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Ever since seeing Lord of the Rings, New Zealand has been on our radar, and reading about all the adventures we are going to have, we just can’t wait to get down there…

A country activity guide would normally be organised by region, or destination. But because of the draw of adventure seekers, who come by the thousands to New Zealand to feed their adrenaline habit, this activity guide is going to focus solely on what we feel are the top adventure experiences in New Zealand. Take the (literal) leap and enjoy New Zealand’s unique experiences that are available to the traveler!

Queenstown

If you’re coming to New Zealand for an active vacation, then Queenstown will no doubt be your base – it’s often referred to as the “Adventure Capital of the World.” Located on the South Island, Queenstown is the site of the original bungee jump – and you can still do it there, now at several heart-pounding spots.
NZ_Day_5_10
Of course, bungee jumping is not the only thing that attracts adrenaline junkies to Queenstown. There’s also jetboating, which is not for the faint of heart. Basically, groups of adventurers are put into a jetboat in the river, which is then driven by a seeming madman to the edges of waterfalls, million-year old rock walls, and other harrowing near-miss spots. Fun? Try it out, and decide for yourself!

There’s also the “run of the mill” adventure activities, like skydiving, hot air balloons and skiing in the winter. Choose your poison, and get that adrenaline flowing!

Waitomo Caves

Closest to Hamilton on the North Island, the Waitomo Caves are yet another example of something to do in New Zealand that is not for the faint of heart. However, if you’re up for it, they’re a stunning, humbling reminder of just how majestic our planet is. Rappel down to the Glowworm Grotto, which is just what it sounds like: a grotto studded with countless glowworms like so many stars in the sky.
Strands @ Waitomo, New Zealand
If hanging in a massive crevice in the earth by a rope and looking at thousands of creatures you hadn’t even known existed sounds like just another day, then how about upping the ante? Once underground, you can spend several hours floating along black water rapids in an innertube. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’re not likely to forget anytime soon.

Tongariro National Park

Skiers are probably familiar with Tongariro National Park, home to the slopes of Mount Ruapehu. And in the winter, anyone who’s looking to ski on the North Island could do worse! But in the summer, the Tongariro National Park welcomes thousands of hikers for a 13-mile trek through the Alpine Crossing in the park, which takes you past a volcano, lakes and hot springs. It’s a grueling hike that is not recommended for beginners, but for experienced hikers it’s a badge of honor.
Tongariro alpine crossing
Buller Gorge

The Buller Gorge Swingbridge Adventure and Heritage Park is well organized and has every level of adventure activity, so you can feel free to bring your less adventurous friends and they’ll find something they can handle. They have all kinds of activities, but a perfect example is their zip line ride. The Comet Line is a typical zip line harness; Tandem Comet Lines are suitable for parents and kids to ride together; and the Supaman Ride is for the more adventurous, and features seatless “flying” over the river. Yikes!

This article was written by David Wright of Travel Insurance Cover NZ (www.travelinsurancecover.co.nz), a travel insurance company providing access to policies for international visitors and Kiwis travelling within New Zealand.

Tags : new zealand

2 Comments

  1. Hi ya guys love reading about ur adventures. Our family is off to mexico and Central America for 3 months in April. R upcoming to nz soon. If you are, you are welcome to stay at our place while we are away….regards peter & nicki

    1. Peter – thanks so much for the kind offer!! New Zealand is high on our list of places to see, and we’ll go there some time in the next couple of years, I think. We’ll let you know for sure as soon as the dates are set 🙂 Enjoy Central America and Mexico – still our favorite part of the world (esp Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua!)

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