave opening in which the girl sits. The Pacific Ocean is visible off New Zealand's South Island on the East Coast near the village of Moeraki.

Moeraki Boulders

The Moeraki Boulders are a must-see stop on the coastal route between Dunedin and Christchurch or a drive from Dunedin to Queenstown. If you’re staying close by, it’s worth visiting the Moeraki Boulders and the town of Moeraki as a destination all its own, and there’s plenty to do along this stretch of the South Island’s East Coast.

Two young sisters pose near a wall of Oamaru white stone outside the University of Otago's library in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Things to do in Dunedin, New Zealand

Any South Island road trip should include a stop in Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula. You’ll find a variety of activities that rivals Christchurch and Wellington. The peninsula juts out into the Pacific, home to yellow-eyed penguin colonies and albatross, enormous sea-going birds that fly to the tip of South America and back to nest.

The historic Wharf Offices and Harbour Board on Wellington, New Zealand's waterfront at Lambton Harbour. Early morning golden light illuminates the building.

What’s on Wellington: Things to do in Wellington

Wellington has something for everyone. The city boasts numerous green spaces like the sprawling botanical gardens at the top of the famous cable car route and the hiking paths near Matairangi and the Mount Victoria Lookout. Miles of shoreline include sandy beaches, piers, and self-guided tours near downtown. Trendy restaurants serve up fresh takes on classic dishes. Public art fills the streets and the broad, walled canvases of downtown buildings.

A young girl leans against the glass of a large fish tank in the EcoWorld Aquarium & Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Picton, New Zealand. Two large fish swim by the glass.

New Zealand Cities: Picton New Zealand

We set aside day seven of our 14-Day New Zealand Itinerary for the scenic drive through Nelson wine country to Picton and the ferry docks and the ferry ride to Wellington. There is a lot to do along the Northernmost stretch of the South Island, and you could easily add an extra night or two in wine country at an AirBnB or other local accommodations. Blenheim and Nelson and the region are rapidly developing the region’s vineyards, and the growth is obvious; new vineyards connect the more established estates all along route 6, almost until the hills leading into Picton.

A view from the top of the first ridge of the Abel Tasman National Park trail. The trail carves out a deep section of the hillside as it wraps around the top of the hill.

Abel Tasman Coast Track – Great Walks NZ

If you’re thinking of either a long day hike or a longer, overnight trek, add Abel Tasman National Park to your list of stops on your two week trip. We’ve hiked the Milford Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and many shorter treks throughout the South Island. The scenic views, secluded beaches, and dense native bush of Abel Tasman make this one of our favorite areas to hike and camp (and we have a lot of favorites in New Zealand!).

A mother and daughter pose in an open window at the Brunner, New Zealand, while another daughter stands nearby, on railroad tracks that lead toward a museum building on the site.

New Zealand Itinerary – Brunner, Waiuta, and Motueka

We planned day four as a driving day to cover about 1/3 of the length of the South Island, from Hokitika all the way to Motueka, on the South Island’s North Shore between the Abel Tasman National Park and the wine-growing region of Nelson, Picton, and Blenheim. If you have a little more time, you could easily break this into two segments and stay in Reefton, the first town in New Zealand and all of the Southern Hemisphere to receive electricity. You can easily cover the distance with a few fun stops in less than a full day.

A stylized sign made of driftwood spells "Hokitika" on the West Coast shore of New Zealand, looking out to the Tasman Sea.

New Zealand South Island Road Trip – Hokitika

Hokitika is known for its greenstone shops and other tourist attractions. Originally a gold mining town in the 1860s, Hokitika was once one of the most populous New Zealand cities. Even though the original industries have faded, it has become a popular tourist destination along the West Coast, and we recommend spending at least half a day checking out the historical downtown area and gray sand beaches.

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