New Zealand is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places on earth. It offers everything your wanderlust-fuelled heart could hope to see in one place. The sheer beauty of the landscape, from the snow-capped Southern Alps to its rippling lakes, all creates the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable adventure.
Luckily for us, the crafty Kiwis realised their beautiful country offers up a playground for big kids (that’s us!) They saw rivers, caves and mountains and realised they’d make a whole lot of people very happy if they turned them into the base for many amazing adventure sports. So, they did just that. Now, New Zealand isn’t just a beautiful place to visit, it’s one that’s ridiculously fun too!
If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand and need some inspiration on how to have an unforgettable time, here are some of the very best adventure sports on offer. You should also read this guide on things you absolutely must know before you go to New Zealand.
But first, watch this…
Strap yourself to another human and jump out of a perfectly good plane, for the ultimate rush! As we all know, the scenery in New Zealand is ridiculous, so it’s the perfect spot to do a Skydive and see NZ from an incredible angle. Try Queenstown’s NZone or Skydive Wanaka.
2. Jet Boat
Climb aboard a jet boat and rip along a river at high speeds, busting spins and turns that make you scream out with excitement. Not only this, but the scenery all around you is spectacular, typical New Zealand! Take a look at the famous Shotover Jet and Skippers Canyon Jet. You can also read about my experience on the Shotover Jet here.
If you find yourself in New Zealand during summer, a Heli-Bike adventure is a must! Climb aboard a helicopter and take an amazing ride through the mountains before being dropped atop a peak with unimaginably gorgeous views, then ride your hired mountain bike down to the bottom. Check out Heli Bike or Vertigo Bikes, both in Queenstown.
For an unforgettable day, climb aboard a helicopter and set off for a day of skiing or snowboarding in picture-perfect backcountry terrain that boasts some of the world’s most dramatic scenery. Try Harris Mountains Heli-Ski for amazing tours of Queenstown, Wanaka and Mt Cook.
5. Bungy Jump
New Zealand is the birthplace of the bungy, so it seems a little bit rude to visit and not jump off at least one bridge or platform. There are plenty of places to do it and varying heights to tackle. Check out AJ Hackett’s Kawarau Bridge, Ledge or Nevis jumps. You can read about my experience jumping off the Karawau Bridge Bungy here.
6. Exploring Caves
There’s a myriad of incredible caves and hidden waterways waiting to be explored. You can spend a day black water rafting in Waitomo with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. You can also climb through a hidden cave world, float through a glow-worm cavern and explore a river in a tube with Underworld Adventures in Charleston. This amazing experience reminded me of those epic scenes from Life of Pi where everything is black, except the bright blue twinkling lights all around. It was incredible!
7. Heli Hike a Glacier
The Franz Josef Glacier has to be seen to be believed! The best way to see it? strap on a whole bunch of essential glacier-hiking gear (including special spiked boots), climb aboard a helicopter and land on the glacier. Then, spend a few hours traversing the ice, squeezing through narrow corridors and taking in the views. The guys at Franz Josef Glacier Guides are your best bet. You can read about my experience doing the Franz Josef Heli-Hike here.
8. Ogo or Zorb
Climb inside a giant, clear hamster ball, throw in some water and set off down the side of a hill. Standing up won’t be possible as you’re whizzed around, up and down, side to side and come out the other side with a broad smile across your face. You can do the Ogo in Rotorua with its inventors or check out the Zorb, also in Rotorua.
Useful travel resources for your trip to New Zealand
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Agoda – for booking hotels
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SCTI – for travel insurance
Skyscanner – for booking flights
Surfshark – for online security and VPN
TourRadar – for booking tours
Uber – for ground transport