SEE & DO
28. If you want to hit the beach on your honeymoon, you are spoiled for choice. The northern end of the South Island is home to beautiful sandy beaches, while further south is rugged and wild. The North Island’s west coast beaches have dark sand, because of the presence of iron.
29. Frankly, though, if you plan on sitting around on the beach for your entire honeymoon, New Zealand is probably a waste of a long flight. However, if you’re an outdoorsy couple who loves hiking or cycling, virtually anywhere in New Zealand will make for a perfect, adventurous honeymoon.
30. New Zealand’s indigenous people are known as the Maori, and we highly recommend taking some time to learn about Maori culture and history to truly understand the country’s heritage. There are a range of experiences, from watching combat or dance performances, art displays, and even Maori wine tours! Check out Auckland Maori Tours for more information.
31. If you plan on visiting a marae (Maori meeting house), remember that you will need to obtain permission to enter. The traditional Maori greeting is a hongi – touching noses. “Hello” is “Kia ora”.
32. New Zealand is a mecca for whale and dolphin watching. Two of your best bets are in the Bay of Islands, north of Auckland, and in Kaikura on the South Island.
33. “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” fans MUST visit a Hobbit Hole in Hobbiton, which is a permanent site in Matamata between Auckland and Hamilton. It’s a cool experience even if you aren’t a film geek.
34. White water rafting: Been there, done that? Try “Black water rafting” through underground caves in Waitomo. You can also swim, tube and climb through the caves, and watch out for the beautiful glowworms!
35. While Queenstown is the most popular skydiving destination, Lake Taupo is said to be the most beautiful view to take in as you plummet 14,000 feet.
36. Wellington is the center of the New Zealand film industry and Weta Studios, where you can experience behind-the-scenes tours of “The Lord of Rings” and “The Hobbit” and take day trips to many of the filming locations.
37. Although on the South Island, world-famous wine regions are only a short ferry ride away from Wellington (upon which you can see spectacular scenes like those above). Marlborough alone is home to 74 wineries. In between sipping on the local wines and drinking in the spectacular landscape, make time for a hearty lunch at one of the winery restaurants for decadent meals made from local produce and paired with award-winning wines.
38. It’s not all about the grapes though. A boutique craft beer scene has popped up in New Zealand in recent years, and now there are more than 250 varieties brewed in the country. Bespoke tours are available to sample the local tipple.
39. Catch a helicopter ride out to Franz Josef Glacier from Christchurch or to the Southern Alps from Queenstown where you can hike through the snow in a remote area only accessible by chopper. Glacier Helicopters or Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters are good bets.
40. If you want to take the plunge, the world’s highest cliff jump at 200m is Canyon Swing near Queenstown. Just don’t look down!
41. Seals, penguins, albatross and sea lions are also part of the local wildlife. To see them up close, you can go wildlife spotting with Elm Wildlife Tours.
42. Take a cruise of the incredible Marlborough Sounds. Why? Well, take a look at the picture below.
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