New Zealand, the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ is a country of diverse landscapes; unspoiled kauri and beech forests, rugged beaches, wild alpine hinterland, remote rivers, glistening lakes and dazzling glacial valleys ideal for unforgettable outdoor experiences.
Whether you want to enjoy New Zealand’s natural wonders in spectacular style (champagne on a snow-capped peak, gourmet picnic in a remote island location) or taking in the sights in a low-key way (glamping on the edge of a turquoise lake, kayaking in untouched wetlands with native birdlife), Black Label has plenty of options to help you get immersed in nature.
The people you’ll meet in New Zealand will make you feel at home – easy going, friendly and with a fair dose of Kiwi informality, ‘can do’ attitude and independence. Living on an island nation, we’re bursting with adrenaline-fuelled experiences that stunned even Bear Grylls when he visited New Zealand – Black Label can advise you where to raise your pulse in the adventure capital of New Zealand, who can guide you to breath-taking ice climbing, when to see wildlife at its prime or simply how to slow down, marvel at Mother Nature and have an adventure at your own pace.
You’ll love New Zealand if you’re into unspoiled landscapes, wildlife encounters in natural habitats, off-the-beaten track experiences and warm hospitality.
Black Label would love to show you the top adventure activities as well as exclusive one-of-a-kind experiences, contact us today to plan and book your dream New Zealand adventure.
1/ The Classics
New Zealand has some iconic adventure activities that keep a steady stream of adrenaline junkies passing through our airports. Undoubtedly, Queenstown is a top destination for thrill seekers who converge on the resort for bungy jumping, jetboating, the Nevis Swing, canyoning, heli skiing, rock climbing, luge and more.
2/ White Water
We can arrange accommodation at top lodges including Cape Kidnappers, Mana Lodge or Matakauri Lodge with rafting or kayaking adventures on all the major rivers of the North and South Island, as well as gentler river adventures such as excursions to Rere Rockslide, a natural slide in the Wharekopae River in the North Island.
3/ Take to the Skies
If you think New Zealand looks beautiful from the ground, you’ll be even more awestruck from the sky! We can reserve you a chopper for a heli tour over Instagram-worthy fiords and glaciers, harness you up for cross country paragliding over South Island valleys, arrange sky diving above farmland and crystal clear lakes, or send you on a leisurely hot air balloon flight soaring over vineyards blanketing the landscape below.
4/ Catch of the Day
Amateurs or experienced anglers will love New Zealand’s variety of fishing. From game fishing in the Bay of Islands or Bay of Plenty, to fly fishing on scenic rivers for rainbow and brown trout, all you need is a keen sense of adventure and a desire to land the catch of the day (we can arrange all transport, accommodation, fishing equipment and guides if needed). Book with us for game fishing excursions, or luxury stays at dedicated fishing lodges including the Owen River Lodge, Lake Rotoroa Lodge or Stonefly Lodge and if the fish aren’t biting then try your hand at quad biking, horse riding or hiking.
5/ Geothermal Wonders, Rock Formations, Volcanic Landscapes
Hot Water Beach situated on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula is a great surf beach where you can dig your own thermal ‘spa’ in the sand and is a popular stop for superyacht charters in the Mercury Bay area.
White Island, located 50 kilometres (31 miles) offshore from Whakatāne is one of the most accessible marine volcanoes on earth – so accessible, in fact, that Black Label can arrange for your helicopter to land in the active crater basin surrounded by the steam vents and volcanic fissures.
Rotorua, is New Zealand’s geothermal wonderland with geysers, hot pools and bubbling mud interspersed between some of New Zealand’s finest luxury lodges and amazing mountain biking trails to keep any freewheeler happy.
The Central Plateau of the North Island centres on the resort town of Taupo on the shores of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in the country. A dormant caldera, the lake is popular for sailing, jet skiing and trout fishing at Turangi. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of New Zealand’s great walks, and the region is a top destination for Black Label’s hunting tours for red stag, sika deer and pigs.
Don’t miss seeing the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks between Greymouth and Westport in the South Island which formed 30 million years ago and are unique limestone formations, stacked up layers lifted up above the seabed by seismic action and weather beaten into natural sculptures and blowholes.
6/ Hit the Water
Windsurfing, wakeboarding, kite surfing, SUP, kayaking, surfing, sailing, whale watching boat trips – New Zealand’s expansive coastline and inland waterways beg to be discovered.
Imagine sea kayaking at Mosquito Bay in the Abel Tasman National Park as fur seals play around you, sailing on a tall ship near historic Russell before anchoring in a sheltered cove for lunch or diving in the Poor Knights Islands which Jacques Cousteau named as one of the world’s top 10 diving spots.
The Poor Knights are one of Black Label’s most requested dive trips – fish not found elsewhere in New Zealand can be spotted there thanks to the subtropical crystal clear waters that host rainbow-hued fish, rays, and underwater vegetation in a labyrinth of archways, caves and steep underwater cliffs.
Or book a scenic boat cruise or kayaking tour in Milford Sound amidst lush rainforest fiords home to bottlenose dolphins and penguins, and try the HD ROV submarine drone to view rare black coral and marine life beneath you in the Fiordland National Park.
Surfing aficionado’s will find plenty of waves throughout New Zealand – from Ahipara in the Far North to Auckland’s wild west coast beaches including Piha, Karekare (where The Piano was filmed) and Muriwai, to the arty bohemian town of Raglan and its world class beaches.
Surf the legendary waves at Stent Road or the Kumara Patch on Taranaki’s Surf Highway 45, and head to the east coast for the Coromandel Peninsula’s many surf beaches or Gisborne’s finest at Wainui.
Venturing south, don’t hesitate to ask Black Label to plan your South Island surf itinerary – the water may be chilly but we can take you to the best of the southern breaks including Saint Clairs, Taylors Mistake, Colac Bay, Curio Bay and some secret surf spots reached only via helicopter or a 4-day hike through dense podocarp forest.
7/ Mountain Biking
New Zealand is a mountain biker’s haven with trails (in New Zealand we call them ‘tracks’) that traverse a colossal variety of landscapes such as urban hillsides, redwood and nikau palm forests, alpine ridges, tussock grasslands and surf-pounded beaches.
Black Label can arrange guided tours for any section of The New Zealand Cycle Trail, known in Maori as ‘Nga Haerenga’ or ‘the journeys’ that launched in 2015. It’s not a linear system but a collection of 23 segments that encompass everything from gravel surfaces to rugged single-track paths.
Join keen MTB enthusiasts from novices to experts who cycle through the Whirinaki Forest Park with birdsong all around them. Try Rainbow Mountain where on top you’ll get a 360-degree panorama taking in the surrounding landscape scarred by millennia of volcanic and tectonic activity and you cycle past thermal terraces, steaming pools and geothermal lakes.
Black Label loves the Heaphy Track that follows an ancient Maori trail from the mountains down to the Tasman Sea, the Hanmer Forest Park, zipping through rainforest on Old Ghost Road, and biking Rude Rock Trail on Coronet Peak descending down through wide-open tussocky grass to Skippers Pack Track, an old footpath through a gold mining canyon.
Join us on superb backcountry trails, wind down at country pubs with craft beers, and finish up by soaking in hot springs.
8/ Safari Camps & Glamping
Get back to nature by staying in Safari Camps accessed cross country by 4WD or on horseback; campsites are fully self-contained and meals can be self-catered, catered on site or delivered from the lodge kitchens. At Poronui Lodge, Black Label’s guests sleeping in the rustic timber and canvas campsite are serenaded by the sound of the Mohaka River – paradise for angler’s that influential Forbes magazine has described as one of the top 10 fly fishing lodges in the world.
We know you’ll talk about Kawakawa Station for months to come. Set on a large sheep and beef station on the picturesque Cape Palliser coastline, discover the famous Kawakawa Station Walk before settling down for the night in a retro caravan or glamping tent – if you can, buy a bottle of local Wairarapa wine enroute to enjoy with your dinner.
Glamping Kiwi-style allows you to explore rural farms dotted with rainbow-trout filled lakes, tranquil forests and the songs of native New Zealand birds. Imagine soaking in an outdoor bath among ferns, toasting marshmallows on a campfire or enjoying a glass of New Zealand wine and some hearty West Coast cuisine under the vast Southern Hemisphere skies.
If you have a location in mind, Black Label can set you up with bespoke glamping with a furnished five metre bell tent and all the optional extras you desire from flushing toilets, hot showers, powder room, outdoor lounge, concierge service and more.
9/ Forests, Conservation Land, National Parks
Imagine flying by helicopter over ancient rainforests, turquoise mountain lakes, alpine scrubland, volcanic peaks, and waterfalls cascading hundreds of metres down glacially carved cliffs. Walk amongst native birds and wildlife in National Parks and protected Department of Conservation (DOC) lands that make for some magnificent scenery.
We can organise guided hikes with experts who know the terrain, local history, and flora and fauna of most areas of our country. Some of Black Label’s favourites include:
- The Cape Brett Walkway
- Rangitoto Summit walk
- The Pinnacles Track
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing
- Lake Waikaremoana Track
- Abel Tasman Coastal Track
- The short walk to Wharariki Beach seal colony
- Franz Josef glacier walk
- Hooker Valley Track
- Routeburn Track
- Milford Track
- Kepler Track
- Barrier Knob
- Rakiura on Stewart Island
Ever wanted to trek through the otherworldly forests of Middle-Earth but didn’t have a way to get there? In November 2015, Google partnered with the Department of Conservation to use Google Trekker, offering a film-worthy view of New Zealand with Street View now showing seven of the ‘Great Walks’ that are found in New Zealand (including some of our top walks listed above). Click on this link here to see some of them for yourself: http://google-latlong.blogspot.fr/2015/11/take-walk-on-wild-side-with-street-view.html
Join us in discovering leafy adventures such as zip lining above vineyards and forests, aerial obstacle courses in forest canopies or Treehouses overlooking olive groves, mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Black Label can show you special experiences on Great Barrier Island, one of the most unspoilt and tranquil places in New Zealand. The stunning Aotea Conservation Park covers 12,109 hectares – around 43% of the island. The park is the Auckland region’s richest area for native plant and birdlife and is home to unique and rare New Zealand species, including diverse freshwater species, very rare frogs, and niho taniwha (chevron skink).
Or escape further south to Doubtful or George Sound where you can take the opportunity to kayak, pull lobster pots, fish, or go rock climbing.
10/ Ice Climbing & Mountaineering
Fiordland National Park is the largest of New Zealand’s National Parks and a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site, astoundingly scenic and home to Milford Sound, one of the most photo-perfect panoramas.
Just to the north, Mount Aspiring National Park is a focalpoint for adventurous hikers and climbers with other top spots being Mount Cook/Aoraki, Fox Glacier and Mount Tasman.
Head into New Zealand’s rugged mountains and glistening glaciers and feel at one with nature, coming back down to reality with a soak in a hot tub to soothe weary muscles and dinner at somewhere special like Minaret Station.
11/ Maori Culture
Learn about myths and legends of New Zealand’s indigenous people through marae visits and cultural performances, how to ‘hongi’, what is a ‘hangi’ and tribal heritage that includes every region in New Zealand. Be awestruck by fierce ‘hakas’ and serenaded by ‘waiatas’ from a rich and diverse culture.
Black Label has exclusive Māori culture experiences – once-in-a-lifetime journeys where you will hunt, dive, fish, horse trek, sand buggy to remote dive spots on the far reaches of coastal forest, camp alongside the beach plus more all with the local Māori who live off the land here.
12/ Eco Tours
Get in touch with a greener side of tourism by booking an eco travel element such as an interactive Reef Ecology Tour. This educational reef tour provides guests with waders, then gets them walking out into the ocean at low tide to feed wild stingrays and learn about other marine inhabitants.
Or ride a Rainforest Train through primeval forest to huge cave systems where you can get kitted out with caving helmets, coats and boots to explore stalactites and stalagmites under galaxies of glowworms peppering the cavern surfaces.
13/ Adventure Parks
If you’re short on time, Black Label can facilitate a bespoke itinerary at a number of thrilling Adventure Parks with add on options for sprint jetboating, off-road vehicles, the Southern Hemispheres’ only wind tunnel at Freefall Xtreme, claybird shooting, knife throwing, the world’s only Shweeb (a human powered monorail racetrack), and archery. A private Kiwi BBQ or cooking lesson in the mountains with locally shot venison or game is also a possibility.
14/ Mellow Adventures
Yes, we admit New Zealand is the ultimate adventure playground. However, if you’re not the type who likes to throw yourself off ledges attached to bungy cords, cling to vertiginous cliffs or death defy gravity in every commercial way possible we can still create you a perfect itinerary. Try dolphin and whale watching, black water rafting at Waitomo, snorkelling at Goat Island Marine Reserve, birdwatching at Tiritiri Matangi or Kapiti Islands or bush walking amongst the grandest Kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest – anything is possible.
Black Label had a fantastic time recently arranging a major adventure prize week for V Energy winners. Client testimonial:
“The nature of the promotion meant we had extremely little lead time to plan, award and execute the major prize week for the V Energy winners. Approaching Tania at Black Label to organise, book and add the premium spin to the prize meant we were able to seamlessly pull off a last minute major prize week tailored specifically to our winners”.
Watch the video of the V Energy winners here:
Black Label would like to acknowledge and thank the participation of our industry suppliers in creating this video/package for V Energy – Fat Tyre Adventures, Viking Lodge, Copthorne Hotel & Apartments, Ultimate Queenstown, NZone Skydive, Shotover Jet.
Book your customised New Zealand adventure today! Contact Tania via email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the options
This blog article was written by Rebecca Whitlocke, copy writer / freelance Global Tourism & Marketing Consultant