As I navigated my way from the charming beaches of the Bay of Islands to the snow-capped mountains of Queenstown, I took careful note of all the “WOW” moments (and sheep!) I experienced along the way. New Zealand epitomizes beauty and there truly is a photo opportunity at every turn! A sacred haven for nature enthusiasts, foodies, and adrenaline junkies alike, New Zealand is the perfect escape for travelers seeking to explore one of the most awe-inspiring corners of the world. Here’s my Top 12 List of New Zealand Adventures you shouldn’t miss…
#1: Food Source Tour with Reid Helicopters, Nelson South Island
After landing on one of Nelson’s remote mountain tops, Michelin trained chef Matt Bouterey prepared a fresh spread of “melt in your mouth” sushi paired with complimentary wine from the nearby Marlbourough Wine Country. A MUST for foodies!
#2: Swimming with Dolphins, Kaikoura South Island
The horn blows and off the back of the boat you go! There is nothing quite like being dropped in the middle of the Pacific Ocean engulfed in a super pod of dolphins! Making eye contact with these gentle creatures is something I will never forget.
#3: Quad Biking at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay North Island
This is the absolute best way to see the property! In addition to blazing through river beds and over rolling hills with spectacular views of Hawkes Bay, you also visit one of the properties Gannet nesting sites which happens to be the largest in the country.
#4: Helicopter flight to Milford Sound, Queenstown, South Island
Although Milford Sound is spectacular, my favorite part of the journey were the stops we made along the way including landing on a glacier, collecting seashells from the Tasman sea, and taking in the tranquility of Quill Lake above.
#5: Taking a Bath at Matakauri Lodge (YES! This absolutely makes the list.)
Need I say more?!
#6: Horseback Riding Tour at Dart Stables Queenstown, South Island
My horse Bombay took great care of me as we trotted through the stunning rivers and countryside of Glenorchy, located just 45 minutes from Queenstown. It’s also known as a major filming sight for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies.
#7: Astronomy Lesson at Mt. John Lake Tekapo, South Island
I’ve never seen so many stars in my life (aside from when I climbed Kili!) and even had an opportunity to see Saturn through the largest telescope in New Zealand.
#8: Bungee Jumping off Kawarau Bridge Queenstown, South Island
When in New Zealand one must do as the New Zealanders do and jump from bridges!!
#9: Kayaking on Lake Taupo, North Island
The Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay on Lake Taupo are only accessible by boat or Kayak, but I definitely recommend by kayak!
#10: Beach BBQ on Pink Beach at Kauri Cliffs, North Island
An array of freshly prepared food and endless wine on a secluded beach overlooking the Bay of Islands…yes please!
#11: Sailing on the America’s Cup Racing Boat in Auckland, North Island
The best way to experience Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour. Plus, who wouldn’t love taking the wheel of a racing yacht!?
#12: Sailing the Yonder Star, South Island
I will never forget my afternoon of sailing in style in Abel Tasman National Park on the Yonder Star. Heaven!
If you’re interested in learning more about our private luxury journeys in New Zealand or speaking to Jessica about her adventure, please get in touch. Also, keep an eye out for our wellness-inspired New Zealand tours coming soon! Discover more of Jessica’s New Zealand journey through her Facebook album.