Eight adventures to have in New Zealand

March 21, 2011 in Places

I’ve met some great Kiwis in my travels (like the folks of Drifting Kiwi and Indie Travel Podcast), as well as people who just love New Zealand (the minds behind A Dangerous Business and Backpacking Matt immediately spring to mind). They’re the real reason why I’m keen to participate in #Blog4NZ: the passion they have for New Zealand shines through in all their words and photos.

I’m also becoming a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so this guest post by Craig Martin certainly convinced me that a trip to New Zealand is in my future (the sooner, the better!). Even though the recent earthquake devastated Christchurch, don’t forget that New Zealand is still open for business!

New Zealand, known by many as the adventure capital of the world, is certainly not short on things to do. From the highest peaks to under the water, here’s eight adventures to have in New Zealand.

Glacier walking: New Zealand’s Fox and Franz Joseph glaciers are two of the most accessible floes of ice in this world. So accessible, in fact, that you can do half- or full-day hikes on them. Budget travellers will want to hike up, while those with a bit more coin can add a scenic helicopter ride in then down some champagne while standing on a moving river of ice.

White water rafting: The spray, the screams, the hard paddling as you manouver around outcrops. White water rafting certainly gets the blood flowing. New Zealand’s pristine environments and great safety record make it a top choice for your first attempt and for experienced rafters.

And New Zealand is one of the few places in the world you can raft class five rapids on a tour. Awesome.

Black water rafting: From fast and furious to slow and scary: black water rafting will take you through underground rivers carving through limestone caves. Semi-submersed in a wetsuit and innertube, you’ll be able to stare up at magnificent constellations of glow worms on the rocky ceiling.

Bungy jumping: The world’s first commercial bungy site is at the scenic and historical Kawarau Bridge, just outside of Queenstown. Another 25 minutes down the road is the world’s second highest bungy, the Nevis. This 134 meter drop hangs from a wire between two mountains … It’s a long way down. You could also jump off Auckland’s iconic landmarks: the Skytower and the harbour bridge, and half a dozen other things around the country.

Heli-skiiing: Jumping from a helicopter into fresh virgin snow is some people’s idea of a good time. If it’s yours, then winter is a prime time to get down to New Zealand. The best thing? New Zealand’s winter is from June through August so there’s no reason our northern hemisphere friends can’t jump down here and ski all year round. With many countries part of theWorking Holiday program, you might be able to fund all the fun by working on the slopes.

Tramping: No, not looking homeless! Tramping is New Zealand slang for hiking, and with 14 large national parks and dozens of nature reserves there’s great opportunities to get out and about in the wild. There are thousands of tracks with facilities varying between nice huts and catered food to a flat bit of grass and a river running beside it. You can really choose your own adventure, or just drive 45 minutes from any central business district and find yourself immersed and alone with the waves, wind and birdlife.

Diving: New Zealand is also home to 25 marine reserves, where no marine life can be taken without heavy punishments. This makes swimming with the fishes a whole new experience as they school past you in great numbers. There’s also some pretty nifty snorkling to be done when the water is at waist hight if SCUBA isn’t your cup of tea.

Mountain climbing: The country that Sir Edmund Hillary grew up in isn’t short of interesting climbs. While the highest mountain, Mt Cook, only sits at 3,754 metres (12,316 ft) high, it has three challenging peaks to summit with two glaciers heading down the sides. For the more casual climber, there are great spots for a jaunt within some city boundaries, and plenty of walls to explore.

There are dozens of innovative adventure sports we haven’t listed, from the Schweeb to the Zorb, but I guess you’ll have to come down for a visit.

This post is part of the #blog4nz campaign. Read more stories on Facebook or see more New Zealand travel stories on Indie Travel Podcast.

Creative Commons License
The text of Eight adventures to have in New Zealand by Craig Martin of Indie Travel Podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may use the text on your website if it remains unchanged, including all links and this license message. Photos are by Kate Malcom.

  • Aww, I’m flattered that my love for New Zealand helped inspire you to get involved in #Blog4NZ! Good for you! And these are all great NZ goals. Believe it or not, I’ve only done 2 of the 8 so far!

  • Sarah Bond

    Awesome post! As a fellow travel writer, may I say I’d vacuum and roll out the red carpet if you ever decided to come to New Zealand, especially if you made it to Dunedin. SB

  • Anonymous

    The only thing that stinks about adventure in New Zealand is that it’s so darn expensive. I’d love to try all of these experiences, but I’ll be lucky if my budget covers one!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! Certainly hoping to make it to New Zealand in the next year or so–would love to meet up!

  • Great post! Makes me want to go back there 🙂
    Two more things I would add to your list: the Tongariro Crossing (one of the most beautiful hike I’ve done) and sky diving over lake Taupo.

  • Anonymous

    I think I’m going to try sky diving first over the Great Barrier Reef–but if I like it, would love to try it again in New Zealand! Thanks for sharing!

  • New Zealand is a fabulous destination in the world…It is totally diversed country…Means you can enjoy variety of things here like trekking,camping,adventure,cycling,cruising etc…The post too lists many adventure activities here….

  • New Zealand is a fabulous destination in the world…It is totally diversed country…Means you can enjoy variety of things here like trekking,camping,adventure,cycling,cruising etc…The post too lists many adventure activities here….

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait to have some of these adventures myself!

  • New Zealand is a wonderful place.. I have been there last year with my family.. Its was awesome time to be there.. According to me one should definitely visit it..

  • Anonymous

    Definitely hoping I’ll be able to visit at some point!!!

  • Nice post.All the pics are too good. I get it clear idea about your topic.Most of the people looking this kind of valuable tips.
     

Previous post:

Next post: