21 best things to do in New Zealand including overnight stargazing from a glass cabin!

New Zealand, also known as the land of the long white cloud, has long been appreciated as a slice of natural paradise on earth thanks to the country’s majestic mountainscapes, misty waterfalls, bubbling geothermal parks, inky-black lakes, and so much more.

The country where sheep flock in millions and where green verdant hills make the backdrop for epic The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films is exactly where we’d hope to visit in our dreams – only, it’s a real place for real people like us to really visit.

To help you discover Aotearoa (the Māori name for the country) in all its enchanting beauty, we’ve rounded up 21 best things to do in New Zealand, including visiting blue-lit glowworm caves, overnight stargazing, and zip-lining across the green canopies of the fairy-tale forests!

Explore the enchanting Hobbiton Movie Set

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Credit: hobbitontours/Instagram

Stepping into the enchanting Hobbiton Movie Set will be a dream come true for fans of epic fantasy films, the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit!

This whimsical set features little smials (or hobbit holes) with bright wooden doors and red-bricked chimneys, tucked snugly within verdant green slopes and just as they appeared in the movies.

@ta.tahmina

#hobbit #hobbiton #hobbitonmovieset #hobbithouse

♬ оригинальный звук – Takhmina Almazbekova

Located in the heart of Waikato, New Zealand, the set can be found within a 1,250-acre family-run sheep farm called the Alexandra farm. Film director Peter Jackson and his team stumbled upon this secret spot while scouting for places to film and it was quickly chosen because it almost perfectly resembled what was described in Tolkien’s books!

Book the Hobbiton Movie Set Guided Tour for S$73.25 on Klook.

Admire magical blue glow worms in New Zealand’s caves

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Credit: waitomoglowwormcaves/Instagram

An experience that’s equivalent to lying under a sprinkling of stars or being surrounded by the soft orange glow of fireflies, stepping into New Zealand’s glowworm caves is one that will surely take your breath away.

Entering the damp caves is like stepping into a whole new mystical dimension, which features complex limestone passages, swirling whirlpools, and underground waterfalls. Not forgetting, of course, the magical blue glow of glowworms all around.

@elitevacays

Anoter magical place to add to your travel bucketlist✨ How cool is this place? #newzealandtiktok #bioluminescence #traveldiary Additional Credits: @shaun_jeffers @purenewzealand on IG @majesticearthscorner (youtube)

♬ الصوت الأصلي – ﮼عبدالرحمن🎧

If you’re visiting the Te Anau Glowworm Cave, you’ll get there by taking a boat across the largest southern glacial lake in New Zealand and behold the pristine alpine peaks mirrored in the reflective still waters!

Book the Te Anau Glowworm Cave Tour for S$81.49 on Klook.

Heli hike the icy ridges of Fox Glacier

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Credit: glaciercountrynz/Instagram

This activity might look like one that’s exclusively for the pros, but the truth is that you don’t need hiking experience to discover the pristine ice glaciers by foot at Fox Glacier, which is located on New Zealand’s West Coast.

The Fox Glacier boasts immaculately white ice ridges and clear blue-tinted ice caves, which are ever-changing according to the natural environment. All you need to do is step into your snow boots and strap on your crampons, and let your guide lead you across the icy slopes.

@klookanz

get to the chopper – we’re going glacier hiking! #klookanz #queenstown #newzealand #tiktoktravel

♬ original sound – The Klook Kids

You’ll get to the Fox Glacier by helicopter too, so, bonus, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the awe-inspiring mountainscape, including blankets of green, snow-covered mountain tops, and gushing waterfalls.

Book the Fox Glacier Heli Hike Experience for S$493.05 on Klook.

Slip into bubbling onsen pools in Queenstown

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Enjoy a slice of paradise in private with the bubbling onsen hot pools at Queenstown, New Zealand!

Onsen is a spa that’s nestled on a cliff overlooking the meandering Shotover River and idyllic mountainsides, and it houses both indoor and outdoor cedar-lined hot pools, filled with fresh water from the springs surrounding it.

@onsenhotpools

Beautiful! #onsenhotpools #nzmustdo #ticktoknz #newzealand #queenstown #spa #snow #spring

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For an unhindered view of the mountains, hop into the outdoor onsen and soak away – whether by yourself or with your loved ones, you’ll enjoy a pampering experience like no other.

Book an Onsen Hot Pools Experience in Queenstown for S$72.05 on Klook.

Skydive in Queenstown

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Credit: Klook

Check skydiving off your bucket list at beautiful Queenstown, New Zealand, where you’ll get to experience, not just the thrill of falling from up to 15,000 feet above sea level, but also the most scenic views in the world.

You’ll soar over breathtaking Lake Wakatipu and the tall mountains that surround it, and catch a panoramic sight of New Zealand like never before.

Book a Skydive Queenstown Experience with NZONE for S$246.10 on Klook.

You can also skydive in other beautiful places in New Zealand, like Wanaka. Book a skydiving experience at Wanaka for S$237.89 on Klook.

Dunk into the natural mud baths at Hell’s Gate

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Credit: hellsgatenz, chelsea_kelly_/Instagram

Hell’s Gate is a geothermal park located in Rotorua, New Zealand, and it’s home to the country’s largest active mud volcano and the Southern Hemisphere’s largest hot waterfall.

Here, the boiling hot springs send steam billowing upwards into the sky, cloaking the otherwise hard and rocky-looking landscape in soft, mystical clouds.

There are different types of mud here, thick black mud, silky grey mud, and cold white mud, which each have different healing properties; you can soak in the hot mud baths alongside your loved ones and step out feeling fresher and with softer, smoother skin too.

Book a 1.5-hour tour of Hells Gate Geothermal Park for S$34.59 on Klook.

Stargaze at the Mt John Observatory

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Credit: darkskyprojectnz/Instagram

It’s not everywhere you can look up and see a shimmering of stars blanketing the night sky, which is why there are actually International Dark Sky Reserves – protected areas that restrict artificial light pollution so that the stars continue to twinkle against the darkness.

Mt John Observatory isn’t just part of an International Dark Sky Reserve, it’s also perched on a mountaintop and at 1,029m above sea level – you’ll be closer to the stars and get to behold a vast night sky oh-so-freely.

Just look upward with your naked eye, and you’ll already be awestruck by the sprinkling of stars; what’s more, you’ll get to stargaze through up to 16″ optical telescopes and take in the Milky Way, star clusters, and solar systems too.

Since Mt John Observatory is located on a mountaintop, get ready to hike up a 100m gravel slope and climb up some stairs in the dark. It’s all worth it for the ethereal view of the New Zealand night sky.

Book the Dark Sky Project-Summit Experience (Mt. John Observatory Tour) for S$147.35 on Klook.

Sleep under the starry night sky at SkyScape in Mackenzie

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Credit: Klook

If a short one-and-a-half hours isn’t anywhere near enough time for you to spend under the stars, consider staying the night in a glass pod at the SkyScape hotel in Mackenzie, New Zealand.

The SkyScape, a romantic escapade perched on the sprawling Mackenzie landscape, is made of individual glass units that give visitors a freeing view of the open slopes and stretching sky.

@escape.video

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♬ Love Is Gone (feat. Dylan Matthew) (Acoustic) – SLANDER, Dylan Matthew

Since the hotel is located within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, when the day turns to night, you’ll behold a breathtaking view of silver stars against the pitch-black sky – all while laying down on your comfy hotel bed.

Book a room at SkyScape on Klook.

Zipline over the treetops at Rotorua

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Credit: skylinerotorua/Instagram

You can experience the bubbling mud pools and erupting geysers up close while you’re in Rotorua, but you can also catch a panoramic view of the small New Zealand city’s geothermal lands from high up in the sky at Skyline Rotorua.

Skyline Rotorua is an attraction seated up on Mount Ngongotaha that lets you take in Rotorua City, Lake Rotorua, and the surrounding geothermal landscapes from a bird’s eye angle.

The zipline is a particularly thrilling way to experience the natural beauty of the New Zealand city, regardless of whether you’re howling at the top of your lungs or enjoying the feel of the wind against your skin.

There are also gondola, luge, and sky swing rides that you can take at Skyline Rotorua. Book a Gondola + 5 Luge Rides for S$61.99 on Klook.

Roam freely with the alpacas at Akaroa

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Credit: shamarra_alpacas/Instagram

Alpaca lovers just have to make a trip to the Shamarra Alpacas farm that’s located a short 20-minute drive from the quaint little harbourside town of Akaroa, New Zealand.

Join a Shamarra Alpacas farm tour where you’ll get to enjoy a full hour of free and easy time with these funny, furry creatures; the tour lets you get up close and personal with the alpacas (young and old), stroke their woolly coats, feed them, and snap meme-worthy photos with their curious faces, of course.

Book an Akaroa Shamarra Alpaca Farm Tour for S$41.59 on Klook.

Speed your way down Huka Falls on a boat

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The torrential Huka Falls rush and churn in massive volume into the Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest river, below. You’ll have the chance not just to admire the thundering waterfall from afar, but to actually zoom right through it on a thrilling jet boat ride!

Feel the waters crash and erupt excitingly beneath you even as you behold once-in-a-lifetime views of the stretching river, rocky cliffs, and green forests on both sides.

Book a Huka Falls Jet Boat Ride in Taupo for S$107.25 on Klook.

Bike over the plains in Queenstown, New Zealand

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Credit: Klook

Rev up the engine as you get ready to ride rough over rocky roads, dry and dusty terrains – even through muddy streams on a rugged quad bike.

The specially chosen route will allow you to enjoy an action-packed journey over a variety of challenging terrains and take in the crisp beauty of the alpine ridge as you travel.

The single-seat quad bikes are perfect for the adventure-seekers, but there are also two to four-people buggies available for the ones who prefer to brave the bumpy roads as a group!

Book a Quad Biking Experience in Hanmer Springs for S$149.68 on Klook.

Feel on top of the world at the Auckland Sky Tower

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Credit: Klook

You’ll be on top of the world and looking down on New Zealand’s iconic landmarks, 53 volcanoes, and other historical sites within the Tāmaki Makaurau area when you’re at the Aukland Sky Tower.

The tallest building in the southern hemisphere, the Aukland Sky Tower is an oh-so-recognisable part of the city’s skyline and offers visitors a sweeping 360-degree panoramic view of the city.

Besides admiring the stunning sights, you can also have a romantic dinner at one of the restaurants or even step off the edge of the tower to experience a thrilling descent to the base of the tower by wire!

Get Auckland SkyTower Admission tickets for S$27.59 on Klook.

Soak in a secret hot tub spot at Rotorua

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Credit: Secret Spot

Slip into warm spring waters under the cover of the soft Whakarewarewa forest trees.

The Secret Spot in Rotorua, New Zealand is home to 12 six-seater cedar hot tubs that are filled fresh with natural spring water, filtered from a secret spring source in the forest and warmed to a just-right 39.5 degrees. You’ll whiff the relaxing woody scents of cedar and enjoy nature all around you!

@caitlinsteele97

yes this is a travel vlog acc now.. anyway go to secret spot if you’re ever in the area!🛁🌳#rotorua #nz #travel

♬ telepatía – Kali Uchis

Visit the Secret Spot Hot Tubs in Rotorua for S$33.65 on Klook.

Bungee jump from the Ferry Bridge at Hammer Springs

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Credit: Klook

Thrill-seekers shouldn’t miss their chance to take a literal leap of faith from the 135-year-old Waiau Ferry Bridge that crosses the river at Hammer Springs. When you bungee jump, you’ll fall 35 metres down – closer to the rushing river below, and enjoy the majestic alpine views at ultra-high speed.

If you’re not quite ready to jump alone, you can even do a tandem jump with a friend. Together, your screams will ripple through the idyllic landscape – proof that you’ve been there, done that.

Book Bungy Jumping in Hanmer Springs for S$145.75 on Klook.

Encounter New Zealand’s wildlife up close on a kayak

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Credit: Klook

Kaikoura is a coastal town on the South Island of New Zealand that’s known for its abundance of wildlife including whales, fur seals, dolphins, and albatross birds.

As you kayak across the chilly blue waters, you’ll get the chance to see adorable fur seals swimming around your boat and, if you’re lucky, even see dolphins up close and personal. Besides encountering the creatures at Kaikoura, you’ll also get to behold a scenic view of hilly fields, majestic mountains, and a stretching sea!

Book a Wildlife Kayaking Adventure in Kaikoura for S$112.15 on Klook.

Go high-speed river sledging in Rotorua

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Credit: Klook

River sledging lets you do much more than dip your toes into the cool waters of the Kaituna River. Instead of gently bobbing over the waters on a boat, you’ll be submerged right within the gushing tides whilst zooming down the river at high-speed!

After you’re strapped on a helmet and life vest, you’ll cling onto your very own “water sleigh” and get ready for takeoff. This one’s a rush that you’ll most certainly be able to feel.

Book Kaituna River Sledging for S$112.15 on Klook.

Help to hatch a kiwi

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Credit: Klook

You can’t visit New Zealand without seeing the country’s cutest national icons up close.

Kiwi birds are unique to the country’s wildlife and the cherished pride and joy of New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not subject to the dangers of predators in the wild or disruption to their habitats. It’s why there are hatcheries here that are dedicated to protecting the kiwis and preventing certain vulnerable species from becoming extinct.

At the National Kiwi Hatchery, you’ll be able to witness how kiwi specialists take care of rare chicks in the nursery, see adult kiwis in their nocturnal enclosures, and, if you’re lucky, see a newly hatched kiwi chick!

Since the tickets that you buy contribute to the conservatory’s kiwi hatching programme, you’ll be helping to hatch these lil’ long-beaked birds so that they remain here on earth for a long time to come.

Book a Kiwi Encounter Tour at the National Kiwi Hatchery for S$43.45 on Klook.

Teeter over the green canopies of New Zealand

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Credit: Rotorua Canopy Tours

Not for the faint-hearted or those with a fear of heights, the Rotorua Canopy Tours lets you zipline at thrilling heights over tall trees and teeter your way across swaying swing bridges as you admire the beautiful green forest landscape.

We’re not kidding when we say that there’s so much to look forward to on a canopy tour. The Original Rotorua Canopy tour lets you enjoy six zip lines that are a total of 600 metres in length and two swing bridges.

If you’re up for a greater challenge, the Ultimate Canopy Tour whisks you away over 1,200 metres worth of zip lines including a 400m tandem one. You’ll also get to cross a 50-metre-high cliff walkway and three suspension bridges plus make a heart-stopping 18-metre-high controlled descent down to the forest floor.

Book your tickets here.

Cruise beneath mystical waterfalls at Milford Sound

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Credit: milfordsoundtourism/Instagrma

One of the most visually stunning places to visit in New Zealand is Milford Sound, a fiord in the country’s South Island that boasts misty mountain peaks, mystical branching waterfalls, and inky-blue waters – a truly magical sight to behold.

@angelaliggs

if you ever go to milford sound in new zealand, please go when it’s raining. this place comes alive in the rain.

♬ Waves: Rain Sounds – Sound Library XL

When you catch a cruise at Milford Sound, you’ll be brought close beneath the foggy tumbling waterfalls and feel the cool spray on your skin. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, seals, and rare Fiordland crested penguins as the boat slowly makes its way across the entire length of the fiord and out towards the sparkling Tasman Sea!

Book a Milford Sound Cruise by RealNZ for S$86.05 on Klook.

Ski down the snowy slopes at Queenstown

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Considered a top ski destination in New Zealand, Queenstown has four world-class ski fields with varying terrains for skiers of different experiences. Since the ski season here lasts from June to October, there’s plenty of time for you to plan for your trips to one (or all four) of the resorts!

@skimania.it

Skiing above the clouds in Queenstown New Zealand 🇳🇿 with Luis Parker ❄️⛷#ski#skiing

♬ Safe And Sound – Capital Cities

Those looking for a nearby ski resort can check out Coronet Peak as it is closest to Queenstown, whereas those who prioritise kicking back as much as they do whisking down the white slopes this winter season can head down to The Remarkables – the resort that boasts the best base lodge in town.

The Cardrona Alpine Resort has a childcare centre, making it perfect for family travellers, and the Treble Cone’s views will astonish you like no other.

Searching for more things to do in New Zealand? Check out Klook for easy-to-book activities at affordable prices, here!

Featured image credit: Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tours, @SARAHANDKEELAN.TRAVELS/Instagram

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