Top things to do

Top Choice Bird Sanctuary in Oamaru

Blue Penguin Colony

Every evening the little tykes from the Oamaru little-penguin colony surf in and wade ashore, heading to their nests in an old stone quarry near the waterfront. Stands are set up on either side of the waddle route. …
Top Choice Area in Oamaru

Victorian Precinct

Consisting of only a couple of blocks centred on Harbour and Tyne Sts, this atmospheric enclave has some of NZ’s best-preserved Victorian commercial buildings. Descend on a dark and foggy night and it's downright Di…
Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Otago Peninsula

Nature’s Wonders Naturally

What makes the improbably beautiful beaches of this coastal sheep farm different from other important wildlife habitats is that (apart from pest eradication and the like) they're left completely alone. Many of the m…
Top Choice Modern NZ in Auckland


No one in Auckland produces creative degustations quite like Sid Sahrawat. It's food as art, food as science but, more importantly, food to fire up your taste buds, delight the brain, satisfy the stomach and put a s…
Top Choice Seafood in Moeraki

Fleur’s Place

There's a rumble-tumble look about it, but this much graffitied timber hut houses one of the South Island's best seafood restaurants. Head for the upstairs deck and tuck into fresh shellfish, tender muttonbird and o…
Top Choice Cultural in Auckland

Pasifika Festival

Western Springs Park hosts this giant Polynesian party with cultural performances, food and craft stalls; held over a weekend in early to mid-March.
Top Choice Museum in Wellington

Te Papa

Te Papa is Wellington's 'must-see' attraction, for reasons well beyond the fact that it's New Zealand's national museum. It's highly interactive, fun, and full of surprises: aptly, ‘Te Papa Tongarewa’ loosely transl…
Top Choice Historic Site in Paihia & Waitangi

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Occupying a headland draped in lawns and bush, this is NZ's most significant historic site. Here, on 6 February 1840, the first 43 Māori chiefs, after much discussion, signed the Treaty of Waitangi with the British …
Top Choice Volcano in Auckland

One Tree Hill

This volcanic cone was the isthmus’ key pa and the greatest fortress in the country. At the top (182m) there are 360-degree views and the grave of John Logan Campbell, who gifted the land to the city in 1901 and req…
Top Choice Museum in Nelson

World of WearableArt & Classic Cars Museum

Nelson is the birthplace of New Zealand's most inspiring fashion show, the annual World of WearableArt Awards Show. You can see 70 or so current and past entries in this museum's several sensory-overloading gallerie…