In this article, we will take you on a journey through the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand, showcasing the best summer tours available. From exploring the iconic Milford Sound to hiking the majestic glaciers of Franz Josef, we will provide you with an in-depth guide to the top destinations and activities to make your New Zealand summer adventure truly unforgettable. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, there’s something for everyone in this amazing country, and we can’t wait to show you why!
New Zealand is a land of natural beauty, renowned for its stunning landscapes, outdoor adventures, and friendly locals. With its pristine beaches, rugged mountains, and diverse wildlife, it’s no surprise that New Zealand is a popular destination for tourists from around the world.
However, with so many options for activities and destinations, it can be challenging to know where to begin when planning a summer tour in New Zealand. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top destinations and activities for a summer tour in New Zealand, and provide tips for planning your trip to make the most of your time.
Top Destinations for Summer Tours in New Zealand
New Zealand is a relatively small country, but it’s packed with diverse landscapes and unique destinations. Here are some of the top destinations for a summer tour in New Zealand:
Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most famous natural wonders, located in the heart of Fiordland National Park. It’s a stunning fiord that stretches for 16 kilometers, surrounded by towering mountains, waterfalls, and lush forests.
There are several tour options available for exploring Milford Sound, including boat tours, kayaking, and scenic flights. Boat tours are the most popular option, providing an up-close view of the fiord’s waterfalls and wildlife, including dolphins, seals, and penguins.
Franz Josef Glacier
The Franz Josef Glacier is another must-visit destination on the South Island of New Zealand. This massive glacier is located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park and is one of the only glaciers in the world that descends from the mountains to rainforest level.
Visitors can take guided tours of the glacier, including helicopter tours that provide a bird’s-eye view of the glacier’s stunning ice formations. There are also hiking trails that lead to viewing platforms, allowing visitors to see the glacier up close and appreciate its beauty.
Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, offering a wide range of outdoor activities, including bungee jumping, skydiving, and white-water rafting. It’s also a beautiful destination, located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the Southern Alps.
While adventure sports are the main draw of Queenstown, there are also plenty of other activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, and wine tasting. The town itself is also worth exploring, with a vibrant arts and culture scene, great restaurants, and a lively nightlife.
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park is located on the northern tip of the South Island, known for its golden sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and lush native forests. It’s a popular destination for hiking and kayaking, with several trails and waterways to explore.
One of the most popular activities in Abel Tasman National Park is the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, a 60-kilometer trail that winds through the park’s stunning coastal scenery. Visitors can also take guided kayak tours, exploring the park’s hidden coves and beaches.
Rotorua is a unique destination, known for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. It’s located in the central North Island of New Zealand and is home to bubbling mud pools, geysers, and hot springs. It’s also a cultural hub, with several Maori villages offering visitors a chance to learn about Maori history, traditions, and cuisine.
Visitors to Rotorua can take guided tours of the geothermal sites, including Wai-O-Tapu and Te Puia, where they can see geysers erupting and mud pools bubbling. There are also several hot springs and spa facilities in the area, allowing visitors to relax and soak in the natural mineral waters.
Best Activities for Summer Tours in New Zealand
In addition to visiting these top destinations, there are several activities that are a must-do on a summer tour in New Zealand:
Hiking and Trekking
New Zealand is known for its stunning hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging multi-day treks. Some of the most popular trails include the Milford Track, the Routeburn Track, and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Visitors should be prepared for changing weather conditions and should research trail difficulty and duration before setting out. It’s also important to pack plenty of water, food, and appropriate clothing and gear.
With its abundance of rivers, lakes, and coastline, New Zealand is a water sports lover’s paradise. Visitors can try white-water rafting, kayaking, and surfing, with several companies offering guided tours and rentals.
Some of the most popular water sports destinations include the Shotover River in Queenstown, the Kaituna River in Rotorua, and Piha Beach near Auckland.
New Zealand is home to several unique and fascinating wildlife species, including the kiwi bird, penguins, and whales. Visitors can take guided tours to see these animals in their natural habitats, such as whale watching tours in Kaikoura and penguin spotting tours in Dunedin.
Biking is a popular activity in New Zealand, with several scenic routes and trails to explore. Some of the most popular routes include the Otago Central Rail Trail, the Hauraki Rail Trail, and the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail.
Visitors can rent bikes from several locations around the country, and there are also several guided bike tours available, offering a chance to see the country’s stunning landscapes up close.
Skydiving and Bungee Jumping
For adrenaline junkies, skydiving and bungee jumping are must-do activities in New Zealand. Queenstown is the bungee jumping capital of the world, with several jumps available, including the Nevis Bungy, the highest bungee jump in New Zealand.
Skydiving is also a popular activity, with several companies offering tandem jumps that provide stunning views of the country’s natural beauty from above.
Planning Your New Zealand Summer Tour
When planning a summer tour in New Zealand, there are several factors to consider, including:
Duration of Your Trip
New Zealand is a small country, but there is a lot to see and do. It’s recommended to spend at least two weeks in the country to see some of the top destinations and activities. However, if time and budget allow, a month-long trip is ideal.
New Zealand is best explored by car, allowing visitors to have the freedom to go where they want, when they want. Rental cars are readily available from several companies at airports and major cities.
Alternatively, visitors can take advantage of New Zealand’s public transportation system, including buses and trains. It’s also possible to take guided tours to some of the top destinations.
There are several accommodation options available in New Zealand, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts. It’s recommended to book accommodation in advance, especially during the peak summer months of December through February.
For those looking for a unique experience, there are also several glamping options available, allowing visitors to enjoy the outdoors in style and comfort.
New Zealand’s weather can be unpredictable, with temperature and weather conditions varying depending on location and time of year. Summer months typically have mild to warm temperatures, with occasional rain showers. Visitors should pack layers and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
A summer tour in New Zealand is an unforgettable experience, offering visitors a chance to explore stunning landscapes, experience unique activities, and immerse themselves in the country’s culture and history. With so much to see and do, it’s important to plan ahead to make the most of your trip. Whether you’re a nature lover, adrenaline junkie, or history buff, New Zealand has something for everyone.