World-renowned for its Hollywood-style vistas and naturally warm inhabitants, New Zealand is also regarded as the founding home of some of the world’s most breathtaking adventure activities. Thanks to the country’s wild coastlines, mild climate and implausible diversity of national parks, it offers the perfect setting for the most extreme outdoor activities.
No matter if you’re leaping out of a plane, skimming across the narrow gorges on a jet boat, or thrashing through white-water rapids: New Zealand will certainly get your heart pumping.
Here are 5 must-do New Zealand adventures, with something for every level of ability and derring-do:
While Kiwis developed jet boats to navigate the shallow rivers of Queenstown and Canterbury, they realized these easily maneuverable boats also catered to a truckload of fun.
Sit back, buckle yourself in, and feel the adrenaline rush as you jet boat the braided rivers and lakes, almost brushing against the sheer rock faces! What’s more, skim across the rivers and navigate 360-degree spins on the spectacular canyon-clad rivers.
From the gushing Huka Falls on the North Island to the glacier-fed Dart River on the South Island, come home to the most thrilling jet boat ride in the world and explore New Zealand from the confines of a speedy little boat.
Leave behind every instinct in your body as you take a leap of faith into the thin air - with nothing more than the glorified elastic rope tied around your ankles! While this adrenaline-fuelling activity, renowned as bungy jumping, occurs throughout the world, it is New Zealand which is almost synonymous with the sport. Thanks to its soaring cliffs, gargantuan bridges and dramatic gorges, it's easy to spot why.
With the world’s second-highest point for bungee jumping, the Ben Nevis Valley in Queenstown remains the thrill seekers paradise as they step off the ledge to unveil one of the world’s most terrifying yet exhilarating experiences. If the Nevis is too big for you, check out the smaller Kawaru Bridge Bungy - the home of New Zealand's first commercial bungy jump.
If bungy jumping wasn’t thrilling enough for you, why not try diving out of an airplane from 15,000 feet? Feel the adrenaline pumping in your veins as you plummet towards the earth at a heart-stopping terminal velocity in the minute long free fall! Soak up the bird’s eye view of Mt Aspiring and Mt. Cook - the country’s highest snow-capped mountains –arguably the best place in NZ to skydive. New Zealand has some of the best skydiving spots in the world.
While the words ‘hiking’ and 'extreme adventure’ seldom mix together, throw in the enormous, slow moving piece of ice, a few ropes and crampons, and things suddenly start making more sense.
Situated at the western coast of the South Island, The Franz Josef and the Fox Glaciers are not only two of the most accessible glaciers in the world (open to walkers) but they also cater to an extraordinary ‘glacier climbing’ experience to satisfy the most adventurous of the souls. While the terrain is truly wonderful, other-worldly almost, the glaciers offer a variety of on-foot and helicopter excursions that are guaranteed to get your heart pumping.
WHITEWATER RIVER RAFTING
If you've ever wondered how it feels to be inside a washing machine, come home to a rafting adventure in the pristine white rivers of New Zealand. Combine the country’s soaring mountain ranges with the considerate amounts of rain, and unveil the best whitewater rafting in the world.
Navigate your way through the wild landscape towards a wide-eyed voyage down the turbulent rapids, covering the full adventure spectrum. The best river rafting experience could be in Rotorua on the North Island, or Christchurch and Queenstown on the South Island.
With adventures to thrill and excite the senses, New Zealand- the home of adventure tourism - is not a one trick pony but a long stretch that will leave you with some of the most memorable experiences of your life. So, why wait? Head towards the adventure capital of the world and get the adrenaline pumping through your veins- and feel ‘alive’ once again.
Not sure where to start? Check out our free New Zealand Travel Planning service and we'll help you plan the trip of a lifetime.