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It’s no secret that New Zealand is where the world’s adrenaline junkies head when they need their fix. Whether it’s the diverse landscape, the Polynesian culture, or just the brave souls who live there, it’s well known that the country has carved out a niche for itself as the go-to place for thrill seeking activities. Take bungee jumping for instance. They may not have invented the extreme sport, but they were the first to commercialize it and bring the idea of throwing oneself off bridges to the world.
Looking for your next thrill-seeking adventure? Hop on one of these New Zealand guided tours and you’ll have your heart pumping in no time.
- Heli-biking. Even adrenaline junkies don’t like hard work. In New Zealand, they’ve pioneered heli-biking to counter the problem of cycling up hill. Hop in a helicopter with your bike in tow and get dropped at the top of any number of New Zealand mountains leaving you with just the best bit – the ride back down. There are several tours offering the experience, but bear in mind that you’ll need deep pockets if you’re going to take up such a hobby. Helicopter flights don’t come cheap.
- Zorbing. If you’re looking for something heart-pumping without having any experience, look to another of New Zealand’s ingenious inventions, the zorb. Never heard of it? No problem. In a nutshell, you’ll be stuffed into a transparent blow up ball and pushed down a hill while you tumble around inside like knickers in a washing machine. Since its inception there have been a number of new versions including the Zydro which includes the addition of water inside. If you’re coming with friends or family, you can hop in one of the tandem or group zorbs. Good luck.
- Sandboarding. Snowboarding is so last season. Those in the know are heading north to the Te Paki sand dunes to strap wooden boards to their feet and race down the powdery sand. There’s several New Zealand guided tour companies offering buggy rides up the dunes, though if you don’t mind the arduous walk up the sandy mountain, you can experience the thrill of the sport (which is thought to have originated in China more than a thousand years ago) for just the few bucks it costs to hire your board.
- Snowmobiling. If you’re heading to New Zealand in the winter, one of the best ways to experience the mountains (as well as getting a spike of adrenaline) is by racing along the trails on snowmobiles. They are very easy to learn and with minimal effort required, it’s one of the funnest ways to get around. In the South Island, many tours take intrepid travelers up to the snowy peaks by helicopter where your ride through the winter wonderland awaits. Talk about arriving in style.
- Fly a plane. Don’t have a pilot’s license? It only takes a little training and safety instruction on ground to give you access to the control panel on your very own open-cockpit biplane. Take to the skies over the gorgeous Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand’s South Island and when all is well, you’ll take over control of the stunt plane practicing rolls and loops. Needless to say, you won’t be allowed to take the flight if you’ve had anything to drink, but you might very well need a soothing cold one after you’ve finished, as well as a sick bag.