If you’re an adrenaline junkie, a trip to New Zealand needs to be added to your travel wish list, ASAP. New Zealand, known as the adventure capital of the world, offers a variety of activities that will get your blood pumping. From bungy jumping to mountain climbing, and even some cave exploring, there’s something for everyone. Adventures can be found throughout the diverse terrain of New Zealand, so the only question is, where will you begin?
Go Zorbing in Rotorua
Did you know that zorbing got its start in New Zealand? In 1997, Andrew and David Akers invented this unique and fun activity. But what exactly is zorbing? Essentially, you jump into a giant, transparent plastic ball and are sent tumbling down a hill. It may not seem like much, but zorbs have been known to reach speeds in excess of 30 miles (about 48 km) per hour. You’ll have the option to enjoy the ride buckled into the zorb or foregoing the straps and sliding freely. There are many different ways to zorb — with or without water, surrounded by bubbles, down a hill, or even on water. If you are looking for the biggest adrenaline rush, try the MEGA Track at OGO, the longest, steepest, and fastest track in zorbing. It’s an adventure you’ve likely never tried before and one you won’t soon forget.
Bungy jump off the Auckland bridge
For some, climbing to the top of the Auckland Bridge will be an adventure in itself. With heights reaching 67 meters above water, you will have a spectacular and one of a kind view of the country’s capital city. But if you are looking to take it up a notch, why not jump off the bridge while you are up there? AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand offers thrill seekers just this. The jump will take you on an 11-second rush as you catapult 40 meters, finishing with a dip in the ocean below (jumps that do not touch water are an option too). You can tandem jump with a partner or just watch as a friend takes the plunge. Children 10 and older can also partake if you have a younger adventure lover.
Jet boat through Hukafalls
Hukafalls is New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction. The falls are a powerful display, flowing at a force of 220,000 liters per second. A jet boat is the best way to experience the fury of the falls up close. Take the journey down the Waikato River to the falls and immerse yourself in the native wildlife and brush as you experience 30 minutes of waves and 360 spins.
In Maori, Huka means foam, and that’s exactly what you will experience as you ride the waves at speeds up to 80 km per hour. Boats hold up to 14 people and run every day except Christmas. Boats run from 9 to 4, but be sure to book in advance to make sure you reserve your spot.
If you are looking for even more adventure, Hukafalls Jet offers various combo packages that include options like skydiving, bungy jumping, and white water rafting. Hukafalls is also a great place to hike, go biking, or enjoy a river cruise.
Hike Tongariro Crossing
Hiking Tongariro Crossing is a great way to test your endurance. The hike, which typically takes six to eight hours to complete, is 19.4 km of mountains terrain. Though difficult at times, the hike consistently ranks as one of the best day hikes in New Zealand and top ten in the world. Tongariro Crossing does lie in a volcanic hazard zone, so hikers take the trek at their own risk. Be sure to wear all weather hiking gear and hiking boots for the challenging areas.
A little trivia — The Lord of the Rings setting of Mordor was shot in Tongariro National Park. The locations can be difficult to find on their own; if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, consider looking into a guided tour.
Zipline in Queenstown
The Kawarau zipline runs above the Kawarau River in Queenstown. Riders can ride in with a variety of views on one of the three rides including front facing, backward, and Superman style. Each line provides for the option to ride tandem, making it a perfect adventure to bring your child (ages 8 and up). The zipline extends 130 meters and takes riders to speeds of 60 km per hour.
If you are looking for more thrill from your zipline, there are plenty of options in New Zealand. The Canyon Fox zipline (also in Queenstown) takes riders a staggering 182 meters above the ground. After taking the Skyline Gondola and riding the Skyline Luge (a must for any fans of Mario Kart and adventure fans in general), take a zipline 400 meters back down to where you began.
Visit Waitomo Caves
There is so much to do at Waitomo Caves. Casual travelers will like the scenic reserves and museum, but this visit is for the adventure seeker. There are many locations to see. When you explore the Black Abyss, you will descend 35 meters. You will climb under waterfalls and zipline through a magical display of glow worms. You will wade through water, journey through the darkness, and experience a truly one of a kind adventure.
If ziplining through caves isn’t enough to satisfy your need for thrill, try black water rafting in the Ruakuri Cave. Black water rafting is not your typical rafting adventure. Besides the fact that you are in a dark cave, the rafting occurs on a black rubber tube. Think of a lazy river (but faster) in a glow worm speckled cave and that’s what you can expect. Combining the Black Abyss and black water rafting is a great way to experience the caves.
Adventure comes in many forms and a vast range of extremes. Whether you choose to hike through the country’s oldest national park of jump off its capital city’s bridge, you are sure to find the adventure you are looking for in New Zealand.