Thinking of heading over to New Zealand this year for an adventure?  Check out our top 10 things to do to make the perfect summer roadie trip!

Whether you are a seasoned traveler, or this is the first time you’re heading off on your travels, it’s always best to have a good idea of what to expect from the places you are visiting and have a loose plan in place of where you want to visit and most importantly, get out of your trip. 

New Zealand is split into two islands, North and South, travelling between the two is easy with either ferry or air options. Both islands should be on your travel bucket list, with serene lakes and mountains dominating the South and wild bush and beautiful beaches in the North. 

The South Island

Visit Queenstown & Arrowtown

Starting off strong with a top contender on everyone’s travel lists and a hotspot for many travellers; Queenstown and Wanaka. Located in the Central Otago region, these two towns are a must for any travellers in the South Island. Known as one of the adventure capitals of New Zealand with beautiful ski fields, roaring rapids, hiking galore, and a mass of downhill trails, take the Skyline gondola to get the full panoramic views of Queenstown. For a more leisurely time, take a wine tour around the area stopping at world-renowned vineyards.

Visit the charming and quirky Arrowtown, a historic gold mining town, and enjoy its culinary delights. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing scenic escape or an adventure-packed getaway, Queenstown and Wanaka have something for everyone. Allow yourself at least a couple of days to explore the area.

Visit Fiordland National Park

Next up is the Fiordland National Park, a good base to explore the area is the small town of Te Anua, with a backdrop of the beautiful Lake Te Anua. Take a visit to the glowworms caves with a cruise across the lake to get to this underground adventure. One of the main attractions in the area is Milford Sound, take a day cruise to explore the beautiful Sounds, with dolphin and seal spotting, and get a closer look with kayak and hiking tours to see this outstanding scenery.

While in the area; the Mirror Lakes are worth visiting and you will be sure to come across the charming kākāpō parrot on your travels. The area is a great stop for a few days whilst travelling through the South Island.

Visit Christchurch

Christchurch is one of the most vibrant and hospitable cities in New Zealand, a genuinely charming city, with so much to offer, and a culture rich with a plethora of museums and galleries, if you’re looking for a relaxed city vibe; this is where you will find it. With the devastating effects of the earthquake intertwined with the city’s history, the space has been reimagined for city living with a boast of restaurants and a buzzing nightlife there truly is something for everyone.

A short journey out of Christchurch is a chance to visit some of the country’s most stunning scenery right on the city’s doorstep. Take the drive to visit Akaroa or Lyttelton, both charming coastal towns steeped in history and full of foodie treats, find a beautiful cove to explore, or take a boat trip to see local wildlife.

Instagram-famous Lake Tekapo

We couldn’t put this guide together without mentioning the Instagram-famous Lake Tekapo; a roughly 3-hour drive out of Christchurch into the Mackenzie Basin, Lake Tekapo is a must on any road trip. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, providing perfect views of the lake and the Southern Alps. Time your visit to coincide with the beautiful lupins, blooming between November and January.

As part of the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo is the ideal place to see the Southern Lights, with minimal light pollution, this awe-inspiring view is not to be missed. As you travel on from Lake Tekapo, visit the largest mountain in New Zealand; Mount Cook. 3754 meters high, there are many ways to explore and enjoy this dramatic mountain range. With challenging weather conditions, climbing is not for the faint-hearted. But travellers can take a scenic flight to take in the inspiring views or take any of the other tracks around the mountain, including a visit to the Tasman Glacier.

Abel Tasman National Park

Next up in the South Island is the Abel Tasman National Park, the beauty of this tiny slice of paradise is how easy it is to access from either road, water, or air. Situated at the top part of the South Island the picturesque landscape boasts sandy bays, crystal waters, and a heap of bush tracks to explore. Not just a summer retreat, many people recommend travelling to the national park out of the summer season too.

There is plenty to do for both the adventure seeker and the sun seeker; take a kayak or boat trip out to see the split apple rock or get your adrenaline-fix canyoning through the forest and waterfalls. For a more sedentary trip, the beautiful beaches and pristine waters are the perfect place to fully unwind, and hop on a water taxi to ferry between beaches. Many people opt to camp within the national parks, otherwise, nearby coastal towns offer accommodation for travellers.

The North Island


The first stop on our North Island trip is Wellington. Situated at the bottom of the North Island this little city is a buzz with culture and atmosphere. As well as being the capital city of New Zealand, Wellington boasts a huge art and food scene. Visit niche craft breweries and local wineries or check out the diverse options for brunch on Cuba Street. Catch a ride on the nostalgic Wellington cable car and soak up the iconic views of the city.

Take a trip to The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarew, and view firsthand the history of New Zealand told through 800,000 strong collections of artifacts. The city also encompasses huge open space, with its 25-hectare Botanic Gardens, wander through its native forest, and colourful botanic displays. The city also boasts a range of trails for walkers, runners, and bikers, this city has so much to offer for everyone.

Hawke’s Bay

As we move up the North Island, the next stop on our road trip is Hawke’s Bay. Known as food and wine country; take a bus or bike tour of wineries and food spots and soak up the summer sun with the best real fruit ice cream. The Art Deco flair of the city is such an attraction with its annual Art Deco Festival.

Peruse up to the town of Havelock North, with its scenic backdrop of the Te Mata Peak, a must-see for its panoramic views and bike and walk trails. The food scene in Hawkes Bay is one of the best; with regular farmers markets and many roadside sellers. Take advantage of this rich agricultural setting to delight in some of the best fruits that the area has to offer.


Towards the centre of the North Island, we head towards Rotorua. This vibrant town is famous for being steeped in Maori culture and its fascinating geothermal activity. Take a visit to one of the town’s hot pools for an unforgettable spa treatment or walk around this geothermal wonderland, taking in the bubbling mud pools and explosive geysers. For an immersive cultural experience, Rotorua has a lot to offer for travellers looking to gain insight into the Maori culture. Visit Te Puia, where you can learn about the myths and legends of the area and view the carved masterpieces on display.

Rotorua is notorious for thrill seekers, and known as the mecca for mountain biking, the Whakarewarewa Forest is host to hundreds of trails to explore. Take a nighttime visit back to the forest to do the iconic Redwoods Treewalk, where you can walk amongst the heights of the trees at night accompanied by a stunning light display. Head to Velocity Valley to experience more adrenaline-pumping activates, before exploring the Pink and White terraces on a boat cruise of Lake Rotomahana.

The Coromandel

As we cruise steadily up the North Island, we head towards the Coromandel Peninsula, a favourite holiday destination for Kiwis and tourists. With its golden coastline, vast marine life, and secluded coves, this is the ultimate holiday spot. Grab your towel and head to one of the area beaches, you can’t go wrong with any of the beaches on the Peninsula, but for a niche experience, head to Hot Water Beach, to enjoy mineral spa waters meters from the Pacific Ocean, just don’t forget your spade!

Take a kayak trip to the famous Cathedral Cove, separating two beautiful beaches, and look out for dolphins and seals often seen in the crystal clear waters. And it’s not just beaches that are the main attraction to the area, if you are looking to get your blood pumping hike the Pinnacles track, with awe-inspiring 360 views of the Coromandel. If hiking isn’t your thing, utilise the Driving Creek Railway, with colossal views and through a mountainous range, this is the perfect way to get a snapshot of the Coromandel.


Our final stop on our road trip is Northland, this gem is nestled at the top of the North Island, and is a particular favourite in the Ag Work office! Northland is an unmatched paradise for those wanting an off-grid escape to be surrounded by the peacefulness of the area, you will truly feel fully relaxed on your visit there. Northland has a sub-tropical climate, making it perfect for your beach escape. With many coves and long beaches, you may even find a whole beach to yourselves! The iconic Bay of Islands is a water lover’s paradise, with snorkeling and diving trips, explore the vast marine life that this protected sanctuary has to offer.

With nearby boutique towns to explore Russell, Paihia, and Kerikeri, dine on local seafood, and take a walk through historic streets. Be sure to take a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, one of New Zealand’s most significant historic sights. As you head towards the rugged west coast, stop at Ninety Mile Beach to take in the huge sand dunes and the Hokianga Harbour. Northland truly feels like an unrivaled paradise.

More To Go and Explore in New Zealand!

As ever, there is always so much more to go and explore in New Zealand than our top ten! With many ways to explore the country be it by air, water, car, or even walking; immerse yourself fully in everything this fantastic country has to offer. And be sure to have the best memories made.