Thursday, November 14, 2013
Underrated Outdoor Activities in New Zealand
Forget Lonely Planet's idea that the White Lady - a mobile burger bus - in Auckland is the top thing to do in the City of Sails. And maybe while you're in New Zealand you want to stray from the hot tourist spots and give bungy jumping a miss.New Zealand may be known for many things, including adventure sports and hobbits, but there are a huge number of outdoor activities in this country that are hugely underrated.Stream hike through Piha Gorge - While it's close to the Piha Valley Track, unless you knew about this turn off, you'd most likely miss it. Get your feet wet on this hike through the Piha Stream and wade through rushing rivers and climb waterfalls up to Piha Gorge. The bonus of this great walk is that it's close to Auckland and can be an easy day trip while you're in the city.Drive along Wellington's south coast - Wellington is a gorgeous city whose views are nothing if not impressive. After visiting the cultural epicentre, drive along the rugged south coast beach and view the red rocks, little bays and New Zealand's native fur seals. If you're lucky, you'll also be able to see the Bluebridge Ferry coming into the Wellington Harbour after travelling across the Cook Straight.Picnic on top of Mt Eden at night - After the Sky Tower, there are arguably no better views of Auckland's skyline than the top of Mt Eden after dark. If the weather's nice, pack a picnic dinner, open up the car doors, and eat with the views in the background while listening to a little music. The bonus is that the mountain doesn't get over-crowded at night so it's a great place to take a date!Jump off the wharf at Maraetai Beach - This sandy, shelly beach has become popular with local families for a fun day out. There's a public boat ramp and, on a hot summer's afternoon, there's no better experience than jumping off the wharf and into the sea. Just make sure you do this only during high tide!Walk the fossil forest at Curio Bay - The wonderful Caitlins Coast in the South Island is one of the country's best kept secrets. And one of the main towns in this area, Owaka, is home to the ancient fossilised forest, which is exposed at Curio Bay during low tide. See petrified fern fronds, leaves, tree stumps and logs. This is an absolute must in the South Island as it's the world's most extensive Jurassic fossil forest, stretching 20km.There's so much this country has to offer, both as tourist attractions and hidden gems. But no matter what your itinerary, make sure you book your New Zealand accommodation to experience the best this country has to offer.