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5 Nov

6 Weird and Wonderful Things To Do in New Zealand

Only In New Zealand! – Wonderfully Weird Things to Do

I’m one of those oddball guys who enjoy trying the weird and wonderful and this carries over whenever I go on a vacation. I try to stay well clear from the usual tourist traps and head for places which offer unique experiences that I’ll remember for many years to come.

#1 Auckland – Ice Bar
Auckland Ice Bar

Usually when you think of going somewhere very cold it will be something to do with skiing or snowboarding but this place is quite different indeed!

Some inventive guy came up with the idea of making a drinking bar out of ice. It sounds a little crazy but it was actually a lot of fun. When you go in there you’ll see the bar, tables, glasses and many other parts of the place made out of ice. There were some really ‘cool’ ice sculptures in there as well, so make sure you bring your camera.

It’s obviously very cold but they supply clothing. You’ll probably feel a little stupid when you first walk in but that will pass when you realize all the other people are in the same situation.  If you want to check it out then ask for details of ice bar in the Auckland tourist information office and they’ll show you how to get there.

#2 Auckland – Walk On and Jump Off a Skyscraper
Auckland Skytower Walk

Most people would think that walking on the top of a skyscraper (right on the edge) is definitely not on the top of your vacation list. But that’s exactly what you do at the Sky Tower in Auckland.  It is quite safe though as you’re attached to a metal rail which was built above the top edge of the circular tower. This lets us crazy people walk right on the edge of the tower looking down on the city of Auckland.

They were doing a two for one deal (which I think is still active) where you pay once and your friend comes for the free.  Another thing (which I didn’t try due to lack of money) is to combine the walk experience with their sky jump experience. Basically you do the walk then jump off the tower. You’ll be suspended in midair for a minute (where I think they take your photo) then are lowered quickly to the ground (not quite free-fall though) until your decent is slowed down for a gentle landing.

If you’re in Auckland, you really can’t miss the Sky Tower but you can read here to check out their website for prices and videos.

#3 Invercargill – Antarctica Cruise
Antarctica Cruise

This is only for those people who are staying in New Zealand for quite some time, as you’ll actually need a couple of weeks for this activity.  But if you can spare the time and the money then I’d recommend booking a cruise from Invercargill to the Antarctica.

There are a number of cruise companies, some starting from Invercargill and some just passing through, so I recommend you speak to the local tourist information to find out prices and availability.  The ice views are simply spectacular, as well as the bountiful array of wildlife such as polar bears, whales, seals and penguins.

Nelson – Sleep in a Boot
The Boot Hotel

No, the title wasn’t a typo; you don’t sleep in a boat but in a giant boot!

It’s basically a bed and breakfast near the seaside city of Nelson built in the shape of a boot.  The boot design is an artistic yet homely style, almost as if it came from a children’s story book.  One important point to remember is that they have quite steep cancellation fees (due to their small size), so if you book the place, make sure you turn up.

Rotorua – Roll Down a Hill in a Plastic Ball
Zorbing in Rotorua

This has become quite a popular tourist thing to do now, but I still wanted to mention it because it has the weirdness factor.  Zorbing (invented in New Zealand) is where you climb into a large plastic ball (actually you get into the inner ball within the larger ball) then get pushed down a hill.

It’s quite safe as they’ve already molded the ground where you roll down (in most cases!) so you shouldn’t veer off and crash into some trees.  They also run with you on certain courses to make sure you’re going in the right direction and to keep pushing in case you’re not going fast enough.

Check the official Rotorua website Zorbing page to learn more.

Catlins – Visit a Crazy Inventions Museum
Museum in the Catlins

When I was a kid I was always trying to invent things. I even tried to invent my own laser gun but my hopes were dashed when I asked my dad if there was a device to turn electrical currents into light. My dad answered; “a light bulb”!

Well, that stopped my laser gun idea but I still find a lot of joy in seeing weird and wonderful inventions. One such place to see them is the ‘Lost Gypsy’ museum in the Catlins.  They have all kinds of weird inventions both outdoor and inside their old converted bus. A lot of them are interactive as well which is a lot of fun for the kids and grown up kids like me.

It’s in Papatowai in the Catlins region and I recommend you speak to the local tourist information office to find out how to get there.

About The Author:  J Hopkins is someone who loves the weird things in life because it lets him see the world from different perspectives. He’s currently writing for RiverRidgeRetreat based in the Catlins and offering conferences, weddings, and festivals. They are also a great place to stay while on vacation in the Catlins area, read more to learn about their accommodation options.
Photo credits – Flickr:#1 angelacarey, #2 rainbowck, #3 liamq, #5gak, #6 dittmeyer, #4 Boot Hotel,



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