Outdoor Activities in New Zealand

New Zealand is famous as an adventure capital of the world. Here, visitors can indulge in activities such as bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, sky diving, riding jet boats or even Zorbing; an unconventional sport which involves rolling downhill while enclosed within an inflatable ball.

If you enjoy walking, tramping, bushwalking and hiking will certainly meet your expectations in New Zealand. With an expansive network of trails suitable for all skill levels and distances, New Zealand offers plenty of exciting adventures!


New Zealand is renowned for its love of nature and outdoor pursuits, including hiking. There are incredible backcountry trails for exploring this picturesque nation; misted mountains, emerald fjords, ancient forests with towering ferns, cascading waterfalls and miles of empty black and white sand beaches await discovery here.

Hiking opportunities in New Zealand range from easy to strenuous, and are accessible year-round. As the climate can fluctuate day by day, it’s wise to bring sun protection and layers for any eventualities.

Roy’s Peak is an easy and popular hike with spectacular views of Lake Wanaka and surrounding mountains. Although relatively straightforward, reaching its famous lookout requires more effort.

Milford Track is an absolute must in New Zealand; not only for its stunning beauty, but also as it provides access to well-maintained huts along its route; booking is highly recommended due to its immense popularity.

Pinnacles Hut is an excellent option for those seeking a more manageable backcountry hut experience, located at the end of an easy and short hike and sleeping up to 80 people. The view from here is absolutely incredible and highly recommended as an experience worth remembering during sunrise or sunset.


New Zealand boasts an expansive network of hiking (known locally as tramping) trails for those who prefer staying dry land. To experience something truly memorable, try the Cape Brett Walkway on North Island; traversing this coastal pathway takes over 20km and features breathtaking bluff peaks, steep cliffs, and beautiful beaches along its route.

New Zealand offers breathtaking fjords, volcanic lakes, mountains and river sports of all kinds, such as rafting. There is an array of spectacular rivers for riversport enthusiasts to experience such as Tongariro River (grade 1) to Kaituna River near Rotorua (grade 5).

Paddlers will find New Zealand an idyllic paddler’s paradise, as many rivers with rapids offer rafting tours. Competitive river racing may entice some while scenic tours offer others the opportunity to develop their skills further. New Zealand innovators contributed significantly to popularizing bungee jumping as well as black water rafting (wearing wetsuits while traversing Waitomo Caves).

For those wanting to see the countryside without scaling sheer rock faces or taking a bumpy helicopter ride, scenic gondola and chairlift rides offer scenic panoramas of their respective destinations. Wellington’s Skyline Gondola provides scenic vantages over its city and hilltop Botanic Garden while Queenstown’s massive Skyline Gondola provides jaw-dropping panoramas of snow-covered peaks and deep-blue Lake Wakatipu.


Kayaking is a watersport enjoyed throughout New Zealand, providing both beginners and experts with plenty of opportunities. Tours for newcomers typically provide an introductory lesson with paddling tips to ensure an enjoyable experience without feeling inadequate to handle a kayak. Kayaks are easy to use and make discovering New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and coastline an enjoyable adventure!

Abel Tasman National Park is an unparalleled kayaking paradise, boasting sheltered bays and coves, rocky outcrops and beaches to discover by kayak. Tour operators Eco Active Adventures provides guided day, half and full day kayak trips which explore hidden beaches, hidden nooks and marine wildlife encounters such as little blue penguins and Cook’s petrels; both are regularly seen here.

Kayaking enthusiasts will also enjoy exploring the Bay of Islands, with its remote islands, turquoise waters, and vibrant Maori culture. There are various tour companies offering guided kayak tours of over 144 islands; some even feature treks around Rangitoto Island (Auckland’s youngest volcano).

Doubtful Sound in Fiordland National Park provides an opportune place for more remote kayaking expeditions, providing stunning landscapes as a backdrop. Here you may spot indigenous glow worms who congregate within Waitomo’s limestone caverns; tours range from night trips to multi-day expeditions in this region.


Queenstown offers a spectacular natural setting of mountains and Lake Wakatipu to provide adventurers of every kind with endless thrills, whether that means bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge or jet-boating through Shotover Canyons – providing adrenaline jolts that will leave them smiling for years afterward!

Are You Searching For Quieter Activities in Arrowtown and/or Queenstown? For those seeking quieter activities, Arrowtown’s postcard-pretty surroundings offer ample inspiration; or venture deeper into nature on mountain bike trails that take in New Zealand’s stunning backcountry at your own pace. Skiers who wish to glide down Queenstown’s Coronet Peak and The Remarkables mountains during winter will also have ample options available to them.

Kayak rentals can be found along the waterfront at Queenstown Beach or for an authentic backcountry kayak experience join Paddle Queenstown on an expedition to Moke Lake – this high country lake provides breathtaking views of lush valleys, snow-capped mountains and crystal clear alpine water.

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