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13 Things to Do After Dark in New Zealand

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Activities You Can Do at Night in New Zealand

Some things are just better at night. We’re thinking of the wildlife that decides to be active in the dark, the amazing New Zealand night’s sky, and having drinks with friends to round off your day. The adventurous side of New Zealand also continues after dark, with bungy jumps, mountain biking and skiing… So with all that in mind, we decided to put together this list of all the awesome things to do at night in New Zealand. After all, sleeping is for the weak!

Before we begin, be sure to bookmark The Best Travel Guide to New Zealand for even more tips.

1. Campfire Storytelling

Share stories with fellow backpackers and toast marshmallows. Check for any fire alerts or no fire signs before you light up! Our favourite place for a bonfire is at North Beach in Westport.

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2. Night Mountain Biking

Some mountain bike parks are open after dark. Hire a light at Woodhill Mountain Bike Park in Auckland on Wednesdays. Keep an eye out for special night riding events.

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3. Stargazing

New Zealand has some of the clearest dark skies for seeing the Southern Hemisphere stars. Find the best stargazing locations here: 5 Stargazing Sites in New Zealand.

13 Things to Do After Dark in New Zealand© NZPocketGuide.com

4. Glowworm Spotting

Or if it’s too cloudy to see stars, find some glowworms. There’s plenty of places to see glowworms in New Zealand.


5. Night Skiing

The winter season at Coronet Peak, Queenstown, means the floodlights come on for Park After Dark. Spend your Fridays and Saturdays skiing and riding until 9pm.

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6. Wildlife Spotting

Some wildlife is best seen at night, such as the little blue penguins in Oamaru and the nocturnal kiwi bird.

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7. Relax in a Hot Pool

Whether it is one of the natural hot pools around Rotorua and Taupo, or in some fine hot pool establishment, it is one way to relax and watch the sunset.

13 Things to Do After Dark in New Zealand© Polynesian Spa - Destination Rotorua

8. Pub Crawl

Catch up with friends over a drink in a bar, or pub crawl in New Zealand’s biggest party spots like Queenstown, Auckland and Wellington.

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9. Internet Browsing

Go online when most of New Zealand is offline (the later the better). Plus, you can speak to friends on the other side of the world who are awake.

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10. Night Fishing

More active fish, less competition and avoiding sunburn are all reasons to fish at night! Make sure you have a fishing permit.

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11. Go to a Gig

Whether it’s at one of the festivals or a gig in a bar, New Zealand is not short of live music.

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12. Night Bungy Jump

Bungy jump in any style you want while looking over the lights of Queenstown. This activity is only available in winter.

© AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand - Tourism NZ

13. See the Southern Lights

Go at the right time to the right places and you might be lucky enough to see the polar activity phenomenon of the Southern Lights, a.k.a. Aurora Australis. Find out more in The Best Times and Locations to See the Southern Lights in New Zealand.

13 Things to Do After Dark in New Zealand© DunedinNZ


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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