Jun 01, 2015
Take one of these unusual tours for a memorable - and uniquely Kiwi - experience.
Does tumbling over and over down a lush green hill in a giant plastic bubble sound like your kind of thing? If so, you're in luck because the gung-ho team at OGO Rotorua has made this topsy-turvy activity one of the country's best off-beat attractions. Go au naturel in a standard OGO Ball (or 'Zorb' as it’s sometimes called) or don your swimmers and ask for a little water to make a real splash.
Wai-O-Tapu Volcanic Wonderland might sound like a theme park but it's actually a naturally active geothermal area, just 27 kilometres south of Rotorua. The Lady Knox Geyser, with its powerful spout of spray that erupts daily at 10.15am, attracts thousands each year, but it's a still sulphur pond called Devil's Bath that draws the most curious stares. Electric green and somewhat stinky, once you've taken in the pool's eerie glow, there are a number of breathtaking multi-coloured grounds just begging to be Instagrammed.
Joining one of Auckland Ghost Tours’ spine-tingling treks will more than satisfy the cravings of those who like their history with a side of the supernatural. Starting in one of Auckland's oldest cemeteries, Mr Te Oka Toia and his team will share dark, macabre and bizarre tales while walking through some of the city's most historic streets.
Walk Baldwin Street in Dunedin
A stop at Dunedin's Baldwin Street will more than alter your perspective; it might even leave you a little confused. Nineteenth century town planners are said to have modelled the city on Edinburgh's masterfully organised New Town, though not quite factoring in New Zealand's inconsistent typography. The result? A record-breaking 19-degree slope that has homes appearing almost completely lopsided, plus a merciless hike home every day. Make sure you're in town for the annual Jaffa (chocolate orange ball sweets, popular with NZ locals and Aussies) race, which sees 25,000 individually numbered candies released from the top.
Any self-respecting quirky tour lover will revel in a role-playing afternoon in Middle Earth. The former Lord of The Rings movie set has been drawing film-buffs from around the globe since director Peter Jackson and his team left it in pristine condition. Guides tour small groups across the stunning 1,250-acre village, then finish the day with amber ale at the original Green Dragon Inn. Looking to linger longer? Book a rural farm stay in the beautiful Matamata district. With charming bed and breakfast accommodation, three-course dinners made from fresh local produce, and transfers to and from Hobbiton, it's the ultimate slice of local colour with a touch of movie magic.