Adventure Activities & Experiences
To be fair to the rest of the world, there are plenty of places in which one may find adventure. However, not many locations on Earth have so many options and diverse adventures packed into a single country as New Zealand. From extreme sports to more low-key and family-centric activities, anyone looking for thrills and excitement will find them at the home of adventure tourism.
"Skydiving certainly embraces the freedom and excitement of the country. This is a true heart-stopper, with availability in beautiful spots on both Islands. What could be more epic then seeing New Zealand rushing at you and then quietly touching ground after soaking in the experience?.
Popular locations include Taupo, Queenstown and the Nelson area- where one can see both islands as they descend!
Almost a right of passage for those visiting New Zealand is to jump off something. Whether it be off of the top of a building in Auckland, from the top of a mountain, or from a bridge; the Kiwis invented bungy and it remains a thrill not to be missed for adrenaline junkies from around the world.
The original bungy can be found at the Kawarau bridge, and this is a great place, even if not jumping, to see others throw themselves over the gorge. As part of a day trip outside of Queenstown consider a trip up to Cromwell or wine tasting in the area.
Another Kiwi innovation in the name of adventure are flat bottom jet boats with custom engines. How else can one ride essentially a water-rocket at depths a little as a few inches? Fun for the entire family, expect 360-degree turns, close calls to the side of canyons and spray!
Jet boats can be found in Taupo, Rotorua, Whanganui, Queenstown, Wanaka and the Fiorldand.
While some are based on speed and 360-degree turns, others are used to access deep into the bush. Options for additional hikes, lunches and touring are also offered by many jet boat providers.
White Water Rafting & Kayaks
While white water rafting on the North Island is for adventure only, kayaks are found throughout the country and used frequently to access nooks and shallow areas. Whether in the rain forest of the West Coast of the South Island or paddling int he Fiordland, there is always adventure to be had with a Kiwi guide and a kayak.
Kayaks are found all over New Zealand, with favorites being time on the water in the country's national parks and wilderness locations. Tours will often include access to remote locations via larger vessels with kayaks used to explore hidden coves and beaches up-close.
Caving & Glowworms
Educational and fun for the entire family is an adventure into a glowworm cave. Experiences in New Zealand cave run from easy guided boats with guide to wetsuit-wearing adventures through dark slides and wading pools. Depending on the level of excitement for which one is looking, there are always options in New Zealand.
Glowworms don't exist in many places in the world and one of the best places to see them are the Waitomo caves. Plan on at least a half-day trip due to its remote location. For those looking for more adventure the Black Water Rafting or Black Abyss provides a more intense caving experience.
Zip Lines & Swings
Swinging in New Zealand tends to be a little different from the rest of the world. Think mountain tops and the feeling like you are going to be launched out and over the side of the Earth. Completely safe and tons of fun, zip-line courses and bungy swings are a great way or challenging ones physical endurance, balance and guts.
Off-Road Vehicle Tours
On the South Island of New Zealand is is not uncommon to see diesel vehicles with snorkels mounted above the roofline. These are for traversing rivers while providing oxygen to the engine to retain combustion. Ranging from the ultra-luxury private Defender 110 tours to shared group tours in custom built mega-buses, off-roading in New Zealand is considered both common and a necessity.
Great for easily accessing the bush for a few hours- travelers have the option to join a guided group tour or opt for a more private guided day out. As with many offerings- this off-roading can be combined with meals and special one-off visits to property and experiences not readily available to others.
Road & Mountain Biking
While tours exist to road bike throughout New Zealand, the combination of thin roads and foreign drivers frankly worries many. The country has thus spent millions to construct excellent bike trails and routes throughout the country. Mountain biking here can be as tame or as wild (read: screaming down a mountain) as you like. Expect more upscale biking to be on flat country roads suitable for peddling between wineries.
Other Crazy Stuff
There are simply too many choices for adventure to mention on one web page. However, if you feel the need to experience what a hamster must feel like if pushed down a large hill in its plastic sphere. look no further than Zorb!
It's one of the reasons we like New Zealand and the Kiwis. Is there any length they won't go to for excitement?
Zorbing is something uniquely Kiwi- with four track options to choose from, you have the option to race friends and family and/or ride with up to three people inside the sphere! Zorb can be done without water, but by including it in the summer, this ride becomes a constant water slide. Great fun- with a place to relax as the staff sets you up for your next ride.