Rotorua Canopy Tours Blog

New Zealand must dos

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Cheynne and Spencer, two of our awesome guides here at Rotorua Canopy Tours, have put together a list of their top New Zealand must dos.

We’re very lucky in New Zealand to have so many incredible things to do in the great outdoors - it's one big natural playground! From epic coastlines to beautiful forests – make the most of the warmer months by getting outside and experiencing some of the New Zealand must dos.

Here are Cheynne and Spencer's top picks:


Explore our native forest and coastlines 

1. Abel Tasman Coast Track

2. Orokawa Bay to Homunga Bay

Hit the water

3. Lake Taupo

4. Bay of Islands

Go camping or stay in a hut

5. Luxmore Hut

6. Te Puia Hut (Lodge)

Do some bird watching

7. Ganet Colony at Muriwai

8. Native birds in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve


Cheynne and Spencer - Rotorua Canopy Tour guides

Photo: Cheynne and Spencer - two of our awesome kiwi guides.


Explore our native forest and coast lines

New Zealand is a full of amazing walks venturing through our many forests and all around the coastline – it’s no wonder tramping (hiking) is a popular thing to do for locals and tourists alike.


1. Abel Tasman Coast Track - Cheynne's favourite

At the top of the South Island, Cheynne's favourite New Zealand must do is the Abel Tasman Coast Track. It’s well known for its golden beaches and granite cliffs. This walking track is in one of our smallest national parks and is the perfect mix of beach and forest scenery. Choose from tramping along the 51km track to kayaking in and out of many bays and coves – you’ll be sure to hear some of our native birds like the Tui and Bellbird.


Photo: Kayaking at the Abel Tasman National Park


2. Orokawa Bay to Homunga Bay

If you're after a stunning coastal walk in the North Island, the hike from Orokawa Bay to Homunga Bay is a gem! The walk begins with a short trek from Waihi beach to Orokawa Bay (only 45 minutes), then continues on to William Wright Falls (40 minutes) and finishes off winding your way into Homunga Bay.

If you’re after another epic walk to explore our forest and coast line check out more of the New Zealand ‘Great Walks’ here -



Hit the water

Summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the beach or lake. We have lots of rivers and lakes throughout our country and nowhere in New Zealand is more than about 100km from the sea. So take your pick of water activities – from swimming, diving, boating, fishing, kayaking and more.


3. Lake Taupo - Spencer's favourite

Spencer's favourite New Zealand must dos is to jump in the waters of Lake Taupo. Located in the middle of the North Island, Lake Taupo is the biggest lake in the country (bigger than Singapore!). There’s definitely plenty of space for things like water skiing and swimming.


Photo: The stunning vista at Lake Taupo


4. Bay of Islands

If beaches are more your thing there are some stunning spots around the Bay of Islands. From visiting the hole in the rock to seeing dolphins, sailing and more, you wont be stuck for awesome water activities. Check out our pick for New Zealand top 8 beaches, or if you like things a little warmer choose from the best natural hot springs.

New Zealand must do Bay of IslandsPhoto: Exploring the Bay of Islands


Go camping or stay in a hut

The next of our New Zealand must dos is camping or staying in a hut. Camping is a favourite kiwi past time and we’re not short of awesome spots to stay. Our Department of Conservation (DOC) manages more than 200 campsites throughout New Zealand all in pretty amazing spots - by the beach, on the lakes and in our forest. There are plenty of DOC huts on offer to stay in too.


5. Luxmore Hut

Our guides top pick for the New Zealand must dos is staying in the Luxmore Hut, simply for the stunning views overlooking Lake Te Anau. This hut is on the Kepler Track in Fiordland National Park and has a beautiful veranda to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Make sure you book your stay well in advance – it’s a popular one!

New Zealand Must Dos Luxmore Hut

Photo: Luxmore Hut,  source:


6. Te Puia Hut (Lodge)

Near Napier on the banks of the stunning Mohaka River is Te Puia Hut (Lodge). You can stay in the hut  or camp in this idylic spot right next to river. The walk into the hut takes 2-3 hours and if you're up for another 45 minute walk you'll arrive at the Mangatainoka Hot Springs. 

New Zealand Must Do Te Puia HutPhoto: The view walking into Te Puia Hut

Find more huts here -

Find all of the DOC campsites here -


Do some bird watching

We have some unique and beautiful birds here in Aotearoa and you can spot them all around the country.


7. Muiwai's Gannet Colony

Our top pick for New Zealand must dos is visiting Muriwai’s Gannet Colony. It’s just one hour from Auckland and every year from August to March over 1,000 ganets nest there.

New-Zealand-Must-dos-Muriwai’s Ganet Colony

Photo: Muriwai's Gannet Colony, source:


8. Native birds at the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve

If you would like to see a range of native New Zealand birds, you’ll be able to spot many birds flitting around our forest here at Rotorua Canopy Tours in the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve. Thanks to all the conservation work we've done over the years you can find birds like kereru, tuis and tomtits and more. Learn about some of the birds you can see in our forest here and find out about the return of the unique Long-tailed Cuckoo.


Photo: Hand feeding the North Island Robin at Rotorua Canopy Tours


So there you have Cheynne and Spencer's top picks for our New Zealand must dos – there are plenty of awesome things to do all over the country! Find out more things to do in New Zealand here.

Topics: Things to do in NZ