Towering mountains and raging rivers are the perfect venues for adventure, so it’s no surprise New Zealand has emerged as one of the world’s premier thrill-seeking destinations.
Heli-skiing, whitewater rafting, mountain-biking, kayaking, skydiving and every extreme you can think of is on offer here.
Ingenious exploits by adventurous Kiwis have developed all sorts of homegrown fun and New Zealand is the home of commercial bungy jumping. New Zealand embodies adventure and is a country that’s all about giving it a go. What’s more, New Zealand’s relatively small size means a whole lot of activities can be experienced in one trip, from white water rafting, skiing and scuba diving to jet boating, quad biking and skydiving. For exhilaration and action make it happen in New Zealand.
Unforgettable adventure experiences can be found across New Zealand. Here are a few regions not to missed:
Surf or toboggan down huge sand dunes on 90 Mile Beach in New Zealand’s far north. Many Northland operators offer sand boarding as part of a tour to Cape Reinga, at the northern tip of the North Island.
Throw inhibitions to the wind in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. A good place to start is New Zealand’s tallest manmade structure, the 328-metre-high SkyTower. SkyJump from a platform 192 metres up the tower for an experience similar to bungy jumping, or harness up and SkyWalk around a narrow platform circling the tower for views over the city. Auckland Harbour is another top spot. Climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge on a bridge climbing tour, or bungy jump from a jump pod suspended beneath it. There’s also jet boating on the harbour, sailing on a former America’s Cup racing yacht, or quad biking out west on Muriwai Beach.
Enjoy Rotorua’s out-of-this-world geothermal landscape of natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and erupting geysers. Climb inside a large protective plastic ball, at OGO, alone or with a friend, and roll down a grassy hill taking in the sights. Another memorable experience is Agroventures, an adventure park offering a selection of world-first thrill rides, including the 130hm/h ‘Swoop’ super swing and the world’s first human powered monorail racing circuit, the ‘Shweeb’. Rotorua’s many rivers and rugged terrain also make it an ideal place to try more conventional activities like white water rafting and 4WDing. During winter, there’s great skiing on Mt Ruapehu, two hour’s drive south east of Rotorua city.
Black water rafting - tubing through an underground cave system with flashlights to light the way - is a special way to see the impressive Waitomo Caves. The Waitomo Caves is a network of more than 300 underground caves, packed full of glow worms and ancient stalagmites and stalactites. Some of the larger caves can be explored on foot, but black water rafting tours allow you to abseil into some of the harder to access areas.
Launch into white water rafting on the Rangitata River, an hour’s drive south of Christchurch. The river offers grade 5 rapids with fitting names like ‘Roosters Tail’, ‘Pigs Trough’ and ‘The Pinch’. For a chillier adventure, travel to the Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park for a tour of the spectacular Tasman Glacier or visit one of 10 ski fields in the Canterbury region during winter.
Queenstown is often tagged ‘The Adventure Capital of the World’. Don’t miss white water rafting and jet boating on the Shotover and Kawarau rivers, or leaping from the world’s original commercial bungy site, Kawarau Bridge. There’s also sky diving above Queenstown, with stunning views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu, and six nearby ski fields to carve up during winter.