Last week, we explored “Play” in adventure travel, one of our Core Values here at Journeys International. This week, as our eyes are on New Zealand, we wanted to go a step further and highlight the opportunities for play in our Complete Kiwi Explorer sample itinerary as well as suggest a few other adventures that travelers may find enticing for a journey into one of the most beautiful countries in the world. New Zealand offers a plethora of opportunities to rediscover the joy of play through adventure. Whether you find play in a good hike in the depths of a forest, hitting the water, through the arts, or in sampling new delights, New Zealand has something that speaks to the playful spirit in just about anyone.

NZ Adventure Activities That May Speak to Your Playful Side

Hiking in Tongariro National Park:

Explore the dramatic landscapes of Tongariro National Park, home to the iconic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This challenging yet rewarding hike takes you through volcanic terrain, emerald lakes, and lush forests, making it a perfect adventure for those who seek thrill and natural beauty.

Kayak at Onetahuti Beach, Abel Tasman National Park, NZKayaking in Abel Tasman National Park:

Paddle through crystal-clear waters along the golden beaches and hidden coves of Abel Tasman National Park. Kayaking here combines adventure with the serene beauty of nature, perfect for playful exploration.

Cycling the Otago Central Rail Trail:

This 150-kilometer trail follows an old railway line through Central Otago, offering a scenic and leisurely cycling experience. Enjoy the playful spirit of a bike ride through picturesque landscapes and charming rural towns.

Nature’s Playground: Explore the Great Outdoors 

Exploring Rotorua’s Geothermal Wonders:Champagne Pool, Rotorua

Rotorua is a geothermal playground where you can witness bubbling mud pools, steaming vents, and colorful hot springs. Visit Te Puia to see the famous Pohutu Geyser and enjoy interactive exhibits at the geothermal parks.

Cruising Milford Sound:

Experience the stunning beauty of Milford Sound with a scenic cruise. Surrounded by towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls, this natural wonder offers a serene and awe-inspiring setting for playful exploration.

Connect and Discover Through Cultural Immersion

A group of New Zealand Maori folk dancers performing in an outdoor festival.Maori Cultural Experiences:

Engage with the rich Maori culture through traditional performances, arts, and crafts. Participate in a haka dance, learn to weave flax, or enjoy a hangi feast. These cultural activities offer a playful and meaningful way to connect with New Zealand’s indigenous heritage.

Wine Tasting in Marlborough:

Indulge in a playful yet sophisticated experience by exploring the renowned vineyards of Marlborough. Enjoy wine tastings and tours that allow you to savor world-class Sauvignon Blanc in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.

Adventures for All Ages

Wildlife Encounters at Zealandia:

Visit Zealandia, an urban eco-sanctuary in Wellington, to see some of New Zealand’s unique wildlife. This family-friendly adventure offers opportunities to spot native birds, reptiles, and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

Glowworm Caves in Waitomo:Glowworm Cathedral at the end of Waipu Cave in New Zealand

Discover the magical glowworm caves in Waitomo, where you can take a boat ride through the underground caverns illuminated by thousands of tiny glowworms. This enchanting experience is perfect for families looking to add a touch of wonder to their journey.

Customize: Tailor Your Adventure

We understand that play means different things to different people. That’s why we offer customized trips that allow you to choose activities that resonate with your personal sense of play. Here are some other  off-the-beaten-path, earth-friendly activities you might enjoy in New Zealand if you’re planning an adventure:

Eco-Friendly Whale Watching in Kaikoura:

Kaikoura is renowned for its marine life, and you can enjoy sustainable whale watching tours that respect the natural habitat of these magnificent creatures. Spot sperm whales, dolphins, and fur seals in their natural environment.

Stargazing in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve:

Experience the wonder of the night sky in one of the world’s darkest places. The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve offers unparalleled stargazing opportunities, perfect for a peaceful and awe-inspiring playtime under the stars.

Exploring the Forgotten World Highway:

Travel the Forgotten World Highway, a scenic and historic route through remote and untouched landscapes. This drive offers a playful sense of exploration, with stops at quirky towns, ancient forests, and hidden valleys.

Walking in the Redwoods forest, RotoruaForest Bathing in the Redwoods of Rotorua:

Engage in the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, in the Redwoods of Rotorua. This mindful and immersive nature experience promotes relaxation and a deep connection with the natural world.

Plan a Playful Adventure in Wonderful New Zealand

New Zealand is a destination that truly embodies the spirit of play. With its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage, it offers endless opportunities for adventure, exploration, and fun. At Journeys International, we are dedicated to creating experiences that rekindle the joy of play, making every journey enriching and unforgettable.

Get in touch with us with your vision for your next journey and share what kinds of fun activities make you feel alive! We’re standing by and can help you craft your next playful trip into breathtaking New Zealand.