I studied abroad a year ago in New Zealand & hated everything about it at the time. A year later I've realized a couple things that are worth actually going to, and reaffirmed the places that weren't.
  1. OVERRATED: The Skytower in Auckland
    The dinner is meh, the Skyjump is not fun nor scary, and the view is very much a one and done experience.
  2. WORTH IT: Zorbing in Rotorua
    You're going to have to Google zorbing if you don't know what it is, but even with the smaller courses I don't think it's possible to not enjoy yourself.
  3. OVERRATED: Wellington
    Wellington should be up for the Worst Capital of the Year award because it's windy, rainy, has nightlife that is beyond over-hyped, and doesn't offer anything remarkably beautiful compared to the rest of the country.
  4. WORTH IT: Rafting the Kaituna River in Rotorua
    Truth be told, Rotorua, the town itself, is pretty awful: there are super active vents in the earth and the whole thing smells like sulfur. But between zorbing and rafting some great rapids, as well as the worlds tallest commercially ratted waterfall, the activities well make up for dealing with the smell for a day or two.
  5. OVERRATED: Christchurch
    Christchurch apparently used to be a great way to start a trip to the South Island. Now, after the earthquake they had in 2011 (?) and what seems to be very little rebuilding, it's barely worth stopping at, and definitely not worth flying to.
  6. WORTH IT: Waiheke Island
    An hour long ferry ride away from Auckland is this island with a massive amount of vineyards and beaches I would argue are considerably better than any you can find the same time away by car from Auckland.
  7. OVERRATED: Bay of Islands
    The name here is blatantly what you will find about 6(?) hours north of Auckland. The thing is, for such a long time traveling you don't end up getting a lot of difference in similar things you could find in the city. Combine that with the lack of anything else of interest that far north, and it's not worth it.
  8. WORTH IT: Piha Beach
    A less than 2 hour drive south of Auckland is Piha which is the first in a series of black sand beaches on the west side of the island. Even if you've been to black sand beaches before these are worth the drive.