Exploring Scenic and Nature Tours in New Zealand

Exploring Scenic and Nature Tours in New Zealand


Immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes of New Zealand through scenic and nature tours that offer a captivating encounter with Mother Nature at her finest. As you traverse lush forests, towering mountains, and serene beaches, let the pure beauty of this splendid country leave you in awe. This article directs you to some of the best tours available, designed for everyone from thrill-seekers to couples seeking a romantic holiday retreat. Discover how these tours offer a comprehensive experience of New Zealand’s unique ecosystems, varied wildlife, and breathtaking scenery that are highlighted by the country’s commitment to sustainability and conservation. Life is short, and the world is wide – why not begin your incredible journey in New Zealand?

Types of Scenic and Nature Tours in New Zealand

Welcome! As a traveler, it’s always exciting to learn about new experiences and locations. New Zealand, with its remarkable landscapes and unique wildlife, truly is a paradise for nature lovers. There are various types of scenic and nature tours that you can embark on during your visit.

Guided Tours

Guided tours in New Zealand are a fantastic way to explore the country’s stunning landscapes. You’ll have the advantage of a knowledgeable guide who can share fascinating insights about the places you visit. They’ll lead you through scenic paths, dense forests, and even movie sets!

Self-Drive Tours

If you appreciate autonomy during your travels, self-drive tours might be ideal for you. They give you the space and freedom to move at your own pace. You can stop whenever you want to enjoy a remarkable view, have a picnic near a waterfall, or feed playful alpacas on the roadside.

Walking & Hiking Tours

New Zealand is a dream come true for hikers with its various trails that suit all fitness levels. A walking or hiking tour lets you breathe in the fresh air, listen to the calls of exotic birds, and marvel at the splendid natural sights. From easy beach walks to challenging mountain hikes, the options are abundant.

Biking Tours

For the adventurous souls among you, biking tours offer an exhilarating way to explore New Zealand’s awe-inspiring countryside. Bike along the picturesque vineyards in Marlborough, or take on the challenging mountain bike trails in the Southern Alps.

Wildlife Tours

Lastly, don’t miss out on experiencing New Zealand’s diverse wildlife through specially guided tours. You can spot dolphins in their natural habitat, observe the majestic kiwi bird in the wild, or even get a chance to see a lively penguin colony.

Popular Locations for Nature Tours in New Zealand

Now that you have an idea of what type of tours you can take, let’s look at some popular locations for these nature tours in New Zealand.

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is a world-renowned wilderness area brimming with majestic fiords, waterfalls and mountains. It offers some of the most stunning views in New Zealand and is an excellent location for hiking and boat tours.

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park is highly popular with hikers and nature lovers for the emerald lakes, lava flows, and active craters that you can see in a single walk. As a dual World Heritage area, it holds great natural and cultural significance.


Rotorua is a hub of geothermal activity. It is best known for its bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers, and natural hot springs. You can also experience Maori culture and history in this fascinating location.


Kaikoura presents you with the thrilling opportunity of marine life encounters. It is a popular spot for whale watching, dolphin encounters and seal swimming.

Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park

Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park is home to the highest mountains and the longest glaciers in New Zealand. Here, you can deeply connect with nature while trekking, stargazing or flightseeing.

Exploring Scenic and Nature Tours in New Zealand

Exploring the North Island

The North Island of New Zealand has much to offer in terms of cultural experiences and scenic beauty.

Touring Auckland and the Bay of Islands

Auckland is an interesting mix of urban life, and natural gems. Don’t miss out on a trip to the Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands, offering opportunities for sailing, fishing, and marine wildlife spotting.

Discovering the Magic of Hobbiton

For the fans of “The Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies, visiting the Hobbiton movie set is a must. Walk through the Shire, explore Bag End, and have a drink at the Green Dragon Inn, right out of the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Experiencing Maori Culture in Rotorua

Rotorua is not just about geothermal wonders. It’s also the place to learn about Maori culture, traditions, and history. Visit a living Maori village, watch a traditional haka performance, or indulge in a hangi feast for an authentic Maori experience.

Visiting Wellington, the Cultural Capital

Wellington, the capital city, is known for its vibrant arts scene, excellent food and wine, and beautiful harbours. Don’t forget to ride the famous cable car up to the Botanic Garden.

Discovering the South Island

The South Island is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, outdoor adventure opportunities, and renowned wine regions.

The Majestic Southern Alps

The Southern Alps form the backbone of the South Island. This majestic mountain range offers amazing opportunities for hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. Don’t miss Aoraki/Mount Cook, the tallest peak in New Zealand.

Experiencing Queenstown’s Adventure Tourism

If you crave adrenaline, Queenstown is your place. Known as the adventure capital of the world, here you can bungee jump, go white-water rafting or experience jet boating on the Shotover River.

Wine Tours in Marlborough

Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine-growing region, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy a leisurely bike tour through beautiful vineyards, tasting fine wines along the way.

Viewing the Southern Lights in Stewart Island

Stewart Island provides an opportunity to potentially view the phenomenal Southern Lights or Aurora Australis. Besides, it’s home to the Rakiura National Park, a sanctuary for native birds.

Exploring Scenic and Nature Tours in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Unique Wildlife

New Zealand is home to an array of unique wildlife, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Spotting the Kiwi Bird in the Wild

The kiwi bird, the national emblem of New Zealand, is a shy, nocturnal creature. Wildlife tours offer an opportunity to see these peculiar birds in their natural habitat.

Seal Watching

Sea lions and fur seals can often be spotted lounging on the country’s coasts, especially in Kaikoura and the Otago Peninsula. Guided tours ensure you keep a respectful distance from these beautiful creatures.

Marine Safaris: Dolphins and Whales

New Zealand’s abundant marine life includes dolphins and whales. Join a marine safari to sight spectacular creatures like the acrobatic Dusky Dolphin or the massive Sperm Whale in their natural environment.

Birdwatching Tours

With many native bird species, birdwatching is a popular activity in New Zealand. Tours give you the chance to spot the comical flightless Kakapo or the melodious Tui.

Best Seasons for Nature Tours in New Zealand

New Zealand is a year-round destination, with each season offering its unique allure.

Springtime in New Zealand

Spring in New Zealand introduces you to spectacular blossoms, newborn lambs, and gushing waterfalls. It’s a fantastic time for hiking and wildlife observation.

Summertime Adventures

During summer, you can enjoy long, sunny days perfect for beach visits, outdoor adventures, and exploration.

Autumn Viewing

Autumn paints New Zealand’s landscapes in rich hues of red, gold and orange. This tranquil time is ideal for walking tours and wine-tastings.

Winter Snow Tours

Winter in New Zealand brings snow-capped mountains, perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports, especially in the Southern Alps.

Exploring Scenic and Nature Tours in New Zealand

Sustainable Travel in New Zealand

New Zealanders are proud of their natural heritage and are active in conserving it. As a sustainable traveler, you can support these efforts.

Eco-Friendly Tour Providers

Many tour providers focus on reducing their carbon footprint and contribute to local conservation projects. Travel with them to make sure your visit benefits the environment and local communities.

Conservation Efforts in Nature Tourism

New Zealand’s nature tourism often includes conservation projects like tree planting, bird sanctuaries, and habitat restoration efforts.

Voluntourism: Give Back While You Travel

Voluntourism allows you to give back to the communities and environments you visit. This could involve helping with conservation projects or supporting local craftspeople.

Adventure Tours in New Zealand

If you are intrigued by daring adventures, New Zealand is the right place for you!

Bungee Jumping in Queenstown

Queenstown is the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping. Experience the thrill of a lifetime as you take a leap from the Kawarau Bridge or the Nevis Swing.

Hiking on Glacier

New Zealand’s incredible glaciers offer unique hiking experiences. Trek on the icy surface of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier with a qualified guide.

Caving Expeditions

Explore the magical underworld of New Zealand through caving tours. Waitomo Caves are famous for their stunning glowworm grottos that will leave you spellbound.

Water Rafting Adventures

Tour the wild rivers of New Zealand in a whole different way – through white-water rafting. The Kaituna River with its daunting 7-metre Tutea Falls promises a heart-stopping ride!

Preparation for Your Nature Tour

Good planning and preparation ensure you have an enjoyable tour in New Zealand’s great outdoors.

What to Pack for New Zealand’s Weather

The weather in New Zealand can be quite variable. Pack with layers to help adjust from the warm daytime temperatures to cooler evenings. Don’t forget your rain gear, sunscreen, and insect repellent!

Ensuring Fitness Levels for Hiking Routes

The Great Walks and other hiking routes require a good level of fitness. Brush up on your physical condition before you go, and always choose a track that matches your abilities.

Carrying Food and Water Supplies

In the wilderness areas, remember to carry sufficient food and water. Keep in mind that “leave-no-trace” ethos and carry back all your litter.

Notifying Authorities/Check-in Points for Remote Explorations

If you’re venturing into remote areas, make sure to inform the local visitor information centre about your plans. Better still, carry a Personal Locator Beacon for emergencies.

Accommodation Options during Nature Tours

New Zealand provides a range of accommodations to suit every budget and comfort level.

Camping in National Parks

For those who truly want to be close to nature, camping in national parks under the starry night can be an unforgettable experience. Ensure to follow all camping guidelines and respect the natural surroundings.

Eco-Lodges and Environmentally Friendly Hotels

Stay in eco-friendly accommodations that make significant efforts towards sustainability, from renewable energy sources to recycling projects and support to local communities.

Bed and Breakfasts and Farm Stays

Immerse yourself in local life with homely bed and breakfasts or farm stays. You’ll enjoy the hospitality and perhaps learn a thing or two about farming!

Luxury Resorts in Natural Settings

If you prefer luxury, upscale lodges and resorts nestled within nature are widely available. These places offer top-notch amenities and stunning panoramas, for you to relax in style.

Happy Journey! Remember to respect the local customs and the natural environment, and you will have an incredible New Zealand adventure.

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