Things to do while in NZ: your recommendations

Some of our wonderful speakers have been wondering what to do while in New Zealand when not Webstocking. Here’s what some lovely folks recommended for both one’s stay in Wellington, and further afield…

Why not share your recommendations too.

Andrew’s list of awesome:

  1. Visiting the Waipoua Kauri Forest (north of Dargaville) followed by Sandboarding at Opononi
  2. Stay at the Treehouse Backpackers after catching the car ferry from Opononi
  3. Short walks at Waiohine Gorge (near Carterton)
  4. Surf Trip to Mahia, Hawkes Bay, followed by a trip around the East Cape
  5. Mountain Biking in the Redwood Forest , Rotorua
  6. Pancake Rocks , West Coast South Island
  7. The Catlins – Southland
  8. Steward Island (the whole thing!)
  9. Tongariro Crossing
  10. Tora – wicked part of NZ coastline only 40 mins from Martinborough vineyards

  11. Tash’s list of awesome

    1. Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park
    2. A beer or three at the Mussel Inn
    3. Margaritas at Capitol
    4. Train to Martinborough, bike around the wineries, dinner at the French Bistro and a night at Parehua. All a bit romantic.
    5. Degustation at Citron. (Wear a loose fitting trouser.)
    6. Gisborne/East Coast. Good beaches and good wines.
    7. The West Coast of the South Island.
    8. Milford Sound and that neck of the woods. Charming.
    9. Cuba St Carnival
    10. Get a car and just drive and see where it takes you. Sometimes the best trips are the unplanned ones.
    11. Waiheke’s rather nice too. Good wine.

    Ben’s list of awesome

    1. The Treaty at the Archive
    2. The old fort on top of the Miramar Peninsula
    3. The Beehive
    4. Mighty Mighty
    5. Aunt Daisy’s boatshed in Titahi Bay
    6. Walk out past the Turbine through the hills toward the south west coast
    7. Desolate Coast at Tora (East coast Wairarapa)
    8. Try to find the wreck on the beach at Waiterere beach (near Levin)
    9. Picnic in the botanic gardens
    10. Martinborough wine tour
    11. And further afield:

    12. Bay of Islands
    13. Tongoriro mountain walk (I’ve always wanted to do this in summer)
    14. Mouraki Boulders (just north of Dunedin)
    15. Farewell Spit
    16. West Coast, South Island
    17. Milford Sound

    Mike’s list of awesome
    Mike claims to not get out much hence the brevity of this list.

    1. Maranui cafe
    2. Monet exhibition at Te Papa

    Sue’s list of awesome
    This list was complied by sue who grew up visiting every single spot of NZ every summer holidays
    so she knows what she’s talking about, although she’s never been stupid enough to bungy jump
    there is a whole pile more things you can do but that’s just a taster
    Sue is also available to take you on a tiki tour because nothing makes her more happy than gushing about how much she loves wellington

    1. Rotorua & Lake Taupo
    2. it might smell a bit but the geothermal activity around rotorua is pretty special
      don’t miss out on Waimangu Volcanic Valley for a mix of geothermal and nature
      and if you are wanting to experience a bit of Maori culture Whakarewarewa the Living Thermal Village
      or for you trampers why not try Tongariro Crossing

    3. Napier
    4. NZ’s art deco capital is just half a days drive away
      along with the building you can check out the most excellent vineyards
      If you have a thing for penguins why not visit marineland for a penguin encounter

    5. Kaikoura
    6. go whale, bird and dolphin watching

    7. Down South
    8. it’s a little wrong to pack all these amazing national and world heritage parks into one number, but experiencing just one of these will make you smil
      Mitre Peak & Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park
      skip queenstown, it’s a bit of a tourist trap, however if extreme tourism is the name of your game
      visit the worlds original bungy jumping site and ride the rapids in the shotover jet

    9. Nelson and surrrounds
    10. check out Able Tasman National Park
      farewell spit and some lovely vineyards and boutique beers and pottery around nelson

    11. Up North
    12. it’s hot it’s sunny there is a total fire ban at the moment, but the bay of isalnds is so lovely
      check out tours to go swimming with dolphins
      the kauri coast home to the great Kauri tree Tane_Mahuta
      Public toilets in Kawakawa – by artist Hunderwasser

    13. The Cuba Street Carnival
    14. being held on the weekend after webstock this is NZ’s vibrant street carnival
      you get all the fun of cuba street and the nz music scene in one day
      the night parade kicks off at 9pm but we recommend getting a good spot well before then

    15. yummy Noms
    16. Everyone has to eat so here’s a few place we love
      – capitol, home to the best margarita in wellington and also some pretty great food
      – hot and spicy, for south asian influence visit Monsoon Poon, for some indian food balti house (yes we know balti is an english thing)
      – citron. there is something rather special about their Degustation menu
      – Coffee & Cafes, we love our cafe culture in wellington so most places serve lovely coffee, we are also big on cake in NZ

    Courtney’s list of awesome

    With a Taranaki slant, in homage to her home province – go the Naki!

    1. Rent a car. Gather road trip companions (if required)
    2. Drive from Wellington towards Taranaki. Pause for a pie at the Hot
      Bread Shop in Otaki. Stop in Wanganui to visit the Sarjeant Gallery,
      McNamara Gallery, and Ross Mitchell-Anyon’s extraordinary studio on the
      banks of the Whanganui river.
    3. On the way into Hawera, marvel at the giant dairy cow monument.
    4. On the way out of Hawera, abandon the country driving in favour of
      Surf Highway 45.
    5. Stop off at Oakura beach (10 minutes before New Plymouth). Surf,
      swim, or just check out the lifesavers.
    6. In New Plymouth, visit the Len Lye show at the Govett-Brewster Art
      Gallery. See if you can surreptitiously film yourself dancing in front
      of ‘Tusalava’ and load it up to YouTube
    7. Walk the whole 7km of the coastal walkway; take your togs and stop
      off at Fitzroy beach.
    8. Climb Mt Taranaki – it’s a surprisingly easy day trip (she says
      confidently, having last done it as a teenager). I’ve heard the best
      experience is the very early morning climb, timed so that after reaching
      the summit you see the sun rise over the North Island.
    9. Have a romantic (if somewhat blingy) evening stroll around Pukekura
      Park during the Festival of the Lights. Also good – although perhaps
      less romantic – with kids in tow.
    10. Rent a bach in Mokau (about an hour north of New Plymouth) for a
      night or two of sumptuous downtime. If you time it just right, you’ll be
      able to stop in at the Urenui Rodeo (the national finals!) on your way

    Joanna’s list of awesome

    1. Go to the vineyards in the Wairarapa. Stay in Martinborough and you can walk to a whole lot, or find yourself a driver
    2. Fur Patrol’s free gig after Webstock

    Kris’ list of awesome

    1. Breakfast Burritos at Sweet Mothers Kitchen
    2. Red Wine, Buffalo Mozzarella and Vitello Tonnato from Maria Pia’s Trattoria
    3. Cuba Street Carnival (The Saturday after webstock), street stalls, carnies, what more could you ask for?
    4. Go to Mighty Mighty on a Fri/Sat night, dance, observe and enjoy a toasted sandwich in the wee hours of the morning.
    5. Visit The New Dowse, similar to the Old Dowse, but with a mix of latte and the Arts and Crafts movement.
    6. Laugh at the obsession with Cuba icons, Fidels, Havana, Ernestos, propose a new cultural narrative?
    7. Talk to some kuwis, they have a habit of talking too fast, but you get used to the twang after a while.
    8. Foxton Fizz, it may be like sugar water, but at least it ain’t made by a multinational. Raspberry Spiders from Deluxe are always good on a hot day.

    Nue Zild (translation: New Zealand)

    1. Fly to Nelson and explore Golden Bay – drive from Collingwood through Kahurangi National park, have kai (food) from the super isolated Nugget cafe and then emerge on the West Coast.
    2. Road trip within the North Island – laugh at the parochial obsession with building large cultural icons from corrugated iron – Te Kuiti and its large Kiwifruit, Taupo and its Trout, rinse and repeat up and down State Highway One.
    3. National Parks and day trips
    4. Raglan – Sleepy Surf town turns it on, but the surf is a killer.
    5. As is always the case, the New Zealand dialect is an interesting one, much as the Canadians have aboot and aye, the New Zealanders have sweet, and “yeah nah” observe and ask questions, us Kiwis will always be happy to clarify for the non-locals.

    The glorious people at the Wellingtonista have also provided an outstanding list of Wellington based activities.

    Thanks to Andy, Ben, Mike, Sue, Courtney and Kris for sharing. Have you something or somewhere to recommend? Do tell!

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