Whether you’re fairly new in town or a resident Kiwi through and through, there’s no denying that you’ve probably visited a few slightly stereotypically cheesy, tourist attractions in your time here. The question is, though: have you been to them all?
From worms with glowing derrière’s to digging your own, steaming beach spa, New Zealand sure does have some pretty weird and wonderful things going on. If you’re looking to make the most of this epic and eclectic country, then look no further.
Here are nine tourist attractions you should have been to in New Zealand. Grab a pen and get ticking!
Big Lemon & Paeroa
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the giant Lemon & Paeroa bottle, of course! What can only be described as the nation’s sweetheart (soz, Richie!), L&P has definitely scored a special place in our hearts. So, with that being said, it seemed only fitting to erect a six-metre high L&P bottle in Paeroa, right? And they said chivalry was dead. Pffft.
Tamaki Maori Village
Tired of traipsing round the same old, stuffy museums? Why not immerse yourself in culture and come face-to-face with an ancient Maori chief and the rest of the village instead. Journey back in time as you take part in the Haka, learn how to swing poi and feast on a serving of authentic Hangi. For an unforgettable and mesmerising experience, you simply can’t get any better than this.
It’s time to pack your Elven Lembas bread, keep the ring (aka the precious) close to your chest and keep an eye out for pesky Gollum, as we’re off to the Shire! Explore Peter Jackson’s real life movie set and see where some of the most famous scenes took place. See where Sam and Rosie reside, take part in maypole dancing on the field and enjoy a cold glass of the good stuff at The Green Dragon. What more could you possibly want?!
No one can argue that glowworms are cool. Like c’mon, how on earth do these teeny, tiny little grubs produce such light that puts a bunch of IKEA fairy lights to shame?! It truly is magical. Not only do the Waitomo caves house thousands of these little critters but they also allow visitors the opportunity to tube through the rapids as well as boat tours. How brave are you feeling?
Hot Water Beach
If you’re in Coromandel territory, you do not have any excuse to not visit this extraordinary, natural wonder. Famed for it’s ability to produce chemically-balanced hot water from the shallows of the beach, visitors are able to dig their very own hot water spa pool in a matter of minutes. With it’s ability to astound and provide such unique soaking opportunities to tourists on the reg, we just had to include this little beauty!
Think that the South Island is all about mountains, skiing and glaciers? Think again. In a quaint little town called Geraldine, there’s a tourist attraction taking the South Island by storm. Attracting more than 100 visitors per day, The Giant Jersey store are giving tourists the chance to witness the world’s largest jersey in all it’s glory. Created by World Record Holders, Mr and Mrs Linton, the pair have reportedly been sew, sew happy with the outcome!
Yeah, Queenstown you’re pretty cool. What with your endless skiing opportunities and gawp-worthy sights and vistas, but hey, at the end of the day, there’s only one thing we’re here for; Fergburger. Don’t be alarmed if there’s a queue ending at the top of Cardrona mountain, trust us, your wait will be worth it! Picture melt-in-the-mouth patties and genius flavour combinations, to make this one of the best burgers you will ever eat in your entire life. Fact.
No matter where you are from in the world, when people say New Zealand, you’re probably gonna think of sheep. There are more sheep in the country than people themselves, so it seems only fitting to create a place where these fluffy, four-legged friends are celebrated. If you haven’t been, what are you waiting for?! Think live demonstrations, chances to feed the animals and all the wool you can shake a stick at—it’s tr-ewe-ly incredible.
Now, would it really be fair to leave such an iconic Auckland structure off this list? The Sky Tower is a landmark for most and can even be seen from space! Okay, so that last bit may be a lie but still, it still makes for a beacon for all tourists that step into the city. Think endless selfies trying to fit the whole thing into the frame, free falling from the top and dollars galore placed on either red or black in the resident casino. There really is more to the eye, people!
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Image credit: Sara Orme