Local Time NZ
01:39 am Sat 13 Jul

A new year comes with new travel goals. We have many incredible experiences in New Zealand on our bucket list for 2019.

From luxury resorts to remote getaways, festivals, and delicious food, here are some of the most exciting places to visit in New Zealand in 2019.


Indulge in the best gastronomy on a Cloudy Bay Foraging Experience

cloudy bay

Photo: Cloudy Bay

Experience the best of New Zealand’s gastronomy scene at beautiful Cloudy Bay. With private tours ranging from oyster and sashimi tasting to vineyard sightseeing with a helicopter, gourmet dinners, sailing, and more – this exclusive foraging tour deserves a spot on your bucket list.

As if this isn’t enough, it’s located in Marlborough in the South Island, the area known for having the most hours of sunshine per year in NZ. This is an experience you won’t forget.


Enjoy a Minaret Station Stay and Heli-ski adventure

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Minaret Station lets you explore places impossible to get to without heli. If you’re an adventure traveler, this will be your perfect base during your NZ ski holiday. Enjoy gorgeous surroundings exclusively with your group, get access to private heli ski charters with guides, and 40+ years of industry experience. This is also where you can find New Zealand’s most remote fine dining restaurant.


Disconnect on a luxury Poronui Safari Tent Experience

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Are you looking to disconnect while still having all the comfort at hand? On a luxury Poronui Safari tent experience on the banks of the Mohaka River, you’ll be able to step into beautiful backcountry isolation, without compromising on your comfort. The packages include hot running water, flushing toilets, and rafting down the river to explore the natural, rustic surroundings.


Stay in the beautiful Hapuku Lodge’s Treehouses

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

On a deer breeding farm 12 kilometers north of the extraordinary eco-marine town of Kaikoura, you’ll find the family-owned Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses. Whether the location, the delicious food, or the beautiful design of the lodge and the tree houses, will be the factor that captivates you the most, Hapuku Lodge is a unique place to stay.

Designed and built by the family itself, this is the perfect luxury lodge getaway to unwind while enjoying heavenly, seasonal menus, massage, and a bottle of your favorite wine.


Watch whales and get lost in Kaikoura

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Photo: Whalewatch Kaikoura

Described as a magical world where the mountains meet the sea, a visit to Kaikoura definitely deserves a place on your bucket list. The incredible marine wildlife is the main attraction. A whale watch tour takes you on a journey to see these powerful animals in their natural environment. You may also encounter Dusky Dolphins, New Zealand Fur Seals, and Wandering Albatrosses.


Eat crayfish on the beach from Nin’s Crayfish Kaikoura

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Nin’s Bin is a family-run restaurant and a favourite with the locals. Photo: Tripadvisor

Kaikoura, which means ‘to eat crayfish’ in Māori, is the crayfish paradise of New Zealand. A crayfish meal here was even voted one of the world’s best food experiences by Lonely Planet last year. Ranked no 7 out of 500 foodie experiences in the world, it’s a reason alone to visit NZ.


Eat the best oysters in the world at the Bluff Oyster Festival

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

The Bluff season (March-August) is my, and many others, favourite time of the year. Described as the best oysters in the world, Bluff oysters are often enjoyed accompanied by bubbles and other delicious seafood. The absolute highlight of the season is the Bluff Oyster Festival, which takes place 25/5 2019 in Bluff. Tickets always sell out, so you better make up your mind in time to secure your customized experience.


End the year with a NYE boat party in the Bay of Islands

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Photo: Eventfinda

End the year embracing the island vibes by spending New Year’s Eve at Otehei Bay. Enjoy your own luxury boat charter from Paihia or Russell to Otehei Bay, Urupukapuka Island for a night that features a 5-course dinner prepared with the best of our local ingredients, live music, fireworks, and pretty views.


Stay in a luxury home far away from everything in Te Anau

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Photo: https://www.saltandearth.co.nz/

Escape it all and spend a few days in this gorgeous house on the shores of Lake Te Anau. Designed to be your little luxury home away from home, it’s the perfect space to reflect, share stories and to form new friendships. The owner Nathan is a carpenter passionate about the outdoors and traditional hospitality. You won’t be able to find a better guide when visiting Te Anau. Especially if you plan on arranging outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, free diving or snorkeling.


Have a leisurely lunch at Fleurs Place (with a visit to Moeraki Boulders)

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Photo: Tripadvisor

Chosen as the place by the British television chef and restaurateur Rick Stein, when he could go anywhere in the world to write a travel article for English newspaper the Daily Mail, this charming gem deserves your attention. Located in a small, quiet fishing village of Moeraki on the Otago coast, surrounded by water, Fleurs Place has a unique setting.

The famous, mysterious Moeraki boulders are right across the Bay and you can tell that Fleur only uses the freshest of local ingredients. Fishing boats deliver their catches right into her restaurant and foodies familiar with the area can’t help but bringing her up whenever someone needs a great recommendation.


Go for a Stewart Island adventure

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Get a taste of a simpler lifestyle, and connect with nature at this gorgeous remote destination. Wildlife, trekking options, fish, boat trips, rainforest, hunting, historic sites, or pure relaxing in beautiful surroundings, are some of the activities worth coming here for – again, and again. You could explore some of the highlights on itineraries ranging between 1 to 6 days.


Challenge yourself with Tandem Skydiving in Queenstown

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Adventure sports is a reason for coming to New Zealand alone, and you’ll find a wide selection of options in our adventure capital Queenstown. If you have skydiving on your bucket list, this is the place to check it off. Here you can jump from 15,000ft surrounded by stunning landscapes. The providers are experienced and well-established with up to 25 years of experience in the industry.


Appreciate life with wine tasting and lunch at Elephant Hill

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Photo: Elephant Hill

If you’re a fan of wine and gorgeous vistas (who isn’t?), you better add wine tasting at Elephant Hill to your bucket list. This charming winery is located just off the Pacific Ocean on the beautiful coast of Hawke’s Bay. Established in 2003, Elephant Hill is known for its attention to the finer details and commitment to the absolute finest quality. Delicious fruity flavours and elegance come together just perfectly thanks to the relatively warm and dry climate. The food is heavenly, and the view from the restaurant? Breathtaking.


A weekend at Scrubby Bay, Annandale with a fun group of friends

Ultimate nz travel bucket list

Photo: Scrubby Bay

Many describe Scrubby Bay as magical, and once you’ve been, you’ll probably do the same. Come here to enjoy a private setting for groups of up to 14 and pamper yourself with the facilities on site. Why not start your day in the spa pool, followed by indulging in specialty catered meals made based on your favorite flavours.

Relax in front of the open fire with a book or a good conversation, while looking out over the incredible beautiful valley on the outer reaches of the Annandale property. Getting to this remote paradise is a part of the charm. Choose between a 40-minute 4WD transfer across the fascinating cliff-top farm tracks or a scenic heli flight then landing right on the property to start off your memorable stay just right.


What would you like to experience in New Zealand this year?

Let us know in the comments. There are so much choose from and we’ll continue to update this list throughout the year.


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