Heart-pumping activities in NZ
Take a leap with bungy jumping
New Zealand is the perfect playground for the energetic and daring traveller, and nothing screams carpe diem" more than following in the footsteps of Kiwi bungy legend AJ Hackett. Back in the 1980s, Hackett kick-started the trend for taking a leap of faith off the Kawarau Bride near Queenstown and subsequently put New Zealand on the map as the home of all things bungy.
You can take the plunge all over New Zealand, from bridges or rail viaducts, off cliff-top platforms or even stadium roof! Book in an unforgettable jump off the Auckland Harbour bridge against breathtaking harbour views, dive into a river canyon at Queenstown's Nevis Bungy (the highest bungy in Australasia), or pay homage to where it all started by leaping off the Kawarau Suspension Bridge in Queenstown – the world’s first commercial jump site.
Delve a little deeper and go caving
According to spelunkers (the most serious of cavers), New Zealand's lush landscapes sit atop some of the most challenging and rewarding cave systems anywhere in the world. First-time cavers and seasoned pros alike will find themselves mesmerised by impressive stalagmite and stalactite limestone formations, glow-worm displays and subterranean rivers that exist below the surface of Aotearoa.
Waitomo, located in the Waikato region on the North Island, is especially famous for its underground adventures including black water rafting (not for the faint of heart in the wet season!) where you can abseil and tube through water-filled tunnels. Fiordland and the West Coast of the South Island also boast their fair share of naturally occurring underground lairs, including the longest cave system at Kahurangi National Park and Harwood’s Hole in Nelson, an extraordinary 183-metre deep sinkhole.
Ride the white-water rapids
Take a seat in the splash zone and see New Zealand’s world-famous scenery from the waterways on a rafting voyage. Adventure capital Queenstown on the South Island is the ultimate destination for white water rafting, with a rapid ride down Shotover River sure to leave your adventurous appetite satisfied. Also in the country’s south, you can explore the beautiful Franz Josef Glacier region by splashing through the icy waters with a team of eager rafters.
Of course, you can take in the pristine wilderness vistas via rivers in gentler circumstances as well. There are plenty of tranquil channels perfect for smooth sailing and easy paddling, in addition to the wet and wild waterways that are perhaps better suited to adrenaline junkies. Rafting rivers are graded from I to V (one to five) – the higher the ranking, the harder the ride. When it comes to adventure holidays, New Zealand ticks all the boxes.