10 Bucket List Ideas To Complete In… New Zealand

If there is any place in the world where you might want to get your bucket list out and start crossing of activities, it's New Zealand.

Being the ‘Adventure Capital’ of the world, New Zealand offers just too many crazy activities that will look amazing on your bucket list and make you feel pretty good about yourself having completed them.


Active Travel Bucket List

Because of New Zealand’s nature, I’ve decide to make this weeks list an active one. And going back into my photo archive, it turned out I’ve done quite a few of them!

I am as surprised as you are, believe me, as I am world wide known as a chicken (Nienke est un poulet… Nienke is een kip… Nienke sjì ji… Nienke er en kylling… Nienke ng manok… Nienke ist ein Huhn… Nienke är en kyckling… Nienke é uma galinha… Nienke là môt con gà… Nienke wa chikin desu… Nienke è un pollo… well you get the idea.)

Not in any particular order, but here are the 10 active ideas for your Bucket List to complete in New Zealand:


Bucket List Ideas - New Zealand

1.Take a skydive (Lake Taupo, North Island)

Simply put it’s jumping from a plane with a parachute on your back, but there’s a whole lot of mental strength needed to take the leap. Not recommended for people with a chronic cold, like me – I screamed in pain of my ears all the way down as I could not clear them. But you never really know what a skydive is until you’ve done one yourself.

2.   Go zorbing (Rotorua, North Island)

Rolling down a hill in a huge plastic ball (filled with water if you wanted). When the group I was travelling with decided to collectively spend their money on this random activity, I passed. But watching them go down was hilarious.

3.    Try black water rafting (Waitomo, North Island)

I absolutely recommend doing this. The water was frozen, but we made an amazing journey through a cave system with an abseil, floating in rubber tubes, looking for glow worms and finding our way back up climbing with head torches. Loved it!

4.   Swim with dolphins (Bay of Islands, North Island)

This one is still on my bucket list, as the day we went on a tour, there were baby dolphins around and in that case there’s no swimming. But I heard it must be something amazing.

5.    Swim with sharks (East Coast, North Island)

Yeah, about that. I wasn’t too excited about this trip to begin with, but we didn’t actually see any sharks worth mentioning, just a little baby shark that cried harder than me when I looked at it… but the boat ride was so bumpy everyone turned green, so we were just glad to be back on solid ground. After that, I never really thought about sharks again for long time. Little did I know that years later, on my own snorkelling in Australia, I would meet a 2 meter long shark only an arms length away. Yikes. I will now never set foot in the ocean ever again. Cured.

6.    Ride a horse on the beach (East Coast, North Island)

My inner 10-years old always jumps up when there are horses around and when possible, I take a beach ride. The guy that ran our tour missed one hand (he had a hook instead), but he raced us all out on the beach that day. Amazing.

7.    Go sand boarding (Bay of Islands, North Island)

Sand boarding is one of those hilariously stupid activities that you just must do once in your life… or twice. It’s actually a lot of fun and when you get the hang of it, you can go pretty fast down the sand dune as well!

8.   Do a bungee jump (Queenstown, South Island)

You will never ever – ever! see me do a bungee jump, but I admire people who do it – and love it. And one of the best (read: scariest because highest) places to jump is in Queenstown. Go for it!

9.   Climb a glacier (Franz Josef Glacier, South Island)

There’s two ways to climb the glacier in Franz Josef, starting with a helicopter ride to the top or all the way from the bottom. We walked from the valley and did some climbing with crumpets on. The views were amazing and the ice incredible blue. A great experience (even though our camera broke due to the wet and icy circumstances, ahw!).

10.  Go sea kayaking (Abel Tasman NP, South Island)

This is one of my most favourite active bucket list activities. It’s calm (ok, so not too active then), you don’t need to be super-fit to do it, you can be alone of paddle together and you’ll see beautiful scenery along the way. We saw the cutest penguin in the Abel Tasman National Park!


When did you ever feel the need to throw yourself off a steep hill in a massive plastic ball filled with water? Or launch yourself upside-down off a bridge attached to a million rubber bands? Tell me!

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