Lonely Planet Chooses 33 NZ Thrills for “1000 Ultimate Adventures”

New Zealand has 33 of the world’s 1000 Ultimate Adventures, according to global travel authority Lonely Planet.

Published this month, Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Adventures features 100 “Top 10 Lists” that bring together the world’s most captivating activities and inspirational challenges.

Thirty-three New Zealand adventures are included in the book’s collection of thrilling travel ideas. The following is a breakdown by region:


  • Best City Hikes: Coast to Coast Walk, Auckland

Bay of Islands & Northland

  • Best Adventures in Trees: Kauri Coast

Christchurch & Canterbury

  • Best Four-Legged Adventures: Horsepower, Canterbury
  • Best Marine Encounters: Swimming with Dolphins, Akaroa Harbour
  • Coldest Adventures: Kayak Tasman Lake
  • Most Spectacular Rock Climbs: Castle Hill

Dunedin & Otago

  • Classic Rides for Casual Cyclists: Otago Central Rail Trail

The East Coast

  • Best Pooch Pursuits: Bikejoring, Napier

Fiordland & Southland

  • Best Hidden Huts & Shelters: Supper Cove Hut, Dusky Sound
  • Best Hut-to-Hut Tours: The Milford Track
  • Best Treks with Killer Views: The Milford Track
  • Best Ultra Runs: Kepler Track Run, Fiordland
  • Endangered Encounters: Kakapo Recovery

Marlborough & Nelson

  • Best Animal Adventures: Whale Watching in Kaikoura
  • Best Marine Encounters: Diving with Fur Seals, Kaikoura
  • Epic Sea-Kayak Paddles: Abel Tasman National Park
  • Wildest Swims in the World: Wild Dolphins, Kaikoura

Queenstown & Wanaka

  • Best Adventures in the Buff: Bungy Jump, Queenstown
  • Best Beginners’ Climb: North-West Ridge, Mount Aspiring
  • Downhill Dashes: Nevis Bungy, Queenstown
  • Sensational Snowshoe Escapades: Queenstown

Rotorua & the Bay of Plenty

  • Hottest Volcanic Ventures: Whakaari (White Island)

Taupo & the Central Plateau

  • Boy’s (and Girl’s) Own Adventures: “Mordor”, Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Greatest Zip-Line Experiences: Mokai Gravity Canyon Flying Fox, Taihape

Waikato & the King Country

  • Craziest Caves: Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Famously Adventurous Destinations: “Middle Earth” near Matamata

 Wellington Region

  • World’s Most Remote Capital City: Wellington

The West Coast

  • Best Hidden Huts & Shelters: Mungo Hut, Westland
  • Greatest Airborne Adventures: Heli-Hiking at Franz Josef Glacier


  • Longest Treks: Te Araroa Trail
  • Most Magnificent Coast-to-Coast Missions: Coast to Coast Race, South Island
  • Mountain Biking’s Meccas: North Island
  • Top 10 Adventure Nations: New Zealand

1000 Ultimate Adventures is the third volume in Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate… series, which also includes the best-sellers 1000 Ultimate Experiences and 1000 Ultimate Sights.

352pp, full-colour, 210mm x 165mm, paperback
RRP: NZ$39.99
Available now from all good bookstores


  • Want to know what we say about a particular NZ adventure?  We can email you the relevant page(s).
  • Free extracts and selected images are available with permission.
  • Review copies are available on request.

Adam Bennett
Lonely Planet