Top 5 things to experience in New Zealand

Christchurch holds a lot of memories for me. I went to high school there when I was 15 and in a sense in was my first great escape. A stranger in a strange land with no parental supervision.


I did my first tattoo there, my first piercing there (on my septum), and experienced a lot new and wonderful things. I daresay it’s the one of the best times of my adolescent life. I’ve been back a couple of times and have never completely done all the things and seen all the sights the country has to offer.

However, if pressed, I would say that these are the top five things to do in NZ:

1. Do Dunedin


It’s home to Otago University and the place is actually pronounced dun-nee-dern. It is also close to the southernmost tip of the South Island of New Zealand so you can see yellow eyed penguins and seal colonies.

steepest road

Dunedin is also home to the steepest residential road in the world.

baldwin street

I swear you have to put a brick under your car when you park on Baldwin Street.

2. Go glacier hiking

glacial hike

New Zealand is one of the few places in the world where you can do this. It’s a wonderful experience walking on a large body of ice that has been slowly building for centuries. I personally recommend Franz Josef Glacier over Fox Glacier. I’ve been to both and the ice falls at the former are more sublime. Bring your cold weather gear or you can rent it at the counter.

3. Relax in Rotorua

nz rotorua

You just gotta love the smell of sulfur in the morning. It starts as soon as you reach the fridges of Rotorua – that rotten egg smell that assaults your olfactory senses. However, you get used to it after a while and you’ll be raring to hit the various natural hot pools around this volcanically active area.


Note that some of the pools have insane temperatures like 52 degrees Celsius. The first time I was there, I was only 13 (first landing for a NZ permanent resident visa) so I wasn’t allowed into those pools. There are signs posted all over and it took me a while to figure out why – the scalding temperatures might harm your still developing family jewels. Heh.

However, if you’re not a minor, there shouldn’t be a problem.

4. Try Bungy jumping

bungee jumpin

Hello nurse! I’m kidding, this is an extremely safe sport and where better than to do it at the home of commercial Bungy jumping – New Zealand! Yup, AJ Hackett popularized the sport back in the ’80s while jumping in Auckland. The term “bungy” is apparently Kiwi slang for “elastic strap”.

bungee jumping

Check out the world’s first permanent commercial bungy site at Kawarau Bridge Bungy in Queenstown.

5. Go Punakaiki

pancake rocks

No, I wasn’t swearing at you. Punakaiki skirts the Paparoa National Park and it’s main claim to fame are the Pancake Rocks. The Pancake Rocks at Dolomite Point is a marvel of nature. I was quite impressed the first time I was there.


There are also blowholes during high tide where you can see the sea surge explode vertically from the underground caves.

Feel like having an awesome vacation there? AirAsia X is running a contest where you can win a trip of a lifetime to New Zealand!

You can choose the type of traveler you are:


and create a team of 4 like-minded people or just go solo.

It’s all done through Facebook so you can pick 3 buddies to have a go at the game – more people, more brains, more fun. Or just go at it solo if you’re the independent type and prefers relying on your own (vastly superior, or so you think) skills.

The online games and trivia will start on 8th December so sign up now at The Great NZ X-Cape. There are NZ trips to be won for both teams and individuals so let’s see how good everyone is. Come join the contest and win the trip of your dreams! 😉

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18 thoughts on “Top 5 things to experience in New Zealand”

    • Yeah, it’s very enriching to head off to another country for high school. The culture is totally different over there. 🙂

      New Zealand is a beautiful place. I’m doing this solo coz I’m a bit of a cross between a people traveler and a thrill seeker.

      You can sign up solo or with a group bro, good luck! 🙂

    • It’s pretty affordable now with AirAsiaX flying there. I remember when I first went (about 8 years ago) we had to take Air New Zealand from Singapore coz I live in Sibu and it’s actually cheaper to fly to Changi and then onwards to Christchurch. It cost nearly RM 4,000 to fry from Sarawak one way back then.

      It’s much cheaper nowadays with the aviation industry opening up and the advent of low cost carriers like AirAsiaX. I wish there were around back then. 🙂

  1. want to visit NZ real soon , love the scenary there… but am not sure will go bungy jump ! Haha now i know why my friend got bungy jump as her birthday present in NZ!

    • Well, perfect timing, the flights are quite affordable now and you can participate in the contest and see how it goes. 🙂

      Bungee jumping eh? It’s fun, I did it when I was 13, it’s an adrenaline rush in a controlled environment. To be honest, the luge ride I took in NZ spooked me more coz I went down an advanced trail on purpose, didn’t know how to stop, and since it was my first time, couldn’t operate the luge properly.


      Good times.

    • You know their tagline bro…

      Now everyone can fly. 😉

      It’s a beautiful place! My favorite spot is Rotorua – everything is slightly more expensive there on account on it being a tourist destination but it’s nice.

      Hey, you can join the contest, might win a trip over to NZ. 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s a lot of fun! I still love to do it in different locations. The first time is always the best though, did it in Queenstown during first landing for New Zealand PR.

      Yup, glacier hiking is pretty cool too, one of the few places in the world that has it. 🙂

    • Nice! Hey I’m also going next year, probably around April. 🙂

      The vineyards…now that would be really awesome. Have fun Eiling!


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