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New Zealand is a big country.

And it’s well known for its many activities that can make every adventurous travelers heart beat faster.

There are plenty of interesting things to do in New Zealand, and breathtaking trails to hike. It’s very easy to start feeling lost, when you have so much to choose from. And that can be a problem if you have limited time. That’s why we have created this list of the best cities in New Zealand for adventure seekers.

These are the cities that offer A LOT in one place.

A lot of fun activities and exciting adventures in one place.

These are the cities that offer A LOT in one place.

Save your time. Add these cities to your New Zealand itinerary, and you’ll be able to make the most of your time in this beautiful country.

Cities That You Should Include in Your New Zealand Itinerary

5 Best Cities in New Zealand for Adventure Seekers

Here is the list of 5 of the most exciting cities in New Zealand.

Cities are listed in no particular order.

1. Auckland (North Island)

Sailing boats near Auckland, New Zealand
Sailing boats near Auckland, New Zealand / Pixabay

The biggest city in New Zealand and also the first stop for many travelers.

It is the only city in the world built on an active volcanic field.

But if that alone doesn’t sound adventurous enough, here are some cool things to do in Auckland.

If you love the underwater world, think of trying out scuba diving in Auckland.

For more information visit divehqauckland.co.nz/dive-trips.

Even if you come during the summer, it’s still possible to do some winter sports like skiing and snowboarding in Auckland. If that’s what you’re interested in, then the Auckland’s Snowplanet is the place to go.

If you love heights, check out the Sky Tower.

It’s a 1076 ft / 328 meters high tower offering a great panoramic view of Auckland.

And that’s not the only thing you can do there. For adrenaline junkies there is also SkyWalk and SkyJump.

SkyWalk is a 360 degree walk around the outside ring of the Sky Tower, and SkyJump is a jump from 630 ft / 192 meters. If one isn’t enough for you, you can also combine both of these activities.

Auckland Harbour Bridge is another place offering something very similar. There you can try out two fun and a bit extreme activities: Bridge Climb and Bungy Jumping Experience.

Rainbow’s End is the biggest amusement park in New Zealand, and it’s located in Auckland.

With over 20 rides and attractions, there’s something for everyone.

There are the main theme park and also Kidz Kingdom, a family entertainment center for children of 8 years and under.

All of this makes Auckland one of the top cities in New Zealand. If you want to have some fun time.

2. Rotorua (North Island)

Maori warrior in Rotorua, New Zealand
Maori warrior in Rotorua, New Zealand / Pixabay

Rotorua is one of the top cities to visit in New Zealand.

And it’s also the city you should not forget to include in your New Zealand North Island itinerary.

Because of  its geothermal activity it’s been known as a “spa city” and a major tourist destination in New Zealand since the early 19th century. This is the perfect place for relaxation to rejuvenate your body and mind.

Geysers, bubbling mud pools, and thermal springs, all of that  you can expect to see in its surroundings.

Not only that, it is also known for its mountain bike trails and white water rafting.

How to make your trip to Rotorua better? Start and finish your adventures in the area with some spa time. Soak in the region’s natural thermal spring waters and mineral rich mud.

Try Hell’s Gate or Waikite Valley Thermal Pools.

Experience authentic Maori culture, learn more about their legends, art and music.

This might be the best place in New Zealand to do it.

Rotorua is one of the top cities to visit in New Zealand.

Book a tour to Tamaki Maori Village or visit the New Zealand’s only living Maori Village Whakarewarewa.

If you’ll go for the latter, you’ll have a chance to experience their everyday life and see traditional performances of Maori people, as well as try their food that is cooked  in the bubbling geothermal waters and steam.

You can also try Maori healing and massage at Wikitoria Māori Healing.

Another unique thing to do in Rotorua is to see glow-worms.

These little creatures glow in a dark and can be found in wet caves.

You can rent a paddle board and do a glow-worm tour underground to experience the magic of thousands of worms lighting up the cave roof above you like a starry sky. Book your tour online.

If you’re up for something more adventurous, definitely try white water rafting in Kaituna River.

During this adventure you will experience crossing of the largest commercially rafted waterfall in the world – Tutea Falls.

3. Wellington (North Island)

Rope park in Wellington, New Zealand
Rope park / Pixabay

Are you a fan of the Lord of the Rings?

Then for you Wellington will probably be the best city to visit in New Zealand.

Wellington, also known as the City Of Wind, is the capital of New Zealand, and probably the best place where to go for all of you, Lord of the Ring (LOTR) fans. This city is not like most of the capitals around the world, and looks more like a cute and calm town, rather than feeling grand and busy.

But there are quite many interesting things to do in Wellington.

Some of these you might want to add to your NZ itinerary.

Although the filming locations of the LOTR can be found all over the country, Wellington is the place where the magic happens. For behind the scenes visit Weta Cave shop. Weta Workshop crafts physical effects for some of the world’s most famous films and TV shows, including LOTR.

You can buy souvenirs, take pictures with some lifesize orcs and even have a glimpse of the movie making, costumes and special effects on a free short movie.

You can also go for a tour to see how all the costumes, producing sets, armours, weapons and creatures are made.

For tour information visit wetaworkshop.com.

If you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings, then for you Wellington will probably be the best city to visit in New Zealand.

Another interesting thing to do in Wellington – electric bike tour.

Wellington is a hilly city, so electric bike will make the ride more enjoyable. You can easily go on a self-guided electric bike tour, and see all the best sights what this city have to offer during a one day tour.

Go to the Te Papa Museum, Weta Workshop, or Zealandia Sanctuary or cycle the Rimutaka Rail Trail.

For more active and challenging activities Adrenaline forest is the place to go.

You will have a chance to test your physical skills and your brains.

The obstacle trail starts at as low as 5 ft / 1.5 meters, and ends at the hardest level as high as 66 ft / 20 meters above the ground. There are more than 100 challenges across 6 different levels and each level is harder than the last.

You can expect not only climbing and jumping, but even swinging and flying.

Because of its location, at the Southern end of the North Island, Wellington is a great place for a boat tour or renting a kayak. This way you’ll be able to explore the Wellington Harbour, Fitzroy Bay and even see the South Island form here.

Because Wellington is locates at the Sothern end of the North Island it is a great place for a boat tour or renting a kayak. You can explore the Wellington Harbour, Fitzroy Bay and even see the South Island form here.

4. Queenstown (South Island)

Skydiving in Queenstown
Skydiving in Queenstown / Pixabay

The best of the best cities in New Zealand for all adventurers.

The queen of all the exciting and adventurous activities – Queenstown.

It is actually called the birthplace of adventure tourism. And it’s not for nothing. This is the place where activities like commercial jet boating, bungy jumping, alpine heli skiing and even zip-lining where invented. So if you crave a very fulfilled, adventurous and exciting trip you have to visit the Adventure Capital of the World.

If you love speed, take a jet boat ride across Lake Wakatipu.

Be prepared for 360° spins and travel at high speed through the shallow channels and rivers.

Check offers and prices on shotoverjet.com or www.kjet.co.nz.

If you crave something more original try high speed shark ride with submarine – torpedo like shark. This is actually the first place in the world where they started to use these types of machines. Nothing can prepare you for the ride in the shark as it is unique experience with speed, jumps and spins.

Continuing your fun in the water you can also try canyoning.

During it you’ll be abseiling waterfalls, you’ll be walking, climbing, zipliging, jumping and sliding down the rivers and streams. We can also call it a visit to adventure water park made by nature, and otherwise inaccessible.

The queen of all the exciting and adventurous activities – Queenstown.

Queenstown is also one of the best places to get up in the sky.

All kinds of helicopter rides are available in the area.

All you have to do is to choose what is that that you’re more interested to be flying over – lakes, mountains, glaciers or fjords. You can also choose to see all of that. Too see different tour options, check out glaciersouthernlakes.co.nz/ or helicopter.co.nz/.

Something more? Try skydiving or bungee jumping in Queenstown.

There are so many other things to do in Queenstown for all tastes and desires.

5. Wanaka (South Island)

 

Paraglider in the air
Paraglider in the air / Pixabay

The next best choice after Queenstown – Wanaka.

A lot of things you can do in Queenstown you can do also here.

As both cities are close to each other you can even combine the adventures from both of them during your stay in Otago region.

Halfway between Wanaka and Queenstown there is the first gravity-fuelled mountain carting adventure in the country.  It is located in Cardrona. You can expect going downhill in a 3-wheeled, alpine specialized mountain vehicle.

It is fun and fast.

For climbing enthusiasts and those who want to challenge themselves a little bit more, I can recommend to try waterfall climbing in Wanaka. The climb will take you up to 1148 ft / 350 metres, by vertical rungs. It includes crossing of multiple pools and suspension bridges with stunning views along the way.

At the end you’ll be rewarded with a lunch and panoramic views of Wanaka.

Another fun and exciting thing to do in Wanaka is paragliding.

Flying in a paraglider hundreds of meters in the sky, you will have a chance to see beautiful mountains,  lake Wanaka, waterfalls and other breathtaking landscapes.

For a more relaxing experience try the Lake Wanaka Cruises.

You can choose from many different cruise experiences and make the most of it by choosing whats suits you the best.

For great deals and offers check out grouponnz.co.nz and bookme.co.nz.

Have you been to New Zealand? Did you visit any of these cities? Is there some other cities you would add to the list of the best cities in New Zealand?

Featured photo: By KULDEEPSINH VAGHELA from Pexels

Book Your Trip Like a PRO

1. Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.

2. Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!

3. Buy Your Travel Insurance

World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.