Top 10 Must-Do Activities in New Zealand for June Travellers

New Zealand, a land of awe-inspiring landscapes and rich cultural heritage, offers a myriad of activities for travelers visiting in June. From the icy adventures of glacier hiking to the magical glow of underground caves, the country presents a diverse range of experiences. Whether you’re seeking the thrill of extreme sports, the tranquility of natural wonders, or a deep dive into the indigenous Maori culture, this guide to the top 10 must-do activities in New Zealand will ensure your journey is unforgettable.

Key Takeaways

  • Embarking on a hike across the Franz Josef Glacier is a unique opportunity to witness New Zealand’s stunning glacial landscapes.
  • The Waitomo Glowworm Caves offer a mesmerizing spectacle, showcasing a natural light show unlike any other.
  • Visiting Hobbiton is a must for fans of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and those interested in experiencing the magic of movie set recreations.
  • Attending a Maori Cultural Show provides an immersive experience into New Zealand’s indigenous heritage and traditions.
  • The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a hiker’s paradise, offering breathtaking views and a challenging trek through volcanic terrain.

1. Franz Josef Glacier Hike

1. Franz Josef Glacier Hike

Embarking on a hike at the Franz Josef Glacier is a truly magical experience, offering breathtaking views of the icy landscape. Sadly, due to the effects of climate change, the traditional glacier walks and caves are no longer accessible. However, the heli-hike option provides an unforgettable alternative. This half-day or full-day adventure includes a scenic helicopter ride and guided trekking on the glacier itself, allowing you to witness the majestic beauty of this natural wonder up close.

While the heli-hike experience comes with a price tag (around 500 NZD), it’s an investment in a once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s well worth it for the memories you’ll create.

Please be aware that weather conditions in Franz Josef can be unpredictable, and may lead to the cancellation of optional activities. Always check the latest updates and plan accordingly. Here’s a quick list of essentials for your glacier adventure:

  • Warm and waterproof clothing
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Camera to capture the stunning views

Remember, the Franz Josef Glacier is a dynamic and ever-changing environment, so each visit is unique. Make sure to respect the natural habitat and follow all safety guidelines during your hike.

2. Waitomo Glowworm Caves

2. Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Embark on a magical journey through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where the starry wonder of thousands of bioluminescent larvae will leave you in awe. The glowworms (which are actually fly larvae) create a breathtaking celestial-like display that is a must-see for any traveler to New Zealand.

Waitomo is not just about the glowworms; it offers a range of activities for the adventurous at heart. Whether you choose to walk, abseil, or float down an underground river, there’s an experience tailored for your thrill level:

  • A standard 45-minute boat tour to marvel at the glowworms.
  • A five-hour adventure that includes abseiling into the caves.

Prices for these experiences start at 55 NZD for the boat tour and go up to 195 NZD for the extended tours. Remember, no trip to Waitomo is complete without immersing yourself in this otherworldly attraction.

In the quiet darkness of the caves, the only sound you’ll hear is the soft drip of water as the glowworms illuminate the cavern around you. This serene moment is one of the purest ways to connect with the natural beauty of New Zealand.

3. Hobbiton

3. Hobbiton

Embark on a magical journey through the enchanting Hobbiton movie set, nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s picturesque farmland. Your adventure begins with a scenic drive through a sprawling 505-hectare sheep farm, offering breathtaking views of the Kaimai Range. As you wander past the iconic hobbit holes, including the famed Bag End, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped right into the pages of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Experience the charm of the Shire as you explore the meticulously crafted set, complete with the Green Dragon Inn, where you can indulge in a specially brewed beverage. Tours are reasonably priced, starting at 89 NZD, making this a must-do for both fans and newcomers to the tales of Middle-earth.

For those seeking a cozy stay, consider the Cosy Country Stay B&B in Matamata, just a stone’s throw from Hobbiton. This quaint bed-and-breakfast offers a tranquil retreat with complimentary breakfast and a delightful rural atmosphere, complete with friendly cats and goats.

  • **Tour Highlights: **
    • Scenic drive through a sheep farm
    • Visit Bag End and other hobbit holes
    • Enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn
    • Stay at a nearby B&B for the full Hobbiton experience

4. Maori Cultural Show

4. Maori Cultural Show

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the indigenous people of New Zealand by attending a Maori cultural show. Experience the powerful Haka, traditional dances, and soul-stirring songs that have been passed down through generations. You’ll be captivated by the intricate Maori tattoos, which are a proud symbol of identity and history.

At the Mitai Maori Village, not only will you witness an authentic cultural performance, but you’ll also savor a traditional hangi feast. This method of cooking food underground imparts a unique, smoky flavor that is a true delight for the palate.

Here’s what you can expect during your visit:

  • A warm traditional welcome
  • Insightful stories about Maori history and customs
  • A chance to see the mesmerizing glow of the glowworms in their natural habitat
  • An unforgettable dinner buffet featuring the hangi meal

Remember to book your experience in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on this cultural highlight!

5. Tongariro Alpine Crossing

5. Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Embark on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a journey through one of the most stunning volcanic landscapes in the world. This 19-kilometer trek is not just a hike; it’s an adventure that challenges and rewards with its diverse terrain and breathtaking views. Most travelers complete the crossing in 6-9 hours, making it an exhilarating full-day excursion.

As you traverse the Tongariro National Park, expect a tapestry of sulfur lakes and high peaks, including the iconic ‘Mount Doom’ from the Lord of the Rings films. The trail varies from easy stretches to more demanding climbs, offering a satisfying mix for hikers of all levels.

Here’s what you’ll need for the trek:

  • Appropriate hiking gear and clothing
  • Plenty of water and snacks
  • A camera to capture the otherworldly scenery
  • A sense of adventure and readiness for the elements

Remember, the crossing is weather dependent, so always check conditions before setting out. And while in the region, don’t miss the chance to explore Auckland’s urban charm, Tongariro’s volcanic landscapes, and Bay of Islands’ maritime history for unforgettable experiences in New Zealand’s North Island.

6. Skydiving and Bungy Jumping

6. Skydiving and Bungy Jumping

For thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies, New Zealand offers the ultimate playground. Skydiving and bungy jumping are not just activities here; they’re rites of passage in the adventure capital of the world. Queenstown, in particular, is renowned for its heart-pumping skydiving experiences, offering unparalleled views of the majestic landscapes below.

Embrace the thrill as you leap from heights with nothing but the open sky around you and the earth far beneath.

Bungy jumping, an iconic Kiwi invention, can be enjoyed at various locations such as the Nevis Bunjy and Kawarau Bridge. These activities are more than just a test of courage; they’re a way to connect with the fearless spirit of New Zealand.

Here’s a quick list of must-try spots for bungy jumping in Queenstown:

  • Nevis Bunjy: The highest bungee in the country.
  • Nevis Swing: The world’s biggest swing.
  • Kawarau Bridge: The historic first commercial bungee jumping site.

7. Fiordland National Park Exploration

7. Fiordland National Park Exploration

Embark on an adventure through the majestic Fiordland National Park, a haven for those who yearn to immerse themselves in the raw beauty of nature. Discover a world where time seems to stand still, amidst the towering mountains, deep lakes, and lush rainforests. This untouched wilderness is also a backdrop for many Lord of the Rings film locations, adding a touch of magic to its already stunning vistas.

Fiordland is a testament to nature’s grandeur, offering a mosaic of breathtaking landscapes that beckon explorers and dreamers alike.

For a truly unforgettable experience, consider these activities:

  • Kayaking through serene waters to witness the park’s cascading waterfalls and picturesque offshore islands.
  • Taking a scenic flight for a bird’s eye view of the expansive landscapes.
  • Cruising through the iconic Milford Sound, where the cliffs meet the sea.
  • Hiking the famous tracks, such as the Routeburn or Kepler, to encounter the park’s diverse flora and fauna.

8. Queenstown Adventure Activities

8. Queenstown Adventure Activities

Queenstown is not only the adventure capital of New Zealand but also a place where you can find peace amidst nature’s grandeur. While it’s true that adrenaline junkies flock here for the bungee jumping, skydiving, and jet boating, there’s so much more to this vibrant town.

For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, Queenstown offers tranquil experiences such as exploring historic gold mining towns, savoring local wines while overlooking Lake Wakatipu, and simply enjoying the breathtaking scenery.

If you’re looking for accommodation that matches the town’s lively spirit, consider staying at places like Nomads Queenstown, where the energy is high, and the views are stunning. Here’s a quick list of activities that cater to all tastes:

  • Bungee Jumping
  • Water Rafting
  • Rock Climbing
  • Exploring Gold Mining Towns
  • Wine Tasting
  • Lake Wakatipu Cruises

Remember, whether you’re seeking thrills or serenity, Queenstown has something for everyone.

9. Auckland’s Harbours and Rainforests

9. Auckland's Harbours and Rainforests

Auckland, New Zealand’s metropolitan gem, offers a blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Explore the dual harbours of Manukau and Waitemata, where the water’s edge meets the city’s hustle. The rainforests surrounding Auckland provide a lush escape, with trails winding through ancient trees and native birdlife.

  • Sky Tower: Auckland’s iconic landmark offering panoramic views.
  • Auckland Museum: Delve into the region’s history and culture.
  • Mount Eden: A dormant volcano with breathtaking city vistas.
  • Tiritiri Matangi Island: A haven for rare wildlife and pristine beaches.

Embrace the contrast of serene beaches and vibrant city life in Auckland. Whether you’re a beach lover or an adventure seeker, the city’s diverse landscapes cater to all. From black and gold sand beaches to volcanic cones and dense forests, Auckland is a treasure trove of natural wonders.

Remember to take time to visit the botanical gardens, where the grandeur of New Zealand’s flora is on full display. And for a unique perspective, the cable car ride at Mt. Cavendish is a must.

10. Coromandel Peninsula

10. Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula is a haven for those seeking a blend of golden beaches and lush greenery. Embrace the serenity of this northern New Zealand gem, where the tranquillity of nature is sure to touch your soul.

From kayaking in the clear waters to hiking through scenic trails, the Coromandel Peninsula offers a variety of activities. Skydiving over the stunning landscape provides an adrenaline rush like no other, while the golden sands invite a more relaxed pace.

Here’s a quick list of must-try activities:

  • Kayaking along the coastline
  • Hiking the Coromandel Coastal Walkway
  • Skydiving for breathtaking aerial views
  • Relaxing on the pristine beaches

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or looking to unwind, the Coromandel Peninsula has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to create unforgettable memories in this slice of paradise.


As our journey through the top must-do activities in New Zealand for June travellers comes to a close, we hope you’re feeling inspired and ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. From the thrill of hiking the Franz Josef Glacier to the enchantment of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand’s diverse offerings cater to every type of traveller. Whether you’re seeking the adrenaline rush of bungee jumping in Queenstown, the cultural immersion of a Maori show, or the serene beauty of Fiordland National Park, there’s something here for you. Remember to indulge in the local wines, explore the vibrant city life in Auckland, and take in the stunning landscapes that make New Zealand truly unique. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of the Kiwis, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in this unparalleled corner of the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to hike the Franz Josef Glacier?

The best time to hike the Franz Josef Glacier is during the winter months of June to August when the weather is cooler and the glacier is more stable.

Do I need a guide to visit the Waitomo Glowworm Caves?

Yes, a guide is required to visit the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to ensure safety and to provide information about the unique glowworm species.

Can I visit Hobbiton if I’m not a fan of The Lord of the Rings?

Absolutely! Hobbiton is a picturesque location that can be enjoyed for its beautiful scenery and attention to detail, even if you’re not familiar with the films or books.

What can I expect from a Maori Cultural Show?

A Maori Cultural Show typically includes traditional performances such as the haka, singing, and storytelling, offering a glimpse into the rich Maori heritage.

Is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing suitable for beginners?

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a challenging hike and is recommended for those with a good level of fitness. Beginners should prepare well and consider a guided tour.

Are skydiving and bungy jumping safe activities in New Zealand?

New Zealand is known for its strict safety standards for adventure sports. Both skydiving and bungy jumping are safe when conducted with reputable operators.

What wildlife might I see in Fiordland National Park?

Fiordland National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including dolphins, seals, penguins, and an array of bird species like the iconic kea and takahe.

What are some must-do activities in Queenstown for adventure seekers?

Queenstown offers a range of adventure activities including bungee jumping, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, and during winter, skiing and snowboarding.

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