Free things to do in New Zealand

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Get your bearings at the geographical centre of New Zealand

While on a map it may look like it lies somewhere in the middle of the Cook Strait, the geographical centre of New Zealand is actually a hilltop just outside Nelson City.  Read the story . . . 

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Take a walk and a dip at Whangārei Falls

Just ten minutes from Whangārei City, Otuihau Whangārei Falls is both easily accessible and classically beautiful.  Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Take to the mountain bike trails in Whakarewarewa Forest

The Whakarewarewa Forest, aka ‘The Redwoods,’ is 5500 hectares of magnificent native and exotic trees on the outskirts of Rotorua City.   Read the story . . . 

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Heavenly Haast: a UNESCO World Heritage Area

The southern corner of the South Island’s West Coast is home to landscapes so wild and spectacular, it has been recognised by UNESCO as an area of international significance.  Read the story . . . 

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Spot penguins, seals and one of New Zealand’s oldest lighthouses at Nugget Point

A historic lighthouse on a rocky peninsula surrounded by the wild Pacific Ocean: it doesn’t get much more iconic than Nugget Point. Read the story . . . 

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Discover the geological wonder of the Ōpārara Arches

Experience limestone arches, caves, a whisky-coloured river and lush rainforest in the Kahurangi National Park on the West Coast. Read the story . . . 

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Be the first to see the sunrise at East Cape Lighthouse

There’s something a bit special about watching the sunrise. It’s even more special if you’re one of the first people in the world to see it.  Read the story . . . 

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Road trips

Experience the natural highlights of the Catlins

The remote and rugged corner of the South Island’s south-eastern coast, known as the Catlins, is like a highlight reel of all the best bits nature has to offer. Read the story . . . 

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Road trips

Catch a break on Taranaki's Surf Highway 45

Generations of adventurous surfers have made the pilgrimage along Taranaki’s coastline in search of the perfect wave. Take their lead this summer on Surf Highway 45.  Read the story . . . 

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Climb Whangārei’s steep and seriously scenic Mount Manaia

Mount Manaia towers over Whangārei Harbour in a cluster of majestic craggy peaks, irresistible to anyone who appreciates a dramatic view. Read the story . . . 

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Take in the views from Te Mata Peak

On a clear day you can see the whole of Hawke’s Bay from the top of Te Mata Peak. That alone is worth the climb.  Read the story . . . 

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Activities

Ride the Hauraki Rail Trail through the stunning Karangahake Gorge

One of the easiest Great Rides, the Hauraki Rail Trail, is a gentle cycle through New Zealand’s gold mining history.  Read the story . . . 

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Anapai Bay: welcome to paradise

Anapai Bay is one of the loveliest spots in the Abel Tasman National Park – an area of New Zealand that’s already over-endowed with lovely spots.  Read the story . . . 

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Get a bird’s-eye view of Picton from the Tirohanga Track

While the Marlborough Sounds are spoilt for scenic spots and great views, one of the best and most accessible viewpoints is at the top of the Tirohanga Track in Picton. Read the story . . . 

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Lake Waikaremoana: a Great Walk

Lake Waikaremoana is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, set in the heart of Te Urewera, the largest area of untouched bush in the North Island.  Read the story . . . 

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Visit Cathedral Cove, The Coromandel's star attraction

A beach that you can only get to by foot or by sea is a little bit special. Cathedral Cove is one of those beaches.  Read the story . . . 

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