What to do in New Zealand

Explore New Zealand's South Island

Moving to the countryside like New Zealand can be a huge adjustment in terms of lifestyle. I was a below-average outdoorsy type: walking (fine), running (yes), camping (does it still exist?), fishing (boring), malling (sure!).

New Zealand is totally different from the bustle of big cities nor the hustle in the third-world country where I came from. New Zealand has me relinquish my once fast-paced lifestyle. I feel just blessed to be living here particularly in the South Island, where you can be pretty sure, most of the time, safe in doing fun things. Hence, I came up with a list of 10 Activities You Must Do In South New Zealand. Let's go!

1. FISHING is one of the Kiwi activities everyone can absolutely do in all parts of New Zealand. The common species you can catch are kahawai, snapper, monkfish, blue cod or red cod, etc. You will never get hungry here in NZ!

But one thing you might need to be mindful of is that there are *regulations to be followed in order to maintain the species and to protect the lives of the sea creatures. You can either borrow fishing rods from friends, purchase your own or rent from the fishing farms around.


Fishing in an open sea takes time. You are sometimes lucky to get one or more in an 8hr sitting with your rod! But hey, it is an experience! This is a perfect "me" time to contemplate and discern about life and appreciate God's creations too.

Don't fret though, there is a salmon-fishing farm in Takaka, Golden Bay (South Island, of course) where you can easily catch fish in less than an hour with the help of bait. The place provides a fishing rod and pays whenever you could catch enough and choose on either fresh sashimi or smoked on different types of flavor. I usually go there every year and in any season as they are open whole year round! 

I remembered my First catch was in June 2014.

June 2018 was the last time I went there with my relatives. If you are Asian like me, it is alright to bring your own rice at no corkage fee, we usually take 1 fish per person anyways! 😜

the garden side of https://www.anatokisalmon.co.nz

2. FRUIT-PICKING during the summer season is so popular both North and South of New Zealand. And I could not be happier than to be living in Marlborough, South Island, where the orchards are just 15minute-drive away! The southern hemisphere NZ summer season happens in December-February. Starting late spring in November to early summer of December, summer fruits like berries and cherries proliferate around the country! 

Jan.2019 at Nelson with real fruit ice cream! https://berry-lands.business.site/?m=true

Cherryland in Blenheim, Marlborough

3. WALKING/HIKING  is one of the common activities among Kiwis. They just love walking! And why not? It is one of the venomous-free, snake-free countries in the world. In fact, there is not a place I saw where there isn't a single walking track. 
Black Jack Track in Whites Bay 1hr Return

Wairau Lagoons Walkway (Waverley Shipwreck) 2-3hr Return

Mt. Stokes Track overlooking Anakoha Bay and Forsyth Island 4-5hr Return


Tramping is the kiwi term for bushwalking, hillwalking or trekking. I thought this has been a worldwide word until I spoke to other nationalities abroad such as Americans and other Asians, they were boggled. 😳

Every council makes the effort in making their trails walkable to both locals and tourists. They provide drinking fountains and toilets along the way. The ones listed as " Great Walks" would take about 3-6 days. However, this is not for the faint-heart nor a luxury holiday. This is a real "adventure". 

"Look ahead only once, take one step at a time"- my mantra while doing this challenge

don't try this at home 😱

Each chosen track needs to be planned ahead of time for booking of huts and registration of names.  https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/things-to-do/walking-and-tramping/great-walks/

reward yourself with a plank 😜

Luxmore Hut in Kepler Track (1st hut for the night of the 4-day Journey)

5. CAMPING the same as hiking is one of the many hobbies among Kiwis. And nope, this isn't the girl guide/boy scouts kinda thing like how I thought it was; (you know) lighting up the fire from stones and setting up tent from bamboo and straws.  Camping here is so first-world, so-to-speak, and is almost like "glamping", glamorous camping. It is like a family gathering which becomes very crowded during the summertime on school holidays. Bookings are needed to register at the campsites.

Camping in New Zealand isn't limited to just having a tent and cooking your canned food. Most campsites offer many things for campers to do such as fishing on the coast or lakes, walking at a nearby track and kayaking to those who have their own trailer trucks. 

Cooking fresh seashells never been sumptuous like this. 

There are different types of campsites depending on your preference. You can choose somewhere near the lake, coast, forest or alpine. 

camping at Momorangi Bay summer 2016

6. MARATHON is an activity you can't miss while in the South Island. With its spectacular views: alpine, vineyard, off-the-road bushes or mountains surrounding the area, pictures on the run look super fantastic! Plus, the fresh and clean air of NZ doesn't give you the foul-smelling sweat 😁(at least don't forget your deodorant)😏.

taking a photo before the run

2hrs plus-ish to finish, exhausting but rewarding!

7. ROAD TRIPS is the most practical and efficient way to enjoy the stunning roads of the South at all seasons. Whether you prefer the spring blossoms, golden color of tussock on summer, aligned vineyards, winter alps or the orangy reddish autumn leaves, everyone agrees that the South has it on the road!

Going around NZ is more convenient and efficient with driving. But then taking public transport such as buses or trains is equally a pleasant experience too. 

on the way to Milford Sound, May 2018
take a tour bus and sit in front to get the best view

Whether tour bus or just normal public bus,  the drivers/operators are well-trained in entertaining passengers both locals and tourists. They are also knowledgeable in every passing place.

on the way to Culverden (not the driver 😉)

on the way to Kaikoura, 
I stopped on the safest side for the photo.

with my cute backseat-mate 

Driving gives you the liberty to go wherever your heart leads you to. Spontaneity makes it fun. You can easily stop when you see something interesting for a photo or a shabby artsy cafe. However, foreign drivers should be careful with the laws regarding licensing and road code/regulations. https://www.nzta.govt.nz/driver-licences/

if you get the chance along the road, take a pose 😜

8. WINE AND DINE For foodies and wine-enthusiasts like me; skills which I acquired as I immerse in the Sauvignon capital- Marlborough, this is heaven! The local produce is fresh and abundant, hence, you always have a fine food experience.

lemon posset at Wither Hills

wine flight at Vines Village

Check out: Venison meal at MIA

* Apologies that I missed the photos I had during a wedding at the best restaurant in Blenheim ARBOUR. I would like to say that it is that delectable to ever think of a photo! *https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/small-business/78091454/arbour-named-supreme-winner-at-marlborough-business-awards

In other parts of the South especially Queenstown is a dish you can't miss in the world, the FERG BURGER. A burger person like myself has the impression that New Zealand has the best burger ever tasted. And yes, this monster is located exclusively in the South only. 

Ferg Gourmet Burger in Queenstown!

It would not be normal when there's no queue. https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/fergburger-new-zealand/index.htmlTotally worth the queue all the way from its gelato and bakery of the same Ferg! It is indeed a world-renowned food trip to Queenstown.

9. HOT SPA is much appreciated in the South due to its colder weather.  There's nothing much pleasurable than to do it with great views of course.

Onsen Spa during Autumn May 2018

As we all know, a hot bath or spa is a therapeutic method of relieving stress and body aches. It is also good at promoting sleep. Also, check out https://tekaposprings.co.nz/pools/.

10.     ADVENTURE RIDES  For extreme sports and adrenaline activities, South Island of NZ has been popular for that. The famous company promoting AJ Hackett Bungy Jumping is what we see in social media.

had to be tipsy to toughen me enough to do this😆

Get the best capture of that adrenaline from the professionals, mate https://www.bungy.co.nz/swings/

Of course, Queenstown is not the only option where you can get the best adventure rides. You have the choice to go somewhere off the beaten path like Christchurch, Nelson and Franz Josef. 

Flying fox at Happy Valley, Nelson

Take a quad bike for $10 return in going instead of the van ride.

tandem comet line at Buller Gorge, Inangahua

Okay, we have come to the end of my hand-picked list. There are tons of things that I wanted to add but these are so far my most recommended. I hope that you find this useful. Toodles! 😀

A few words from my Guest Blogger:

Hi, I'm Verma. I write when the condition is right, but always up for a chat over a cup of coffee. I have the personality of Pisces and demeanor of the rabbit year, most of all an ambivert. 

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Do you want more adventure?
Check out Europe for 2 weeks: Art Class in Paris, France then getting on a Hot air balloon ride at Siena, Italy, and relaxing by the beach at Amalfi, Coast with a side trip to Rome, Italy before flying back home.

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is to Los Angeles, California and I have here a survival guide on how to go around the city.

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