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Top 10 offbeat things to do in New Zealand vacation

From bungee jumping to exploring the Waitomo caves to going on a road exploration, there are plenty of things to do in New Zealand, the naturally splendid country. While all these things are most commonly done by almost all the travellers, there are a lot of other interesting activities most of you, wouldn’t even heard of. Here is one such list of top 10 offbeat things to do on a New Zealand vacation.

Worried about how to put all these on your itinerary? Go Pickyourtrail.

1. Feel the adrenaline of driving a real race car

offbeat things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Facebook

If you are a car enthusiast like me, then you are going to love this. Formula Challenge, a driving school in Taupo offers you a chance like never before things to do in New Zealand. To drive a real race car. From first-timers to experienced race car enthusiasts, Formula Challenge caters to all sorts of individuals and the exotic range of cars is guaranteed to invoke excitement.

You have single-seaters to Holden V8’s to Ford V8’s, to choose from and the driving experience is something that you will remember for a lifetime. And the best part is, you can gift the experience to your loved ones making their day even special. The rides start from $290.

Address: Taupo Motorsport Park Broadlands Rd, Taupo 3378, New Zealand

Interesting read: Our epic New Zealand vacation

2. Take an expedition of the Hooker Valley track

offbeat things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Flickr

Hooker Valley track is easily the best day walk in New Zealand and while its popularity is well known among the local residents, most of the tourists don’t actually experience it first hand. The trail stretches for a good 10 km two-way and takes approximately 3 hours to explore during which you will come across picturesque glaciers, tranquil lakes, and majestic landscapes.

Start from the White Horse Hill camping ground and find your way through three swingbridges to reach the lookout point at the end, which offers unparalleled views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. The views will be so stunning that you will forget about walking so far. Be prepared for the continually changing Alpine weather conditions, stock your bag with enough water, and equip yourself with proper gear. Hooker Valley Track is free to walk. Bicycles and dogs are not allowed.

Address: Hooker Valley Track, Mt Cook National Park 7999, New Zealand

Interesting read: Ultimate New Zealand road trip itinerary: Tips and How to Plan

3. Be amazed by the serene Blue Pools walk

offbeat things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Doc.govt.nz

New Zealand is over-flowing with a lot of naturally splendid things to see and Blue Pools walk is one such place that will amaze your senses. The walk which starts at the Blue Pools car park just north of Makarora will take you through Beech forest and Podocarp forest before taking you to the Haast Pass.

The 1.5 km walk (up and down) takes an approximate 1 hr to complete and on your way, you will have to cross two swingbridges which then offers panoramic views of the serene Blue Pool. The water here is so crystal clear that you can redo your makeup just by looking at it. Blue Pools walk doesn’t require any special fitness level and is free to access things to do in New Zealand. Dogs are not allowed and also be wary of the changing weather.

Address: Haast Pass-Makarora Rd, Mt Aspiring National Park 9382, New Zealand

4. Go on an escape to the tranquil Tree Church

offbeat things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Treechurch

Interested in getting away from all the hustle and want to take refuge in the laps of nature, then Tree Church is the right place to be in. Born out of Barry Cox’s love for churches and trees, Tree Church is where time stands still. What started as a private garden later turned into the attraction it is now.

The hidden gem of an attraction sitting in the epicentre of the three-acre lush garden carries a soothing vibe that will bring even the wildest of souls to a stand-still. An entry fee of $15 is required to enter the Tree Church, open to the public Sundays and Tuesdays from 10 am till 4 pm. Tree Church can also be booked for weddings and other special events. And don’t forget to bring your cameras along.

Address: 119 West Road M, Ohaupo 3881, New Zealand

5. Be astonished by the work of art at Gibbs Farm

offbeat things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Gibbsfarm

A lover of art? No, we are not sending you to some cliched museum. This is something totally unique for you to experience. Enter Gibbs Farm. Laid out by an entrepreneur and art collector Alan Gibbs, Gibbs Farm carries some of the most creative, abstract sculptures from around the world. And what’s a better place to host all the abstract sculptures than the 1,000 Acre rolling farmland?

Some of the major highlights of the Gibbs Farm include Horizons, Dismemberment, Electrum, Te Tuhirangi Contour, and Red Cloud Confrontation in Landscape. All of the art sculptures in Gibbs Farm look-like as if they are straight out of a cartoon and the experience of being there is very special things to do in New Zealand. Gibbs Farm is free to visit for the public but it is open only on select days. Visiting the lesser known attraction of Gibbs farm is one of the best offbeat things to do in New Zealand.

Address: 0984, 2421 Kaipara Coast Hwy, Makarau 0984, New Zealand

Interesting read: Bollywood movies shot in New Zealand

6. Test your endurance at the one-of-a-kind Baldwin Street

offbeat things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Flickr

Take a visit to the world’s steepest residential street of Baldwin to have a closer look at the Guinness world record street. Running a little under 350 metres from the valley of Lindsay Creek till Opoho, the elevation of Baldwin Street varies from 30 m (above the sea level) to 100 m at the top.

A good alternative to starting your day than hitting the gym is to go walking the Baldwin Street and feeling the sense of accomplishment when you really do make it to the top. The walk down is, even more, fun. Just like riding a rollercoaster. What’s more? There are also a lot of activities that take place in Baldwin Street promoting fitness. So, if you are there during one of those times to take part is a unique things to do in New Zealand.

Address: North East Valley, Dunedin, New Zealand

7. Cuddle and make new friends at the Cat Lounge

things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Thecatlounge

For people, whose Facebook feed overflow with cat stories but still can’t get enough of cats, we have found just the place for you. Say ‘hi’ to Cat Lounge – first of its kind cat cafe in New Zealand and a unique things to do in New Zealand. Comprising of a huge collection of books, free WIFI, comfy couches to sit around, Cat Lounge seems like a very ordinary cafe, except for the cute little cats.

Home to some of the cuddliest, friendly cats rescued from Auckland, Cat Lounge is the ideal place to express your love for cats. It’s not just the cats, the barista in there serves very good coffee that comes along with a wide range of freshly baked treats. Cat Lounge can be booked as a whole for celebrating birthdays, meetings, and other events. But due to popular demand, prior booking is mandatory. Cat Lounge operates from Tuesday until Sunday – 9 am to 5 pm.

Address: 173A Archers Rd, Hillcrest, Auckland 0627, New Zealand

8. Travel back in time at the Steampunk HQ

things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Steampunkoamaru

Interested in travelling back in time? Head on to the art and gallery museum of Steampunk HQ. Set in the historic Victorian precinct of Oamaru, Steampunk HQ offers a funny & quirky version of the industrial era, featuring steam-powered technology.

Originally a five-storied building, Steampunk HQ lost two of its top floors to a fire accident in 1920. Regardless of this incident, Steampunk is still one of the top things to do in New Zealand and the main highlight is a full-scale train engine. Right from the lights to the decor to the music, everything adds to the wonderful setting of Steampunk HQ, which makes it very different from the rest. The ticket price for Steampunk HQ is as follows: Adults $10, Children $2, and Group $20. The attraction is open on all the seven days.

Address: 1 Itchen St, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand

9. Say cheese by the interesting Cardrona Bra Fence

things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Facebook

Statutory warning! Some of you might not find it pleasing but we found this to be very cool. If you are going on a drive along the Cardrona Valley Road, then you will find thousands of bras attached to a rural fence next to the Cardrona Distillery. We are not even kidding. You can count them if you want and do let us know the exact number in the comments below.

While this might seem like some Women liberation movement, the actual cause for the bras getting attached to the fence is still unknown and its the most unusual things to do in New Zealand. The first instance took place somewhere between 1998 & 1999 and the addition of bras hasn’t stopped despite several legal measures. Today, the fence is also used to spread awareness about breast cancer and it is highly recommended that you click photographs next to the fence (leaving your bra is subjective).

Address: 2125 Cardrona Valley Rd, Cardrona 9381, New Zealand

10. Visit the fascinating memorial of 185 empty white chairs

things to do in New Zealand
Image credit – Wikipedia

Back in February 2011, Christchurch was struck by a bad earthquake which killed 185 people. On the first year memorial which was organized in remembrance of the lost souls, a local artist named Peter Majendie arranged 185 empty chairs on the demolished site of Oxford Terrace Baptist Church and painted it white. While the artist thought the chairs will be there only for 3 weeks, the temporary instalment is there since and as of 2017, there are plans to turn it into a permanent fixture.

Set in a wonderful location, the fascinating memorial is a bit interesting things to do in New Zealand and surreal as well. And as you walk through the arrangement, you will tackle a million questions about life and the ponder upon your reason for existence. From armchairs to wheelchairs to beanbags, each chair represents the victim’s personality.

Address: Corner of Cashel St and Madras St, Christchurch, New Zealand

Interesting read: The stuff of love stories – Our New Zealand honeymoon

What’s your favourite from the list? Let us know in the comments section.


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