Whether you’re an extreme-sports junkie, or are simply looking to try a new experience, there is no better place to go than New Zealand, the world capital of adventure. No matter where you are in New Zealand, you probably aren’t very far from an opportunity to get your blood pumping.
A great way to explore the country getting to first-hand appreciate its stunning natural wonders is by hiring a motorhome. RV Rental in New Zealand is highly popular, especially for adventure trips!
Take a look at just a few of the country’s popular extreme sports:
New Zealand is home to the modern bungy jumping experience. It was Kiwi AJ Hackett Bungy who pioneered this death-defying sport in the city of Queenstown nearly three decades ago, and the activity’s popularity has only continued to grow. Bungy jumping opportunities can be found throughout New Zealand. AJ Hackett’s Bungy company offers jumps in Auckland at the Auckland Harbour Bridge (you can also do a bridge climb here), and in Queenstown at the Kawarau Bridge (the world’s best known bungy jump), the Ledge, and the Nevis (home to the world’s biggest swing, which propels its riders through the gorge in a 300 meter arc). Taupo Bungy on the North Island also offers some thrilling experiences, including its “water-touch” bungy jump, and the “cliff hanger”, where riders swing down towards the waters below and then arc up to nearly 180°, reaching speeds up to 70 km per hour.
Photo Source: Renato Carvahlo
With so many rivers and beaches, it’s no surprise that water sports are extremely popular in New Zealand. Rafting is a beloved activity in New Zealand, as the country’s mountains feed numerous fast-flowing rivers that run from the forests out to the sea. The levels of New Zealand’s rivers range from Grade 1 (tranquil) to Grade 5 (considered to be an extreme sport). Those who want to try out rafting in NZ have plenty of choices, and can choose a trip that lasts anywhere between a couple hours and several days. If you’re on the North Island, you’re likely to go rafting in the central east coast regions of the Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay. North Island grade 5 rivers include Wairoa River and Kaituna River, and its beginner (grades 2 and 3) rivers include the Otaki River and the Tongariro River). Those on the South Island should try rafting around Queenstown and Canterbury (near Christchurch). If you’re looking for a grade 5 river on the South Island, ride the Karamea River or Whitcombe. Newbies to the rafting experience will want to look into the Waiau River or the Clarence River.
Looking to hit the powder while in New Zealand? You’re in luck, as the country is recognized as an international ski holiday destination. The North Island offers some superb snow on Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand’s biggest volcano. The mountain boasts snow-filled basins, sharp chutes, and thrilling drop-offs, and is home to two commercial ski areas: Turoa and Whakapapa. The South Island, meanwhile, has nine commercial ski areas that can be easily reached from Queenstown or Chirstchurch. These areas include Mt. Dobson, Roundhill, and the Remarkables, just to name a few. For a real extreme experience, consider giving heli-skiing a try! This experience includes being dropped off by a helicopter in the middle of gorgeous, untouched powder, then skiing or snowboarding your way down the peaks. There are several companies that offer heli-skiing in New Zealand, including Harris Mountains Heli-Ski (in Queenstown, Wanaka, and Mt. Cook), and Southern Lakes Heli-Ski. New Zealand’s ski season generally runs from June until October (or until November, on the North Island).
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