No matter where you are in New Zealand there is bound to be something nearby that you can throw yourself off of. From the Skytower in Auckland to the Nevis bungee in Queenstown, it is impossible to travel around New Zealand without trying something that gets the adrenaline pumping! With beautiful scenery at every turn, there really is no where better than New Zealand if you’re looking for adventure!
Perhaps the most famous activity to do and by far the most terrifying experience of my life is the sickeningly tall Nevis bungee in Queenstown. Measuring a whopping 440ft, this is one of the tallest bungee jumps in the world. A freefall lasting 8 and half seconds provides a massive ground rush for anyone brave enough to throw themselves from the cable car hanging above the canyon. I thoroughly recommend the Nevis bungee to anyone visiting Queenstown no matter how shaky your knees are! Falling through the air is a bizarre yet exhilarating feeling and the euphoria afterwards is incredible.
You can dive pretty much anywhere in New Zealand from varying heights between 12,000 and 18,000ft. I chose to do my sky dive in the scenic town of Taupo. It is centrally located by the Great Lake Taupo on the north island . Looming mountains surround the town with mount Tongariro, also known as Mt Doom, standing above the rest. A group of 5 of us went up to 15,000ft in the company’s bright pink plane. Around 10,000ft oxygen masks are provided due to the unpressurised cabin, confirming the ridiculous height . After leaving the plane you feel yourself rushing through the air and at the same time feel motionless. The freefall ends abruptly as the canopy opens overhead and you start drifting towards the ground. This is when you can really admire the amazing scenery and begin to relax.
New Zealand has more to offer than just launching yourself from extreme heights. In Waitomo, a quiet town in the north island, there is a labyrinth of vast cave systems. The Black Abyss tour with the Black Water Rafting Company is certainly a highlight of my Kiwi experience. After a quick lesson on how to abseil the journey began by abseiling 35 meters into the black depths. Once in the cave a zip wire propels you deeper into the darkness. The second part of the adventure through the tunnels is a relaxed tube ride along the river admiring the thousands of glowworms clutching to the ceiling. The real adventure, however, begins when you start clambering through the tunnels; up waterfalls deep underground; squeezing through small holes in the rock and swimming along the underground rivers! This really is a brilliant experience and a great way to get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping whilst exploring New Zealand’s beautiful hidden marvels.
As you move further south you reach the beautiful town of Kaiteriteri in the Abel Tasman national park. This is the perfect place to relax in the sun or spend the day sea kayaking with the seals. This truly is one of the most beautiful places I visited on my trip. Most travelers seem to only spend one night here but we rightly decided to stay for a few days extra, as there is so much to see. Despite it being such a serene area, there are still activities to get the heart racing. The Kaiteriteri MTB Park is one such way to do so. With tracks that suit all abilities winding through the forest there is no reason not to give mountain biking a go!
One of the more unique experiences I had was in Lake Wanaka. Here I had the opportunity to try my hand at some aerial acrobatics. At sunrise I went up in a small propeller plane and the pilot did his best to try and rip the small plane to pieces by doing all sorts of dives and spins. Despite feeling incredibly ill I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the real fun began when I took power of the dual controls in front of me and tried to repeat the maneuvers the pilot had done. The views of the ground below and the rising sun were magnificent, even from the weird angles I was witnessing them from!
Finally possibly my favorite activity from the whole of New Zealand is back in Queenstown, the Shotover canyon swing! What really makes this experience are the crazy kiwis in charge, who will stop at nothing to wind you up while you are dangling from the edge of the cliff. The canyon swing is a 60m-drop into Shotover canyon where you swing 200m across it. The best part about this is the fact there are more than 70 ways to jump off the edge. I experienced just two of these. My first jump was from a tricycle, which I cycled of the edge of the platform 109m above the canyon! My second jump, which was a lot, more terrifying, involved sitting on ‘the chair of death’ with my back to the cliff and rocking backwards off the edge.
These are just a few of the adventure activities on offer for thrill-seekers in New Zealand.I really do think that anyone travelling in this beautiful country should get stuck in and try the range of activities as diverse and as wild as the landscape.