10 Kiwi Gems You Need to Know About

The Emerald Lake, Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Credits: The Planet D
The Emerald Lake, Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Credits: The Planet D

Nature lovers, beware! You’re about to get your mind blown!

One month before my quickie to New Zealand, I put together some kiwi highlights I included in my 5-day itinerary, plus some others which didn’t make the final cut – because well… five days only, people!

You probably know about New Zealand’s stunning beaches, the Hobbiton or the Waitomo glowworm caves. But did you know about these hidden gems in North Island?

And for some Wellington inspiration (think seals, underground markets and peanut butter factories) check out TikiTouringKiwi

Come on, let’s quiz! How many will you check?

1. Walk High Among Redwoods

Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua
Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua

This kiwi gem has the potential to beat even my California Dreams! The majestic redwoods (sequoias) are still very young, a bit older than a century maybe, but the amazing thing about this place nestled just outside of Rotorua is that you can walk among the giants!

On suspended bridges, up to 10 meters above the ground.

The TreeWalk consists of 21 suspension bridges traversing between 22 Californian coastal redwoods, giving you a unique view of the canopy, 12 meters above the ground. The whole walk is around half a kilometer and takes around 30 minutes to complete, with plenty of time to get some zen on. Ommm.

2. Hot Springs! Hot Springs Everywhere!

Polynesian Spa in Rotorua. Credits: Newzealand.com
Polynesian Spa in Rotorua. Credits: Newzealand.com

You don’t only have the  Polynesian Spa in Rotorua, but also the Wairakei Terraces in Taupo, or the Hot Water Beach in Coromandel Peninsula. And so much more! I meant it when I said everywhere!

Thank you, hot-tempered New Zealand!

3. The Forgotten World Highway  & Bridge to Nowhere

Forgotten World Highway, Bridge To Nowhere
Forgotten World Highway, Bridge To Nowhere

Care for some dinosaur-like lost world experience?

I did very much want to have this on my kiwi itinerary but unfortunately, their tours ran against my schedule… There’s always next time, baby!

4. Kiwis Still Exist!

kiwi bird

You knew? Whatever, this one was a shocker for me!

Meet New Zealand’s national icon and the reason why New Zealanders call themselves Kiwis. It was actually during the First World War that New Zealand soldiers started being referred to as Kiwis, and the name stuck.

We’ll get to see some of those little fellows at the Te Puia Wildlife Center.

5. Best Skydiving Spots. In the World

Taupo Air Extreme Skydive Credits: New Zealand Travel Organiser

Some of them, anyway. I’m still negotiating on this one 🙂 Do I do, or do I don’t?

6. To The Moon & Back

Craters of the Moon, Taupo
Craters of the Moon, Taupo. Credits: cratersofthemoon.co.nz

The Moon Craters near Taupo will give me plenty of opportunities to practice my Moon Walk. On the list, this one.

7. Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Emerald Lake, Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Credits: The Planet D
The Emerald Lake, Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Credits: The Planet D

The Emerald Lake, the Blue Lake, the Red Crater… I don’t even know what to start with!!

You can do a one-day climb, which is what we’ll aim for. But Tongariro is one of those places you will really want to take your time with.

Don’t do quickies here, if you can.

8. Alpacas?! Yes, Alpacas

Alpaca in New Zealand. Credits: Kea Photography

Figure that.

Alpacas were introduced to New Zealand in 1987 and today there are around 12,000 of them living in NZ – seven of which live at The Summit Lodge in Gladstone.

9. Gibbs Farm

Gibbs Farm, New Zealand
Gibbs Farm, New Zealand. Credits: Amusing Planet

This private park just north of Auckland belongs to a businessman who wanted to have his hills decorated with amazing sculptures. One of the most favorite pieces is the one above, called Horizons, by artist Neil Dawson.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to make the cut this time..

10. The World’s First Sunrise 

East Cape, New Zealand Sunrise
East Cape, New Zealand Sunrise. Credits: Julien Chodlewski on Flickr

Yes, amongst the landmasses, East Cape in New Zealand sees the first sunrise. If you have time, try to catch at least one of them.

Oooooh boy, oh boy! Longest flight in the world, here I come!  

Don’t worry about the world ending today. It’s already tomorrow in New Zealand!

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      • 5 days only.. 😂 plus 4 on the way & back (flying in from Spain) I’ll be making Taupo my base , then hitting Rotorua, Tongariro and some others from there
        Particularly excited about the redwoods and the Tongariro crossing

      • You definitely gotta come back in that case! There is so much to see!
        Rotorua is an awesome place! I haven’t done theTongariro crossing yet due to a lot of snow up there, but it’s supposed to be extremely beuatiful! Enjoy!

      • I’ve only been here since July myself, but it’s starting to warm up now and it’s not raining as much anymore. You should be lucky 🙂 Usually, that’s the perfect time to do the tongariro crossing, I’ve heard, as there is not that much snow up there and a lot less tourists than around December/ January! 😉

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