6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zealand
To choose 6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zealand is quite a hard thing to do. New Zealand is full of adventures and crazy stuff to do. I could not believe, how much was waiting for me, while I was there. I really have to admit, that I did not do enough research before I went to New Zealand. The number of things to do is insane for such a small country in comparison and the following 6 just have to be on your list.
6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zealand
You won’t find many places on earth as beautiful as New Zealand. No doubt about that, guys! New Zealand is one of the most predestinated countries in terms of adrenalin and mind blowing landscapes. The „Hobbit“ country is a destination everyone should put on their list of things to see in life. Still, you will find some activities and places, which definitely stand out from others…
White Water Rafting
First to mark red on your list of 6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zealand is the White Water Rafting in River Valley. New Zealand has a lot of cool places to raft at, but this one might be the best and most fun one on the whole north island. I would instantly agree on that, if someone would ask me. If you just consider the way to the actual river, than you will be blown away already. It is absolutely incredible and a highlight for itself. Green and healthy valleys with thousends of sheep all around, no people anywhere and beautiful nature as far as the eye can reach. Just wonderful!
The rafting in River Valley itself is sooo cool and a lot of fun. Promised! You will float down a long, crystal clear river for about 2 hours, jump off big cliffs (about 5-6 m) and try to master some pretty difficult tasks while you are on your way down. An experience you probably won’t forget!
Black Water Rafting
Put the one and only Black Water Rafting in Waitomo on your list of 6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zealand as well. I promise you, you will have an amazing time exploring the mysterious Ruakuri Cave. You have to jump down small underground waterfalls, you’ll be brought to types of limestone rocks you have probably never seen before and enjoy the flicker of the magical glowworms. This is one of the best adventures to witness in whole New Zealand in my opinion. Really cool!
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Don’t forget to put the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Taupo on your list of 6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zealand. It is quite a difficult task to master to be honest. Especially when the weather is bad, then you will not have that much fun. But if the sun is shining, then you will have a blast for sure. 19 km in total, 6-8 hours of straight hiking along the vulcanic scenery from „Lord of the Rings“ is one of the most epic things you can possibly do in whole New Zealand. Along your way you will see the famous Red Crater, Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom from „LOTR“) and the Emerald lake as well as Blue lake. Nothing but incredible!
Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is a “Must Do” and should definitely be on your list of 6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zeland. It is even cooler, if you choose to do a helicopter ride over the scenic blue ice and the nearby township. Stunning views onto the Franz Josef Glacier combined with the feeling of pure freedom. What else could you want?
Additionally this unique glacier is a perfect example for “what global warming does to mother earth”. I promise you, when you stand in front of this stunning piece of nature and you see the sign, which explains, how the glacier looked like in 2012 and 2009, then you won’t believe what you’ll read…
One of my favourite places in New Zealand is Queenstown. This small but crazy place has to be under your list of 6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zealand, because it will probably be one of the coolest places you’ll ever go to. Not just, because you can have incredible parties, hang out with travellers from all over the globe and have a great time, it is also, because of the incomparable surrounding enviroment, which will easily blow your mind.
A short tip of mine is to do as many hiking tracks as you can. The rewards are priceless. So many impressive views! Besides that, Queenstown is the nr. 1 place to be when it comes to adrenalin activities: Ledge Swing, canyoning, Bunjy jumping, sky diving, zip lining and much more!
Fjordland/ Milford Sound
The last thing to put on your list of 6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zealand is Milford Sound. This might be the most scenic place I have seen in the whole country. A landscape that melts every nature freak’s heart. The only place I could compare to this are the fjords in Norway. But other than that, it is just not comparable in any way. The whole scenery of Fjordland just looks like a movie. Doing a proper boat tour through this painted waters is the only way to get around.
What waits for you: Waterfalls (over 100 m high), dolphins and seals everywhere, plus beautifully shaped mountain ranges, that will make you fall in love with Fjordland forever!
Of course there are countless of other incredible things to see in New Zealand. That’s why it is so hard to choose 6 epic backpacker highlights in New Zealand. I could have easily taken 6 other ones, but, if you start with these 6, you will have a good kick off 😉
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