Updated: Jul 31, 2021
If you are planning to visit New Zealand someday or another, the following trip guide will help you find things to do in New Zealand.
Go for a Bicycle Trip
New Zealand roads and walkways are built with cyclists in mind. There are many cycling tracks, especially in Auckland. If you live close to Orewa, you can rent a bike and go for a bicycle trip around the Te Ara Tahuna / Ōrewa Estuary Path.
This path is a perfect match for cyclists and joggers. It takes around 40 minutes by bicycle to complete the path, totaling 7.6 km in distance. You will ride along the water's edge, encounter parks, and meet with other cyclists and joggers on the way.
On the path, you will find Maori sculptures - a good place to stop by and take some photos. On the path, there are several good views of the estuary that you can enjoy and take photos of.
You can arrive here by car - there is no problem with parking here at all. There are plenty of public bathrooms, drinking fountains, cafes. You will never get bored along the way. At the start of the track, there is some Estuary Arts Centre and the Orewa Skate Park.
You can sit and relax with a cup of coffee in the arts center or you can go skateboarding, scootering, or back to biking. After biking you can go explore the Orewa beach, shops, and restaurants.
Fishing takes a bit more practice and time to prepare for than cycling. If you don't have the proper equipment you will need to find a local marine store. In Auckland, Marine-Deals.co.nz is a good choice. There you can buy a fishing rod and baits. Or you can go on a fishing charter where they will provide you with the equipment. Or even you can hire a guided tour on a yacht around New Zealand waters with fishing included at an extra price.
The main season for catching fish is at the end of Spring, beginning of Summer. This is the time for fish to come out of the deep waters to shores for feeding on mollusks and other sea creatures.
You can either fish from rocks or you could fish from the beach, depending on your fishing rod and fishing style. If you are fishing from the beach you can use a long surfcasting fishing rod. If you are fishing from rocks, then ordinary fishing rods will suffice.
For charters, you'll need a fishing rod for deep water fishing. It is much shorter in length than others but usually thicker to provide greater power in grabbing and pulling the hooked prey out of the water.
Again, the best time to fish is between October and January. These are the times when warm water draws fish closer to the shoreline. But be careful when fishing from rocks as the high tides can sometimes block your way out of the area where you are fishing.
When fishing from rocks you can catch a variety of fish. You could go fishing in Spring, October and catch some nice little sardines. I was able to do that from Mairangi Bay and was able to catch 3 sardines in half an hour. I freed 2 of them and kept 1 for tasting. Some say the high season for fish is in January- February but still, you can catch small fish pretty much anytime during the year.
Visit an Arts Gallery or a National Museum
Auckland War Memorial Museum is one of the best museums in the country. It features a variety of historic and cultural exhibits. In the main halls, you will find Maori boats, huts, traditional gardening and woodworking tools, cloth, and garments.
The rest of the museum is divided into several sections. One section contains the historic aspects of New Zealand and its participation in World Wars 1 and 2. The other sections are dedicated to New Zealand's nature. They display extinct and live species of birds and animals. There you will find halls with the explanation of New Zealand volcano formations. You can even experience a volcanic eruption in one of the simulation houses right inside the museum!
The best art galleries in Auckland are Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery.
Auckland Art Gallery features a vast array of national & international art, plus Maori works, in a château-style 1800s building. It has a café on the second floor where you can sit and relax.
Waitakere Contemporary Gallery has five galleries. You will see ornaments, contemporary art, and decorated halls.
Te Uru was designed by Mitchell and Stout Architects and first opened on 1 November 2014.
The other art building, the Lopdell House, sits beside Te Uru, next to it.
Have a Go With Papaya Stories Silent City Disco Walk
Ever wondered what a silent disco would look like? Papaya Stories will have you covered by bringing you premium-quality city walks. Listen to the very unique guided tour that takes you on a journey around Auckland's beautiful streets.
Papaya Stories is a creative studio that mixes music with tours and magic happenings right before your eyes. It is based on inspiring real-life storytelling that helps your mind and body stay relaxed and focused on the present. Listen to the story behind each event, walk your way through the Auckland streets and parks. Engage with other people taking part in this joyful journey.
The studio is founded by Yana Kirakovskaya. She is a Mental Health Advocate, Arts Practitioner, Community Activator, and Speaker.
Visit a Botanical Garden or a Sanctuary
Botanical gardens are a good way to get acquainted with local flora. They are usually open spaces, with flowers and trees growing outside in the wild. Sometimes the flora is located inside a glasshouse. The glasshouses maintain proper temperature and humidity for plants to stay alive.
About the gardens, there are a variety of spots in New Zealand. You can see the beauty of New Zealand's flora at the following places:
Auckland Botanic Gardens. Here you will not only find a collection of different flowers and plants but also enjoy the hearing of bird sounds, ducks, and geese. You will encounter Maori habitat fauna, African-style and New Zealand-style floras. You will also see Magnolia and Camellia flowers and different kinds of trees and shrubs. It is one of the vastest botanical areas in Auckland.
Auckland Winter Gardens. The flowers and plants that grow there are available all year round. The gardens comprise two glasshouses and a fernery. Read more at Auckland Winter Gardens - New Zealand Nature (nznature.net).
Sanctuary Mahi Whenua. This is a small garden beside the Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland. It features local vegetation and vegetables such as tomato shrubs, tamarillo, citrus fruits, and kumara pits. Read more at Sanctuary Mahi Whenua - New Zealand Nature (nznature.net).
Wellington Zealandia Sanctuary. It is one of the largest sanctuaries in New Zealand. It is a wildlife sanctuary with native species, including rare birds, lizards, frogs, plants, and trees. It features many lookout spots, lakes, and lots of trails. There is also an indoor café.
Go Duck Feeding
I am not joking. You will see flocks flying around, migrating from one swamp to another. They produce intriguing squawks and screeches. It only takes a visit to the shop to buy some bread and finding a spot to start enjoying feeding these amazing birds.
One of the popular places in Auckland for duck feeding is Western Springs Park. There you will find not only ducks but other birds and species as well such as geese, swans, pukeko, chicken, chicks, white-headed ducks, and eels. You feed them by throwing pieces of bread on the ground. Packs of them will come to feed on your bread.
Find good bushwalking and tramping sites in NZ
First, you may use the Walking Track Lookup (nznature.net) to access a track-lookup service. The service lists good tramping sites all around New Zealand.
The service is hosted on this website. To use it, please find a walk on the map that interests you and then click on its icon. Information will appear in the infobox. You can read a brief description and go to the Department of Conservation site (DOC) to access more information.
You can also select a location from the dropdown in the upper left corner of the window on a desktop device and the upper part of the page on a mobile device.
There is also a department of conservation that keeps a record of each site and walking track. You can search for them online at Places to go: Parks and recreation (doc.govt.nz). On that page, you can select a region and view a map of walking sites.
Finally, my preference is to use the Auckland council page AKL Paths (aucklandcouncil.govt.nz). This will bring up all the paths and walks that exist in the Auckland region. What's important is that you can select a site on the map and the map will highlight the path route for you. It is a very convenient tool for tourists interested in finding places to visit.
If you enjoy paragliding, bungy jumping, and skydiving, that might be an option as well. You can bungee jump from the Auckland's Harbor bridge or Skydive from Auckland's city SkyTower. Fast boat rides, hiking, and camping are all common in New Zealand. You can even go for a Plane Ride on The South Island to watch waterfalls and mountainous terrains.
New Zealand is a great place for nature traveling. This tourist guide has covered a number of things to do in New Zealand. Many of the tourist activities here involve having fun outdoors such as enjoying the cycling trips, going for a silent disco walk, going fishing and many more. You will not only enjoy the trip but get more travel experience by visiting New Zealand galleries and museums, sanctuaries and botanical gardens. Just don’t forget to bring a credit card with you! Hope you enjoy traveling to New Zealand.