The southern hemisphere is nearly upon us! With that in mind this week’s 6 of the best is focussed on NZ activities… so if you’re heading out early and still waiting for that big dump of snow these adrenaline filled activities should keep you amused until the snow starts to fall!
New Zealand is the spiritual home of the bungee jump. Indeed it was in Queenstown that the world’s first commercial bungee opened in 1888, standing at a formidable 43 metres high the bungee jump off the Kawaru bridge (over the beautiful Kawaru river)is still a popular destination for adrenaline junkies the world over. Thankfully the equipment has been updated since 1888…
Not content with just being home of the bungee jump those crazy kiwis went and invented a whole new way of getting an adrenaline kick. Jet boating offers a massive rush to those with an aversion to heights… but not water. The jet boat was designed to negotiate the narrow and shallow rivers in the Queenstown area but now largely serves the purpose of being an awesome thrill ride. The boats can run in less than 30cm of water at huge speeds through very narrow gorges. An amazing, if a little scary experience!
Skiing & Snowboarding
New Zealand is one of the best places in the world, not just the southern hemisphere, for skiing and snowboarding. There’s a huge amount of terrain on offer across a number of different resorts. Treble Cone was recently voted the best all-round resort by Your Money magazine and is a great resort for ski instructor courses, while Snowpark resort attracts a whole host of ski & snowboard pros from around the world for the southern hemisphere season.
Another popular one for anyone visiting New Zealand is the tandem skydive, it does what it says on the tin really! Take in the beautiful New Zealand scenery on the way up, get strapped onto the experienced divemaster, then throw yourself out of a plane and hurtle towards the ground at 200 km/h! There’s normally a solid 60-seconds of free fall followed by a serene 5-minutes of parachute gliding to the ground. You’ll be smiling for days afterwards!
Canyoning combines a whole host of skills; climbing, scrambling, jumping, sliding, swimming, and having a whole load of fun! There a number of great locations for canyoning in New Zealand particularly on the South Island in the mountainous terrain of Wanaka. Your guide will have you jumping off waterfalls, descending through natural rock canyons, swimming in natural rock pools, and (my personal favourite) sliding down water-polished rock chutes! It’s a great way to get off the beaten path and explore some of New Zealand’s vast beautiful terrain.
The great thing about New Zealand is that you can go from shredding the mountain in the morning to catching some waves in the afternoon! You’re never far from the sea in New Zealand and as such there’s always a decent break within easy reach. If it’s your first time surfing there are loads of fantastic surf schools in the area, while for more advanced surfers there are reef, beach, and river mouth breaks aplenty!
We’d love to hear your favourite NZ resorts and off-slope activities are… so let us know!