Kick it with the kiwis
Booking your next holiday, but want something different from the usual? Home to some of the most beautiful landscape in the world, New Zealand is always high on our list, but it has so much more to offer than just stunning scenery. So, if you’re looking to get away, but want more from your annual leave than just lying on a beach, look no further. With skydiving, glacier walks, canyon swings and more, we’re just itching to book in for the trip of a lifetime…
If you’ve ever considered skydiving, chances are New Zealand has sprung to mind. With its stunning landscape, there’s no better place to take in the views than from thousands of feet in the air, and with many to locations to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice. See the full list of dives sites here, with vistas of volcanoes, snow-topped mountains and lakes all on offer. Many choose to jump over the beautiful Lake Taupo, but if you’re going for the higher the better, go for either Abel Tasman (16,500ft), or Franz Josef (18,000ft). A little scared about actually jumping out of a plane? First time jumpers (and anyone unlicensed) are required to do a tandem dive, so you’ll have an experienced professional with you (literally strapped to you!) every step of the way.
Where: All over New Zealand! With major dive sites in Queenstown, Lake Taupo, Abel Tasman, the Bay of Islands and Franz Josef
How much: Prices vary, but range between $249 NZD and $559 NZD (depending on location and jump height)
New Zealand has four incredible bungy jumps to choose from, located in both Queenstown and Auckland, but we say if you’re going to do it, do the highest. The Nevis Bungy is a whopping 134m high, and with 8.5 seconds of free-fall, you’re guaranteed to come away buzzing with adrenaline. Real thrill seekers can take it up a level and also book into the Nevis Swing. As the biggest swing in the world, the Nevis Swing is suspended 160m above the valley floor, which releases you to accelerate through a 300m arc, soaring through the valley at 125kph. Fancy the thrill of both activities in one day? A double hit of adrenaline is a tempting option, and you can save when booking into the combo!
Where: The Bungy Bus departs from the Queenstown Bungy Centre, Corner of Shotover and Camp Streets, Queenstown, New Zealand (South Island)
How much: $275 NZD / $385 NZD for the Nevis Bungy and Swing – book here!
Black Water Rafting & Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Always wanted to see the famous Waitomo Glow Worm caves? Boat tours are available for those who don’t want to get wet, but if you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline we recommend Black Water Rafting. Combining the best of both, this tour will see you float underground on rubber tubes, while taking in the wonders of the glow worms above. You’ll also get to jump into cascading waterfalls and climb through caves whilst taking in this natural wonder. To take the activity up a gear, opt for the Black Abyss, which also includes an underground flying fox and abseiling.
Where: 585 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo, New Zealand (North Island)
How much: $142 NZD (Black Labyrinth) / $246 NZD (Black Abyss) – book and find more info here!
Shotover Canyon Swing
New Zealand may be known as the birthplace of bungee, but another must try is the Canyon Swing. Yet another reason to head to the ever-buzzing Queenstown area, the Canyon Swing see’s eager participants launch themselves off a cliff from 109m high and swing over the Shotover River. Killer views (if you can keep your eyes open!) and adrenaline rush guaranteed. With numerous jump styles to choose from, how you go is up to you – in pairs, backwards, on a chair – the options are endless, but all are super fun (and super scary).
Where: 34 Shotover Street, Queenstown, New Zealand (South Island)
How much: $229 NZD (plus $49 for a second jump) – book here!
Hike Franz Josef Glacier
Is the thought of climbing to Everest Base Camp too much for you? Get the thrill of ice climbing and take in the incredible sights with a little less of the work at New Zealand’s amazing Franz Josef Glacier. For a more leisurely experience, you can opt for the Glacier Heli Hike, which will begin with a helicopter flight that lands on the glacier, before being led through the ice formations and blue ice, whilst enjoying panoramic views of the mountains. If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, the Heli Ice Climb is the one for you! Starting with the same heli tour, you’ll then be led by the experts on the basics of ice-climbing. The best bit? Both tours include complimentary access to the glacier hot pools, so you’ll have a relaxing (and warming) activity to look forward to after your excursion. It’s also worth noting that unlike many other glacier parks in the Northern Hemisphere, Franz Josef is open all year round. Summer (from November to February) is traditionally high tourist season in NZ, so tours may be busier, and in winter (from June to August), day time temperatures should only dip to between 5°C and 15°C, so it won’t be as cold as you may think!
Where: Glacier Base, 63 Cron Street, Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand (South Island)
How much: $459 NZD (Glacier Heli Hike) / $575 NZD (Heli Ice Climb) – book here!
Other Activities to Check out in New Zealand
With so much on offer, here are just a few of the other incredible things to do –
- For Lord of The Rings fans, a must-visit is the Hobbiton set in Matamata
- Zorbing in Rotorua
- Shotover Jet boating in Queenstown
- Whale and dolphin watching in Kaikoura
- White water rafting on the Tongariro River
- Luging in Queenstown
- Wine tasting on a vineyard
- Relax at the hot thermal springs in Rotorua (and brave the infamous smell)
- Visit Milford Sounds
Featured image credited to destinationnz sourced via Pinterest, image #1 courtesy of Skydive Taupo via Facebook, image #2 courtesy of www.wheresmollie.com via Pinterest, image #3 courtesy www.blog.cozmotravel.comof via Pinterest, image #4 courtesy of www.cheapflights.comvia Pinterest, image #5 courtesy of www.nationalgeographic.com via Pinterest