Having grown up in the North Island of New Zealand I thought I would share some of my favourite activities I like doing when in the area. We Kiwis love the outdoors and are surrounded by some of the nicest places. You'll feel like a local, too, when you get outside to try black water rafting, luging down the side of a hill in Rotorura or just enjoying the water and the view at some of our best local hangouts. Here are some things you won't want to miss.
Black Water Rafting in Waitomo Caves
The Waitomo Caves are in the Waikato region and are famous for glow worms hanging from the ceiling of the caves. Black Water Rafting involves sitting on a round tube and going through rapids and slides in the caves with only a head torch and the glow worms for lighting. It is a lot of fun sliding down mud slides and water rapids in the dark.
Dig Your Own Jacuzzi at Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach is on the Coromandel Peninsula, which is on the East Coast of the North Island. The Coromandel Peninsula is full of great beaches that are very popular holiday destinations for Kiwis. Hot Water Beach sits above hot water springs. Two hours either side of low tide, you can actually dig your own Jacuzzi or “Hot Water Pool” in the sand. Jacuzzi on the beach? Why not I say.
Go on the Luge in Rotorua
Rotorua is in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island. It is famous for geothermic mud pools and large lakes. The Skyline luge is a fusion of a go kart and a toboggan which you race down the side of a hill. It is extremely fun racing your friends down the hill and knocking them off the track into the mud (this has happened to me). To get to the top of the hill you take a gondola ride up which has spectacular views looking out over a large blue lake.
Go to Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove is located on the Coromandel Peninsula and is one of my favorite places in New Zealand. To get there you must walk a track for a couple of KMs. It is well worth the walk as you will find yourself at two beautiful beaches separated by an arched rock formation looking like a “Cathedral."
Wellington’s Courtenay Place
Courtenay Place is located in downtown Wellington. Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and is where you can catch the ferry from the North to the South Island. While in Wellington be sure to spend a night out along Courtenay Place. The street is full of pubs, clubs and restaurants. Have some drinks and chat to some locals then eat a meat pie to nurse your hangover the next day, just like a Kiwi!