November will soon be history and summer upon those to be found in the southern hemisphere. Here are our top picks to enjoy New Zealand summer for making the best of the longer days and warmer weather.
New Zealand Summer Activities
Hit the beach
With around 9000 miles of coastline, New Zealand punches above its weight when it comes to beaches. You could be forgiven for thinking that the North Cape’s famous 90 Mile Beach is the nation’s longest; but you’d be wrong. Not only is it shorter than its name implies, coming in at nearer to 55 miles long, but it’s well and truly beaten by the 66 miles of golden sand that comprise Ripiro Beach. Drive the so-called Shipwreck Highway and you’ll wind up at the country’s oldest three-storey lighthouse at Pouto Point, Kaipara North Head Lighthouse.
Pack a picnic
If you’re looking for a picturesque spot to unpack your picnic, then you’ll be spoilt for choice. Our pick is just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Queenstown. A narrow strip of landscaped gardens on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, St Omer Park is handily situated outside many of the town’s hotels. But the reason it makes this list is not convenience alone – from its manicured lawns there’s a fabulous view of The Remarkables which rise above the far side of the lake.
Rent a bach
The basic bach is a quintessential part of Kiwi culture. Pronounced “batch” these are modest holiday homes, popular from the 1950s when car ownership and improved roads brought renting a within the means of the middle classes. Today, they’re an outlet for nostalgia, a chance to recreate simpler times and escape the stress of modern day living. Jump on a ferry across to Waiheke, a hop, skip and a jump from Auckland. Packed with beaches, art galleries and wineries, the island is the perfect choice for a New Zealand summer getaway.
Take a hike
New Zealand currently has nine Great Walks – a tenth is due to open in 2019 – and they open up some of the country’s most outstanding scenery. Whether you prefer to go it alone or hike with a guide, they’re more than reward for the effort. In New Zealand summer, the coastal Great Walk that winds through Abel Tasman National Park will lead you past granite cliffs, idyllic crescents of golden sands and native bush. Follow trickling streams to scenic lookouts or give your feet a rest and jump in a sea kayak. There’s even a natural rock pool with its own moss-lined waterslide, perfect for cooling off in New Zealand summer heat.