While the islands of New Zealand might have shot to prominence during the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, its tourism industry has always been well supported by the sterling reputation that the country maintains for its adventure sports scene.
If you hanker for a life-experience that will open your eyes and quicken your pulse, then New Zealand has a whole host of thrilling adventure sports options for you to choose from. Not only does New Zealand boast an excellent safety record for these kinds of activities (often the best in the world), the industry is competitive enough to encourage companies to offer their services at enticing and affordable prices.
See if anything below looks like it would set your heart beating a little faster.
Photo by Rich_Lem
New Zealand is the pioneering nation of the bizarre but exhilarating activity of Zorbing. On the surface, it doesn’t sound too appealing: climb inside a giant plastic sphere and then get thrown down a hill! However, bouncing off the interior plastic walls is both hilarious and gives the occupant a massive rush.
The sport is available on both of New Zealand’s islands, which are one of the few places in the world that host Zorbing centres. Jumping back and forth between the north and south island is made easier by the regular ferries that run between Wellington and Picton, spanning the narrow straights between the islands.
Photo by Doctor J. Beam
Skiing and Snowboarding
Photo by GothPhil
New Zealand has an excellent variety of ski resorts that will challenge skiing and snowboarding veterans as well as provide the perfect environment for beginners to start off their exploration of the slopes.
Both islands feature impressive mountain ranges that are suitable for skiing, with the south island boasting the better known resorts around Wanaka and above the city of Queenstown.
Photo by mnapoleon
There are two good precautions to take before leaping out of a plane: one is having a parachute and the other is having a trained skydiving expert strapped in with you to do a tandem jump. Fortunately, New Zealand sky diving centres can provide both of these things for you.
With an impeccable safety record, New Zealand is one of the world’s premier sky diving locations. There are cheaper places that offer the opportunity to try the sport, but when leaping out of a plane thousands of feet above the ground, a little extra investment in the best equipment and instructors seems like a worthwhile precaution!
Photo by benhosg
Again, New Zealand carries the best safety record in the world for the adventure pursuit of bungee jumping. This is also reassuring when you prepare to hurl yourself from a massively impressive height, only to be catapulted back up into the air by the bungee cord.
It can be absolutely terrifying, but one of the most incredible rushes that a human can experience without breaking the law.
Photo by mat79
Photo by shutupyourface
Like Zorbing, Jet boating is another of New Zealand’s home grown adventure pursuits. Strap yourself into a fast jetboat that can spin through 180 degrees with only a few feet of clearance. Expert pilots can navigate the boat at speeds in excess of 50 miles an hour through the narrowest of gaps between rocky river canyons as shown above. For a white knuckle ride with an aquatic twist, jet boating cannot be beaten.
Top image by misterbisson