Misted mountains and emerald fjords, lush green forests and cascading waterfalls and endless miles of sandy beaches. One of the world’s most impeccably clean and beautiful countries, New Zealand is packed with picturesque locations and wide range of adventure activities.
While there are so many beautiful spots that you would not want to miss at any cost, activities like bungee jumping, skiing, fishing, trekking, caving, canyoning are some of the adventure that you must go for when in New Zealand. Well, it is going to be a tough job to decide what to do first, one thing is certain that you will need plenty of time in hand if you want to explore the beauty and enjoy some adrenaline rush!
Queenstown’s most favorite thrill-seeking activity is perhaps bungee jumping where a long elastic cord is attached to the ankles or harness, and the person jumps off a breathtaking height. New Zealand’s first commercial bungee operation was set up in 1980s by AJ Hackett and Henry an Asch. It was a jump from the historic Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown, and since then, Queenstown has been a popular destination for bungee jumping among adventure lovers. AJ Hackett Bungy offers a range of Bungees for all levels of thrill seekers!
Location: Auckland, Queenstown, Kawarau Bridge,
Height: New Zealand’s Highest Bungy Jump is 134m at Nevis
Price: Approx NZ $150
One of the wildest adventures in New Zealand, Canyoning is done in the most remote hilly locations such as Auckland, Nelson, and Coromandel. Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush as you hang on to a canyon swing. Leap into pools, slide off smooth rocks, abseil down gigantic waterfalls and a lot more. With trips round the year, there’s never a bad time to try this sport.
An established hobby in New Zealand as well as a part of commercial tourism, caving can be both challenging and spectacular. While Waitomo district and Nelson-Tasman are the most popular locations for caving, there are several other spots where you can indulge in this action-packed subterranean adventure. You can simply walk through the caves, float through the caves, go blackwater rafting or just climb in. The Anau Glowworm Caves offer a spectacular caving experience.
Locations: Waitomo, Nelson-Tasman, Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Price: $48.00 – $89.00 NZD
New Zealand offers you a great opportunity to ski from lake shores to mountain peaks with numerous Ski Resorts dotted around the country. You can look for Premier commercial ski areas in locations such as Queenstown, Wanaka, the Mackenzie region and Methven.
Locations: Queenstown, Wanaka, the Mackenzie region and Methven
Price: NZ $75 and $100 dollars
Trekking in New Zealand, multi-day hiking or backpacking trips into the backcountry is commonly known as tramping. New Zealand offers well-established multi-day treks which are guided trips in order to enhance your experience. They are also referred to as the “Great Walks”.
Abel Tasman Coast track is probably the least strenuous hike but also equally rewarding. Its a two to five day one way track that takes you verdant fern and manuka groves and you can camp along the empty shores or stay in govt huts. Also, Mueller Hut Route is one of the best overnight hikes, a three mile steep hike more or less from the valley where you can capture impeccable views of the decorated river system and also vibrant blur glacial pools!
The best city hike would be Mount Victoria trails in Wellington, more or less a 7 mile Southern walkaway where you can feel the city noise die away beneath a thick shade of trees where you the “Lord of the Rings” scenes were filmed.
No matter how much thought you put into it, it is unfathomable to comprehend the impact of a glacial rendezvous until you are right there. Fox and Franz glaciers are your best bet as they are the two most accessible glaciers and probably the only ones that take you as high as the face of the glacier. Explore ice caves, hike up above to stunning view points or even more, book a heli hike for access to the Franz Josef.
Best Locations: Nelson Lakes National Park, Queen Charlotte Track, Lake Waikaremoana Track, Tongariro Northern Circuit, Abel Tasman Coast track
Water Sport Activities
The blue waters of New Zealand are great for water sports be it Sailing, surfing, diving, fishing and the country is surely a paradise for all water sport fanatics. Water sports in New Zealand give you an excellent opportunity to explore thousands of kilometres of New Zealand’s magnificent coastline and inland waterways.
One of the best and relaxed ways to explore the pristine coastlines of New Zealand is Kayaking. You can enjoy this activity on Queen Charlotte Sound, Okarito Lagoon, Milford Sound and Bay of Islands.
New Zealand boat tours and sailing tours allow you to relax as your captain navigates around unspoilt coastlines, beautiful lakes and winding rivers. Some of the finest locations for sailing are Abel Tasman, Marlborough Sounds, Auckland, Bay of Islands and Hauraki Gulf.
Another extreme sport, go for it only if you can! As it is way more crazy and challenging than it sounds! Also known as river boarding, sledging is a relatively new sport that makes you lie on top of a float with handles on either sides as the river rapids quickly take drag you downstream. You strictly got to follow the instructions or it could turn out to be quite lethal!
You are hardly ever way from a speeding rive in New Zealand and that’s what white water rafting is for. Enjoy rollercoaster rides on crazy rapids from gentle to grade 5 rapids and go spinning round in circles! To go berserk, finish it off with the 7 m drop, highest commercially raftable waterfall in the world. Wild!
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So, those of you who are not aware, the idea of jetboating is essentially speedboating as close as possible to the river bank as you narrowly dodge tree branches and crazy cliffs right before spinning 360 degrees so wild and fast that nearly every passenger on board is forced to leave their seat narrowly escaping the wrath of the river!
If skydiving was always on your list, then New Zealand is your safest and the best bet. With spectacular views everywhere, places like Wanaka, Taupo, Queenstown and Franz Josef are the best listed world’s skydive sites, whether its just 9000 ft or a whopping 15000 feet. When it comes to extreme sports, New Zealand is the king of all! Their tandem instructors have plenty of 1000s of belts under their belts so, worry not! Although, they may seem to have a terrible sense of humour, like say, just before the jump, they could say, “I really have a bad feeling about this one!” 😀
The mother of adventure sports, New Zealand also introduces you to this combination of ultimate thrill called heli biking! Fly over to remarkable heights say around 1700m or maybe even 6000m (if you like to live extreme!) , and get dropped along with your guide to descend some of the most wildest terrains ever, rock garden terrains, gold mine relics, open alpine tundras and what not! Time to live on the edge, folks! You can go on full day (6 + hours) and half day bike tours (3-4 hours) and reach your final destination for a well deserved beer!
When the sun goes down and moon is high, you can see millions of stars twinkling in the clear dark sky!
New Zealand is famous for its clean air and clear sky which dazzles with stars during the night unlike the other polluted cities. No matter how many adventure activities you try during the day, it is the stargazing which is going to be the most magical experience that you are going to have here after a strenuous hike or a riveting rafting experience!
Locations: Big Sky Stargazing, Mount John Observatory, Skyline Stargazing Queenstown.
I leave you here with the madness that these activities just evoked and the craziness that your wild heart demands. New Zealand can be exciting, thrilling and adventurous even for the laziest folks in the world. Take a trip to the country, take a leap of bungee jumping, sail, trek, sledge, bike and live life king size!