12 ideas to kickstart your summer travel plans

Summer is just around the corner! We’ve picked out a dozen fresh ideas for things to see and do around...


Summer is just around the corner! 

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Natural attractions

Farewell Spit: a sandy phenomenon

Extending 35km east in a sweeping arc east from the northernmost extremity of the South Island, Farewell Spit is the longest natural sandbar in the world. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Wānaka: kicking the autumn leaves

Lake Wānaka is an aquatic playground for anglers, water-skiers, jet-boaters, sailors, swimmers and windsurfers... and more. And then there's autumn... Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Hanmer Springs: alpine adventures and indulgence

There’s not much better than lounging in hot mineral water when the ground around you is covered with snow and there’s a biting southerly blowing down from the tops. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Hollyford Valley: not your average walk

While less popular than the nearby Milford and Routeburn tracks, Hollyford Valley is nonetheless one of the South Island’s great tramping experiences. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Mountain biking the Rameka Track: gut-busting fun

Mountain bikes are forbidden in the Abel Tasman National Park – all except for one section, the Rameka Track from Tākaka Hill down into the Rameka Gorge. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Cook Strait crossing: one of the most beautiful in the world

Anyone who has ever done a road trip of New Zealand will have indelible memories of their Cook Strait crossing. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Rakiura Stewart Island: smouldering sunsets and sunrises

At Halfmoon Bay, the main settlement on Stewart Island, sunsets and sunrises stretch into smouldering pyrotechnic displays. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Night skiing at Coronet Peak

Few people find themselves out in the mountains at night, so quite apart from the skiing, just being on the slopes under the stars is an unusual and affecting experience. Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Lake Tekapō: shimmering beauty

By day, the view’s pretty spectacular – the arid splendour of the Mackenzie Country dominated by Aoraki Mount Cook. But you really want to be here when it gets dark...  Read the story . . . 

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Natural attractions

Otago Peninsula: prodigious wildlife and a bona fide castle

If ever you should tire of the splendours of Dunedin, explore the Otago Peninsula, extending from the city to the northeast, to the southern headland of the entrance to the harbour. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Queenstown: the sky’s the limit

You feel pretty brave, standing there on the edge, your toes dangling in the void, the river moving lazily 100 metres below. Read the story . . . 

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Food and drink

Eat crayfish in Kaikōura: dine al fresco on this hallmark cuisine

In Māori, kai means food and kōura means crayfish. Right. The water off this cool coast is wild with sealife, including that New Zealand delicacy: crayfish. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Whale watching: close encounters on the water

The Hikurangi Trench off the coast of Kaikōura is home to a wealth of deep-sea marine life, including orca, blue and humpback whales.  Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

The not-so-distant summit: day hikes to mountain tops

Mountain climbing doesn’t just have to be for the experienced or those inclined to take risks. There are plenty of spectacular summits in New Zealand that can be reached with little more than the right provisions, a propensity for physical exercise and common sense. Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Marlborough: From the vines to the sea

As the probable landing place of the first waka ever to visit New Zealand, Marlborough is the home of the very first people ever to travel to this country.   Read the story . . . 

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Things to do

Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway

Observe seals and seabirds, explore historic pā and whaling sites and enjoy sensational clifftop views of the sea and mountains from this unique walking track. Read the story . . . 

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