Top Five Things You Can Only Do In
by Ruth Atherley
Travelling in New Zealand provides visitors with the opportunity for unique experiences that you can’t have anywhere else. Kiwis, the affectionate nickname for New Zealanders, are incredibly friendly and are known around the globe for their welcoming ways. Chat with a Kiwi and before you know it, chances are, they’re walking you to your destination, you’re visiting their favourite pub or you are at their house for dinner!
The following is a list of the top five things you can only do in New Zealand.
See a Kiwi in its Natural Habitat
Seeing a kiwi bird is something that you can only do in New Zealand. The endangered bird is the country’s national symbol. Flightless and nocturnal, kiwis are the only birds that have nostrils on the end of their large beaks. While they may look quite cute, they can be fierce and are highly territorial. In Wellington, on the North Island, Zealandia has over 100 kiwis living at their eco-sanctuary. Their Zealandia by Night tour gives you a chance to see kiwis in their natural habitat foraging for food. On the South Island, Bravo Adventure Cruises’ Kiwi Spotting on Stewart Island tour also gives you a great opportunity to see kiwis in their natural environment.
See Where a Hobbit Lives
For fans of the Lord of the Rings movies, there has never been a better time to check out the Hobbiton Movie Set near Matamata on the North Island. Fans can take a guided tour of the incredible film set that showcases beautiful, completed hobbit holes, the pub and other icons. This is unprecedented access to the Middle-earth location.
Take a Ride on the Steepest Tree-to-Tree Flying Fox in the World
Ziptrek Queenstown offers a range of ziplining tours. Their Kea 6-Line Tour provides an adrenalin-filled opportunity to zipline down a hill for about a kilometer on the steepest tree-to-tree flying fox in the world. This thrill-seeking experience also includes a 20-minute guided hike through an ancient native beech forest.
Hang Out on the Beach with Gannets in Hawke’s Bay
The Cape Kidnappers Gannet Reserve is home to 20,000 gannets – the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colony in the world. Known to Maori as “takapu,” these birds usually breed on islands; yet each year thousands of gannets are found on the mainland here. This unique experience can be reached by 4WD vehicles, tractor and trailer, four-wheel motorbike, and on foot at low tide.
Eat a Fergburger
If there is one thing Kiwis like as much as a glass of wine or a local microbrew, it’s food. New Zealand offers visitors the chance to have some incredible taste experiences – none better than Fergburger. The rapt attention people pay to eating these burgers backs up the local claim that these are the best burgers on the face of the planet. Based in Queenstown, this little burger joint only closes between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. and it’s always busy. Big, juicy burgers, great fries and a cult-like atmosphere of food love create a one-of-a-kind experience. The owner has absolutely no interest in expanding or franchising. This little establishment in Queenstown is the only place in the world you can get a Fergburger.