New Zealand; the home of the hobbit, the sheep, the greatest rugby players and of course some of the most extreme sporting activities.
From bungee jumping to throwing yourself out of a plane, New Zealanders are renown for their love of the extreme. It is these activities that draw travellers from far and wide, looking for adventure and thrill. The following is our list of the five best extreme sports in New Zealand.
The five most extreme adventure sports in New Zealand.
– Sky Diving.
Throwing yourself out of a moving plane at 16,000 feet above the ground is arguably one of the most thrilling things you can do in New Zealand.
It also happens to be one of the best ways to see the stunning natural landscapes of the country – as you come hurtling down towards it. From the best sky diving sites such as in the Bay of Islands, in Taupo and Queenstown you will see deep blue lakes, snow capped mountains and rolling green hills.
Franz Josef in the South Island meanwhile offers the highest tandem sky dive in the Southern Hemisphere at 19,000ft. This means you have more time to see the magnificent Franz Josef glacier from above.
– Bungy Jumping.
Bungy jumping – otherwise known as the act of throwing oneself off a really high object with only a rubber band attached to your legs – is an activity synonymous with New Zealand. Founded by one crazy kiwi the humble bungy jump is an absolute must try for adventure seekers.
It all began with A. J. Hackett, who made his first jump from Auckland’s Greenhithe Bridge in 1986. Hackett went on to jump from many a tall structure including the Eiffel Tower before opening the world first commercial bungy site, the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge near Queenstown in the South Island. The site is, to this day, still one of the most popular jumps in New Zealand.
The best jump by far however is the Nevis Bungy jump in Queenstown. At 134 meters above the stunning Nevis canyon floor, this jump is the third highest in the world. The only question is; are you brave enough to take the plunge?
– White water rafting.
If you like the water and you like an adventure then white water rafting is for you. From the highest commercially water rated waterfall in the world in Rotorua to the Tongariro river in Taupo and the Wild West Coast, New Zealand has it all.
The options extend from gentle grade one rapids to the most extreme grade five rapids so there is a white water rafting adventure to suit everyone. It really is an amazing way to not only explore natural New Zealand but to also challenge yourself.
New Zealand is one of the top places in the world for spelunking (caving) thanks to its spectacular and endless underground caving systems. Keen spelunkers can get off the beaten path and explore caves on their own which can be found in several spots around the country.
Alternatively cavers can head to the ever popular Waitomo Caves for a day in the dark. As well as exploring you can also do some black water rafting – floating through a cave on a tube in the pitch black. Nelson, in the South Island, is home to the Southern Hemishpere’s deepest sinkhole and another amazing place for caving.
It is rock climbing, swimming and abseiling all in one and it ranks in at number five on the list of the most extreme activities in New Zealand – canyoning.
New Zealand is home to some amazing places for canyoning which will take you through the most extreme rivers and waterfalls and over the biggest rock formations all in a day.
Some of the best spots for canyoning include Wanaka’s Haast Pass, the stunning Geraldine in the South Island and the Whitakere Ranges near Auckland. Where ever you are around the country, you are never very far from a place where you can take up the challenge of this extreme activity.