12 Activities to do to Make Your NZ Summer a Memorable One in 2019/20

Thursday, November 28, 2019

These are the activities that we think will make international students studying in New Zealand have summer an unforgettable Kiwi summer in 2019/20.

Visit – The Lost Spring (Whitianga)
After 16,000 years underground, this mineral water spring was rediscovered in 1989 by Lost Spring founder Alan Hopper. The spring feeds specially created geo-thermal pools, which range from 23°C to 41°C and comes with poolside food and drink service. Other attractions onsite include a day spa and restaurant to indulge in. This is the place to visit to de-stress and revitalise yourself during your holidays!

Climb - Mount Manaia (Whangārei)

This dramatic-looking mountain located around 30km from Whitianga is named for the ancestor of the Chief of Ngātiwai and many Iwi and hapū (sub-tribes) of not only Whangārei, but the Northland region. The craggy peaks represent his family who were turned to stone through karakia (ritual chants) in a dispute over the infidelity of his wife.The summit point is around 400m above sea-level and the track is made-up of gravel and wooden steps. The track starts and finishes next to the Manaia Club, with an estimated walking length of 1.5-2 hours, you will spend large portions of this surrounded by native bush as you make your way up to the rocky top. On a clear day, the view from the summit gives you views of the Poor Knights Islands and Northland coast to the north, Marsden Point Oil Refinery, Bream Bay and the Hauraki Gulf to the south and Whangarei Harbour to the west. Climbers will need a reasonable level of fitness and are advised to take caution at the summit as it is not fenced off and there are no barriers.

Try – Waiau Waterworks (Coromandel)

Save 10% by booking online, this quirky experience is for those younger students who are fascinated by the many uses that water can have. There are over 70 water-based attractions here that are made from recycled materials and centred around the same key ingredient – H2O. Our favourites are the music box powered by water, the water cannons, the water powered clock and the crazy water wheel. You can find waterworks close to Coromandel town.

Walk – Te Mata Peak (Hawkes Bay)

For views across the entire Hawkes Bay region, this is the place to visit. 399m above sea-level, the summit offers views of Ruahine, Cape Kidnappers and even Mount Ruapehu on a clear day. The summit can be reached by road; however, we recommend heading up the hill by bike or a walk up to the summit. The limestone cliffs provide the ideal ground for unique flora and fauna, as well as 99 hectares of parkland and biking/walking tracks sprinkled throughout.

Enjoy – Paloma Gardens (Whanganui)
Plants from all around the world have been collected and planted into these exotic gardens that is open in the daylight hours all year. Entry is $10 per person and the trail starts by the elevator tower on Durie Hill, Whanganui. The gardens are divided into distinct zones, including a bamboo forest, palm forest and a desert plant house, among others. There is also a bed and breakfast, The Red House, which overlooks the Wedding Lawn.

Relax – Gardens Magic (Wellington)
From Tuesday 7th January to Sunday 26th January the Wellington Botanic Gardens will host free concerts (8pm – 9:30pm) and light displays (9pm – 10:30pm). We highly recommend popping along to one of these events if you are in the nation’s capital. The line-up of artists and performers will be released soon!

Marvel – MacKenzie Dark Sky Reserve (Aoraki)
Witness the night sky in all its glory, with no light pollution to obscure your view. This 4,300 sq km area strictly controls light pollution and New Zealand’s premier research centre, the Mount John Observatory is also situated here. The Milky Way, Magellanic Clouds and Milky Way can be observed with the naked eye but take a closer look through the telescope in the observatory and fully witness the stars and try to spot the planets.

Experience – Orana Wildlife Park (Christchurch)
New Zealand’s only open range zoo, with 80 hectares of land and 400 animals, it is recommended that you visit for 3-5 hours to get the most out of your tour. Student costs are $29.50. Must-do activities include; NZ’s only gorillas/orang-utans, lion encounter, Kiwi feed/native encounters, Tasmanian devils, hand feed a giraffe or lemur. The only time of the year the Park is not open is on Christmas Day.

Transit – TranzAlpine Railway (South Island)
This train runs daily, it departs from Christchurch at 8:15am, it crosses stations in Rolleston, Darfield, Springfield, Arthur’s Pass, Otira, Moana and arrives in Greymouth at 2:05pm. It then departs Greymouth at 2:05pm and arrives back in Christchurch at 6:31pm. The only time of the year the train doesn’t run is on Christmas Day. We highly recommend looking out the window during the entire journey and taking plenty of photos, there are incredible views to experience all along the tracks. You can choose to sit in regular carriages (with large windows and air conditioning), the open-air carriages (ideal for photos) and listen along to the audio commentary on the headphones provided. You can also eat onboard at the licensed café. Don’t miss out on this great journey, book your trip today!

Pick – Your own fruit (New Zealand)
There are plenty of places to go and pick your own berries in New Zealand, there is a list that you can find here. Go-through the list to find places to pick fruit by location and check the website of the one nearest to you to see the opening hours.  

Scale – The World’s Highest ‘via ferrata’ Waterfall (Wanaka)
Set among the ‘Twin Falls’ on the way to Mount Aspiring National Park, this is a European-inspired adventure found in a picturesque part of New Zealand’s South Island. Choose your distance from three climbs run by Wild Wire NZ; Go Wild, a three-hour, (150m) journey at the bottom of the falls (easy), Wild Thing, a five-hour (320m) trek (medium) to around the middle part of the falls, or Lord of the Rungs, a seven-hour (450m) trip that takes you from the bottom of the falls to the top (hard) and finishes with a helicopter ride to the bottom. This adventure is available to anyone over 14 years old, with the longer and higher climb reserved for those of higher confidence and fitness levels. Enjoy stunning views of the falls and the surrounding countryside no matter what level you choose. This climb is all done ‘via ferrata’, which means that you are climbing an ‘iron road’ of fixed cables attached to the rock. Climbers then attach themselves to the cables using ropes and carabiners and climb using iron rungs, pegs, bridges and ladders. All the guides are highly experienced, and safety is their top priority. Please listen to the guides to get the most out of your experience.

Jump – From the World’s Largest Catapult Bungee (Queenstown)
For those who want to get their adrenaline pumping in a much shorter amount of time, you can go from 0-100kph in 1.5 sec on the Nevis catapult. This activity is recommended for those that would rather have a thrill for their summer holiday, rather than relaxing!

1 https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/northland/places/whangarei-heads-area/things-to-do/mount-manaia-track/

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Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.