Visiting New Zealand and wanting to MAXIMISE your time? Looking to find the insider tips from the locals about what to do? Bored as hell and looking for something to do? I've got the answer for you here. New Zealand is well known for clean green, pristine, beautiful landscapes, Maori culture, skiing / snowboarding, adventure sports, amazing seafood eg oysters, scallops, paua (abalone) etc.
Once you've been wowed by all those great things for a few weeks … sometimes it feels like there is not really much else to do …
(Shit, is it treason to say that? ) .
New Zealand has not got a lot of the 'wow factor' attractions (a la Disney land) as other more developed countries when it comes to tourism which is not leveraged off entertainment provided by mother nature. As a NZ national, here is a list of 10 fun and unusual things to do in New Zealand:
- Have a hangout at the Otara markets in South Auckland followed by a drink at a dodgy sports bar -To get the real picture of NZ (or any country for that matter), hit up the local farmers market. In South Auckland, you'll see a lot of Pacific Islanders and Maoris and get to taste some incredible foods. Hangi is food cooked in the ground by hot rocks or geothermal steam. Once you've checked out the locals … go to a dodgy sports bar for a 'handle' (beer glass with a handle) of Tui (NZ beer), watch the rugby and try to avoid being beat up.
- Go to Spookers -Just south of Auckland is an AMAZING called called spookers. Spookers is the scariest place on earth. Set in an old mental institution, you'll walk through room after room of terrifying people jumping at you, scaring you soo much you'll probably pee your pants. Then run through the haunted maze while being chased by a man with a chainsaw.
- Jump off the sky tower- Jump off NZ's tallest building … need I say more
- Deep sea fishing on the east cost -If you have the chance, find a friend with a boat, or charter a boat and go fishing on the east coast of NZ. Deep sea fishing with a massive rod / reel. Try to catch Marlin, Tuna etc. You'll never see anything more beautiful than the coast line 🙂
- Schweeb / Zorb / Luge followed by a mud bath -You have to do some adventure sports while you're in New Zealand. Rorotua is a great place to have a 'full on' day. Go Schweebing, Zorbing, Go Carting then when you're done with all that exhilarating crap, head out for a mud bath. Nom. All up it's a big day out which will leave you broke and tired, but you'll remember it forever.
- Go for a float on the Barbary and visit the rock carvings in Taupo followed by a swim at De Bretts hot pools -When you visit Taupo, make sure you consult a psychic and go on one of the only nice days you'll get in the year. Book a ticket on the barbary (beautiful sail boat) and visit the rock carvings in Taupo. Bring wine and cheese. THEN once the day is over warm up in the naturally heated thermal hot pools. DEFINITELY a highlight.
- Walk down Cuba street and go out for a drink at Havana bar -Cuba street is my favorite street in Wellington. I used to live there and on that very street I had some of the best times of my life! Color, art, eccentrics, prostitutes, uni students, pubs, restaurants, and amazing shopping. Spend the day talking to the locals, visit cosmic corner and soak it all in. Follow up by having a drink at Havana bar just around the corner. Beware, you might encounter some hipsters. God forbid.
- Go to the rugby sevens -Hands down one of the best drunk days out ever. In my life. BUT – it's really really hard to get tickets (try get a job for a company who will give you corporate box tickets then quit the day after the event). You go to watch the rugby sevens …. you do not watch the rugby sevens. What you DO do is dress up like an idiot and get drunk all day. Some AMAZING costumes!
- Go to the wearable arts- NZ prides its self on the wearable arts competition which is held every year in Wellington. The entrants try really hard and it's a fantastic show for anyone interested in art, culture, semi naked bodies ….
- Do a 21 day personal development course at outbound bound -OK. This would be on my list of the 10 fun and unusual things to do IN THE WORLD if I had written that list. But I have not. Listen closely … DO A 21 DAY COURSE AT OUTWARD BOUND ASAP. 21 days of adventure. Waking up at 6am for a run, military style exercises and an ice cold clothed swim EVERY DAY all before breakfast. Then, every day a new adventure, sailing, kayaking, climbing, navigating, running, solo bush lasts, and MORE. It will change your life for the better I guarantee.
- Phat new years festival in Ingangahua -Like music (drum & bass, dubstep, trance, reggae, acoustic)? Like camping ?, Like food? Like hippies and hipsters? Like observing drug makers making fools of them selves? Well, attend PHAT. Be sure to bring your togs and take a swim in one of the many fresh water rivers the area has to offer. Life changing.
- See sperm whales in Kaikoura followed by a crayfish dinner from a caravan on the shore -Kaikoura is an old fishing town on the east coast of the south island. There is a lot of beautiful cheap fresh seafood there. Eat it. Scallops, pauas, white bait fritters and crayfish. NOM! I'd recommend booking a whale watching tour, and when your done, find a caravan on the side of the road. Buy a whole crayfish for your self and eat it with your hands. Ask the locals how to crack the shells the best way so you get ALL the meat and not cut your hands.
- Hokitika wild food festival -Every year, Hokitika lights up for the wild food festival. Eat bugs, and testicles and penises and other horrible things! Stoked? I reckon you will be. Also a great excuse to get drunk with friends … ah … the New Zealand way.
- Drive the eastern free way from Dunedin to Picton and take the fairy to Wellington -One of the fondest memories I've had is making the journey from Dunedin to Picton in my dad super charged dodge lightning. It takes a few days and there is a lot of open road … but it's magic. My favorite stop on the way was Omaru – a beautiful historical town in the middle of nowhere! Be sure to have a sweet car, sweet sounds, a good travel buddy, spare cash and an eye of adventure.
- Get drunk in Dunedin during Otago University o-week -Otago is New Zealand's very own 'university town'. Orientation week (or "O-week") is the holy grail of drunk school leavers (I was only 17 on O-week … thank god for fake ID's). You'll witness just how poorly the uni students live … and see so many drunk / stoned people you will not believe it. Just go there to witness it! It's horrible and amazing at the same time.