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The top ten New Zealand adventure activities

If you’re looking for a fun-filled holiday down under choose one of these top ten New Zealand adventure activities.

It’s no secret: kiwis love adventure. Give us a jet boat, bungy or zipline and we’re in our happy place. So, it won't come as a surprise to find adventure activities in almost every town throughout the country. We've selected 10 that should be candidates for your adventure short list.

Here’s a few of our favourites to get you started thinking about way to get the adrenalin pumping on a New Zealand visit:

Caving

New Zealand has some of the most spectacular caving systems in the world suitable for all experience levels. Waitomo, the most well known North Island caving region has an extensive underground network, ranging from dry caves you can simply walk through, to caves where you can float under a canopy of glowworms. You’ll also see unique mineral formations such stalagmites and stalactites.

Exploring the Waitomo Caves

Bungy Jumping

Home to the world's first commercial bungy - The Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown - New Zealand is known for its many bungy attractions. We’ve done them all and can say with confidence -  if you're after the biggest adrenaline rush, choose the Nevis, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. At 134 metres off the ground you’ll be winched out on a wire strung between two peaks. Not for the faint of heart!

Zip Lining

The perfect mix of beautiful scenery and adrenaline, zip lining is a rollercoaster ride through nature. You’ll be strapped into a harness sent zipping down cables through native forest, over canyons and across rivers. Our favourites include the EcoZip on Waiheke Island and the three hour wilderness experience with Rotorua Canopy Tours.

Off-roading

A little less active than the rest of our list but no less exhilarating! Off roading in New Zealand takes advantage of the comprehensive network of back-country roads and tracks. Traverse giant sand dunes in the North and the foothills of the Southern Alps in the South. We love the Lord of the Rings, so our ideal four wheel drive adventure is one in Queenstown, showcasing scenes used throughout the trilogy.

Monster 4x4 Thrill Ride with Off Road NZ

Rafting

From lazy rivers to turbulent white water, rafting in New Zealand can be as sedate or wild as you like. Being adrenaline junkies, we obviously prefer the latter - and if you’re up for a rush, we think you will be too! In our opinion, the best places to raft are on the Shotover river in Queenstown and the Kaituna river in Rotorua.

Canyoning

Waterfalls, abseiling, swimming and spectacular views - what more could you want?  Canyoning is fast becoming the ultimate outdoor adventure. For this epic day out you’ll don a wetsuit and hard-hat to make the journey down natural rock canyons, water chutes and waterfalls. Our hometown - Wanaka - is known for its beautiful rivers, so it's no surprise our favourite place to canyon is in our own backyard with Deep Canyon.

Heli Skiing

We do live in the middle of the Southern Alps, so heli-skiing is one of our favourite pastimes. No matter your level of fitness, our mountains offer dry powder, perfect skiing, and unbelievable views. We love Harris Mountains Heli Ski for their expertise, breadth of terrain, flexibility and safety.

Heli-skiing above Lake Wanaka

Zorbing

An iconic Rotorua activity, Zorbing consists of crawling into a giant inflatable ball and rolling down specially constructed trail. You can choose one of two Zorb options, the Zydro (wet) ride and Zorbit (dry) ride, four track options and eight ride variations.

Jet boating

A New Zealand jet boat ride is an exhilarating experience and takes you through narrow river gorges, shallow braided rivers, past sheer rock faces and untouched wilderness. We’ve done our fair share of jet boating and  we love the Huka Jet in Taupo, taking you to the base of the spectacular Huka falls, and the Shotover Jet in Queenstown - for its hair-raising twists and turns. 

Skydiving

We saved the most extreme for last! Only for those with the strongest of stomachs, skydiving is truly a heart stopping adventure. Again, living in one of the most beautiful locations in New Zealand, we like to think skydiving in Wanaka is the best - but then we must claim an element of bias when it comes to this one. An adrenaline rush and sightseeing tour all in one, you’ll enjoy sensational 360 views of Lake Wanaka and the southern alps.

Here's a challenge: how about creating an action-packed itinerary with 9 of these 10 unforgettable adventures for the coming summer. (We'll let you off the heli-skiing as its a little difficult to do in the summer when snow is in short supply.)

Taking a dive with Skydive Franz Josef