New Zealand has always been a popular tourist destination, and there’s no shortage of great things to do in this beautiful country. When you’re searching for New Zealand attractions and activities, there’s no doubt you’ll find a plethora of itineraries and suggestions to get you started. But if you want to make your holiday truly memorable, check out these 7 crazy things that you can only do in New Zealand.
1. Launch yourself off the world’s highest cliff jump
The Shotover Canyon Swing is the world’s biggest cliff jump. Launch yourself over the famous Shotover River outside of Queenstown for an adrenaline-pumping experience you’ll never forget. The uniquely designed system is 109m high and has 60m of thrilling vertical freefall before swinging over 200m out into the canyon. Depending on your creativity (or fear level!) there are a variety of jump styles that you can try. You can even go tandem with a friend if you need the moral support. If you’re feeling really adventurous, try out the Canyon Fox zipline and fly 182m over the canyon with unbeatable views. Gravity is a toy – play with it!
2. Become a real life hobbit
Whether you’re an avid Lord of the Rings fan or not, visiting Hobbiton is a must-do activity in New Zealand. This is the only place in the world you can visit the Shire that was featured in the LOTR films and check out the holes that housed Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee and more. Take your photos in front of the hobbit holes and then enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon, just as the hobbits did!
3. See the world’s smallest dolphin
Did you know that there are 40 different species of dolphin? In New Zealand, you can see the world’s smallest dolphin: the Māui's dolphin. This endangered creature is the world’s rarest and smallest known type of dolphin, and can be found only off the west coast of the North Island. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see one on your holiday!
Want to swim with dolphins in New Zealand?
4. Go to the place with the longest name in the world
Here’s a truly unique experience: visiting the place with the world’s longest name. How many people can say that they’ve been somewhere with such a unique claim? Visiting this place is certainly a fun and unique thing to do in New Zealand. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is a hill in southern Hawke's Bay. Input it in Google Maps during your North Island road trip and check it out!
5. Visit the clearest lake in the world
Yet another “world’s best” item in New Zealand – the world’s clearest lake is Blue Lake in Nelson Lakes National Park. Visibility in this crystal clear gem is up to a whopping 80 meters, meaning it’s considered almost as “optically clear” as distilled water. Make sure you include this gorgeous landmark in your South Island itinerary.
6. Go black water tubing in a glow worm cave
While you can find glow worms in a select few places around the world, the glow worms in New Zealand are world-famous. Visiting a glow worm cave is usually high on most visitors’ to-do lists, but going black water tubing through a cave full of these shimmering, bioluminescent insects is a truly unique experience.
7. Experience the Aurora Australis (aka the Southern Lights) in an International Dark Sky Reserve
Most have heard of the Northern Lights, and some have been lucky enough to see them. But did you know that there’s also Southern Lights that are visible to the naked eye? There are very few places in the world that are far enough south to see the Aurora Australis, and New Zealand is the only place that has an official International Dark Sky Reserve where you can see the Southern Lights. Come during winter and if you’re lucky with good weather conditions, you might get to see them.
Now that you know about these crazy, unique things that you can only do in New Zealand, it’s time to add them to your bucket list. Make sure you not only hit the popular destinations, but include a few (or all!) of these activities for a truly unforgettable holiday.
Author: This guest post was written by Canyon Swing, the world’s largest cliff jump. Book your adventure today.