Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

12 Unique Things to See and Do in New Zealand

New Zealand is an amazing place to visit, whether you’re a Lord of the Rings nerd, a nature lover, or a culture vulture. Hobbits aside, there’s a lot to do in New Zealand that you’ve likely never heard about. If you want to do some wacky or off-the-beaten-path activities during your time in NZ, try out a few of these cool ideas.

 

1    Fly a Stunt Plane

Okay, so to be honest, the stunt plane is actually a pretty popular activity in New Zealand. Tons of tourists enjoy it every year. Still, it’s so unique to the world as a whole that we couldn’t resist mentioning it here! After all, where else are the untrained allowed to even touch the controls of any aircraft, much less sit in the pilot’s seat of a stunt plane? But don’t worry—you’re not given enough control over the aircraft to actually put you in danger.
 
Stunt Plane
2    Trek a Glacier

Even though there are plenty of warm and sunny beaches in New Zealand, you can also explore freezing cold glaciers! Take a trip to the colder regions and trek some of the most beginner-friendly glaciers in the world.
 
Trek A Glacier
3    Check Out the Glowworms

Again, not such an unusual activity when it comes to New Zealand tourism. However, it’s had to find anything as weird and wonderful as this anywhere you go, so it’s worth checking out even if you’re trying to avoid the typical activities. The glowworms are located in Waitomo Caves, where you can take a guided tour to see all the luminescent little creatures.
 
Glowworms
4    Get Boulder

Be bold enough to check out the Moeraki Boulders of Koehoke Beach along New Zealand’s shoes. If you know anything about geology, you’ll think it’s strange how these gigantic, perfectly round rocks came to remain on the coast for so long, despite the constant beating of wind and waves.
 
Moeraki Boulders
5    Wai-O-Tapu

This area looks quite a lot like the United States’ Yellowstone National Park, but even more incredible. The fantastic colors, steaming pools, and winding walkways are enough to keep anyone fascinated for hours and hours.
 
Wai O Tapu
6    Futuro House

Back in 1968, people were really into the whole space age thing. UFO-inspired buildings were popular, and New Zealand wasn’t left behind in the fad. While most of these weird buildings have been destroyed or are hidden away in weird little small towns, the Futuro House has been preserved for visitors to see.
 
Futuro House
7    Doubtful Sound

It is ironic that a “sound” is referred to as one of the quietest places on earth. Maybe that’s why they named it “Doubtful Sound!” Once you stop rolling your eyes at my terrible puns, go look up photos of this beautiful place and learn why you should go there. There are many fun and adventurous activities to enjoy on the water, from cruises to paddling!
 
Doubtful Sound
8    New Chum’s Beach

Although this is considered one of the world’s best beaches, people rarely go! Make the trip to this lonely stretch of sand and discover the virgin beauty of nature.
 
New Chum’s Beach
9    The world’s steepest street in Dunedin

With a slope of 38 degrees, this is the steepest residential street in the world. It looks like something out of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series! I’m not the only one who remembers those books, right?
 
Dunedin Steepest Street
10    Christchurch’s Restart Mall

After the original mall was destroyed by an earthquake, the people of Christchurch decided to start over with what they had. A lot of brightly-painted shipping containers currently serves as the shopping center.
 
Christchurch's Restart Mall
11    Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungah-oronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu

Yup, this is a real name of a real place! I’ll spare you the letter-counting: it’s 85 characters long. It happens to the longest name of any place in an English-speaking country! What is it, you ask? Just a hill in Hawke’s Bay.
 
Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungah Oronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu
12    Kiwi 360

The kiwi capitol of the world is known as Kiwi 360! Who wouldn’t want to visit and celebrate all things kiwi! We’re referring to the fruit, of course, but we don’t mind celebrating the bird, too, and the people, for that matter. After all, New Zealand is one of the most spectacular places in the world.
 
Kiwi 360
 

So there you have it! Twelve of the weirdest, wackiest things you have ever done on vacation. Be sure to add a few of these things to your itinerary, along with Hobbiton and the beach. Savo ‘lass a lalaith! (In case you’re wondering, that’s a way to say goodbye in Elvish.)

 

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