Adventure Travel in New Zealand

New Zealand’s wide open spaces and lush green landscape make it perfect for travelers looking to get their blood pumping. New Zealand is a popular skiing destination for powder junkies and newcomers to the sport.

In the North Island, two commercial ski fields are set on the volcanic summit of Mount Ruapehu. In the south you can enjoy a larger range of options in Queenstown, Wanaka, and Canterbury. No matter where you choose, you’ll enjoy ski-resorts with first-rate facilities. New Zealand’s ski season runs from June until October. If you want to raise your heart rate at any time of year, consider getting on the water. Kayakers can enjoy fresh water or salt water kayaking experiences in New Zealand. The fresh water option is the tamest so it’s the best for novices. In the sheltered conditions of New Zealand’s lakes you can learn how to master a kayak, and see some amazing natural sights. There are Maori rock carvings at Lake Taupo, and an abundance of natural wildlife and flora surrounding Lake Manapouri and Lake Te Anau.

Salt water kayaking offers a greater challenge. In the South Island, you could have a wildlife encounter following the coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park or travel through the isolated Marlborough Sounds. In the North Island many enjoy sea kayaking safaris around the marine reserve of Goat Island and the breathtaking Hokianga and Tauranga Harbours.For a little more excitement, consider parasailing. This thrilling activity sees you being towed behind a speeding boat while wearing a parachute. As the watercraft accelerates, you’re driven high into the air. Most people opt for the 800 feet flight, but for a real thrill you can fly as high as 1200 feet. The activity is closely related to paragliding, but parasailers aren’t strapped to an instructor.

But if you do want to share the experience you can try tandem parasailing with a friend. Parasailing operators run out of the Bay of Islands, Bay of Plenty, Queenstown, Taupo, and Wanaka.

Kitesurfing is another hair raiser with a growing following in New Zealand. Like a cross between paragliding and surfing, you’re harnessed to a kite with a small board attached to your feet. The power of the wind will propel you along the waves, and even up in the air! Wings & Waves and OceanXtreme in Auckland have everything you need to get started. But for the ultimate thrill in New Zealand, there’s nothing like bungy jumping. Kiwis invented the sport in the 1980s, and they’ve been jumping from bridges, rail viaducts, and stadium roofs ever since. Bungy pioneers AJ Hackett currently offer New Zealand’s biggest jump. It involves a 440 feet drop from a gondola suspended above a canyon. That’s some freefall! Providers offering tandem jumps, night jumps, and partial water immersion jumps all bring something a little different to this popular New Zealand adventure.

Auckland, New Zealand >>>