10 Things to do on a Road Trip around New Zealand

Today’s post comes from Marie, the blogger and very talented illustrator from Miles of Happiness. Marie spent half a year driving around New Zealand and she produced beautiful watercolours to help document her trip. Here she shares some of her highlights from that journey. I’d also recommend you check out here blog – this girl was born in France, currently lives in Hong Kong, and has crisscrossed the globe many times over.

New Zealand is a paradise for outdoor adventurers. I spend half a year driving through this beautiful country and, to be honest, I totally fell for this place.

Here are some of the best things to do in New Zealand to get your adrenaline pumping! Ready?

1. Fly over Queenstown

Queenstown is called “the Adventure Capital of the World” and its title is well deserved. There are hundreds of extreme sports to try here. Paragliding is a good way to mix adrenaline with stunning views of Queenstown’s surroundings. You have The Remarkables mountain range standing proudly over the town and Lake Wakatipu, it’s absolutely spectacular.

2. Paddle in Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its golden beaches and sculpted granite cliffs. Kayaking is one of the best ways to explore the area and there are plenty of options available ranging from one day trips to longer ones. You’ll possibly come across dolphins, sea lions or even whales during your excursion! You can even mix in a bit of hiking, and let me tell you, the landscapes are stunning.

3. Hike on a glacier

It’s one thing to watch the surreal blue of a glacier from afar, and it’s another to strap crampons to your own boots. Hiking over the ice, through deep blue ice caves, over ice crags and down slopes is a unique experience, and an original way to explore the mountains of the South Island.

4. Surf among a pod of dolphins








Surfing is one of the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. You can surf pretty much everywhere in New Zealand. We chose the Catlins by chance, and it turned out to be a wise choice. The Hector Dolphins, the smallest dolphins in the world, live right there. They are very good surfers –definitely better than I will ever be – and not shy at all. So…why not dare to realize an old dream?

5. Climb a volcano








New Zealand is well known for its dramatic lanscapes, especially thanks to The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. What would you think about hiking in the dark atmosphere of Mordor? Characterized by an extending volcanic terrain, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a 19.4 kilometre journey among unique landforms and volcanic peaks.

6. Jump from the Kawarau Bungy Bridge

Do you have a healthy appetite for adrenaline? Although I do love extreme adventures, I have to admit I didn’t jump. I went there only to watch people jump, which is pretty nice as well, but everyone who did it was super excited – and still alive after!

7. Explore an amazing underwater world

Sub-tropical reefs, clear water springs and wrecks are the spectacular foundation of hundreds of dive sites along the 15,000 km coastline of New Zealand. The seabed is filled with an amazing diversity of marine life. It’s one of the most beautiful hidden treasures of the country.

8. Go crazy in Queenstown’s Bike Park

There’s an awesome practice park for mountain bikers with a huge network of singletrack trails. You can play with berms, jumps and wooden logs. And once you’re really warmed-up, you can plan your Heli-Bike trip!

9. Go fishing in the countryside 

Lakes, rivers, backcountry streams and spring creeks are not just gorgeous in New Zealand, but they also offer fantastic opportunities to enjoy fishing at its very best. Fishing fanatics will be in their element here.

10. Go River Rafting

New Zealand has some of the best river rafting in the world. Paddling a raft down one of its spectacular rivers, negociating rapids and strong currents is a unique experience. And in addition to the great fun, you’ll enjoy wonderful scenery.

New Zealand is a Disneyland for adults! It truly is. I hope you’ll get the opportunity to explore this amazing country. By the way, here are the 10 things that will make your New Zealand trip worth it. And if you want to travel a bit, check out the video of my trip there!

Have done a New Zealand Road Trip?
Where in New Zealand would you most like to visit?