Here at Base we know the ins and outs of Kiwi Life and our staff love experiencing all the best things to do in New Zealand. So here's our Top 15 Things to Do in New Zealand, although there are so many more activities that could easily have made this list!
1. Bungy Jump
If there is one thing Kiwis know how to do - it's Bungy Jump! Queenstown is the adventure capital of NZ and the most popular destination to put your bravery to the ultimate test. You've got Kawarau Bridge - the 'easiest' of them all, the Ledge - situated 400m above Queenstown offering amazing views and of course, the Nevis - 134 m! Taupo is a great and cheap place to warm yourself up to the Nevis and Auckland Harbour Bridge offers fantastic 360 views of Auckland City. Rotorua also offers Bungy Jumping at Agroventures Park.
Read our Guide to Bungy Jumping in New Zealand
No explanation needed here - Lord of the Rings fan? Book a tour of Hobbiton from Rotorua.
3. Maori Culture
You'll find this everywhere! Just talk to the locals. But if you are really wanting to try a 'Hangi' and watch the Haka - we suggest booking a cultural experience at Base Rotorua - there are loads to choose from. Here you will also find the traditional Ohinemutu Maori Village - entry is free.
4. Milford Sound
Absolutely stunning! Milford Sound is a day's trip from Queenstown and not to be missed. A boat trip through the sound is the best way to experience this majestic destination...
5. Surf at Raglan
The Byron Bay of New Zealand. Raglan is a surf community on the west coast of New Zealand's north island - a really great place to learn to surf.
6. Tongariro Crossing
A 20km breathtaking hike through volcanic activity, crater lakes and luminous green and blue lakes. Here you can talk to the top of Mt Doom - stunning! Expect a 2 hour steep ascent to the top and a quick 20 minute 'slide' to the bottom. Transfers to the foot of the hike can be booked at any Base Hostel.
7. White Water Rafting
Rotorua is the home of White Water Rafting. Kaituna River will have you plummeting down the world's highest commercial vertical drop - 7 metres! This is a great half day adventure - trips can be booked at Base Rotorua.
Gisborne is the first place to the sunrise. Grab a Car or Campervan for a few days and head east from Rotorua towards Gisborne. The coast along New Zealand's north island is untouched and stunning! Gisborne is the first place in the world to see the sunrise and you can also swim with Sting Rays here.
9. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
This place is weird! The geothermal wonderland is home to bright orange, luminous bright green and dark green, steaming lakes! You are literally walking through volcanic activity. Read more about Wai-O-Tapu.
10. Te Papa Museum
Te Papa Museum in Wellington is the best FREE Museum EVER! You can spend hours in here! The museum offers everything you need to know about New Zealand's history, animals, weather, volcanoes and more!
11. Auckland SkyJump
Auckland Sky Tower features breath taking 360 views of the city and surrounds - including Rangitoto Island. Entrance is cheap. However if you are looking for an adrenalin rush - book a Sky Jump! You will literally jump off the top of the tower whilst taking in the views. This is different to a bungy jump as the fall is not free fall - but controlled.
12. Cape Reinga Sand Boarding
Journey to the very top of New Zealand - Cape Reinga. Day tours can be booked from any hostel in NZ and normally include sand boarding!
13. Waitomo Caves
An experience like no where else in the world. Venture underneath the ground into the huge Waitomo Cave system. You will find Glow Worms living inside the caves and it is a magical sight to see! You can choose from Abseiling & Tubing through the caves - amazing!
Check out these photos of Waitomo Glow Worm Caves.
14. Cathedral Cove Kayaking
Head East from Auckland and venture towards the Coromandel Peninsula. Here you will find a little touch of paradise - Cathedral Cove. Best way to explore this protected, underwater wonderland? Kayaking!
15. Aerobatic Flight Wanaka
This. Is. SCARY! Learn to fly an aerobatic plane over Lake Wanaka. It's damn cheap too! Your teacher will have you barrel rolling, flying vertically and more. If you find yourself a little too scared to take control of the plane - sit back and enjoy the views!
Read more about my aerobatic flight in Wanaka
This is worth the extra hot tip! Fergburger is a must in Queenstown and an inevitable means of curing a typical Queenstown hangover.