Every year, there are one or two travel destinations that peak our client’s interest.  This year, New Zealand has been requested a lot.  Not as a beach-y relaxing vacation but rather as a once in a lifetime vacation!

So what are some unique experiences in New Zealand?

North Island

If you are going to start your vacation in Auckland, this is a great city to explore for a few days and to use as a base for exploring the area around the city.

Waiheke Island photo credit- Matt Crawford

Here are some suggestions for great experiences in and around Auckland:

  • Visit the Sky Tower for some stunning views of the city and for the more daring, try a Skyjump or Skywalk.
  • Head out on the Waitemata Harbor and take a cruise to see whales and dolphins, go sailing or zip around by jet boat
  • Take a short ferry ride across the harbor to the charming seaside village of Devonport.  Browse around the shops and cafes or walk up Mt Victoria for great harbor views.
  • Take a 1/2 day boat trip to fascinating volcanic Rangitoto Island.
  • Take a full day trip Waiheke Island to check out to the some of the laid back vineyards and beaches.
  • Explore some of the rain forests, rugged surf beaches, unique bird life and beautiful waterfalls surrounding Auckland
  • Enjoy a meal at the trendy Britomart Precinct or Wynyard Quarter
  • Take a walking culinary tour of the Britomart precinct and the Viaduct Harbor area.
  • The Bay of Islands is a 3 hour drive from Auckland and is made up of 144 islands.  Take a cruise around the islands and check out the marine wildlife including dolphins, penguins, whales and more.  You can swim with dolphins, dive or head up to the northernmost tip of the country (Cape Reinga) and you can see where the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea meet!


wellington harbor-credit-Ian-Trafford

wellington harbor-credit-Ian Trafford

All the way at the very bottom of the North Island, you can fly from Auckland to Wellington.  The nation’s capital city is known for it’s funky food and fashion, cafe culture and galleries and museums.

  • Enjoy 360 degree views from the top of Mount Victoria.
  • Take a ride on the Wellington Cable Car for city views and walk back through the beautiful inner city Botanic Gardens
  • Experience a special interest tour led by local specialists to explore  Wellington’s coffee roasters and gourmet foods
  • Take a a behind the scenes tour of the Weta Cave in Miramar or  a Lord of the Rings location tour
  • Walk along the waterfront with its Wellington Writers Walk to scenic Oriental Bay.
  • If you’re visiting over the weekend, make sure to check out the night markets.
  • Take the train over the Rimutaka Hill to the charming vineyard town of Martinborough,  in the Wairarapa region.  It’s foodie’s heaven .

South Island


Abel Tasman National Park- photo credit Ian Trafford

Abel Tasman National Park- photo credit Ian Trafford

Situated at the top north-west of the South Island, Nelson is the sunniest region in New Zealand.  It’s diverse geography captures everything from the long golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains.

  • Walk the sun drenched sands of Golden Bay.
  • Head inland to Takaka and see the impossibly clear waters of New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs.
  • Walk Nelson’s Abel Tasman track ( it’s a three to five day walk- or some of it anyway).  Take a Swing Bridge, Bush and Beach excursion, starting with a 3-4 hour bush and beach walk.  Cross the Swing Bridge at Falls River
  • Take a sea kayaking tour around the coast and see a seal colony and little blue penguins bobbing in the water.
  • Take a bike ride along part of the Great Tastes Trail
  • Or just relax. Sit in the sun, sip a wine from one of the local vineyards, and dine on the famous Nelson Bay scallops.

Also in the South Island

From Nelson, head to Blenheim for some winery visits.  From Blenheim, head down to Kaikoura to do some whale watching before heading to Christchurch.

From Christchurch, you can drive to the Franz Josef Glacier located in Westland National Park.  You can take a glacier walk or a heli hike to the higher levels of the glacier.

From Franz Josef, head to Queenstown for some really fun adventure!

Queenstown- credit Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters

Queenstown- credit Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters

  • Enjoy the thrill of jet boating through narrow caverns
  • Ride on the gondola to the Skyline complex and enjoy a thrilling luge ride or a wonderful meal overlooking the city of Queenstown
  • Go cycling on the Queenstown Trail.
  • Grab a burger at the famous Fergburger and eat it lakeside, or try the iconic Botswana Butchery
  • Take to the skies by helicopter and enjoy a picnic on an alpine peak high above Queenstown
  • Take a tandem skydive high above the Wakatipsu Basin
  • Go bungee jumping off the Kawarau Bridge


Have we peaked your interest in New Zealand?

My Vacation Lady is an award winning travel agency specializing in customized vacations and  honeymoons that will meet our clients dreams.   If you’re looking for a vacation or honeymoon as unique as you are, contact us.