Travel Hacks

Off The Beaten Track: Wild Kiwi’s Favourite Hush-Hush Spots Revealed 

By Louise Burton
on  March 13, 2019

Jurassic Park style forests, lush waterfalls, and lakes so still you could actually get lost in the reflections; there’s nowhere quite like New Zealand! And while we agree it’s necessary to see all the well-known destinations when embarking on an NZ tour, the Wild Kiwi experience is all about getting you off the beaten track to show you a few local gems and make sure you have some seriously unique moments as you tour New Zealand. We employ local guides for a reason, and this is it! Experience the beauty of New Zealand through the eyes of someone who knows it inside out… and is pretty passionate to share awesome adventures with you.

We’ve decided to share a handful of these off the beaten track spots, so you can get an idea of how you’ll encounter a few lesser-known destinations on a Wild Kiwi tour. Some of these off the beaten track places offer a unique perspective on popular destinations, and some are just totally off-beat local spots which you wouldn’t even know existed, without the knowledge and help of your epic local guide. Here are 7 off the beaten track locations, including a little info about just why they are so worthy of being named our favourite hush-hush spots!

#1 Secret Stargazing Location, Mount Cook

Yes, Mount Cook is probably one of the most famous locations in New Zealand, so why does this make it into our off the beaten track list? Well, because it’s one of the most famous destinations, and we think it’s pretty cool to show you a side of Mount Cook National Park that isn’t seen by most. We’ll whisk you away from the light pollution of Mount Cook Village, and into the wilderness, for a stargazing experience. Get your wishes at the ready, you might see some shooting stars!

How to get there: Southern Voyager, Big SouthNZ Explorer, NZ Discovery

Photo Credit: Tanguy Locqueneux

#2 Stingray Bay

Hiking or Kayaking to Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel is a must-do; but however you decide to get there, you’ll stumble across a couple of secret bays that most tourists bypass as they make their way to the popular tourist hotspot, Cathedral Cove. Stingray Bay is one of those. Pristine waters, lesser-known and offering pretty secluded feels, we’ll be sure to take you off the beaten track, even at one of NZ’s top tourist destinations.

How to get there: Northern Voyager, NZ Adventurer, NZ Explorer, NZ Discovery

#3 Hokitika Gorge

If you like jumping off rocks into the water, you’ll love this off the beaten track location! Take in the turquoise water of Hokitika Gorge by jumping, swimming, splashing and gazing in a natural paradise that gets its fair share of hardcore adventurers, but remains pretty untouched by the mainstream tourist groups.

How to get there: The Southern Loop, Big SouthNZ Adventurer, NZ Discovery

#4 Owharoa Falls

Nestled in the Karangahake Gorge, and tucked somewhere between the Coromandel and Rotorua, this beautiful staircase waterfall is a local gem and certainly doesn’t usually make it into the destination hot list for NZ – but that’s why we think you’ll love it! Have a swim, splash around and have a go at a long exposure to capture the tumbling water; this is an epic little spot that we can’t wait to show you.

How to get there: Northern Voyager, NZ Adventurer, NZ Explorer, NZ Discovery

#5 Abel Tasman

Home to one of the ten Great Walks of New Zealand, Abel Tasman National Park is mostly bypassed by tourists on their way to the more famous spots in the South Island – like Mount Cook, Franz Josef Glacier, and Queenstown – but we think Abel Tasman is worth more than just a stop-off. Think Tarzan style rainforest set against pristine turquoise waters and then just throw a kayak or sailboat in for good measure. We’ll spend two nights here, meaning that you’ll have the chance to get totally lost in nature!

How to get there: The Southern Loop, Big South, NZ Adventurer, NZ Discovery

#6 Raglan

Again, the hard-out tourists usually bypass Raglan in place of well-known Waitomo Glowworm Caves close by. But we’re going to take you to this sweet little surf town… and some more! Expect chill time, quirky coffee shops, and one of the most popular surf breaks in New Zealand. Not only that, but we’ll show you how to do a Manu bomb… a local way of jumping into water from a height. Get ready to send it!

How to get there: Northern Voyager, NZ Adventurer, NZ Explorer, NZ Discovery

#7 Bridal Veil Falls

Nestled in the wilderness south of Raglan is a magical hush-hush spot that’ll have you hiking, breathing fresh forest air into your lungs and gazing in awe as the water of the Pakoka River crashes into the plunge pool below. At 55m high, these falls are pretty spectacular! You’ll have the opportunity to explore via four viewing platforms, plus take in the view from the top and bottom of the falls. Bridal Veil Falls is named so for a reason, and you’ll find out when you see it for yourself.

How to get there: Northern Voyager, NZ Adventurer, NZ Explorer, NZ Discovery

Photo Credit: Aileen Adalid

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