The outdoors

New Zealand is one big natural playground. You’ll find all sorts of opportunities to get into the elements outdoors and be as physical as you want – from hooping it down a mountain bike track to lazing on an uncrowded beach or simply pruning the roses.

Putting in a good day’s work then grabbing those opportunities out of office hours really is the Kiwi lifestyle.

Hit the water

Nowhere in New Zealand is more than 100km (60 miles) or so from the sea. And we have lots of rivers and lakes. So you get plenty of opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, diving, kayaking, windsurfing, kite boarding and canoeing.

Our beaches are usually sandy, the water quality is great, and there’s often seriously good surf to be found.

There is great sailing too, especially in Auckland, our ‘City of Sails’.

New Zealand beaches

Nowhere in New Zealand is more than 100km or so from the sea.

Catch a fish or hunt for game

With 15,000 kilometres of coastline to explore, you will have your choice of fishing spots. However, to stop overfishing, and conserve New Zealand's natural heritage, some areas are closed to fishing, and limits on daily catches apply wherever you are. The catch limits apply to shellfish, such as mussels, paua or pipi, as well as to fish. Check the regulations in your local area before you fish or gather shellfish. You can find out the limits in your area by visiting the Ministry of Primary Industries website.

Fishing rules | Ministry of Primary Industries

If you prefer to go freshwater fishing, you are in luck. New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world. For most freshwater fishing you will need a licence from Fish and Game New Zealand. The licence fee helps to pay for maintaining fish numbers and looking after their habitat. Fish and Game New Zealand also issues hunting licences for game birds, such as ducks.

Licences | Fish and Game New Zealand



Safety first

Kiwis grow up understanding the need for safety in the outdoors – check out our safety information to make sure you know about it too.

Keeping safe outdoors

Get into the countryside

Explore New Zealand

For information about getting around, places to stay, suggested itineraries and things to see and do throughout New Zealand, visit Tourism NZ.

Tourism New Zealand

New Zealanders feel a real connection with the land and we make sure we're never far from countryside and the New Zealand bush. Nearly a third of our land area is in national parks or other protected areas ideal for tramping (trekking), hunting, camping and family holidays.

Check the regional information for outdoor opportunities in your area

Experience lakes, waterfalls, volcanoes, mountains, fjords and enjoy some of the world’s best walking tracks right here in your back yard.

If gardening’s your thing you’ll find you’re well served with good soils, a largely temperate climate (though wind can be a problem in some places) and a nation that loves growing things.

New Zealand is famous for its mountains, especially the Southern Alps, and there’s good winter skiing in both islands, not to mention climbing.

If mountain biking is your sport, New Zealand has some of the most exciting cycling trails in the world.

National Parks | 100% Pure New Zealand

Try something new

There are so many ways you can enjoy the outdoors in New Zealand. And with shorter commutes and around 2,000-odd sunshine hours a year it’s easy to get out of the office or house and into the elements.

Jump in a campervan, grab a tent and explore your new home.

Run around with a rugby ball at the park, fly a kite or challenge the neighbours to a game of backyard cricket.

Get healthy - head out for a run at lunchtime, mountain bike after work or join a social netball/rugby club. Get your adrenaline pumping with a weekend adventure: white water rafting in Taupo or skydive in Queenstown.

Enjoying the outdoors isn't just a rural privilege. Even our biggest cities have huge natural reserves set aside for walking, picnicking or mountain biking

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Page last updated: 30/08/2016

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