Our Great Kiwi Bucket List

Our Great Kiwi Bucket List

New Zealand welcomed close to two million tourists in 2016. Our country is an incredible country, even if we forget it from time to time. For many visitors, visiting New Zealand is a chance to tick something off the bucket list. Others come with a fresh bucket list just for New Zealand, full of things to do and places to see. We’ve been thinking about our own Kiwi bucket list - the bits of New Zealand we all just need to see. Here are seven ideas to start.

Kayaking the Abel Tasman

Launch your kayak from a golden, sandy beach into crystal clear water. Taking a guided tour is the best way to enjoy this scenic area. Head out to Split Apple Rock for lunch and then on to Adele Island, home to native birdlife and frequent fur seal hangout.

Whale Watching in Kaikoura

Despite last November’s devastating earthquake, whale watching and dolphin tours are still on offer in Kaikoura. Although getting to Kaikoura is a little slower now, the town is still well worth visiting. November’s quake lifted the seabed by over a metre, creating a unique coastal environment.

Waitomo Caves

These glowworm caves are a popular destination for school groups in the North Island, so many Kiwis have seen this mystical, otherworldly highlight. Glide across the dark water as hundreds of thousands of tiny glowworms glimmer above.

Tongariro Crossing

A classic day hike, the Tongariro Crossing offers unique geological features and a dramatic outlook. Set in the barren desert of the central North Island, the Red Crater and Blue and Emerald Lakes are inspiring.

Cruise Fiordland

Despite acclaim for Queenstown and Shotover country, Fiordland is just as much of a jewel in the South Island’s crown. Famously described as the eighth wonder of the world, Milford Sound features spectacular waterfalls and snowcapped, mountainous cliffs.

Cape Reinga and Bluff

The experience of looking out over the northernmost and southernmost points of the country is incredibly moving. Cape Reinga marks the meeting point of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. For Māori, it’s a place of immense significance; this is where the spirits begin their journey to Hawaīki, the land of their ancestors. Visiting Bluff is less solemn but just as inspiring.

Chatham Islands

Life is a little different on the Chathams. The islands are 800 kilometres east of Christchurch and have their own timezone, 45 minutes ahead of the mainland. The Chathams are on the edge of civilisation - visiting is a chance to enjoy deserted beaches, see unique plant life and see the sun rise before anywhere else in the world.

Everyone’s bucket list will be different, but if you don’t have one, then take a minute to think about what would be on your list. It can be as crazy as you want, but it has to be your dream – from flying to Mars to starting your own business. It’s all about Making it Happen.

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