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Why NZ is the ultimate adventure playground

Adrenaline-junkies and novice adventurers you’re in for a wild ride; test your boundaries in a heart-pumping challenge and finally tick off some of those bucket list items on an NZ adventure holiday.

Adrenaline-junkies and novice adventurers you’re in for a wild ride; test your boundaries in a heart-pumping challenge and finally tick off some of those bucket list items on an NZ adventure holiday.

With activities ranging from canyon swinging to flipping head first off a bridge you’ll find something fun to suit you.


1. Canyon swinging


Tackle the world’s highest cliff jump on a Canyon Swing and soar above the Shotover River.

Choose your level of scare factor from The Cutaway, where you’ll remain in an upright position after being launched from 109 metres high, to the Gimp Boy Goes to Hollywood, where the anticipation will reach boiling point as you’re suspended upside down, staring directly at the canyon floor before being released straight first towards the river – not for the faint hearted.


2. Climbing


From ascents along NZ’s most challenging peaks to mountaineering courses and personalised instruction, Aspiring Guides will tailor a climbing adventure to suit you.

Arrive by helicopter and tackle the heavily glaciated Mount Cook over six days on an ice climb or go rock climbing along a bolted route where you’ll have time to stop and take in the magnificent views of Lake Wanaka.


3. Bungy Jumping


New Zealand pioneered the concept of adventure tourism in 1988 when AJ Hackett established the world’s first commercial bungy jumping experience in Queenstown.

First time jumpers should check out the Original Bungy Jump off the historic Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown where it all started – do a tandem jump and share the experience with a friend to take the ‘edge’ off.

If you want to do a Bungy jump with a twist The Ledge Urban Bungy comes equipped with a runway so you can do a flip dive or even a handstand as you’re launched 400 metres over Queenstown.

In the North of the Island head to Auckland to experience stunning views of the Waitemata Harbour as your jump off the Auckland Bridge (and into the water if you’d like).


4. Zip liner


Ideal for families or tour groups the Kawarau Zipride is comprised of 3 x 130m zip lines and takes up to six people at once.

Reach speeds of up to 60kph as you fly like Superman across spectacular scenery in the Gibbson Valley, just 25 minutes north of Queenstown.

For an eco-friendly ziplining adventure Canopy Tours does a guided 3 hour adventure through the evergreen native forests of the Mamaku Plateau, just minutes from Rotorua. For added excitement book the nighttime tour when the forests come alive with the sound of native birds.


5. Tower drop

Make like Beyonce and propel yourself from the tallest building in NZ on a base jump wire. At Sky Jump ‘jump masters’ will rope you up and talk you safely up to the edge, until suddenly you’ll find yourself balancing on your tiptoes, leaning out over the streets of Auckland.

Then plummet 192 metres off the Sky Tower at 85 km an hour – an exhilarating experience that’s ideal for people who are considering (or too scared) to do a bungee.


6. Kayaking


Cruising along NZ’s crystal clear waters is one of the best ways to enjoy the country’s pristine waters, dramatic coastline and rugged fiords. Explore the remote Fiordland National Park on a multi-night kayaking adventure in Doubtful Sound where you get to paddle amidst towering cliffs, swim in waterfalls, and spot wildlife including bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins.

For a more thrilling ride head to the Whanganui River, the longest navigable waterway in the country. Yeti Tours does 2 to 10 day guided tours that are tailored according to level of experience and how many rapids you’re brave enough to tackle.


7. White Water Rafting


From mild liquid fun to a white knuckle ride, Wet ‘n’ Wild rafting guarantees ‘the adventure of a lifetime. Based in Rotorua, North Island the company offers regular, guided white water rafting options on five different rivers, graded from 2 to 5.

Also in the North, the Great Lake Taupo is home to New Zealand’s most awarded white water rafting operators. At Rafting New Zealand on the popular Tongariro White Water adventure you’ll raft over 50 exciting rapids, traveling 14kms through a beautiful volcanic gorge.


8. Horse Riding


Just 45 minutes from Queenstown, at the head of Lake Wakatipu lies Glenorchy, gateway to New Zealand’s Mount Aspiring National Park and Te Wahipounamu, one of New Zealand’s three World Heritage Areas.

Explore the stunning area (showcased in the Oscar winning Lord of the Rings trilogy) on horseback with Dart Stables, who have over 50 horses of various breeds and enthusiastic guides who will provide great horse riding and treks for all levels of rider.

For a truly unique horse riding adventure take the 4 day trek with High Country horses where you’ll cover two valleys, mountains, rivers and native forest. Stay in a variety of accommodation from historic Musterers huts to cosy station cottages.

What’s your ultimate NZ adventure? Which activity would you choose?