Experience the Brilliance of New Zealand for Less (9 Activities for Under $200 - South Island)

New Zealand is known to be a pricy travel destination despite our positive exchange rate.  There are a TON of activities that can end up costing you beaucoup bucks in New Zealand.  You can also do it smart and rely on the uniqueness and sheer beauty of New Zealand, which provides many free activities.  This allows you to really pick and choose what you want to spend your money on. Here we developed a list of 9 activities on the North Island, where you will get to enjoy what New Zealand has to offer, but also not break the bank! You can do all these activities for under $200 per person!  Check out how to experience New Zealand for less (in no particular order):

1. Mt. Cook, Southern Alps - $0 USD

Mount Cook National Park is an alpine paradise.  With the highest mountains and extensive glaciers under a star-studded sky this mountain is guaranteed to impress.  There are 10 short walks beginning near the village. All tracks are formed and well marked. The Red Tarns Track, Kea Point and the Hooker Valley Track each take around two hours return. For more experienced alpine hikers, there are three mountain pass routes – over the Mueller, Copland and Ball passes.

The Scoop:

  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. So make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.
  • Bring Enough Water and Food: Especially if you decide to do one of the longer hikes, make sure you are bringing adequate amount of water and food.

2. Milford Sound Cruise, Fiordland National Park - $31 USD per person ($62 USD per couple)

Milford Sound is one of the most stunning and serene places in the world. Located deep within Fiordland National Park this gem should be on everyone’s New Zealand itinerary.  Radiating peace and tranquility as you glide through the ocean, you can’t help but feel blessed that you get to step into one of nature’s wonders. With your wife or husband by your side you will be looking at one another with smiles all day.

The Scoop:

  • Get There Early: Arrive by 8:30 am to pay for the 8:55 Jucy cruise for only $31 USD per person ($45 NZD). You have to park above the boat area and walk about 10/15 minutes down.
  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. So make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.
  • Bring food or snacks: A light breakfast is provided with coffee, tea, and water, so if you are someone who gets hungry pack a snack or eat before.
  • Waterfall: When the boat captain says he is going in the waterfall he means it, and you WILL get soaked if you are in the right spot on the boat (he will give you a warning and tell you where to stand). If you want to go inside bring a poncho and/or be prepared to change your clothes afterward.

3. Roy’s Peak Day Hike, Lake Wanaka - $0 USD

This hike has some amazing views of Lake Wanaka surrounded by the majestic alps.  Tranquility fills this magically place while you both walk up a steep incline you will be surrounded by the local sheep who live on the land and progressively better views of nature’s beauty below.  Although a difficult climb you are truly rewarded with a spectacular view at the end.

The Scoop:

  • Duration: 5-7 hour return, steep and difficult climb up the mountain.
  • Bring Enough Water and Food: Make sure you are bringing adequate amount of water (at least 2 liters per person) and food, as this is a long difficult walk and you will be burning a lot of fuel.  There are no places to stop to fill up your water, so bring everything you need with you.
  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. So make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.

4. Fox and Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast - $0 USD

Have you ever been able to stand at the foot of an enormous glacier?  The sheer size and crystallized beauty is remarkable.  While the glaciers have retreated tremendously since 2008 they are still a sight to see.  The temperate climate at this low altitude makes it so that these are some of the easiest glaciers to visit in the world.  There are easy walks to the base of the glaciers which go through historic river valleys with steep peaks and jagged edges from the retreating glaciers. This will make for a memorable couple picture for years to come.

The Scoop:

  • Duration: 5 to 2 hours return, for each glacier.
  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. So make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.

5. Abel Tasman Kayaking, Abel Tasman National Park - $68 USD per person ($136 per couple)

With some of the warmest climate in all New Zealand and some spectacular coastal views, this makes Abel Tasman one of the best spots for sea kayaking and a walk through the national park.  It is known for its golden beaches surrounded by native forest and granite and marble formations. Get your “couple counseling on” while kayaking around some serene landscape and great wild life. Watch sting rays glide through the crystal clear water just below from your kayak!

The Scoop:

  • Book in Advance: Book one day in advance and make sure to check the weather before to get the best chance of getting a good day.
  • Bring your bathing suit: In case you want to take a dip at lunch on a hot day this is a must.
  • Bring Water & Lunch: Usually available for purchase as part of the booking as well you can opt to do that or bring your own to save some cash.

6. Skyline Adventures, Queenstown - $38 USD per person ($78 for a couple)

It’s time for some adventure!  Queenstown is home to some of the most extreme activities in the South Island. The Skyline is located near the city and activities like the sky swing, bungee jumping, mountain biking, and the luge are just a gondola ride away. For $38 USD you can go on a gondola ride up and down this amazing mountain as well as 5 luge rides down the hill (chairlift is used to get up and down the luge mountain).

The Scoop:

  • Get There Early: The lines get long here most people coming to New Zealand have an adventurous side. Be the first to arrive to avoid the lines.
  • Check the Weather: As with any outdoor activities you want to make sure you are dressed appropriately to plunge through the air, roll down the hill, or glide down a mountain.
  • If It’s Cold Bring Gloves for the Luge: Your hands can get super cold and seem like they are freezing as you are zooming down the hill, so bring your racing gloves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Experience the Brilliance of New Zealand for Less (9 Activities for Under $200 - South Island)

New Zealand is known to be a pricy travel destination despite our positive exchange rate.  There are a TON of activities that can end up costing you beaucoup bucks in New Zealand.  You can also do it smart and rely on the uniqueness and sheer beauty of New Zealand, which provides many free activities.  This allows you to really pick and choose what you want to spend your money on. Here we developed a list of 9 activities on the North Island, where you will get to enjoy what New Zealand has to offer, but also not break the bank! You can do all these activities for under $200 per person!  Check out how to experience New Zealand for less (in no particular order):

1. Mt. Cook, Southern Alps - $0 USD

Mount Cook National Park is an alpine paradise.  With the highest mountains and extensive glaciers under a star-studded sky this mountain is guaranteed to impress.  There are 10 short walks beginning near the village. All tracks are formed and well marked. The Red Tarns Track, Kea Point and the Hooker Valley Track each take around two hours return. For more experienced alpine hikers, there are three mountain pass routes – over the Mueller, Copland and Ball passes.

The Scoop:

  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. So make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.
  • Bring Enough Water and Food: Especially if you decide to do one of the longer hikes, make sure you are bringing adequate amount of water and food.

2. Milford Sound Cruise, Fiordland National Park - $31 USD per person ($62 USD per couple)

Milford Sound is one of the most stunning and serene places in the world. Located deep within Fiordland National Park this gem should be on everyone’s New Zealand itinerary.  Radiating peace and tranquility as you glide through the ocean, you can’t help but feel blessed that you get to step into one of nature’s wonders. With your wife or husband by your side you will be looking at one another with smiles all day.

The Scoop:

  • Get There Early: Arrive by 8:30 am to pay for the 8:55 Jucy cruise for only $31 USD per person ($45 NZD). You have to park above the boat area and walk about 10/15 minutes down.
  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. So make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.
  • Bring food or snacks: A light breakfast is provided with coffee, tea, and water, so if you are someone who gets hungry pack a snack or eat before.
  • Waterfall: When the boat captain says he is going in the waterfall he means it, and you WILL get soaked if you are in the right spot on the boat (he will give you a warning and tell you where to stand). If you want to go inside bring a poncho and/or be prepared to change your clothes afterward.

3. Roy’s Peak Day Hike, Lake Wanaka - $0 USD

This hike has some amazing views of Lake Wanaka surrounded by the majestic alps.  Tranquility fills this magically place while you both walk up a steep incline you will be surrounded by the local sheep who live on the land and progressively better views of nature’s beauty below.  Although a difficult climb you are truly rewarded with a spectacular view at the end.

The Scoop:

  • Duration: 5-7 hour return, steep and difficult climb up the mountain.
  • Bring Enough Water and Food: Make sure you are bringing adequate amount of water (at least 2 liters per person) and food, as this is a long difficult walk and you will be burning a lot of fuel.  There are no places to stop to fill up your water, so bring everything you need with you.
  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. So make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.

4. Fox and Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast - $0 USD

Have you ever been able to stand at the foot of an enormous glacier?  The sheer size and crystallized beauty is remarkable.  While the glaciers have retreated tremendously since 2008 they are still a sight to see.  The temperate climate at this low altitude makes it so that these are some of the easiest glaciers to visit in the world.  There are easy walks to the base of the glaciers which go through historic river valleys with steep peaks and jagged edges from the retreating glaciers. This will make for a memorable couple picture for years to come.

The Scoop:

  • Duration: 5 to 2 hours return, for each glacier.
  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. So make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.

5. Abel Tasman Kayaking, Abel Tasman National Park - $68 USD per person ($136 per couple)

With some of the warmest climate in all New Zealand and some spectacular coastal views, this makes Abel Tasman one of the best spots for sea kayaking and a walk through the national park.  It is known for its golden beaches surrounded by native forest and granite and marble formations. Get your “couple counseling on” while kayaking around some serene landscape and great wild life. Watch sting rays glide through the crystal clear water just below from your kayak!

The Scoop:

  • Book in Advance: Book one day in advance and make sure to check the weather before to get the best chance of getting a good day.
  • Bring your bathing suit: In case you want to take a dip at lunch on a hot day this is a must.
  • Bring Water & Lunch: Usually available for purchase as part of the booking as well you can opt to do that or bring your own to save some cash.

6. Skyline Adventures, Queenstown - $38 USD per person ($78 for a couple)

It’s time for some adventure!  Queenstown is home to some of the most extreme activities in the South Island. The Skyline is located near the city and activities like the sky swing, bungee jumping, mountain biking, and the luge are just a gondola ride away. For $38 USD you can go on a gondola ride up and down this amazing mountain as well as 5 luge rides down the hill (chairlift is used to get up and down the luge mountain).

The Scoop:

  • Get There Early: The lines get long here most people coming to New Zealand have an adventurous side. Be the first to arrive to avoid the lines.
  • Check the Weather: As with any outdoor activities you want to make sure you are dressed appropriately to plunge through the air, roll down the hill, or glide down a mountain.
  • If It’s Cold Bring Gloves for the Luge: Your hands can get super cold and seem like they are freezing as you are zooming down the hill, so bring your racing gloves!

7. Walter Peak High Country Farm Tour and Cruise, Queenstown - $42 USD per person ($84 USD for a couple)

Cruise across Lake Wakatipu on a vintage steamship to Walter Peak High Country Farm.  Experience rural New Zealand as we take you on a walking tour of the farmyard. You can help feed the animals, see the sheep dogs in action and watch a sheep shearing display during the farm demonstration.

The Scoop:

  • Book Your Spot in Advance: Spots fill up quickly in peak season, so make sure you at least try to book a couple days in advance.
  • Check the Weather Conditions: The weather is always changing in New Zealand so make sure you check the forecast before booking.
  • Bring a Swimsuit and Towel: You are definitely going to get wet so you are going to need these!

8. Rarest Penguins in the World at Katiki Point Lighthouse, Moeraki - $0 USD

A short walk down from the light house south of Moeraki is the single best spot to view the Yellow-eyed Penguins.  With a breeding colony down below the lighthouse in a small cove these protected penguins were allowed to flourished and are accustomed to human presence so they will let you view them from above without scattering.

The Scoop:

  • Viewing time: The best time to view penguins is 2 hours before closing. The reserve is open from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm from September to March and 7:30 am to 6 pm from April to August.

9. Bike Ride in Lake Wanaka- $17 USD per person ($34USD per couple)

Lake Wanaka is beautiful, located in the stunning alps of the South Island it is perfect to go on a bike ride around the edge of the lake or the other surrounding areas full of natural beauty.  This is the price for a half day adventure around the lake.

The Scoop:

  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. Check the weather to make sure you have the best chance for a good day.  Also, make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.

7. Walter Peak High Country Farm Tour and Cruise, Queenstown - $42 USD per person ($84 USD for a couple)

Cruise across Lake Wakatipu on a vintage steamship to Walter Peak High Country Farm.  Experience rural New Zealand as we take you on a walking tour of the farmyard. You can help feed the animals, see the sheep dogs in action and watch a sheep shearing display during the farm demonstration.

The Scoop:

  • Book Your Spot in Advance: Spots fill up quickly in peak season, so make sure you at least try to book a couple days in advance.
  • Check the Weather Conditions: The weather is always changing in New Zealand so make sure you check the forecast before booking.
  • Bring a Swimsuit and Towel: You are definitely going to get wet so you are going to need these!

8. Rarest Penguins in the World at Katiki Point Lighthouse, Moeraki - $0 USD

A short walk down from the light house south of Moeraki is the single best spot to view the Yellow-eyed Penguins.  With a breeding colony down below the lighthouse in a small cove these protected penguins were allowed to flourished and are accustomed to human presence so they will let you view them from above without scattering.

The Scoop:

  • Viewing time: The best time to view penguins is 2 hours before closing. The reserve is open from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm from September to March and 7:30 am to 6 pm from April to August.

9. Bike Ride in Lake Wanaka- $17 USD per person ($34USD per couple)

Lake Wanaka is beautiful, located in the stunning alps of the South Island it is perfect to go on a bike ride around the edge of the lake or the other surrounding areas full of natural beauty.  This is the price for a half day adventure around the lake.

The Scoop:

  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather in this area is very fickle and may be very cold, raining, clouded in, or windy at times. Check the weather to make sure you have the best chance for a good day.  Also, make sure you are prepared and bring the right clothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Man does that sound like 6 or 7 days of fun or what?  So now you know all the activities let’s do the math.  All that for under $200 per person! or $400 for a couple!

ActivityNZDUSDFor a Couple
Totals$268$197$394
Mt. Cook Day Hike---
5 Luge Rides and Gondola$55$38$76
Milford Sound Cruise$45$31$62
Roy's Peak Day Hike---
Bike Ride in Lake Wanaka$25$17$34
Walter Peak High Country Farm Tour and Cruise$63$43$86
Fox Glacier & Franz Josef Glacier---
Abel Tasman Kayaking$99$68$136
Rarest Penguins in the World---

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