There’s a reason people call New Zealand “The Adventure Capital of the World.”
It tends to include constantly facing death at any given point.
From getting lost in “the bush” for days at a time to jumping off the top of a building just because, here’s five things any adventure seeker won’t want to miss out on in New Zealand:
5. Auckland’s Sky Tower
Most people fly into Auckland to kick off their New Zealand trip. In turn, that makes jumping off of the Sky Tower one of the easiest and fastest ways to get your trip started with a dose of adrenaline.
The torture begins in a glass-bottomed elevator that makes the ground sink as you’re transported 53 floors up. After that, an employee straps you into some cables before walking you over to the ledge.
Enjoy the best view you’ll get of Auckland as the ground sucks you back.
If you think you’re too afraid to do it, check out this video of Beyonce loving it and be encouraged.
4. Any New Zealand Hike
Want to get your heart pumping?
Any hike in New Zealand should do.
As it’s a country known for its beauty, experiencing the fuss firsthand proves why this country stands as one of the world’s finest.
New Zealand has nine Great Walks, but even participating in any of the day hikes is worth every second.
The most common, readily available, and free walk to do in a day is the Tongariro Crossing (unless you choose to do the 3-day track for the entire experience). Usually hosting more than 4,000 hikers per day and standing as the home base for Mordor, the Tongariro Crossing transports you to a place that, quite literally, feels out of this world.
Outside of the “Great Walks,” any old hike gets the job done when you’re in New Zealand.
Some contenders like The Ben Lomond hike in Queenstown will strain every muscle in your body to complete, but the view from the top is worth it:
Or, if the weather is on your side and it fits your budget, you could also hike the Franz Josef Glacier.
Hell, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even walk the entire length of the country.
There are no limits to the number of caves you will find in New Zealand, especially in Waitomo.
Most of those caves also host the reason people explore them:
They’re native to New Zealand, and when seen in large numbers, it feels like you’re floating through space. They light up the cave, and their reflections off the water round out the ethereal experience.
While you could get a calm, relaxed tour of the caves, that’s no fun for an adventure seeker.
Try blackwater rafting instead.
Waitomo has three tours to choose from: The Black Abyss, The Black Labyrinth, or The Black Odyssey.
On The Abyss tour, you repel through the mouth of the cave, zip line down to the river, and jump into an innertube before taken on your trip.
On The Black Labyrinth tour, climb waterfalls and white water raft before you relax your way through the serpentine structure of the cave in a gentle current as you gaze at the famed worms.
Just watch out for eels.
If you’re not keen on being in the water, there’s always the option of checking out The Black Odyssey tour, where you’ll experience a course that, even underground, tests your fear of heights.
Skydiving is on most people’s “NZ Must-Do” list.
As such, you’ll have more difficult time not finding a place to do it.
Options range from arguably “the best” in Kaiteriteri as it puts you over the Abel Tasman National Park and provides you a view of both islands, the highest in the Franz Josef Glacier, or in the Adventure Capital itself: Queenstown.
1. Bungy Jumping
While there’s never a shortage of adventure-related activities to do in Queenstown, there’s one thing that came to life here:
This is one most people fear the most, and there’s a reason for it:
During a skydive, when you’re on the ground before you leave, and you hear “15,000 feet,” you think, “Oh, my God… That’s almost 3 miles above the ground!“
However, the truth is, once you are that high, because you’re that high, it never actually feels like you’re falling. The ground is so far away that the sensation you get when you fall isn’t there. It feels like you got put in a crazy (and cold) wind machine with one epic backdrop.
That, and there’s also the tiny little factor that you’re strapped to someone who throws you out of the plane whether you like it or not.
It is the exact opposite for the bungy jump.
In a bungy, you experience what is known as “ground rush,” or feeling the rush of the ground coming at your face as you’re falling.
And you have to choose to be the one to conquer that.
The base jump done off the Sky Tower in Auckland isn’t as scary because there’s no going back up. Between the two, you may find throwing yourself off the ledge of a bungy and plunging your way to the ground in desperate hopes the rope doesn’t snap on your way back up will have you demanding a stiff drink by the time it’s over.
But you’ll never feel so alive.
There may be a few different bungies to choose from, but challenge yourself by doing the highest:
And no, believe it or not, that is not me screaming in the background.
Bonus – Queenstown: The Adventure Capital
Need more thrills? If so, merely take a look through the menu for Queenstown and choose your poison.