The best of New Zealand - readers' picks

Earlier this year we sent Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins bungy jumping in Queenstown after asking readers for their tips on what he should do in New Zealand. Here are some of the other great suggestions that came in ...

Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula. Photo / Thickstock
Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula. Photo / Thickstock

Whitianga and Cathedral Cove

"It's awesome! Weather's always good, heaps to do, clear water beaches, Cathedral Cove, Cooks Beach, great fishing, neat people and a couple of decent pubs! The Kiwi Experience bus also pulls up on a weekend so plenty of young ladies from abroad and around to mingle with!"
- Roger Holgate

Leigh

"I like to get out of Auckland and head to the bach me and my best mate bought 12 months ago for a day's fishing and diving. It's good times and only one hour north of Auckland at Leigh. We can normally stop at Matakana on the way up to watch a game at the pub, and the best thing about diving is that the dive shop that fills the tanks (Goat Island Dive) is next door to the Sawmill Cafe which means we have to spend about an hour rehydrating and playing pool. It's good times and only 60 minutes from downtown Auckland."
- Geoff Notage

Mangere Markets on Saturday mornings

"I get to spend time with my husband who works hard throughout the week; we sometimes take our nieces and nephew as well. Good island food and good produce."
- Pauline Rupeni

Onsen Hot Pools

"It's the most awesome place, with a hot tub overlooking the Shotover River canyon. It's just a surreal view available to everyone but feels so luxurious and special. And it's in beautiful Queenstown, so there are plenty of pubs and restaurants to relax in beside roaring fires."
- Paul Walker

Queenstown's Onsen Pools. Photo / Supplied

Helicopter flight to White Island

"Actually landing on an active volcano with a wonderful trip over the sea is a real Kiwi experience."
- Pauline Wells

Lunch at the Duke of Marlborough in the sun

"Great views from the veranda, watching the coming and goings of all the boats around the Russell waterfront."
- Denham Furnell

Hot Water Beach

"Where else in the world do you have a surf beach with awesome waves and a place on the beach where you use a spade to dig an area to sit in because there is nothing but hot water coming up from underground. Totally amazing!
- Carissa Waihape

Beachgoers scout for a spot to soak at Hot Water Beach. Photo / Winston Aldworth

Trout fishing from a boat on Lake Taupo

"Lake Taupo is surrounded by stunning scenery and is steeped in early New Zealand history. Boat fishing is open all year, the peace and quiet of the lake, the thrill of the big trout biting, the line and reel screaming, your adrenalin kicks in, the fight is then on to land it in the net. It's a sport here Sam, no bait used. Our trout are known to be big by world standards and taste delish.
- Cris Smith

Explore the Awhitu Peninsula

"It's only an hour's drive from Auckland and then you've reached awesome Karioitahi Beach - a black-sand beach with the mighty Tasman Sea crashing in. Nothing but raw energy. You can go blo-karting on the beach, go for a run or head on up to the clifftop above and have a crack at some archery and 4WDing. Nothing beats having a relaxing hot-stone massage in winter up at Castaways Resort! And the lighthouse up the peninsula is great for checking out some Kiwi history."
- Kylie Gardiner-Hall

The stunning Karioitahi Beach coastline. Photo / Greg Bowker

Tane Mahuta in the Hokianga

"Visiting a tree sounds kind of boring but this tree is nothing to wave a stick at. Tane Mahuta is the biggest kauri tree in New Zealand, in fact he's also King of the Forest and almost 2000 years old. Weighing in at f***ing massive, he makes Mark Tooki look like Mr Puny-Verse. It's breathtakingly awesome in one of New Zealand's coolest places - Northland. There's also the awesome sand dunes you can go sand-boarding on (like skiing except on sand) and mean fishing in the Hokianga Harbour! Too much!"
- James Mason

Having a round at Cape Kidnappers

"This is one of the best courses in the world, the view, layout and location in the bay. We are so lucky to have so many wonderful courses in New Zealand. Nothing beats a weekend away playing golf with the lads."
- Raymond Hinton

Mountain biking in Rotorua

Best mountain biking trails I have experienced.
- James Morley

Cycling amongst the redwoods in Rotorua. Photo / Jacqui Robertson

Deer hunting

"I hunt on a private block in Raetihi. The drive through National Park is spectacular with views of our snow-covered mountains. Once we arrive it is a 35-minute quad bike ride through a clay track road - the scenery and native bush is beautiful."
- Steve Haggie

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