Before I kick the bucket there are loads of places and things I want to see and do. So little time, so much to do!

In this instalment of the morbidly named series ‘Before I kick the bucket’, I shall treat you with my NZ Travel Bucketlist. Who knows, you may find something you want to add to yours.


NZ Travel Bucketlist: Te Araroa Trail

The Te Araroa Trail is a walk that stretches 3000kms down the length of New Zealand. Starting at Cape Reinga and ending at Bluff, in the South Island. Walking from beaches to volcanoes to forests to cities, you walk through every kind of New Zealand scenery. Te Araroa takes approximately 5 months to complete and accommodation types include isolated huts, marae stays, small towns and cities.

This would be the ultimate trek.

Fun Fact: When you walk this trail, sometimes you walk along the Pacific Tectonic Plate boundary.

NZ Travel Bucketlist

NZ Travel Bucketlist: Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is (hopefully) something I will be ticking off in May. It is also a part of Te Araroa Trail but I wanted to tick it off earlier so I am rounding up some friends to conquer it with me. Woot woot (now to get training…). This walk is something that has always tickled my fancy. It looks so dramatic and interesting. Plus challenging. I like challenging.

Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO dual World Heritage Area and was the first in the world to receive cultural World Heritage Status. It is often described as a ‘New Zealand Must Do’ so on the list it goes. There are several walks in the Tongariro National Park, the Alpine Crossing is the most famous one.

NZ Travel Bucketlist: The Bridge to Nowhere

The Bridge to Nowhere is a bridge in Whanganui National Park, in the middle of nowhere. Funny that.

There are several tracks that lead to the bridge that goes nowhere, you can choose between a three-hour return track or two different 3-5 day treks. I would love to do one of the multi-day treks. The three-hour return track is from the Mangapurua Landing on the Whanganui River.

DOC (Department of Conservation) huts are dotted along the track so multi-day trekking doesn’t require lugging tents (phew). You will need to get someone to pick you up once you have walked to Nowhere via boat. Unless you fancy another 3-5 days walking back again.

I would love to tackle the multi-day hike, the Whanganui River holds a special place in my heart. We used to camp down there every year with aalllll our extended family and spend the week swimming, sneaking beers from the adults, sunbathing, eeling, building mudslides and roasting marshmallows.

The river calls me home every now and then so this would be a walk with sentiment.


NZ Travel Bucketlist: All 9 New Zealand Great Walks

New Zealand is known for its dramatic landscape, breathtaking views and the sheer volume of hiking trails. Of these hiking trails, 9 classed as Great Walks. These tracks are varied, including native forest, lakes, rivers, mountain peaks, deep gorges and vast valleys.

As they are probably New Zealand’s most famous walks, they are well-maintained and easy to follow but offer all the spectacular scenery that Kiwiland is recognised for.

The Great walks include:

NZ Travel Bucketlist: Explore the South Island

I’m a little ashamed to admit that I haven’t actually been to the South Island since I was a wee lass.

I’m not entirely sure why, it is fairly close after all. Just a hop across the creek. Alas, this part of New Zealand has been left relatively unexplored my yours truly. But, I’m intending to remedy that this year. Fingers crossed.

A good ole fashioned road trip is in order.


NZ Travel Bucketlist: Skiing on Mount Cook

I can’t ski, am not very graceful and hate the cold but for some reason, this made it to my bucket list. Unsure why. Maybe because all the cool kids are doing it? It does look rather fun though.

The only time I have attempted to tie wooden slates to my feet in the snow was when I was about 12 or 13 and attempted to snowboard. Let’s just say that someone up there ended up getting a few scratches on his snowboard coz I someone didn’t know how to stop properly. And let’s just say he wasn’t very forgiving.

I think that I am finally ready to give it another crack though. 20 years is a long time for coordination to start kicking in.


NZ Travel Bucketlist: Zip Lining + The Nevis Swing in Queenstown

Jumping out of a plane? Nope!

Bungee jumping? Hell no!

Jumping off a rock into the lake? Um, no thanks.

Flying down a metal wire strung hundreds of meters above ground by a harness? Sure! Where and how can I get there?

Swinging in a 300m arc also hundreds of meters above the ground? A swing!

The Nevis Swing is one of the biggest swings in the world. And we all know I have a thing for swings. Wherever I go, I find swings. Some people find coffee shops, others museums. I like swings.

And one of the biggest swings in the world is like the Mother of All Swings.

Read more about bungee jumping in New Zealand in this epic article here.

Not the Nevis swing. Just a regular ole swing. But a swing with a view

Final thoughts

So that is my NZ Travel Bucketlist. I am sure there are more. But those are the main items to tick off. I think it’ll keep me busy.

Now to win Lotto.

What would be on your bucket list?


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New Zealand is a wonderful place filled with everything from spectacular scenery, adrenaline fixes and everything in between. My NZ Travel Bucketlist has my top things to tick off in our wee country, including Te Araroa Trail, Ziplining and Bridges to Nowhere...

34 Comments on Before I Kick The Bucket – My NZ Travel Bucketlist

  1. These all sound awesome! I love that you throw the whole Te Araroa Trail in there like it’s no biggie!

    I managed to hike teeny parts of four of the great hikes and they all blew me away. I’d loooove to do more of them too.

    It’s great that skiing on Aoraki/ Mount Cook made your list even though you can’t ski yet! I just started learning this winter (as a full grown, slightly old, very ungraceful adult) and it was totally doable. I just wanted to say YOU CAN DO IT!! Plus the snowy views will be so, so worth it!!

    • Ha! It does look a little that way doesn’t it?! But I’m sure it would be fine (maybe). I mean, what’s five months walking down the country? Really?

      I’m glad you’re never too old to try new things, I love how you are learning new things too 🙂

  2. 3-5 day trek?!! That’s the length of a short vacation! ? More power to you and I hope you’ll be ble to do it soon waaaaaaaay before you kick the bucket. :0)

  3. I’m definitely adding The Nevis Swing to my bucket list! You just made it sound so exciting. Honestly I just spent the last 15 minutes watching videos of it, and istg this would be the first thing I do whenver I get to queenstown!

  4. Great bucket list. New Zealand is an amazing country and plenty to explore. You have included many such places in your list. Very informative for those planing a visit to New Zealand.

  5. I have never been to the North Island at all, so I want to do everything and more that you mentioned. I love the landscapes. It looks almost other worldly!

    • It’s just as beautiful in the North island as the south but more people go down south. If you ever make it back come up north ?

  6. The imagery is so beautiful! I’ve been told by many people who’ve seen my pictures from Patagonia that New Zealand’s landscape looks quite the same. I definitely agree after seeing this, and now New Zealand is on my bucket list too. Thanks!

  7. Wow! Whenever I read or see anything about New Zealand, I am just blown away by the beauty of the country. So far, I’ve only managed to visit Auckland for a few short visits but I’ve never made it out to explore the countryside… your bucketlist sure makes me want to go back and spend more time 🙂

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