Activities in New Zealand
Take the plunge: this is the world's prime destination for bungee jumping. Famous jump-off points include the Kawarau River Bridge, the Skippers Bridge, the Pipeline, the Ledge (near Queenstown), Taupo and Mangaweka (North Island) and Hanmer Springs (South Island). Also try bridge swinging, falling then swinging along a gorge whilst harnessed to a cable.
Paragliding in New Zealand
Test your paragliding skills; beginner's courses are available near Queenstown and Wanaka, while experienced paragliders head to Christchurch, the Daney Pass or Wanaka.
Which involves being strapped into an inflatable transparent plastic ball that is then rolled down a grassy hill or onto a river. Queenstown is a good place for this.
Opt for jetboating, another New Zealand invention, which consists of high-speed boat trips in special power boats. It is popular on many of the country's best-known rivers, including Queenstown's Shotover River and on the Waikato River beneath the Huka Falls.
Coastal Activities in New Zealand
Take advantage of New Zealand's long coastline and ideal conditions for swimming, diving and windsurfing. The Poor Knights Islands (near Whangarei) are particularly renowned among divers. For many more suggestions, contact New Zealand Underwater.
Surfing in New Zealand
Go surfing, with some of the best breaks located at Mahia Peninsula (near Gisborne), Murawai, Palliser Bay (near Wellington) and Piha,. You can also ride one of the best left hand breaks in the world at Raglan.
Go swimming with dolphins in the Bay of Islands (north of Auckland), the Coromandel Peninsula, Kaikoura (South Island) and Whakatane. Whale watching is also possible on the eastern coast of South Island all year but with most sightings from April to August. Contact Whale Watch.
Sailing and Yachting in New Zealand
Go sailing and yachting in Auckland - ‘the city of sails'. Excursions to the remote maritime reserves in the Bay of Islands, Hauraki Gulf and Marlborough Sounds are also possible.
White Water Rafting in New Zealand
Seek the thrill of white-water rafting. Popular rivers include the Wairora (near Tauranga), the Mohaka (in Hawke's Bay) and the Kaituna (near Rotorua), which features the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall at 7m (23ft). Black-water rafting through underground caves is also available. Tackle the 3-5 day Whanganui River Journey to see some of North Island's finest scenery.
Snow Skiing and Snowboarding in New Zealand
Hit the slopes for skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering from June to October. On North Island, the best ski regions are on Mount Ruapehu. Other good slopes are found in the Southern Lakes region and Mount Hutt. Alternatively, glacier ski and glacier walk in the Southern Alps.
Cave Diving in New Zealand
Go caving: the Waitomo Caves, whose ‘Lost World' cave can be abseiled into through shafts of sunlight, are the most visited. Also available is cave rafting or tubing, where participants float through the cave system on custom-made tyres keeping an eye out for glowworms.
Fishing in New Zealand
Go fishing: brown and rainbow trout are particularly popular. Salmon fishing is best in the Rakaia, Rangitata, Waimakariri and Waitaki rivers. For further information on seasons and permits, contact the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association.
National Parks in New Zealand
Tramp though stunning national parks and protected forest areas. Popular walks include the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, the Lake Waikaremoana Track, the world-famous Milford Track and the remote Rakiura Track. Contact the Department of Conservation (DOC) for more information.
Enjoy a tipple or three in the wine-growing region of Hawke's Bay. Around 70 wineries allow visitors in to sample the region's respected red wines, particularly Pinot Noir. The Marlborough province also has world-class, new-world wineries producing white, sharp Chardonnay and crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Distilleries in New Zealand
Visit the whisky distilleries of Dunedin (Gaelic for Edinburgh), reputedly the world's southernmost distillery. It's located at the bottom of South Island, which has strong Scottish roots and retains a distinctive Celtic flavour.
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