Top 10 things to experience in New Zealand

There is no better place to visit than New Zealand, which is a mix of stunning nature and thrilling adventure.

Canadian travellers make  the top 10 list of all visitors to New Zealand and the below tips will help you ensure you get the most out of your holiday break.

New Zealanders love town nicknames, and all of our top picks have alter-egos that describe their unique atmosphere and culture.

Auckland: The ‘City of Sails’- The largest city in New Zealand, built around 2 harbours. It has the nick name due to the popularity of sailing in the region.

Rotorua: The ‘Sulphur City’ - Thermal activity is a highlight but the hydrogen sulphide emission’s from the hot pools have given this city its nickname.

Wellington: The ‘Windy City’ The capital city of New Zealand - It’s proximity to the mouth of the narrow Cook Strait leads to strong winds in this city.

Christchurch: The ‘Garden City’ - Known for its expansive parks and public gardens making this city a relaxing stop on the East coast of the South Island.

Queenstown: The ‘Global Adventure Capital’ -  The home of adventure and with everything from Bungy Jumping to Skiing. 

Dunedin: The ‘Edinburgh of the South’ - A city on the South Island, settled by the Scots and aimed at emulating the romantic characters of Edinburgh.

While dangerous animals are few and far between in New Zealand there are still a few animals you need to watch out for.

Weta - A large, spiny, wingless cricket like insect. While it won’t harm you, as the largest and heaviest insect in the world, it will scare your pants off if you aren’t expecting it.

Kea - A pesky parrot, turn away for a minute and the Kea could have your windscreen wipers demolished, your clothes strewn across the driveway or your bin open with garbage everywhere.

Whitebait - A seasonally available fish pattie made from immature, translucent native fresh-water fish which migrate from spawning in the sea each year. A whitebait fritter is served without gutting or de-heading.

Roast Kumara - New Zealand name for sweet potatoes.

Hangi - A traditional Maori feast cooked in heated pit. Meat and vegetables are slowly steam cooked in a covered pit in the ground.

L&P - Or Lemon and Paeroa is a sweet carbonated lemonade style drink which is ‘world famous in New Zealand’.

Pavlova - You will most likely know about this one due to the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand on where the Pavlova was invented.

Rugby is not just a sport in New Zealand — it’s an obsession and it forms an integral part of the New Zealand culture and identity.

If you want to feel the passion of a New Zealander or hear the might Haka echo though a stadium, catch a Rugby game at Eden Park, or visit the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in Dunedin to immerse yourself in the Rugby culture of New Zealand.

New Zealand is home to many dormant and active volcanoes including that of White Island. White Island is a volcanic island just off the coast of the North Island of New Zealand and is still active. The island is a different world, with its smoke plume, yellow sulphur stones and green Crater Lake to absorb.

Most of the volcano lies under sea level which means you can step right on to the top of the volcano. Have you ever been able to say you stood on an active volcano?

If you are someone who loves a thrill, there is no better place to get involved in the action than in the country that invented it!

Zorbing - Invented in Rotorua, Zorbing is essentially stuffing yourself into a plastic ball and rolling down a hill. You can do it wet, dry, on your own or with your friends.

Bungy Jump - Visit the first Bungy Jump at its original location at Kawarau Bridge bungy at the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge near Queenstown.

Jet Boating - The jetboat can take you places no other boat can. It is fast, exciting and takes you to beautiful locations.

Ever wanted to visit a beautiful magical place filled with Wizards, Elves and Dwarfs? New Zealand is home to ‘middle earth’ with over 150 locations across the country being used to film The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy. Some of the main places from the film are also stunningly beautiful and include glowworm caves, active geysers, mountains, rivers of blue-green, fjords, river valleys and scenic waterfalls.

The Southern Alps is a mountain range extending much of the length of New Zealand’s South Island, with the highest mountain being Aoraki or Mt Cook at 12,218 feet.

There are approximately 19 ski locations across the Southern Alps but if skiing isn’t your thing there are also hundreds of glaciers, rivers of blue-green, fjords, river valleys and scenic waterfalls.

New Zealand’s caves, grottos and native forests form the perfect home for glow worms that cling to the walls and ceilings, casting an eerie soft light.

Not only are they an amazing to see but the number of ways and places you can see them makes New Zealand a top choice to spot a glow worm. You can see them while you are black water rafting, on a boat, by foot, abseiling and kayaking.

Maori are the Indigenous people to New Zealand. Today Maori make up 14% of the New Zealand population and their culture is central to New Zealand’s identity.

If you can visit a Maori cultural site during your visit, it is worth your while but you may need permission to enter. If you don’t get the chance, you can visit Te Papa which is New Zealand’s national museum located in Wellington. Here you can explore the Maori culture, art heritage and fascinating history.

DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.
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