Adventure in New Zealand
New Zealand is an adventure lovers wet dream. Bungee jumping saw it’s beginnings here, as well as several other strange ways to get the blood pumping. If screaming at the top of your lungs while the adrenaline pumps through your veins if your idea of a good time – then New Zealand is the country for you. Here is a sampling of some of the experiences that await you.
Zorbing is something which was invented in New Zealand, but is now common around the world. The first time I saw a zorb was in Vietnam, where kids hopped inside and rolled about on top of a small recreational lake. My second zorb encounter could not have been more different. I was at the Belgium music festival, Pukkelpop, in 2010, and was taking in the sights and sounds at the Flaming Lips concert. In true shock style, Wayne Coyn, the lead of the Flaming Lips, made his grand appearance in a zorb, and proceeded to crowd surf inside the contraption.
But zorbs initial use was more basic than these. It is basically a giant, transparent ball, in which the rider is rolled down a slope. Zorb was born in Roturua, and this is still the most popular place to Zorb in New Zealand. If this sounds like your idea of fun, then you will be happy to hear it is also relatively affordable. One zorb ride will only set you back about $45, and it gets cheaper if more people zorb at once.
2) Fly by wire
Fly by wire is something you will have never come in contact to, until you get to New Zealand. If being strapped into an open airplane, bring hoisted high up in the air, and then flying at speeds up to 170 kph while only being tethered by a thin wire is your sort of thing – then listen up. This is probably the extreme adventure for you, and it’s probably the closest that most people will get to flying a fighter plane. As far as I know, the only place in the world where you can do this is in Queenstown, New Zealand. It costs just under $200 NZ dollars per flight, which includes transport to the site. Since my description can’t really do it justice, why not check out this you tube video of the experience.
New Zealand is a famous stop on any surf bums world circuit. Beaches such as Raglan are world famous for the consistently good waves. Operation Not Drown – my first (and only) surf experience was at Muriwai beach. My bad balance and weak swimming skills make me unlikely to break out the board again, but nevermind! Any beach that is well known for its breaks will have a little shop where you can rent surf boards and wet suits. All of these shops also offer surfing lessons, and it is not recommended to surf alone if you are a beginner. I was lucky that I was with a large group who were looking out for me, so I was alright. For detailed information on surfing beaches, and up to date weather reports definitely check our Surf New Zealand’s website.
4) Sky diving
Sky diving is another popular adventure activity in New Zealand. Stepping out of a plane and plummeting to the earth (and surviving) is a pretty amazing thing to do anywhere, but it is especially amazing in New Zealand. The reason for this is the incredible scenery which you can see during your dive. There are sky dive operators all over New Zealand – you can chose to sky dive over glaciers, over the bay of islands, or even from a spot where you can see both the North and South Islands during your dive. The average sky dive is going to set you back a few hundred dollars, so if this is something you want to do, make sure you have the cash.
Commercial bungy jumping began in New Zealand with the first jump in Auckland, and the first permanent commercial bungy structure being later built near Queenstown. Bungy jumping is generally safe, and is a very popular activity in New Zealand. However, before signing up for a bungy jump, participants should be very aware of the medical consequences that can occur even on a perfectly safe jump. Common side effects include eyesight damage. You can book a hotel in Auckland, Queenstown or other cities ide effects include eyesight damage. You can book a hotel in Auckland, Queenstown and other cities in New Zealand and find options with prices ranging from $150 upwards, depending on the location and company.
Well that concludes our tour of adventure activities around New Zealand! There are many other adventures that await here, that I just have not been able to mention. And of course, there are many options for those travellers who prefer to keep their adrenaline at a manageable level (myself included)! No matter what you fancy, you will be able to find it in New Zealand.
This is a post by my friend Jade Johnston.
Jade Johnston is a co-founder of the budget travel website, ouroyster.com. She has been travelling the world since 2005, and loves engaging with local culture. She is currently preparing to move to Australia with her partner.