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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TranzAlpine Train

The TranzAlpine Train is New Zealand’s most spectacular train journey, one which winds its way through the dramatic gorges and alpine forests of the Southern Alps, over staggering viaducts and dizzying mountain passes. From Christchurch on the East Coast to Greymouth on the West Coast, this almost 5-hour trip serves up endless photo opportunities as it runs through the heart of the South Island.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

Mission Estate Winery

New Zealand produces some of the world’s most renowned, award-winning wines, and Mission Estate Winery on the outskirts of Napier is where it all began. Founded in 1851, Mission Estate was started by missionaries who journeyed from France with little more than a dream and a couple of vines. Now, nearly two centuries later, Mission Estate continues to operate as one of New Zealand’s best wineries, and is a staple on any shore excursion or wine tasting tour of Napier.Head down the tree lined driveway toward the old fashioned estate and its fountain, and you'll immediately fall for the history and regal charm of the area. Step outside on the hilltop veranda for a view of the vineyard landscapes leading back to Napier’s downtown or to sip in the sun protected by the shade of one of the winery's big, white outdoor umbrellas.More

Lake Wanaka

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

Trip ideas

New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks

New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in New Zealand

Unique, interesting and informative.
Lyn_C, Mar 2023
Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise
Great to see an area of New Zealand that we would probably not have visited had it not been for the mail boat run.
New Zealand on Track
Jennifer_B, Mar 2023
Northern Explorer Train Journey from Auckland to Wellington
Seeing the heart of New Zealand Unlike any other way to see it all.
Fantastic Day Trip
Sean_K, Mar 2023
Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Caves Full Day Tour departing Auckland
Whether or not you’re a Tolkien fan, this trip is a great way to see the beautiful countryside of New Zealand!
Eco-safari cruise
Laurie_L, Mar 2023
Auckland Dolphin and Whale Watching Eco-Safari Cruise
Unfortunately, we didn't get to see whales, but was still a wonderful tour and I would do it again if I make it back to New Zealand
Exhilarating experience
Ian_H, Mar 2023
Ziplining Forest Experience - The Ultimate Canopy Tour Rotorua
Great was to see some of Rotorua's and New Zealands forests.
Short and interesting
MuhammadRezwan_S, Mar 2023
Time Tripper Queenstown
It was very interesting to know the history of New Zealand and to see the fish from under the water.
Great Excursion
Junior_C, Mar 2023
TSS Earnslaw & BBQ Buffet Lunch
The pace of the activities was well timed and the sheep shearing demonstration was really very interesting.
Outstanding Tour
Anonymous, Mar 2023
TranzAlpine Train, Arthur's Pass & Castle Hill Day Trip from Christchurch
This was an excellent combination of activities for us.
We perform checks on reviews

All about New Zealand

New Zealand Dollar (NZ$)
Time Zone
NZDT (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 things to do near New Zealand?
Check out things to do near New Zealand:
What do I need to know before visiting New Zealand?