New Zealand’s adventures are countless. This vast choice of extreme activities attracts tourists from all over the world. So, if you are travelling for the thrill, then you should definitely put New Zealand on your bucket-list. Bungee jumping, caving, off-road driving, canyoning, rafting, skydiving, jet-boating, zip-lining are the most extreme on offer. But there is also another side of the Country to consider, the unique wildlife encounters, the lush scenery enjoyed on multi-day hikes and the beauty of its volcanoes in action. During our 11 months in New Zealand, and with so much on offer, we tried to fit in as much as we could. Here is our top 5 most thrilling moments in the Adventure Capital of the World.
Learning how to fly in Auckland
Thrill rating 8/10
Have you ever wanted to fly a plane? Well I didn’t, but Will did. That’s how I came up with the idea to present him the thrill of sitting in the pilot seat, controlling an aircraft. I picked the four seater plane to have a look at the city from above (extra $50). Under the surveillance of a fully qualified flight instructor, Will flew me on an awesome scenic flight over Auckland city centre and its beautiful coastline. From that height you really get to see all the volcano craters that characterise the city’s landscape. He had full control of the plane for 20 minutes! The instructor also explained to us all the features of the territory.
Price: $200 NZD, 4 seater (30 minutes)
Caving activities in Waitomo Caves
Thrill rating 10/10
Really exited but with shaky legs we started our adventure with a 27 metre abseil into a breathtaking chasm. The refracted light was highlighting the plants and rock formations making this descent truly awesome. We upstreamed the underground river with friendly eels as travel companions. We explored caverns covered by millions of glow worms – magical! We challenged each other squeezing ourselves through tiny passages inside the rock and we ended our trip with some black water rafting downstream. Last but not least a challenging 20 metre climb back to the rest of the world (after 5 hours underground)! An amazing experience in one of the most spectacular caving systems in the world, Waitomo Caves. The group was small and the young but extremely experienced guide provided us wetsuits, boots, helmet and safety equipment.
Price: $250 NZD per person
Swim with fur seals in Kaikoura
Thrill rating 9/10
It doesn’t sound as exiting as a skydive but – trust us – seeing wildlife in its own environment is always pretty special and to interact with them is just fantastic, such an emotional experience. Patiently snorkelling around one of Kaikoura’s seal colonies, we found ourselves surrounded by these wonderfully curious creatures intent in swimming up and down and away and up again, trying to work out who we were. Shy at first, seals soon got playful and friendly. Here comes the adrenaline peak: when the first seal came up close and looked at us, right in the eye, it was so intense! We could not believe how happy we were at the end of two – freezing – hours in the water. On our way back we saw another amazing sight: two rare Dusky dolphins swimming in front of the boat and an albatross.
Price: $110 NZD per person
Skydiving overlooking stunning sceneries in Whangarei
Thrill rating 10/10
How can I describe it? You are sitting on a plane, your heart is beating at a million beats per second. You are 12,000 feet in the air and the instructor is telling you to jump. One second later you are flying. Fear is gone, heart beat is slowing down, you are smiling of happiness while free-falling. Incredibly you feel suspended, floating in the air and what you can see around you is too beautiful to be real. When the parachute kicks in, you suddenly realise where you are and what the heck you are doing. We couldn’t have chosen a better way to celebrate my 29th birthday – thanks Will, best present ever! Skydives are available all around New Zealand but the best sceneries are in the South Island: Abel Tasman, Lake Wanaka or Queenstown. We actually skydived up north, in Whangarei, with Skydive Ballistic Blondes.
Pro’s: they offer the only beach dropzones in NZ and a thrilling 200km/hr free fall from 12,000 feet above the Bay of Islands + their ballistic blonde “babes” are real cool + their plane carries only 4 people per time (Will and I + two instructors). This made the experience more intimate and relaxed than 20 person jumps in Wanaka.
Price: from $199 to $380 NZD per person
Hiking the active Volcano of Tongariro
Thrill rating 7/10
Hiking the Tongariro Crossing not only gives you the thrill of walking on top of an active volcano, you will also have the chance to hike (an extra 3hrs.) the famous Mt. Doom, the filming location of Mordor from the Lord of the Rings. With its 19.4 km track, its emerald lakes, red craters and steep ascents, Tongariro Crossing is considered one of the best one day hikes in New Zealand. Weather often changes within seconds out there and there’s no drinkable water on the itinerary so, be prepared.
Save up on Adventures
Save up with BookMe. Most of the activities are available on the website with huge discounts. Thats how we booked all our adventures and everything went smooth! We saved up more than 50% on the activities mentioned above. During high season most of the discounted activities are fully booked months in advance. Give it a shot anyway and.. good luck!