How to have a fantastic time in Aotearoa or New Zealand, land of milk and honey.

If you have a huge budget or a small budget there are adventures galore to be had in New Zealand

10 Great things to do in New Zealand on a shoestring budget + 10 great things to do in New Zealand with a no-limit budget.

  1. Walk the waterfront
  2. Ride a bike through the many parks of NZ
  3. Take a trip to the Auckland or Wellington Muesum
  4. Walk the Milford track
  5. Ferry to Waiheke
  6. See the volcanoes
  7. Ride the trains
  8. Visit the Auckland parks
  9. Take a ferry ride to Devonport
  10. Visit Kelly Tarltons
    Ballooning over Queenstown

Ten things on a no-limit budget:

  1. Try the awesome foursome in Queenstown
  2. Heli ride to Kauri Cliffs for a game of golf
  3. Catch a marlin in the bay of islands
  4. Ski the private slopes of the mountains
  5. Race V8’s around Pukekohe race track
  6. Eat out at the Sky Tower revolving restaurant
  7. Collect Bluff oysters
  8. Ride the first class trains from Auckland to Wellington
  9. Rent a maga-camper van to trip around NZ
  10. Get your photo taken in all the great spots around NZ, accompanied.

Awesome foursome – cost around $650NZD

If you are thinking about visiting the last heaven on earth down-under then here are a few ideas about what you can get up to whilst you are there (or here).

If you are somewhat of an adrenaline junkie then there is a program called the ‘Awesome Foursome’ based out of Queenstown (Search queenstown nz ). The AF consists of a combination of Bungy jump, heli ride, river rafting and jetboat ride down some of the most exciting rivers in New Zealand and across the mountains of some of the most beautiful scenes in the world.

One of the benefits of visiting New Zealand is the opportunity to see within the length of the country Mountains, desserts, Glaciers and wonderful cities. All of this within 8 hours of driving or a couple of hours flying time. It is the most beautiful country in the world.

So what 10 great things to do on a tight budget:

  1. Walk the Auckland waterfront. Walk along the seaside, take in the views of the ocean, the boats and if you are lucky the wonderful scenery on a sunny Auckland day. (which can be a little few and far between)
  2. Kelly Tarltons, the wonderful underground fish facility, see the penguins, see the ice cold historical centre, showing you how the north and south pole were conquered.
  3. Take a ferry to Waiheke island. In the middle of the Auckland harbor lies a beautiful island dotted with vineyards and cafes. Worth a trip, not expensive and the trip on the ferry also gives you the opportunity to take in some of the sights of the harbor.
  4. Take the ferry to historic Devon port village. A simple fifteen minute trip across the harbor and you are in Devonport, pick a time around the food and wine festival – usually the 3rd week in February every year, and enjoy the benefits of local food and wine tasting.
  5. Hire a bike and ride the many parks around the city, in particular Woodhill forest, provides a great range of entry level through to professional pathways through beautiful forest.
  6. Check out a few of the hundreds of volcanoes throught the cities, in particular Auckland. See Rangitoto if you can, or climb up one tree hill, where U2 made their song in the late 90’s.
  7. Ride the trains. Pick up any one of a myriad of trains from the city and travel through the suburbs, the trains are slow but provide good levels of comfort and plenty to see.
  8. Visit the Auckland parks, a great one is the Auckland Domain, also home to the botanical gardens and the Auckland Museum. A real site to see, history in one building spanning back to prehistoric times.
  9. Walk the Milford track. Goes without saying it is a track, it takes a few days to do the whole thing but you will never regret it.
  10. Hot Air Ballooning. There are only a few providers around the country but any one of them is worth the effort. Usually around winter time there are a few bargains around as it is the low season. http://www.ballooningnz.com offers some great insights into this peaceful and satisfying way to see the country. Take your air sick pills!!!

Some people may want to take a rather less active approach to the visit, in which case there is a plethora of ideas around what to do in this regard. If you just want to relax, have some adventure and take in some of the sights without all the hassle of putting gear together, preparing a picnic lunch or whatever then perhaps one of these ideas may help.

  1. Try the Awesome Foursome, as mentioned above. Simply getting to Queenstown is an adventure and again if you can brave the winter it is one of the most scenic places on the planet around this time of year. The thaw usually makes the river raft or jet boat ride somewhat more interesting but still worth the effort of getting there.
  2. Heli ride to Kauri Cliffs. More for the golf enthusiast. Search 'kauricliffs' for a collection of the views around the course. You can get there by road, it is a hike and a great trip but to arrive in style nothing can beat landing in style.
    Kauri Cliffs a golfers dream course.
  3. Catch a Marlin. Ha, until you have 1000lb of Marlin pulling your arms off whilst you try and convince the beast to give in you haven’t really fished. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush of seeing the line race away from you and moments later see the image of a huge pointed nosed fish reaching for the air out of the water. Check out 'marlin fishing nz' for a good charter with all the bells, whistles and amazing food.
    Hooked a Blue Marlin. Tag and release
  4. New Zealand is home to some of the most spectacular ski slopes in the world and there are some reserved for the private citizen, comes at a price but you can then ski all day long in peace and privacy. Search 'ski new zealand' for a taste of what you can experience.
  5. If you have ever wanted to get behind the wheel of thousands of horsepower around a tight and challenging circuit then Pukekohe circuit or Hampden Downs are the places to go. Check out 'V8 driving experience nz' or 'hot laps nz' for some idea of what is on offer. A must do when visiting NZ, home of some of the worlds top motor and offroad racers in the world. Some of which make themselves available for the events days.
  6. A trip to the Sky Tower restaurant ‘Orbit’ for any traveller is a must. Especially at night when you can see the city lights, the harbor, all the way on a clear evening up the waitakeries where forest meets the city. One trick to remember though when eating there is to remember that the bathrooms don’t rotate, you come out expecting to see your table but it has vanished…
    Orbit Restaurant Sky Tower Auckland
  7. Take a flight to the foot of New Zealand, during the season to pick you own fresh oysters off the boats. Imagine being able to do that before they are cleaned, shelled and packaged you can shuck them immediately with a glass or tow of a favourite white. search for 'bluff oysters nz' and you will see where to go and how to get them. Be sure to say hello whilst there to the Mayor of Invercargill Mr Tim Shadbolt, a character from way back.
  8. Board the Northern Expolorer for a fantastic trip along some of the most scenic routes NZ has to offer, all aboard the train. Stopping infrequently you can cover the whole island in a few hours, enjoy a sumptuous meal and enjoy the breathtaking vistas. Search 'tranzscenic nz'  for more information.
  9. Nothing beats sleeping in the same bed for a few weeks whilst travelling and better still why not take the bed with you, as well as the shower and why not the kitchen sink. A camper van these days is nothing like the cramped caravans of the 90’s, they even have spa pools these days, although perhaps not so common in NZ. There are a few really good sluxury camper van sights available to search, otherwise it is worth simply turning up at the local rental company.
  10. Whether you are a budding amateur or a professional there is no thing better than being taken to the best ‘kodak’ spots around the country. One such provider 'Capture NZ'  offers guided tours and  a huge range of options to satisfy the many and varied tastes of the photograph professional.
    Milford Sounds from the air.

Finally there is nothing like food when you travel. Tasting the local cuisine is like being able to put the recipe in your pocket and bringing it out again whenever you want to recall the memory.

New Zealand has no real traditional food, you could try out the Maori Hangi in Rotorua and you wont be disappointed but then again you could also do the same with the Samoan or the Tongan equivalents. In France it may be Escargot, New Zealand in summer would be the BBQ, outdoors, shrimps (although this is quite Australian) a good steak and some bangers on the Barbie cannot be beaten.

So in summary there are some fantastic adventures to be had in the land of the long white cloud, there is an adventure for every budget. Whether your taste extends to small and comfortable or a screaming encounter travelling at 60mph down a river in the local jet boats... there is something for everyone. 

Come and check out the country, the people and the fun.