Our New Zealand Must Do List

New Zealand has been high on our list of places to visit for a very long time. The country’s lush green landscapes, temperate climate, and down-to-earth-people make it a popular bucket list trip for people from all over the world. We’ve thought about the different ways to explore the country; from renting a camper van to renting Airbnb apartments in various cities, but we are pretty sure we landed on Airbnb…although maybe we can squeeze a van trip in somewhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

We’ve had a lot of success using Airbnb in other places around the world, so we figured Airbnb Auckland would be a great start!

New Zealand Bucket List

Beautiful New Zealand

So, what’s on our New Zealand must-do list?


We will most likely begin our trip in Auckland. We’d like to take a few days on the front end to enjoy this city. Of course, if you know us, you know we’ve been looking at all the adorable Airbnb’s in Auckland for quite sometime. Aside from enjoying the neighborhood around our Airbnb, we also plan to hike up Mount Eden in time to enjoy a sunrise. We’d also like to learn more about the Maori Culture and love that Auckland offers so many different tours.

Plus, rumor has it that Auckland is home to the best ice cream in the world at Giapo. This ice cream shop dreams up imaginative flavors resulting in the most incredible ice cream in the world. A recent Facebook post showcased a tamarillo, pineapple, bitters, macadamia and bee pollen flavor. If you know us, you know we love food and trying anything and everything when we travel!

Things to do in Auckland


Camper Van Road Trip

It’s no secret that vacationing in New Zealand can be hard on the wallet. A great option for saving money is renting a camper van for your stay. This way your transportation and lodging costs are combined. Plus, most camper vans come with camping stoves, so you can stick to grocery store shopping and prepare the majority of your meals yourself. We love that this option allows you to go to bed and wake up in some pretty amazing places. The hardest part of this method of travel is picking the route!

Since you would most likely be picking up a van up in Auckland, most people plan to travel from the North Island to the South Island.

Hike to Roy’s Peak

We’ve seen so many photos from this beautiful day long hike that we know we can’t visit without making time for this hike. We’ll base ourselves in Wanaka the night before so we can get a decent early start. Most tell us the hike is strenuous, but not technical, and will take about 6 hours. It’s not clear if that includes the countless stops for photos and videos along the way. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The views from the top look absolutely amazing. You can see Lake Wanaka, Wanaka town, and even nearby islands. We’d plan to pack a picnic so we have a reason to linger at the top!

Lake Wanaka

Kayak near Mount Maunganui

Ever since getting into kayaking at home, we’ve been on the lookout for cool spots to kayak when we travel. The Bay of Plenty’s Mount Maunganui looks like a really beautiful place and is our number one pick for kayaking when visit the North Island. What makes this spot unique is that one side of the mount is a gorgeous beach and the other is a beautiful harbor. You get the best of both worlds and only have to drop in once. We’ve also read that seals hang out around Mount Maunganui in the winter and there are usually stingrays too!ย Do you know what animal likes to eat stingrays?

Yes, Orcas! While they would be amazing to see, I am not sure I want to encounter one while in a kayak! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Franz Josef glacier

Franz Josef glacier

Sky Dive Franz Josef Glacier

You may remember, we crossed off bungee jumping from our bucket lists in Africa, but we have yet to sky dive. Enter Franz Josef Glacier.

We can’t actually think of a better way to take in the views of this glacier than from the sky. On a clean, clear day it is possible to see over the Main Divide from west coast to east coast, hundreds of glaciers, the Tasman Sea and the rivers flowing between them. At 18,000ft, this is actually the highest tandem skydive in the southern hemisphere. Since we only plan to sky dive once in our lives, it might as well be a nice long one so we have plenty of time to enjoy the views. Go big or go home, I guess!

We absolutely can’t wait to touch down in New Zealand!

Have you traveledย to New Zealand? What were your New Zealand must-dos? What are we missing? Leave us a comment!ย 

About Alana

Alana is one-half of Great Big Globe. She loves animals, the Wisconsin Badgers, exploring new countries and chasing the sun.


  1. New Zealand it’s a very beautiful place! It has a lot of beautiful places to take awesome pictures and witness very beautiful sunsets! I really would love to travel and know more about it!

  2. We spent 10 days in the South island with a rental car. Milford sound is a must do and the hike up to lake Marian is awesome.

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