“New Zealand World Service” a travel guide published in On the Hill covering sky diving, skiing and snowboarding, trekking (tramping), and a huge variety of water sports . . .
The Travel Guide Water Sports Section . . .
There’s a lot of water in and around New Zealand and plenty of scope for enjoying it. You can Canadian canoe and fish on lakes, sea kayak around the coast, raft up to grade 5+ rapids. If you fancy the ultimate challenge, then try “River Sledging” using a modified boogie board, flippers and, of course, an ice hockey helmet – very useful for when you’re smashing across a river bed under several meters of white water. Activity companies offer full outfitting. It’s possible to do trips lasting from a few hours to several days. The longer trips usually only run in the summer.
For surfing and windsurfing check out hire possibilities and conditions before you visit a break, as some can be treacherous.
Marine life watching is another option. Swimming with dolphins is highly recommended. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a pod of 20. You boat out from a mountainous bay and then snorkel with the playful creatures, diving down and circling with them. Making eye contact with these wild animals in their natural environment is an exceptional experience.
If you want a motorized adrenaline high, try jet boating. The Ferrari-red boats accelerate to high speeds, only centimeters from canyon walls in just 10 cm of water, and pull 360 turns which lift you out of your seat! For something completely different, and considerably calmer, there’s Blackwater Rafting: it’s caving with a twist. You float gently down underground rivers on an inner-tube looking at glow worms and flashing your miners light across stalactites and stalagmites.
Aerial Section . . .
Tandem skydiving is an absolute must, well worth the expense. Strapped to your instructor’s chest you fly for 20 minutes up to either 9000 or 12,000ft where you dangle out of the plane, questioning your sanity, and then BAM! You launch into an exhilarating 200kph free fall until — after a lifetime — the instructor pulls the cord. If you want to, they will rotate the chute through a few 360 turns so you can enjoy the incredible views. Be warned — watch any adrenaline induced speeding when driving away as the Wanaka to Queenstown Road is notorious for speed traps.
If you don’t want to leave the ground completely there’s always bungee jumping. It would be rude to visit the world center of this ridiculous thrill without jumping off a bridge, tower or gondola attached to an elastic band, albeit a technical one. Locations abound, but it started in Queenstown, were a variety of heights, up to 134 meters, and even night jumps, are on offer.
New Zealand Adventures
This is just a taste of the adventurous things to do in New Zealand which my travel guide article covered.