Win Your Wishlist ❤️ 🤑 Enter to winWin Your Wishlist ❤️ 🤑 Win $7,000 towards Viator experiences. Enter to win
Recent Searches
Things to do in New Zealand

Things to do in  New Zealand

Welcome to New Zealand

It might have been the popularity of The Lord of the Rings movies that put New Zealand on the map, but it's the enchanting landscapes, rich Maori heritage, and unforgettable natural wonders that keep travelers coming back. The North Island is home to New Zealand's capital, Wellington, and largest city, Auckland, but its real highlights lie outside the urban centers. Stroll the golden beaches of the Bay of Islands, journey to Middle Earth on a tour of the Hobbiton set, or cruise through the glowworm caves of Waitomo. Nearby, Rotorua is as renowned for its bubbling mud pools and lava fields as it is for its Maori culture, while farther south, the rocky peaks of Tongariro National Park form the backdrop to one of New Zealand's most rewarding hikes. A short ferry ride from Wellington lands you on the South Island, where the landscapes get wilder, the weather more temperamental, and the cities even more laid-back. Expect to spend most of your time outdoors, traveling from the sandy spit of Cape Farewell, past the windswept beaches of the West Coast, to the dramatic fjords of Milford Sound and the Fiordland National Park. Christchurch, revamped after the tragedy of the 2011 earthquake, is the main hub of the north, while the southern city of Queenstown is New Zealand's adventure capital, where thrill-seekers congregate to try skydiving, bungee jumping, white-water rafting, and ziplining.

Top 15 attractions in New Zealand

Lake Wakatipu

Surrounded by mountains and shrouded in legend, Lake Wakatipu and its crystal waters draw visitors as the longest lake on New Zealand's South Island. As a popular spot for adventure activities—from fishing to catamaran cruises—a day on Lake Wakatipu is arguably the highlight of any trip to Queenstown and the Otago region.More

Auckland Harbour Bridge

The Auckland Harbour Bridge is a landmark site on the city’s skyline. The 8-lane engineering marvel connects downtown Auckland with North Shore suburbs. Visitors can experience the bridge and the stunning views of the Waitemata Harbour from several vantage points: while driving over it, climbing it, or jumping off it.More

Franz Josef Glacier

One of New Zealand’s most photographed natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Franz Josef Glacier serves up a dazzling landscape of snow-smothered peaks, rocky gorges, and icy waterfalls, feeding into the Waiho River that's ripe for exploration.More

Auckland Domain

Enjoy the peace and tranquility of forests, gullies, and green spaces in Auckland Domain, a 185-acre (75-hectare) escape from the frantic Queen Street crowds. Get lost on a nature walk, admire the tropical plants at the Wintergarden, and marvel at the history on display at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.More

Te Puia

Te Puia, located in the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley at the edge of Rotorua features Pohutu Geyser and is home to the impressive New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Visitors can tour the bubbling mud pools with a local Maori guide and choose from among myriad activities.More

Milford Sound

With its soaring cliffs, dramatic glacial valleys, and thundering waterfalls, it’s easy to see why Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most visited sights. This natural wonder is the star attraction of Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and wildlife haven for dolphins, seals, and penguins.More

Marlborough Sounds

A series of sunken river valleys at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, the Marlborough Sounds offer a range of sights and adventures—hiking, biking, camping, and wildlife watching, to name but a few. Many travelers pass through Queen Charlotte Sound and the town of Picton on the ferry between the North and South islands.More

Wellington Cable Car

Operating since 1902, the Wellington Cable Car is one of the city’s most famous sights. The ride, from the central business district to the city’s tranquil botanic garden, offers a stunning light show inside the tunnels as well as gorgeous vistas of Mount Victoria and Wellington Harbour as you reach the top.More

Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings

Measuring more than 33 feet (10 meters) high, these mammoth Maori sculptures were chiseled into the rocks on the edge of Lake Taupo in the late 1970s. Created by master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell, the carvings depict Ngatoroirangi, who is said to have guided the Te Arawa tribes from their Polynesian homeland to New Zealand.More

Piha Beach

A short drive west of Auckland is Piha Beach, one of the West Coast’s most popular getaways. A small coastal village sandwiched between the Waitakere Ranges and the Tasman Sea, Piha Beach is much loved by surfers and fisherfolk alike, but it’s also a great place for everyone to explore nature, both on the coast and in the hills.More

Auckland War Memorial Museum

The Auckland War Memorial Museum, one of New Zealand’s finest, displays thousands of items—including Maori and Pacific Island collections—reflecting the country’s history, culture, and nature. A dedicated children’s area allows kids to touch animals, fossils, and bugs. Visiting Auckland Museum is a must when spending time in New Zealand’s largest city.More

Lake Tekapo

A glacial lake on New Zealand’s South Island, Lake Tekapo is an adventurer’s playground by day—and a stargazer’s heaven at night. On a clear night, southern hemisphere constellations, plus the Milky Way and the southern lights, shine spectacularly in the UNESCO-listed Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.More

Auckland Sky Tower

A dizzying 1,076 feet (328 meters) high, the Auckland Sky Tower is not only New Zealand’s highest building but also the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The tower offers unbeatable views of Auckland’s skyline, with its distinctive spire visible from all corners of the city.More

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s largest lakes, surrounded by the mountains of Mt. Aspiring National Park. On the lake's southern shore, the town of Wanaka is a relaxed spot that offers easy access to lake-based activities: in summer, paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, and swimming are popular; in winter, skiing is available nearby. More

Lake Rotorua

The Rotorua area boasts dozens of lakes, but Lake Rotorua is larger, deeper, and older than its neighbors. Geologists believe that Rotorua, the second-largest lake on the North Island, dates back more than 200,000 years, while most of the region’s other waterways were created by the Tarawera eruption of 1886.More
Win Your Wishlist!Want to win $7,000 towards your dream getaway? We thought you might. Just make a Viator Wishlist to enter.

Trip ideas

New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks

New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks

Top activities in New Zealand

Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Day Trip from Auckland
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour, Cruise & Picnic Lunch from Queenstown
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Cruise Milford NZ Small Boutique Cruise Experience
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Mitai Maori Village Cultural Experience in Rotorua
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Half-Day Milford Sound Flight and Cruise from Queenstown
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Franz Josef Heli Hiking Guided Tour

Hobbiton, Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip in Luxury Minibus from Auckland
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Hobbiton™ Movie Set 2-Hour Walking Tour from Shires Rest
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
TranzAlpine Train, Arthur's Pass & Castle Hill Day Trip from Christchurch
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Shotover River Extreme Jet Boat Ride in Queenstown, New Zealand
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike

Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour, Cruise & Picnic Lunch from Te Anau
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about New Zealand

New Zealand Dollar (NZ$)
Time Zone
NZST (UTC +12)
Country Code

People Also Ask

What’s New Zealand famous for?

New Zealand is famous for its mountainous scenery, geothermal geysers and mud pools, Maori culture, All Blacks rugby team, for being the filming location for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and its flightless national bird, the endangered kiwi.

What is the most beautiful part of New Zealand?

Many consider the mountainous South Island to be the most beautiful part of New Zealand. Others think the beaches of Bay of Islands or Abel Tasman National Park are the most beautiful. What you think is the prettiest part depends on your interests and preferences, and the options are many.

How many days is enough for New Zealand?

Many find that seven days is enough to focus on one island (the North or the South islands), but prefer 10–14 days. How much time in New Zealand is enough depends on whether you want to focus on one of the main islands or cover the whole country.

What is the number 1 tourist attraction in New Zealand?

The top tourist attractions in New Zealand are its national parks: Fiordland National Park, Abel Tasman National Park, and Tongariro National Park in particular. Queenstown, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, Aoraki Mt. Cook, Te Papa Museum, Rotorua, and the Hobbiton Movie Set are also among the most popular attractions.

What activities is New Zealand known for?

New Zealand is best known for its outdoor and adventure activities, as well as tours themed around The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Hiking, mountain biking, sightseeing cruises, whale and dolphin watching, white-water rafting, jet boating, and kayaking are all popular activities that travelers to New Zealand enjoy.

Is NZ expensive to visit?

Yes, New Zealand is an expensive country to visit. Accommodations, activities, food, and transport costs in New Zealand are all relatively high, as is the high cost of long-haul international flights. And you’ll want to peek at exchange rates to see how that will affect your costs, too.


New Zealand information

Number of Attractions


Number of Tours


Number of Reviews



Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the top things to do in New Zealand?
What are the top activities in New Zealand?
What are the top things to do near New Zealand?
Check out things to do near New Zealand:
What do I need to know before visiting New Zealand?