New Zealand is the perfect destination for thrill seekers. It is not only the birthplace to a lot of adventurous activities, but also provides the most beautiful landscapes you can think off. This makes it a good fit for any adventure tourist to pump up their adrenaline through sky, land and sea! Please check out some of the activities we have personally engaged in while spending five months in the world’s biggest playground!
Let’s start with our favorite! The first commercial bungy jump was created in the eighties by A.J. Hackett in Queenstown, New Zealand. He was inspired by the Naghol-cermony, which is a ritual carried out by all young men from Pentecost, Vanuatu. They are strapped at the ankles with vines and jump off a wooden platform, proving their manhood. You can still jump off the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, which is the original commercial bungy platform in New Zealand! This is what we did, since we love to combine history with adventure. But if you prefer to take it all the way, definitely try the Nevis Bungy, which is with its 134 m the highest one of the country!
If bungy jumping seems too adventurous for you, it might be a good idea to try the extreme swing. A big difference is that the people working there will drop you. You can choose for a countdown or a surprise. The fact that you don’t actually have to jump yourself will make it a lot less scary. We personally went for the swing in Taupo, which has beautiful views across the Waitomo River. You can choose to go solo or tandem, but the tandem ones go higher and faster! Check out our video Adventure and Hobbits to get a taste of our experience at Taupo!
We were at Queenstown for our three year anniversary, which meant we had to do something adventurous on this gorgeous day! A quick look on bookme showed us there was a good deal on parasailing over lake Wakatipu, so naturally we gave it a shot. Floating 200 m above the gorgeous lake with the lovely view of Queenstown was just so relaxing and such a perfect experience on a special day. We definitely recommend it if you are feeling adventurous, but are looking for something that doesn’t include jumping like the two activities above.
We are staying in the air with this one. We took our first flight lesson at Learn To Fly NZ in Wanaka! We each got to take off, fly and land an actual plane! Don’t worry, you have an instructor next to you who keeps an eye out so you don’t make a mistake. The best part is you can bring a friend for free! This was superhandy for us, since we each got one flight to actually fly ourselves and one to sit in the back, admire the intense scenery of Laka Wanaka and take pictures.
Zorbing is another crazy activity that was invented in New Zealand! The kiwi guys located in Rotorua, Andrew Akers and Dwane van der Sluis, created a giant inflatable ball which you can sit in and roll down a hill. When we arrived in Rotorua we had just had a few really terrible days and had a hard time being positive. We decided to give zorbing a go to clear our minds and it really did the trick! You just cannot go zorbing without being happy! Find the proof here!
We went kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds with the boat from our lovely WWOOF-host. The area was perfect, since it was away from the crowds. It was just us and nature, relaxing on the sea and taking in the beauty of the rainforest next to us. That being said, we also didn’t have a guide to show us the best wildlife spots. It really depends on what you find the most important: freedom or guidance. Another great spot to kayak would be the Abel Tasman National Park or Milford Sound!
We went sandboarding on the dunes at Cape Reigna in the far north of New Zealand. This was something neither of us had done before, but it was much more fun than we expected! The hardest part is climbing up the giant dunes, which is really more difficult than you think. But once you make it, you can slide down quite fast and enjoy the ride.
Hiking and biking
In New Zealand you will find an abundance of hiking and biking trails. Everywhere you go you will find a lot of different options. We personally hiked a part of the Queen Charlotte Track since we did some wwoofing right next to the path. We also adored exploring the trails around Stewart Island, Haast, Mount Cook, Abel Tasman National Park and many more. We didn’t do a whole lot of biking, but we did have some good quality bikes available to us when wwoofing at Blenheim. We used them to go to the vineyards in the area and did a lot of amazing tastings!
Of course there are still numerous activities that aren’t on this list but are amazing, for example: paragliding, heli-hiking, canyoning, skydiving… But we obviously couldn’t try everything ourselves. I guess we will have to go back for that Franz Joseph heli-hike or that Abel Tasman Skydive! But don’t worry, we will someday.
We are interested to know what your most adventurous trip has been and which activities stood out the most for you. Please let us know in the comments!