Free Activities & Inclusions
Kiwis are a generous bunch and lots of museums and attractions are free of charge, as well as all access to National Parks. We take in many of these and we also include selected paid activities which we feel shows you the very best of New Zealand.
Here you will find details on the free activities and inclusions included in our Ultimate Explorer, full New Zealand tour. Shorter trip options such as the Grand Traverse, Reverse Traverse and so on will include some of these also.
Amazing sunrises, sunsets and beach fires at beautiful beach-side campsites are all another added bonus to our unique camping tours.
A few highlights
- Visit the Giant Kauri forests in Waipoua Forest
- Hot Water beach - dig your own thermal pool (we provide the spades!)
- Rotorua Mountain Bike Park (bike hire not included)
- Huka Falls
- Tongariro National Park
- The full-day Tongariro Crossing hike (bus transfer not included)
- Te Papa museum
- Wellington Botanical Gardens
- Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo
- Mt Cook National Park
- Hooker Valley Walk - Tasman Glacier
- Visit the world’s steepest residential street
- Otago Early Settlers museum
- Fiordland National Park
- Queenstown Gondola
- Mt Aspiring National Park
- Westland Tai Poutini National Park
- Lake Matheson mirror lake
- Hokitika Greenstone factory
- Paparoa National Park
- Punakaiki Pancake rocks and blowholes
- Abel Tasman National Park
- Marlborough wine tasting
Some of our free activities and inclusions in detail
Giant Kauri forests in Waipoua Forest (top of the North)
Visit Tane Mahuta, the country's largest kauri tree, which is about 2,000 years old. Nearly 18 metres to the first branch and 4.4 metres in diameter, Tane Mahuta is rightly called 'The Lord of the Forest'. Another significant tree in Waipoua Forest is Te Matua Ngahere – 'Father of the Forest' – which is estimated to be between 2,500 and 3,000 years old. Hot Water beach - dig your own thermal pool (we provide the spades!)
A great way to unwind after a hard day of sightseeing! Grab a spade, take to the beach and dig your own thermal hot pool just metres from the Pacific Ocean, now sit back and relax.This can be done 2 hours either side of low tide where you’ll find hot water bubbling through the golden sands.
Rotorua Mountain Bike Park
You must already either have your own bike or have hired a bike from us. One of the oldest mountain bike networks in the country, with master crafted trails, unbeatable riding surfaces, well draining volcanic soils, varying topography and fantastic scenery. With around 130km of continually evolving trails, there is something to cater for all levels of rider.
The most visited natural attraction in New Zealand! This stunning display of nature happens as the Waikato river narrows to just a 20 metre wide gorge. Every second up to 220,000 litres rush through the gorge, then shoot out to create a beautiful blue/green pool.
Tongariro National Park
Tongariro is our oldest National Park and contains New Zealand’s best one day hike! Aside from the hike, we travel through Tongariro National Park as we make our journey towards the lower North Island. Our guides say you can expect to see baron landscapes with endless tussock slopes. On a fine day, sitting in the bus, you’ll be blown away by the daunting and breathtaking volcanic peaks of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe.
The full-day Tongariro Crossing hike (bus transfer not included)
You really need to take opportunity and hike the 19km Tongariro Crossing because it’s absolutely full of natural and cultural heritage. A challenging yet very rewarding hike, you can expect a hugely diverse range of scenery throughout it – from steep climbs, impressive views, steam vents, Mt Doom from Lord Of The Rings to the most beautiful emerald coloured lakes, you won’t be disappointed!
Wellington Te Papa Museum
Te Papa is New Zealand’s national museum, renowned for being bi-cultural, scholarly, innovative, and fun. Collections span five areas: Art, History, Pacific, Māori, and Natural Environment.
Wellington Botanical Gardens
Listed as Wellington’s top 2 for things to do the Botanical Gardens has 26 hectares of unique landscape, protected native forest, specialised plant collections and colourful floral displays, this is nature at it’s best. Overlooking Wellington it offers great views of the city.
Tekapo Church of Good Shepherd
Probably the most photographed church in the country! Set on the picturesque shores of Lake Tekapo this was the first church built in the MacKenzie Basin back in 1935. This is more than a church however, it’s the stunning scenery that surrounds it, take a look through the alter window which perfectly frames the amazing marvellous Lake Tekapo.
Mt Cook National Park
Ah this little beauty! Or big beauty we should say – as Mt Cook/ Aoraki is New Zealand’s highest mountain. On a clear day, you’ll get to have dinner at our bush camp overlooking this “Cloud Piercer” by sunset. At sunrise you’ll be inspired by its beauty as you stretch out of your tent. With barely any flat surfaces in the park and one third of it covered all year round in snow, you’ll be guaranteed to take some epic photos! Our camp spot is strategically positioned, and frequently commented as a favourite - right beside a stunning bright blue glacier fed lake with the majestic Mt Cook in the vast backdrop, it will hold long lasting memories.
Hooker Valley Walk - Tasman Glacier
We’ve got a great half day hike which will take you through incredible alpine vistas, over swing bridges, across well-established board walks to the base of the Tasman Glacier.
One of the most fascinating and popular attractions in the South Island, these spherical ‘stones’ are actually concretions that have been exposed through shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs that back the beach. For some reason...Flying Kiwi travellers find them a great place to practice their Yoga Poses! :)
Visit the world’s steepest residential street
According to the Guiness Book of World Records, Baldwin Street in Dunedin is officially the world’s steepest residential street and we take you there! Walk it, climb it or crawl it - this is one street I wouldn’t like to carry the groceries home on!
New Zealand's newest and most innovative museum experience. It is all about the people of Dunedin and their stories. Trace the lives of our settlers – indigenous Māori, the early Chinese, and the following waves of migrant groups – and their technological innovation, art, fashion, domestic life and transport.
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Fiordland National Park
This National Park is all about insane scenery and diverse nature, in fact, often regarded as one of the most beautiful places to explore. Not only our largest National Park but Nature is just marvelous. It isn’t uncommon for it to rain here but without the high rainfall the fiord and lush rainforest wouldn’t be as magnificent! The waterfalls are even more impressive and the regal mountains with sheer cliff tops surrounded by mysterious clouds, it really is like another world! Whether you experience Fiordland and Milford behind a lens, the boat cruise and even New Zealand’s great walks, The Routeburn Track – you will leave feeling inspired.
Queenstown, known as the adventure capital of New Zealand sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipu. Unless you plan on skydiving, paragliding or hang-gliding there is no better place to view this picturesque town than 450 metres above it. We include the Skyline Gondola in all tours spending 2 nights in Queenstown with us as the views are just stunning! Travel in the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere.
Mt Aspiring National Park
While we pass through Mt Aspiring National Park, expect to see stunning mountainous scenery, remote wilderness and beautiful river valleys! This is New Zealand’s third largest National Park and we have some great walks and cycle rides lined up so you can maximize to the fullest the beauty this region has to offer.
Westland Tai Poutini National Park
As we leave Mt Aspiring National Park we travel through Westland Tai Poutini, known as ‘Glacier’ country. Extending from the highest peaks of the Southern Alps to the remote and rugged beaches of the wild West Coast it is an area of magnificent snow-capped mountains, glaciers, forests, lakes, rivers, wetlands and beaches. We spend a couple of nights here giving you time to soak it all up.
Fox Glacier Lake Matheson mirror lake
Easy but incredibly scenic this is one walk you don’t want to miss out on. Famous for its excellent mirror-like reflecting properties, on a good day you’ll get mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman while making your way through an ancient forest.
Hokitika Greenstone factory
Considered the Greenstone (Jade) capital of New Zealand, we take you to a Hokitika Greenstone factory where you can watch the carving craft masters at work and possibly purchase yourself a souvenir to hang proudly around your neck if you choose.
Paparoa National Park
This landscape is incredible and completely different to any other parks experienced while in New Zealand. This exotic and lush rainforest park transfers you back to the prehistoric era, guides often joking that all we need is a T-Rex and Paparoa National Park could be Jurassic Park! The numerous Limestone gigantic formations and caves everywhere to be explored and photographed will surprise and amaze you. Not to mention the plentiful Nikau palms to give you that island feel. If you don’t already feel on holiday, the walks available in this area will give you a slower and enriching experience - not to be missed!
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
The famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes were formed 30 million years ago from minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants which landed on the seabed about 2 km below the surface. The Blowholes are at their best during high tide where you get to watch the full force of nature.
Abel Tasman National Park
Kilometres of beautiful forest, golden sand beaches and crystal clear invitingly warm water. This may be New Zealand’s smallest National Park but with so much to see and do here there is no wonder it’s also the busiest!
Marlborough Wine Tasting
Marlborough is New Zealand's largest wine growing region and home of the world-renowned Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy a few of NZs finest wines - on us. Free for Flying Kiwi clients on selected tours.