New Zealand’s green, outdoors image is certainly an accurate one – we’re a country that loves it outside. There is a huge emphasis placed on our wildlife, land and environment. It plays a role in nearly everything from agriculture and farming to our tourism and travel industry. If you’re planning a visit to Aotearoa, there’s plenty to see and do outside. Escape the cities with a rental car and check out the back roads, the native bush, the lakes and the beaches that define us.
Swim with Dolphins
Take a journey with Dolphin Watch Ecotours and experience what many people come to the country solely to do. Head out with their experienced team on a cruise to find and swim with the dolphins that inhabit local waters. Dusky, bottlenose and the rare Hector’s dolphin are all commonly sighted around Marlborough. Once you’ve found a group of dolphins, staff will prepare you for the swim and help you into the water. As the only dolphin tour operator in Picton and with excellent success rates, you won’t be sharing the water with forty others or worrying about seeing nothing at all. Find Dolphin Watch Ecotours on Wellington Street at the Picton Foreshore.
Famous for its eggy smell and number of luxurious resorts and day spas, Rotorua is a marvel in the country because of the thermal activity that bubbles away underneath the city. The most spectacular visit in the North Island’s Sulpher City is Wai-O-Tapu, a geyser park where visitors can explore some of the marvels that thousands of years of nature have created. Get close to the thermal activity in the thermal area and see Lady Knox Geyser shooting 20 metres into the air at Waiotapu Loop Road off State Highway 5.
Kaikoura is known across the country for its whale watching trips that have become synonymous with the small town. Whale Watch Kaikoura operates tours three times a day, all year-round to seek out bird and sea life as well as Sperm Whales. Experienced guides will narrate the area on your journey and their modern whale watching boats are built specifically to grant you the best view. You can find Whale Watching Kaikoura at the Whaleway Station on Whaleway Road.
Skiing and Snowboarding
During the winter New Zealand draws thousands of excited snow-bunnies from all over the world looking for the best snow and the best mountains. Fantastic ski fields dot the country for anyone who fancies a run down the mountain. If you love the snow you’ll find the best of it in New Zealand and if you haven’t strapped on a pair of skis or a board before, your visit is the perfect time to do so. Check out Queenstown’s Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, Mt. Hutt and Porter Heights near Christchurch and Mt. Ruapehu near Taupo. There’s no better way to experience one of nature’s extremes.
Walk Banks Peninsula
The two and four-day walks around the outer bays of Banks Peninsula are amongst the most acclaimed eco-activities in the country to take part in. You’ll explore native New Zealand at its best, spot wildlife like penguins, dolphins and birdlife and be treated to comfortable accommodation at the end of each day. The track is private and self-guided with information provided to you once you’ve made your booking – the Banks Peninsula walk has become a staple experience for tourists in the country. Get in touch with the Banks Peninsula Track Company and organise your walking journey.
It might be small, but New Zealand is spread out. There’s plenty to do in every region and even more in between – if you are booking a holiday then having your own form of transport is a must. Rental cars in New Zealand are the best way to get around; you won’t have to worry about booking trains and public transport, expensive taxi rides or how to get to places that don’t have regular visitors. Just jump in and get going on your own adventure however you want to enjoy it.